Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Buffalo Rock Columbus Named Pepsi-Cola's Donald M. Kendall Bottler of the Year

PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Pepsi-Cola North America (PCNA) has named Buffalo Rock of Columbus, Georgia its Donald M. Kendall Bottler of the Year for 2007. Named for PepsiCo's former chairman and founder, this is the highest honor bestowed upon PCNA's bottling partners.

Accompanied by PCNA President Hugh Johnston, Mr. Kendall presented the award to James C. Lee III, the franchise's president and CEO, at a ceremony during PCNA's national bottler meeting at PCNA's Purchase, N.Y. headquarters last night.

Bottler of the Year finalists are nominated based on key criteria, including customer service, community support, volume and sales growth, quality standards and performance against the company's strategic imperatives.

Together with Division General Manager Barry Hayes, EVP and COO Matthew Dent, Lee has led Buffalo Rock, Columbus to a great record of recent success, with a three-year compound annual growth of 10% between 2004 and 2007. In 2007, Buffalo Rock, Columbus really came to play, growing its non-carbonated beverage volume by 27.5% and increasing its Lipton tea business by triple-digits. Overall per capita consumption in Buffalo Rock Columbus' territory rose by more than 10 percent in 2007.

"When you talk about Buffalo Rock of Columbus, you're talking about a great competitor," Johnston said. "Really, this is a bottler who is truly among the best of the best every year, and they prove it every day in a tough competitive environment. PCNA wouldn't be what it is without its valued bottling partners and we are honored to have a bottler like Buffalo Rock on our side. Nobody embodies the spirit of a champion -- what we call 'that Pepsi spirit' -- quite like Jimmy Lee, Matthew Dent, Barry Hayes and everybody at Buffalo Rock, Columbus. They make the entire Pepsi system very proud."

In recognition of their generous support, Pepsi-Cola North America presents each finalist with a $5,000 Donald M. Kendall Community Grant. With that, Buffalo Rock Columbus has made a donation to Second Harvest Food Bank of the Chattahoochee Valley, a charitable organization whose mission is to gather food and feed the hungry. The organization provides service to 13 countries in Georgia and Russell County, Alabama.

Other finalists for the award included Arctic Beverage Limited of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; Lane Affiliated Companies Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Yuma, Arizona; and Pepsi Bottling Group of Texas.

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