Who We Are

Coca-Cola Beverages Florida, LLC (Coke Florida) is a family-owned independent Coca-Cola bottler. Coke Florida’s exclusive territory covers over 20 million consumers across 47 Florida counties, and includes the major metropolitan markets of Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, and Tampa. Coke Florida manufactures, sells, and distributes over 600 products of The Coca-Cola Company and other partner companies. Coke Florida is the third largest privately held, and the sixth-largest independent, bottler of Coca-Cola products in the United States. The company is also one of America’s largest black-owned businesses. Coke Florida was founded in 2015 and is headquartered in Tampa, Florida. 

Coca-Cola Beverages Florida (Coke Florida) is a certified Minority Business Enterprise. Coke Florida was awarded certification by the Florida State Minority Supplier Development Council (FSMSDC) in 2019.

Coke Florida was honored as 2020 Minority Business Enterprise Supplier of the Year Class IV. The Class IV award recognizes the certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) supplier of the year that has annual sales of more than $50 million and has demonstrated solid business performance, strong community involvement, and a commitment to supporting and expanding supplier diversity.

For more information about Coke Florida, see At A Glance

Background pics of people holding coca-cola bottles

OUR LEADERS

TROY TAYLOR

CHAIRMAN AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Troy is the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Coke Florida.  He established Coke Florida in 2015 and leads all aspects of the company’s strategic and operating direction.  Troy and his family are the sole owners of Coke Florida and, as the Founder of Coke Florida, he maintains a unique position within the Coca-Cola system.  Prior to founding Coke Florida, Troy was a strategic advisor to The Coca-Cola Company and worked in private investing, business consulting, and investment banking.

Troy serves on board of directors of the Coca-Cola Bottlers’ Association, American Beverage Association, and Florida Chamber of Commerce.  He is a member of the Coca-Cola North America System Leadership Governance Board, the Coca-Cola Hispanic Advisory Council, and the Florida Council of 100.  Troy is a former board member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Jacksonville Branch where he served two terms as chairman.  He earned a degree in Finance and Business Law from Marshall University.  Troy was the recipient of the prestigious EY Entrepreneur of The Year® 2018 award in Florida for the Consumer Products category.

THOMAS BENFORD

PRESIDENT AND CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

Mr. Thomas N. Benford is President and Chief Operating Officer of Coke Florida. He oversees end-to-end commercial operations including planning, customer management, field sales, product supply, risk management, sustainability, and facilities management. Mr. Benford joined Coke Florida in 2015, previously serving as Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer and Vice President of Strategy and Planning.

Mr. Benford’s career includes tenure with the Halliburton Company, where he served as Marketing and Development Manager of Baroid Fluid Services and Corporate Finance Manager. Prior to Halliburton, he was an Investment Banking Analyst in the leveraged finance group at J.P. Morgan Chase. Mr. Benford holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and undergraduate degrees in Economics and Computational and Applied Mathematics from Rice University.

DAVID CROSS

SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, HUMAN RESOURCES AND ADMINISTRATION

Mr. David Cross is Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Administration at Coke Florida. He has over twenty years of hands-on human capital leadership experience. Prior to his current role with Coke Florida, Mr. Cross worked with Coca-Cola Refreshments (CCR) as Vice President of Human Resources, US Sales and Operations where he provided strategic HR support to one of the largest divisions within The Coca-Cola Company. Prior to that, Mr. Cross served in leadership roles with CCR including VP of HR Commercial Leadership and National Retail Sales as well as Vice President of North America Supply Chain. He has also worked at Coca-Cola Enterprises, where he held the position of Vice President HR Great Lakes Business Unit. Mr. Cross began his professional career at Sears, Roebuck and Co. and then moved to Sears Holdings, where he served as Divisions Vice President of Staffing and Chief Diversity Officer. He holds a BA in Sociology from Northwestern University.

TERRENCE GEE

SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, ENTERPRISE TRANSFORMATION AND CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER

Mr. Terrence Gee is Senior Vice President, Enterprise Transformation and Chief Information Officer of Coke Florida. He brings over 30 years of business experience to Coke Florida and oversees information technology, knowledge and insights, large-scale program management, and communications. Prior to joining Coke Florida, Mr. Gee founded and managed an investment and advisory firm focused on early-stage healthcare and energy companies. He began his professional career at Accenture where he became a partner, focusing on complex, technology-driven change programs. Mr. Gee serves on the Board of Trustees of Rice University and the Prairie View A&M Foundation. He holds a BA in Economics from Rice University.

DEBORAH POND

SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, GENERAL COUNSEL

Ms. Deborah Pond has twenty five years of legal experience. She is currently Senior Vice President, General Counsel of Coke Florida. In this role, Ms. Pond has responsibility for all legal matters for the company. She first joined the Coca-Cola System in 1996 as an in-house attorney with The Coca-Cola Company. During her time with The Coca-Cola Company, she supported a wide spectrum of the Coca-Cola business including sales, marketing, supply chain, commercial leadership, franchise leadership and international trade. Prior to joining The Coca-Cola Company, Ms. Pond was a litigation associate with the Troutman Sanders law firm in Atlanta. She received her JD from Emory University and her AB from Duke University.

DUANE STILL

SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Mr. Duane Still is Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer at Coke Florida. Before joining Coke Florida, he served as the Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President Finance at CSM Bakery Solutions, a private equity-owned bakery products company that serves chain grocery, foodservice, traditional and industrial customers primarily in North America and Europe. Mr. Still completed a thirty-year career in various CFO roles with Coca-Cola North America, Coca-Cola Refreshments and Coca-Cola International.

JASON REED

SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, PRODUCT SUPPLY NETWORK

Mr. Jason Reed is Senior Vice President, Product Supply Network for Coke Florida. He leads the Coke Florida Supply Chain and is a Board member of the Coke System National Supply Group, where he is responsible for network governance and cost optimization. Mr. Reed joined Coke Florida in 2016 after serving as Vice President of Manufacturing and the Director of Manufacturing Strategy at The Coca-Cola Company. He has been part of the Coca-Cola system for over two decades. Mr. Reed holds a BBA from the University of Texas.

Erin Black

VICE PRESIDENT, RISK MANAGEMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY

Ms. Erin Black is Vice President, Risk Management at Coke Florida. She leads the company’s strategy and execution of Risk Management and Sustainability with proven enterprise-wide strategy creation. Ms. Black has extensive risk management, process improvement, compliance and process modeling and analyst experience, having formerly served as Coca-Cola Refreshments’ Vice President of Environmental, Health, Safety and Sustainability. Prior to this, Ms. Black served as Senior Global Technical Director of Environmental and Safety at Kellogg Company. She is an Executive Committee member of the Keep Florida Beautiful Board of Directors, which works with a network of more than 40 county and city affiliates to engage and educate citizens, visitors, and communities to improve Florida through litter prevention, increased recycling, education, and beautification efforts. Ms. Black has also served as Director of Environmental, Health and Safety for Sara Lee as well as Burns Philip, Inc. She holds a MS from Drake University and undergraduate degrees from Keene State College.

SHEILA EBANKS

VICE PRESIDENT, CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT – RETAIL

Ms. Sheila Ebanks is Vice President, Customer Relationship Management – Retail for Coke Florida. She is a dynamic leader with over a decade of business experience delivering desired business results and developing people. Throughout her career in the consumer-packaged-goods (CPG) industry, Ms. Ebanks has held roles with increasing levels of P&L responsibility and has led the strategic development of retailers within organizations. She has navigated customers and teams through a myriad of circumstances and business challenges while delivering superior business results. She holds three degrees from Florida State University including an MBA with a concentration in Finance.

SALLY FORSYTH

VICE PRESIDENT, ENTERPRISE PLANNING

Ms. Sally Forsyth is Vice President, Enterprise Planning at Coke Florida. She oversees the building of the company’s integrated capabilities and business processes to maximize profitable growth, in partnership with our customers. Ms. Forsyth supports the cross functional leadership on business initiatives in all areas such as change management, financial analysis and process definition. She joined Coke Florida in 2015 and has been in the Coca-Cola system for twenty-five years and has gained extensive experience in forecasting business needs, financial analysis and strategic planning. Ms. Forsyth served in various role during her career with The Coca-Coca Company including Region Controller, Director of Planning and Forecasting, Business Unit Change Champion, Finance Manager, Sales Center Manager, Area Finance Manager, Senior Accounting Manager and Financial Analyst.

JOE GENTRY

VICE PRESIDENT, MARKETING

Mr. Joe Gentry is the Vice President of Marketing at Coke Florida. He leads a team responsible for localization of marketing programs to improve retail execution. Before this role, Mr. Gentry served as Coke Florida’s Vice President and General Manager of the South Florida Region. His career includes working as Vice President, Franchise Leadership with Coca-Cola Refreshments covering the Central and Midwest regions. Mr. Gentry has also served as Director of Marketing and Market Development Manager with The Coca-Cola Company. He has an MBA and BA in Economics from Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management and Vanderbilt University, respectively.

TOD HOYME

VICE PRESIDENT, FOOD SERVICE AND ON-PREMISE-INTERMEDIARIES

Mr. Tod Hoyme is the Vice President of Food Service and On-Premise (FSOP) – Intermediaries for Coke Florida. Prior to this role, he served as Director of Customer Relationship Management. Mr. Hoyme previously worked with Graphic Packing International where he served as Vice President of Sales for North America, Central America and South America. Previously, he worked as Director of Sales for North America Soft Drink and Senior Manager of National Account Sales with Coca-Cola. Mr. Hoyme has a BS in Communications and Business from Texas Christian University.

JASON MADDOX

VICE PRESIDENT, CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT- FOODSERVICE AND ON-PREMISE

Mr. Jason Maddox is the Vice President, Customer Relationship Management – foodservice and on-premise (FSOP). Jason has more than 18 years of experience, delivering value and results within the Coca-Cola system. Beginning his career in Knoxville, he has long term expertise in FSOP and retail customer management. Throughout his career, he expanded his reach to include several states in the Central and Midwest United States. Most recently, he has been responsible for a diverse portfolio of FSOP customers, including leveraging partnerships with some of Coke Florida’s largest customers to accelerate organizational growth. Jason holds a Bachelor of Science with a concentration in Communications from the University of Tennessee.

J. KATRINDA MCQUEEN

VICE PRESIDENT, COMMUNICATIONS

Ms. J. Katrinda McQueen is Vice President of Communications for Coke Florida. She is responsible for the Company’s communication strategy and leads the management of company brand messaging and positioning, internal communications, and crisis communications. Ms. McQueen has more than 30 years of experience in Communications and Change Management. Prior to joining Coke Florida in 2018, she served as Director, Global Change Management for The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta, and held similar roles with Coca-Cola Refreshments (CCR) and Coca-Cola North America (CCNA). Prior to joining the Coca-Cola system, Katrinda served as a Senior Associate in the Strategy and Change Practice for Booz Allen Hamilton. Katrinda holds advanced degrees in Organizational Leadership and Human Resources Development and an undergraduate degree in Human Resources.

JEFFREY ORTMEIER

VICE PRESIDENT, FRANCHISE FIELD OPERATIONS

Mr. Jeffrey Ortmeier is the Vice President, Franchise Operations for Coke Florida. He provides leadership to the company’s local territory managers who are responsible for overseeing the integration of sales, planning, manufacturing, distribution, and merchandising to improve local business outcomes as well as improving engagement with associates and the communities we serve. Mr. Ortmeier recently served as Vice President and General Manager, North Florida Region. He joined Coke Florida following his time at Coca-Cola Refreshments, where he held the position of Vice President of Central Florida Market Unit Sales Operations. Prior to this, Mr. Ortmeier was the Director of Foodservice On-Premise and Sales Center Manager III in the Chicago Area. Mr. Ortmeier is a board member for the Florida Beverage Association and Boys and Girls Club of Tampa Bay. Mr. Ortmeier holds a BA in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska.

PAUL PHEFFER

CONTROLLER

Mr. Paul Pheffer is the Controller for Coke Florida. The Controller drives continuous improvements in and out of the Finance organization. Prior to this role, Mr. Pheffer was the Senior Director, Controller at Coke Florida as well for nearly four years. Mr. Pheffer formerly held the position of NAFTA Parts & Service Controller, Director, NAFTA Chief Accounting Officer, and Manager, Corporate Accounting at CNH Industrial for over seven years collectively. He was also Controller at GE Healthcare for three years. Mr. Pheffer graduated Ball State University with a BS in Accounting and Corporate Finance.

MARK PITTS

GROUP VICE PRESIDENT, FOODSERVICE ON-PREMISE

Mr. Mark Pitts is Coke Florida’s Vice President, Corporate Development and Franchise Relations. Mr. Pitts is responsible for business development activities with large customers in the sports and entertainment, tourism and recreation, military and government, college and university, and healthcare channels. Mr. Pitts began as Coke Florida’s Vice President, Foodservice & On-Premise at its inception in 2015. In his current role, Mr. Pitts leads the sales & account management representatives who focus on selling Coca-Cola beverage solutions and delivering value to customers within the Eating & Drinking, Healthcare, Education, Amusement & Recreation, Lodging and At-Work businesses. Prior to this, Mr. Pitts spent nearly 25 years with The Coca-Cola Company, where he gained experience in P&L management, national and global client management, sales management, sales training, managing alliance relationships, developing implementing and executing marketing strategy, marketing research, strategic planning, industry and trade relations, and television and video production. Mr. Pitts holds a BBA in Management Information Systems from the University of Oklahoma and an Executive MBA from Emory University.

ERIC WARD

VICE PRESIDENT, SECURITY

Mr. Eric Ward is the Vice President of Security. He is responsible for the planning, development, administration, implementation and evaluation of comprehensive safety and security programs. Prior to that, Mr. Ward served as the Director of Security at Coke Florida for nearly four years. Mr. Ward has over 29 years of law enforcement experience, having served as a member in the Tampa Police Department since 1988. He served in a number of special operations functions, including the Tactical Response Team, Honor Guard, Hostage Negotiation Team, the Criminal Intelligence Bureau, K-9, Gang Suppression Unit, Firehouse Program, Street Anti-Crime Squad and Selective Enforcement Bureau. Mr. Ward was Chief of Police from 2015 to 2017. Mr. Ward graduated from Saint Leo University with a BS in Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Administration.

PERCY L WELLS,II

GROUP VICE PRESIDENT, GOVERNMENT RELATIONS, PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND COMMUNICATIONS

Percy L. Wells, II serves as Vice President, Corporate Development and Government Relations for Coke Florida. In this role, Percy is responsible for corporate relations with government, community and other stakeholders. He also leads the company’s efforts to expand its visibility and to create opportunities to advance the company’s community pillars: Education, Economic Empowerment, and Environment/Sustainability. Percy also manages corporate development initiatives including the company’s real estate portfolio.  With a career that spans more than twenty years in the Coca-Cola system, Percy has extensive Public Affairs and Communications expertise having served as Vice President, Public Affairs and Communications for the Coca-Cola North America (East U.S. Operations), Coca-Cola Refreshments (Great Lakes Region) and in multiple roles with Coca-Cola Enterprises in sales & marketing. With an educational background in Architectural Construction & Engineering, Percy is an avid golfer and enjoys spending time with family and friends.

DALE YAHRMATTER

VICE PRESIDENT, DISTRIBUTION OPERATIONS

Mr. Dale Yahrmatter serves as Coke Florida’s Vice President of Distribution Operations. Mr. Yahrmatter has been in the Coke System for over 14 years and joined Coke Florida after serving as Vice President, Operations Support for The Coca-Cola Company. Prior to this, he worked as The Coca-Cola Company’s Vice President of Market Unit Product Supply. Before this, Mr. Yahrmatter worked at Coca-Cola Enterprises as Supply Chain Manager. Before joining Coca-Cola Enterprises, Mr. Yahrmatter was the Industrial Engineering Section Leader at United Parcel Service. Mr. Yahrmatter received a B.A. in Business Management from the University of Phoenix.