Kurt Gibbons, 39, of Springdale began driving a truck for Coca-Cola in 1985. While delivering cases of Coke in the Rogers area, Gibbons never dreamed he would some day be the leader of Coca-Cola Enterprises Wal-Mart Team.
Gibbons had started his career with Ozarks Coca-Cola, which was bought out by Great Plains Coca-Cola in 1989. With Great Plains, Gibbons worked as everything from key account manager to sales manager.
In 1996, Gibbons was hired to help Coca-Cola Enterprises start its Wal-Mart Team.
I had 101 people under me at Great Plains, Gibbons said. When I moved here, it was just me starting a team. Now there are 32 of us.
Gibbons was officially named director of the Wal-Mart Team in 1998. The team handles distribution of Coca-Cola beverages to Wal-Mart stores in the United States, Canada and London, England. Although there are 82 Coca-Cola bottlers in the United States, Coca-Cola Enterprises handles 80 percent of the volume in the country.
We buy the syrup and bottle Coca-Cola, Gibbons said, noting that the bottling plant is in Oklahoma City.
Gibbons said growing up through the company gave him insight about how things work in the real world.