Q. What were your first jobs, post-graduation?
A. With a political science degree, you either went on to law school or into sales and I, obviously, chose the latter. Following graduation, I worked two and half years in sales and sales management for Gallo Wine Co. in southern California, and then nine years in various sales positions for Pepsi, in five different southern California locations. After I married, my wife Jodi and I decided to move back to the Midwest, to Illinois, to raise our kids. For the bulk of the six years there, I managed two Coca-Cola distributorships.
Q. What brought you to Oklahoma?
A. I was hand-picked for a one-person Miller-Coors executive management development program, which groomed me for a position such as this one. I trained at 20 sites and was paid as if I already was running a distributorship. I learned about culture, operations, finance and more. At the end of the program, I took what amounted to an oral exam before the senior leadership team of Miller-Coors.
Q. What did Jodi, your West Coast wife, think about moving to Oklahoma?
A. Not much at first. It was before Thunder and what Chesapeake is now, so Oklahoma — in her eyes — was the weather channel and she hates tornadoes. But after relocating, we both were extremely surprised and pleased, and have no desire to move.
Q. I understand you're the newly-elected president of the Beer Distributors of Oklahoma. What are some of your goals?
A. It's the association's 75th anniversary, and I want to focus on continuing to educate consumers and public policymakers about beer regulations. Distributors, which sell more than 1,300 beer brands, are accountable for compliance with all federal, state and local laws. Oklahoma is among only five states — including Colorado, Utah, Kansas and Minnesota — that sell 3.2 percent beer. But Oklahoma sells the bulk of 3.2 beer among those five states: 56 percent. Of Oklahomans' beer consumption, 89 percent is 3.2 percent beer; likely because that's the only beer you can get cold and on the run. To clarify: 3.2 percent is a measurement of the amount of alcohol by weight; the equivalent by volume, which is how all beer is marketed in liquor stores nationwide, is 4 percent. It's only a matter of time that the country will move to a single-strength beer by volume.
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