Executive Q&A: Beverage industry runs in Oklahoma distributor's blood
Illinois native Gordon Green manages beer, beverages distributorship for an eight-county service area in Oklahoma.
Gordon Green says the beverage industry is in his blood. Check his veins and one might find Gallo wine, Pepsi, Coke, Arizona tea, Miller-Coors, a 3.2 percent craft beer or a stronger brew. Green's nearly quarter-century career in the beverage industry has had him representing all of the above — and more.
For the past decade, the Illinois native has served as general manager/partner of Capital Distributing LLC. The company, formed in April 2001 with the merger of Beverage (Miller) and Coors Distributing Co., employs 170 and — with its affiliates and tenants, 6 Point Beverages and Oklahoma Beer Imports, in its 156,000-square-foot facility at 421 N Portland — does more than $80 million in annual revenues.
Capital, Green said, is the registered distributor for several brands, including 3.2 percent Coors-Miller beer, in eight counties: Oklahoma, Canadian, Logan, Lincoln, Grady, Cleveland, McClain and Pottawatomie.
“It's all about growing and building brands,” he said. “It's fast-paced and extremely competitive.”
Green, 47, sat down with The Oklahoman Monday to talk about his professional and personal life. This is an edited transcript:
Q. Tell us about your roots.
A. I grew up 35 miles north of Chicago in Lake Zurich, Ill.; the population was 6,400. My father, who died in '93, was a commercial airline pilot and worked as vice president of flight operations for what today is Delta. My mom, who lives in southern California where her late parents started mobile home parks years ago, was a full-time homemaker. There are three of us kids; all adopted. I'm the youngest and have a sister, three years older, and brother, six years older. Thanks to the power of emailing and texting, we're all still close today.
Q. What are some of your fondest childhood memories?
A. Our home backed to a lake, so we did a lot of water skiing and entertaining, including hosting middle school and high school graduation parties. My mom didn't know how to cook for three or four, only 15 or more. She's still that way today.
Q. And college?
A. At 6-foot, 5-inches tall, I excelled in high school football and basketball, and had offers to play college ball in both sports. I chose a full-ride football scholarship to the University of Illinois, where I played two years tight-end and three years as offensive linebacker. We went to the Rose Bowl my freshman year and Peach Bowl my junior year.
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