Red Cross to award John Sherman and Birmingham’s Coca-Cola UNITED for training services

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President and CEO John Sherman, III visits the employees in Birmingham’s Coca-Cola bottling facility. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

Birmingham is home to Coca-Cola UNITED, one of the largest Coca-Cola bottling facilities in the United States. I sat down with President and CEO John Sherman, III to learn how the American Red Cross helps each Coca-Cola UNITED employee arrive home safe and sound.

John Sherman will be honored at the American Red Cross Gala on Friday, April 3. To attend, you can purchase tickets online.

Coca-Cola UNITED & John Sherman

The Coca-Cola UNITED facility is located right next to the airport. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

If you’ve ever taken a leisurely drive around the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport, you’ve definitely noticed the massive Coca-Cola facility on the north side. This is the headquarters for Coca-Cola UNITED, the second-largest privately-held bottler in the United States.

In the interest of keeping his employees safe and sound, President and CEO John Sherman, III works with the American Red Cross to provide safety prep training.

Red Cross Prepares Coca-Cola Associates for Disaster

Without safety preparation, working in a bottling facility could be dangerous. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

For over 100 years, Coca-Cola UNITED and the American Red Cross have partnered together to provide each employee with safety preparation in case of an incident. No matter how many days have gone by without incident, preparation is key.

In Birmingham…

Since forklifts are inherently dangerous, Coca-Cola UNITED partners with the American Red Cross to train each employee on safety procedures. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

“Training and safety are very important to Coke UNITED. We have the ultimate goal of making sure each and every one of our 10,000 team members arrives home to their family in a safe manner.”

John H. Sherman, III, President & CEO, Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED

The Red Cross provides on-site training for each employee at Coca-Cola UNITED in case of an incident. Whether its AED training, first aid, CPR or more, these skills are vital in the case of an unintended safety event.

…And Beyond

Devastation in the Coca-Cola UNITED Panama City facility in 2018. Photo via American Red Cross

In late 2018, the Category 5 Hurricane Michael struck the United States. Coca-Cola United’s Panama City and Bainbridge facilities were hit the hardest. In Panama City, over 90% of Coca-Cola United’s 90 team members had significant or total loss of their homes.

Luckily, the American Red Cross was first on the scene.

“I went down to Panama City about a week after Hurricane Michael, and quite frankly saw things that I wish I’d never seen. But I was glad to see that the American Red Cross was first on the scene, doing what they do best: being first responders and being there to help the citizens of Panama City.”

John H. Sherman, III, President & CEO, Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED

Honored by the Red Cross

John Sherman’s Coca Cola United facility in Birmingham. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

“If you are considering investing in an organization that has a profound impact on the community where you, your family, and your friends live, there’s no better organization than the American Red Cross. They not only provide assistance in the event of a crisis—they save lives.”

John H. Sherman, III, President & CEO, Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED

Each year, the Red Cross selects five heroes based on their outstanding contributions to their community. This year’s heroes are:

John Sherman, along with the other four heroes, will be honored at the American Red Cross Gala on Friday, April 3 at the Grand Bohemian Hotel. To attend, you can purchase tickets online.

Make sure to share your experience with the American Red Cross by tagging @bhamnow on social media.

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  • Tennessee native who fell in love with Birmingham during college. Graduated from Birmingham-Southern College in 2019. Passionate about Birmingham and its continued growth.