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Coca-Cola’s Joe Burke Recognized for Retail Industry Relations

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) presented Joe Burke, vice president of retail industry affairs for Coca-Cola Refreshments, with the William H. Albers Award in recognition of his retail industry relations in the supplier community.

Burke, who was the first individual inducted into the supplier wing of the Convenience Store News Hall of Fame in 2003, received the award at the FMI Midwinter Executive Conference, held earlier this week in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Burke began his career with Coca-Cola in 1978. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees with the support of the company, and tells stories of rising at 3 a.m. to study for hours before going to work. Retiring this year from Coca-Cola after more than three loyal decades of leadership and service, Burke leaves behind a legacy of alliances, according to FMI.

In announcing the award, FMI President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin noted how Burke helped to forge the FMI Associate Member Council, now known as the Industry Collaboration Council. "This Council continues to evolve and serve as the platform through which our knowledge partners participate in industry research, conferences and events, and joint industry opportunities," she said. "Joe has served as our co-chair for two years and his imprint forever remains. From a personal perspective, Joe has been a tremendous supporter in recent years as FMI has undergone a transition. I am forever in his debt for the counsel and wisdom he has shared as we have evolved in this organization."

In one of his most notable accomplishments, Burke was a co-manager of the Global Retail Forum in Beijing in 2008, marking the Council’s 30th anniversary and gathering 160 past and present Council members to tackle the subject of environmental sustainability. The event encouraged retailers and wholesalers from five continents to work toward a common goal.

Coca-Cola Americas’ President Steve Cahillane praised Burke as a great choice to receive the William H. Albers Award. "In his 34 years at Coca-Cola, Joe has been not only a tremendous leader for our business, but also a tireless advocate for food retailers across North America. With his dedication, vision and commitment to working with partners, he has left a lasting mark on the industry," Cahillane said.

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