Coca-Cola Beverages Northeast has two production facilities, over 3,500 associates and run Coca-Cola products from Maine to Rhode Island and across New York State with the exception of New York City. They like to say, “We deliver more than your favorite beverages. We deliver on a promise – to live our values by investing in our people, focusing on our customers, and championing the communities we are fortunate to serve.” Their goal is refreshing the Northeast with a variety of their products. In addition to that, being a great supporter to the communities they serve and live in is very important in what they strive to do.

We sat down with Melissa Szymanowski, Human Resources Director of Coca-Cola Beverages Northeast to speak about our current partnership and what the folks at Coca-Cola Beverages Northeast are looking forward to in the future with SONH.

How long has Coca-Cola Beverages Northeast supported/ been involved with SONH?

“It seems like we always have been partners with our partnership spanning over 40 years. Our president had done the penguin plunge with three employees and now we have about 35 employees that participate annually. We have always supplied beverages to the events for Special Olympics New Hampshire and then we started volunteering and haven’t stopped.”

Why do you continue to support SONH?

“The first thing that comes to mind is ‘Why not?’ It’s such a great organization. Our employees enjoy volunteering, it’s great for team building. We love the slogan, “Let me Win. But if I cannot win, let me brave in the attempt.” It’s true in everything you do. It’s a great feel-good organization and we love everything they do to help support the athletes.”

What does being a partner to SONH and our athletes mean to you?

“We are all on the same page and work together to get things done. It doesn’t matter what ability or non-ability you have, if we work together, we can make amazing things happen.”

Do you have a favorite State Summer Games and/ or Special Olympics memory?

“It was my first Summer Games and my manager and I attended. We sat and watched the Opening Ceremonies, we were sitting next to each other and we were both crying but we refused to look at each other. It showed how emotional it is to see the athletes get so excited and to see the support they have from the community, law enforcement, their families. It’s fantastic.

Fast forward a few years, I took my mother to the State Summer Games to volunteer. She had the same experience at the Opening Ceremonies watching the athletes and crying. She now attends every year and has established relationships with the employees and the athletes and gets hugs when they see each other. She loves it as much as I do. It’s the connections that you make and seeing the overall support and excitement. It’s such a great event!”

What connects the Coca-Cola Beverages Northeast with SONH’s mission?

Serving the communities we live in and it’s not just delivering our products. It’s about being a valued partner in the communities we serve.

What are you excited about our partnership for the future?

More opportunities for our associates and myself to continue to volunteer and strengthen that partnership. We also want to get more people involved. Because our operation extends to so many other states, we want to encourage those states to take our great experience here with Special Olympics New Hampshire and bring that to Special Olympics in their areas. We want to continue to grow our relationship with SONH and strengthen and build our relationship with Special Olympics in other states.