For more than a quarter of a century, the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation has invested in students who have shown leadership potential, not only in academics, but most importantly, in dedication and actions that positively impact others. What these students have in common is a passion for service that was developed at an early age and continued throughout their college and professional careers. The lasting legacy of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation is thousands of extraordinary individuals who are fulfilling the promise they showed when they were awarded their scholarships. Our ever-increasing network of Scholars is becoming a powerful force for positive change throughout the world.
To provide scholarship programs and lifelong enrichment opportunities in support of exceptional peoples’ thirst for knowledge and their desire to make a difference in the world.
To develop an influential community of socially-conscious and service-minded leaders, connected by
Coca−Cola, who positively shape the world.
Board of Directors
Claude B. Nielsen
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Coca−Cola Bottling Company United, Inc.
J.A.M. “Sandy” Douglas
Senior Vice President & Global Chief Customer Officer
The Coca-Cola Company
Morgan H. Everett
Director, Community Relations
Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated
Ingrid Saunders Jones
SVP & Director, Global Community Connections
The Coca−Cola Company
Vicki R. Palmer
Retired Executive Vice President, Finance & Administration
Coca−Cola Enterprises, Inc.
John E. “Jack” Pelo
President & Chief Executive Officer
M. Hager Rand
Chairman & President
Durham Coca−Cola Bottling Company
Brian E. Wynne
Senior Vice President Strategy & Business Transformation
The Coca-Cola Company
Mark has been a part of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation since 1987, helping Scholars by supporting their dreams of higher education. As president, he provides guidance throughout the selection process and manages Foundation resources. When he’s not in the office, Mark enjoys backpacking, books, movies and history.
“The most fulfilling thing about my job is seeing the amazing and far-reaching accomplishments of Coca-Cola Scholars. I am privileged to work with an incredibly talented team that is committed to our mission and I’m proud to be the only person who has met every Coca-Cola Scholar.”
Patti Ross will be starting her 20th year at the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation. With a background in education, Patti joined the Foundation staff in 1994 to oversee programs and the evaluation process. Today her primary focus is working with Coca-Cola Scholars in the area of emotional intelligence. Away from the office, she cherishes the time she spends with her five grandchildren (watching their EQ develop) and the rest of her family, gardening, exercise, reading and even playing a little Bridge with her husband.
“I’m so thankful for the privilege of reading the students’ applications, meeting them when they come to Atlanta for their Scholars Weekend and watching them progress through college to take their place as committed citizens. There is rarely a day that I don’t learn something new about life from a Coca-Cola Scholar.”
Jane Hopkins joined the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation in 2001, supporting Coca-Cola’s investment in Scholars through oversight of the Foundation’s staff, as well as all financial matters for the Foundation, including the investment portfolio, accounting, tax reporting and budget development. Outside of the office, Jane is an avid runner whose best days begin with an early excursion through one of Atlanta’s parks. She also loves to read, particularly Southern fiction on the beach, and travel as often as possible.
“I get to work with six people who challenge me, and for over 5,000 Scholars who inspire me to continue to grow, explore the world and see no limit to what my own contribution can be. We are lucky to celebrate young people who push themselves beyond what they have been given to achieve great success.”
Ryan joined the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation in 2001, helping Scholars by doing his best to live up to the “tech guru” title bestowed upon him. Away from the office, he enjoys beets and Brussels sprouts; being walked by his pup, Bela Karolyi; and dreaming of flying.
“I think the most fulfilling thing about the Foundation is being inspired with hope for the future by all of our amazing Scholars.”
Carolyn Norton has been a part of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation since 2001, helping Scholars by engaging and connecting with alumni throughout the network and communicating their stories. When she’s not personally interacting with Scholars, Carolyn enjoys photography, poetry, traveling, being involved in her church, leading small groups on mission trips and being an aunt to her five nieces and nephews.
“My job is fun because I get to engage with Coke Scholar alums, hear their amazing stories, connect them to each other and celebrate their successes. It truly is one big family that I’m blessed to be part of!”
Ericia Ward-Williams has been a part of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation since 2002, helping Scholars by connecting them in meaningful ways with other constituents of the Foundation (i.e., Selection Committees, Sponsors and Bottlers). When Ericia is not in the office, she enjoys spending time with her family and experiencing all of the great wonders life has to offer. There is always some new adventure.
“There is something very fulfilling about seeing a Scholar grow from a teenager making an impact in his or her local community, into a young man or woman making an impact on a greater scale and knowing that the work that you do on a daily basis helped facilitate their success in some small way.”
Lauren has been a part of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation since 2007, helping Scholars by facilitating their scholarship payment in a way that best suits their unique situation. Away from the office, she enjoys teaching classes at a local dance studio and playing fetch with her two cats.
“The most fulfilling thing about being a part of Foundation is playing a small part in helping such deserving students realize their dream of going to college. The determination of Coca-Cola Scholars to make this world a better place for everyone is truly inspiring.”