The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation is excited to share that its Board of Directors has elected Kirk Tyler, Chairman and CEO of Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, to lead the Foundation as the new Board Chair.
A longstanding champion of the Foundation’s, Kirk has served as a member of the board for 10 years and Vice Chair for 2 years.
“The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation is very inspirational to me. I come from a family that values education – three of my four sisters were teachers, and my wife was a teacher – and the Coca-Cola Scholars program is an extension of that value. It’s amazing to see how the scholarship and alumni programming transforms lives,” Kirk said.
Kirk is the third generation owner of Atlantic Bottling Company, a privately owned, independent bottler and distributor of Coca-Cola products for almost all of Iowa, parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Missouri. The company operates from nine Iowa locations with its headquarters located in Atlantic, Iowa.
As Chairman of the Board and CEO, he continues the legacy of his father, Jim Tyler, who serves as Executive Chairman of Atlantic Bottling Company, and his grandfather, Harry Tyler.
“With Kirk as our new chair, I am even more excited about the future of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation. Not only is he an incredible leader from a visionary perspective, but he’s also really invested in these students as individuals. He’s inspired by igniting human potential,” said Jane Hale Hopkins, President of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation.
Kirk goes the extra mile, meeting with each new Coca-Cola Scholar in his territory before they come to Scholars Weekend in Atlanta to get to know them and so they will see a familiar face at the Scholars Banquet and is blown away every time.
“One of the ladies from last year’s class, Sibani Ram, was trying to pass a law to extend Secured Advancement Value for Education in Iowa, a penny tax that goes towards school district improvements across the state, which in fact was passed this legislative session. At the time, she was just a high school senior. When I was her age, I was worried about prom, but Coca-Cola Scholars think bigger,” Kirk said.
Kirk is only the 6th chair of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation board. He is also chair of the American Beverage Association board and is a board member of the Iowa College Foundation and Iowa Beverage Association. He is a former president and board member of the Coca-Cola Bottlers’ Association and past chair of the Iowa Association of Business & Industry.
Residing in Des Moines, Iowa, Kirk and his wife Janel have a daughter, Jessica (married to her husband, Rob), and a son, Jay, and four grandchildren.
The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation celebrates and empowers visionary leaders who are refreshing the world. With its 31st class of Coca-Cola Scholars, the Foundation has provided more than $69 million in scholarships to over 6,150 program alumni who together have become a powerful force for positive change.