November Featured Business: Kris Ettinger '04 BA and Coca-Cola of Buffalo
Monday, November 17, 2008
Posted by: Kara Kane
The Coca-Cola Company has a 124-year history in manufacturing, distributing and marketing its signature soft drinks. Kristina Ettinger '04 BA has worked with the Buffalo franchise of Coca-Cola since 2004.
"It's a surreal feeling to work for one of the most recognized brands in the world. I visited Disney World in February with my family for the first time and felt a huge sense of pride to know that I represent a company with such a global reach," she says.
After graduating from Medaille, Ettinger's career path changed significantly. She went from working as an administrative assistant for a local food broker to working as a Beverage Development Representative for Coca-Cola within one month of finishing classes.
Ettinger moved back to Buffalo after a stint in the U.S. Air Force. "I've lived in several places and although we have our challenges in Buffalo, there are challenges everywhere you go," she said. "You have to decide what's important to you whether it be job or family. If you move away, you sacrifice family for job; and in some instances if you live here you could sacrifice what could be a better job somewhere else for family."
"I am fortunate. I have opportunities in my life. I recently purchased my own home, provide my family with sufficient medical care; allowing us access to medication for my husband (who suffers from Crohn's Disease) and still balance family time with my 7 year old son," Ettinger continues. "Medaille made all this possible. Without the foundation of my education, I would not be working and doing what I am today."
"Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Buffalo is family-owned and locally-operated in Tonawanda," she explains. "We produce four out of five products here at our facility and employ over 150 people in western New York. Our territory extends from Lewiston/Youngstown down to Dunkirk/Fredonia and east as far as Medina."
As Beverage Development Representative/Youth Market, Ettinger works exclusively with schools, colleges, recreation programs and not-for-profit companies. "I also help in the coordination of product distribution for special events like Taste of Buffalo, Canal Fest, and the Italian Festival (on Hertel). You can usually spot me in a crowd of people during summer events," she adds.
Ettinger's favorite Coca-Cola product: Diet Coke. "I don't believe in drinks with calories!" she says.
What is the most interesting thing on your desk/in your office?
I have 2 Coke cans without tops on them that I use as pencil holders, and I have a 20 oz. Coke Bottle I bought at EPCOT center in February. I also have the Olympic Collectible Cans that are completely closed but are empty (without product in them). I didn’t know how cans were filled or how the can was constructed until I started working here.
Do you have a personal philosophy or motto?
“No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Ice cream: with sprinkles, or without, and why?
With sprinkles; because they are fun.
What is your proudest achievement?
Graduating Magna Cum Laude from Medaille (I was a C student in High School) and my seven year old son, William.