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2011 Forty Under 40: Melanie Jones

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About me...
Melanie Jones
General manager
Coca-Cola Enterprises
37
Web sites:
Social media:
On my hip:
BlackBerry
Favorite stuff:
Cooking; books including Jay-Z's "Decoded" and "Where Men Win Glory" about Pat Tillman
 

Of Coca-Cola Enterprises’ 200 sales territories in the Midwest, three are managed by women. Melanie Jones is one of those managers.

Responsible for a territory based in Anderson, Jones is responsible for seven counties between Exit 10 on Interstate 69 and Fort Wayne. That territory sells 2.3 million cases of product annually, which translates into $22 million in annual sales for Atlanta-based Coca-Cola.

“We work really hard to get everybody to understand that we’re in an extremely competitive business,” she said. “We’re in a state where Pepsi is a very aggressive competitor. You’re either going to buy Coke or Pepsi, right?”

She and her two district sales managers work together to create a culture of achievement for their 75 employees, she said.

“We’ve had a really profitable, very good year,” she said, noting Anderson is one of a few facilities in the state exceeding its volume goals.

An Indianapolis native, she went to Indianapolis Public Schools elementary schools and Cathedral High School. She has a bachelor’s degree from Ball State University and an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University.

Before joining Coca-Cola three years ago, she worked for McLane Distribution in New Jersey and Kroger Corp. in central Indiana. “I’ve always enjoyed the business of business. I enjoy the fact that I’m running a business,” she said. “It’s like being an entrepreneur for the No. 1 most-recognized international brand, Coca-Cola.”

She and her husband, Trent, have three children, ages 8, 5 and 3.

Because her work is demanding and her family is young, her community-service activities tend to have a connection to work.

Her company does a number of activities focused on recycling, she said.

She also challenged her employees to collect pennies to support Anderson schools, and they gathered more than 26,000 pennies.

She also established a relationship with 100 Black Men of Indianapolis and Flanner House, creating a networking event with decision makers from Coca-Cola.

“I enjoy that I work for a great brand, and that I work with people who are passionate about maintaining our position in the market.”•

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  1. Those of you yelling to deport them all should at least understand that the law allows minors (if not from a bordering country) to argue for asylum. If you don't like the law, you can petition Congress to change it. But you can't blindly scream that they all need to be deported now, unless you want your government to just decide which laws to follow and which to ignore.

  2. 52,000 children in a country with a population of nearly 300 million is decimal dust or a nano-amount of people that can be easily absorbed. In addition, the flow of children from central American countries is decreasing. BL - the country can easily absorb these children while at the same time trying to discourage more children from coming. There is tension between economic concerns and the values of Judeo-Christian believers. But, I cannot see how the economic argument can stand up against the values of the believers, which most people in this country espouse (but perhaps don't practice). The Governor, who is an alleged religious man and a family man, seems to favor the economic argument; I do not see how his position is tenable under the circumstances. Yes, this is a complicated situation made worse by politics but....these are helpless children without parents and many want to simply "ship" them back to who knows where. Where are our Hoosier hearts? I thought the term Hoosier was synonymous with hospitable.

  3. Illegal aliens. Not undocumented workers (too young anyway). I note that this article never uses the word illegal and calls them immigrants. Being married to a naturalized citizen, these people are criminals and need to be deported as soon as humanly possible. The border needs to be closed NOW.

  4. Send them back NOW.

  5. deport now

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