Colorado State University’s College of Business Creates Beverage Business Institute; Coca-Cola CEO to Speak at Inaugural Workshop

Colorado State University’s College of Business has announced the creation of the Beverage Business Institute, developed to provide specialized management education and research for the beverage industry.

The institute will offer a number of workshops that can be combined into certificates as well as an MBA with a specialization in beverage management. Courses will be delivered through a combination of live and online education, with live classes and workshops being offered in Fort Collins and in selected regional locations. The college will use its proven online delivery of course material to reach beverage industry professionals around the globe. BBI also will focus on beverage and brewing industry research and will develop a comprehensive database of industry metrics.

“In my 30 years of management experience in the alcohol beverage industry, one of the most commonly asked questions has been regarding the availability of targeted beverage industry educational opportunities,” said Greg Hopkins, president of Tamarron Consulting. “In the past, the best recommendation I could offer was to identify generalized education and training specific to a desired topic and advise them to do their best to integrate and apply the learning to the beverage business. Finally, with the development of the BBI, I will be able to direct customers and colleagues to a unique, industry-specific learning environment that blends the classroom with the real world of beverage management.”

BBI represents an enterprise growth strategy for the College of Business, said John Hoxmeier, associate dean of graduate programs at CSU’s College of Business.

“We saw an opportunity to combine the supply chain, finance and entrepreneurship expertise of College of Business faculty, the know-how of Colorado brewers and distributors, and the talents of CSU strategic partner Coca-Cola to the benefit of the beverage industry,” Hoxmeier said. “The beer industry employs more than 20,000 people throughout Colorado, and Northern Colorado has more microbrew and craft breweries per capita than almost any other region of the country, so there is an incredible supply of industry talent available.”

BBI’s inaugural workshop will be Nov. 16-18 in Fort Collins. It will include two classes in the certificate program as well as guest speakers and tours of local breweries and warehouse operations. “Industry Overview: Knowing Your Product” will cover the history of beer, regulatory issues, the supply chain from field to consumer, styles of beer and food pairings. “Finance for Non-Financial Managers: The Money Game” is an industry-specific class that will give participants hands-on opportunities to better understand the financial aspects of the business.

Muhtar Kent, chairman and chief executive officer of the Coca-Cola Company, will be a guest of the College of Business and will address students and BBI participants on Nov. 16. Coca-Cola has committed to a multi-year donation to the BBI as well as funding for scholarships and internships in Atlanta.

Private sector funding will support initial curriculum development and faculty recruitment for the institute. In addition to Coca-Cola, founding sponsors include American Eagle Distributing Co., the Colorado Beer Distributors Association, High Country Distributors, New Belgium Brewery, Odell Brewing Co., Stolle Machinery and Tamarron Consulting.

Included in BBI’s socially responsible mission is a commitment to work with the brewing industry to conduct research and education designed to reduce alcohol abuse on college campuses.

James Francis, founder and director of CSU’s Center for Professional Development and Business Research and the Institute of Transportation Management, will serve as director of the institute. Francis, former chair of the College of Business’ Department of Management, has owned and operated two small businesses and has been an organization development officer in a Fortune 100 firm. He has consulted extensively in organization development and the management of change and also is involved in the management of intercollegiate athletics. Francis is currently Colorado State’s NCAA faculty athletic representative and has served as president of the Mountain-Pacific Sports Federation and board member of the College Football Association.

“The vast knowledge and pragmatic orientation of our faculty and industry partners will enable us to provide professional development opportunities and research of significant value to industry practitioners,” said Francis, who with Hoxmeier has been heavily involved in planning the institute.

For more information on the Beverage Business Institute, visit or contact Jim Francis at or (970) 491-6265.