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M. Trevor Messinger
38 years old
President and Chief Executive Officer
Coca-Cola Bottling Company High Country

Coca-Cola Bottling Company High Country was founded in 1956 by Trevor's grandfather. Their location in Rapid City, South Dakota (USA) produces and bottles approximately 100 variations of non-alcoholic beverages, and serves as the distribution center for five other sales and distribution centers in a four-state area.

Preparing for Leadership
"I entered the business right after college in 1993. My father made it clear that I was to replace him, so we started to work together closely. I started as the controller. In 1996 I became Vice President and Chief Operating Officer and took over day-to-day management. My father has always had a strong belief that there should only be one "chief" at a time. In 2000 I took the role of President. I have expanded the business in manufacturing and other businesses. It has not always been easy -- there have been lots of risks and debt -- but my father has always been extremely supportive."

A Commitment to Serve
"I've learned that there's a place for God in the business world. Conventional training tells you to be careful about this, and to be politically correct, but it is important to have God and faith -- especially in a family business."

"You learn that people are the most important thing you deal with. It's not an organization or company -- your customers are people; your employees are people; your colleagues are people; your suppliers are people; your communities are people -- and you treat them with dignity and worth."

"You can say it all day long, but you have to act it. You need to lead by example, and subscribe to servant leadership. I wouldn't ask anyone to do something I would not do. I've worked every job here since I was 13 years old. I've scrubbed the floors and toilets. You think of it as serving people. We are proud of what we give back to the community."

"There are folks who work here that I've had the opportunity to mentor -- who have gotten into leadership roles. Helping to develop them, seeing them grow and handle situations, and become well-respected in our communities and industry is very special. It is very powerful for me to have a hand in their success."

Trevor has a younger sister and a younger brother who also work in the business.

Mr. Messinger was nominated for the "10 Under 40" Award by Beth Adamson

Family Business Wiki Town Square Profile: M. Trevor Messinger

Categories: 10 Under 40 Award