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UNCF Presents Coke Florida CEO Troy Taylor with Prestigious ‘MASKED Award’

Tampa, FL – March 21, 2024 – Troy Taylor, Chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola Beverages Florida, LLC (Coke Florida), has been honored by the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) with “The MASKED Award.” The prestigious award recognizes individuals and corporations who exemplify the values of hope, opportunity, and excellence while championing UNCF’s mission of empowering minority students through education.

UNCF is one of the largest education advocacy organizations in the country. Created by the widow of the late Hank Aaron and presented annually, “The MASKED Award” stands for Mankind Assisting Students Kindling Educational Dreams. Taylor accepted the accolade for his exceptional service and commitment to the community at the inaugural UNCF Tampa Bay Mayor’s Masked Ball held on March 2nd. Chaired by City of Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, the celebration of philanthropy and community engagement raised funds for awarding scholarships to deserving first-generation minority students pursuing degrees at UNCF-member historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

Taylor expressed gratitude for the recognition, sharing, “It is a profound honor to receive The MASKED Award from the United Negro College Fund. I believe in the transformative power of education. Since becoming a Coca-Cola bottler in 2015, the core of our culture at Coca-Cola Beverages Florida and community presence has been an evolving commitment to providing sustainability, education, and economic empowerment opportunities and resources for underserved communities to thrive.”

Coke Florida is a fully integrated business serving over 21 million consumers across Florida. The company markets, sells, manufactures, distributes, and merchandises over 600 products of The Coca-Cola Company and other partner companies. Tampa is home to Coke Florida’s headquarters, one of four manufacturing plants, sales and distribution operations, and about 20 percent of the company’s 5,000-associate workforce. While positioning the company as a preferred beverage provider, Taylor and the Coke Florida team are equally focused on being good corporate citizens through servant leadership and various nonpartisan partnerships.

Taylor is a board member of the Coca-Cola Bottlers’ Association, American Beverage Association, and Florida Chamber of Commerce. Under his visionary leadership, much like the mission of the UNCF, Coke Florida demonstrates a steadfast dedication to addressing educational inequalities in underrepresented communities with staple initiatives that include expanding access to technology by donating laptops to students and upgrading computer labs, providing backpacks and school supplies to prepare students for success each school year, and conducting interactive technology workshops aimed at increasing digital fluency.

In 2023, the company established the Coke Florida Refreshing Minds Scholarship℠ in partnership with the Florida Prepaid College Foundation and is preparing to award the first class of recipients this summer. A combined investment of $2.8M over ten years, the Coke Florida Refreshing Minds scholarship will cover tuition and most fees for 250 economically disadvantaged students to attend Florida public universities, colleges, and technical/vocational schools.

City of Tampa Mayor Jane Castor commended Taylor for his exemplary leadership and dedication to advancing educational opportunities. “Troy Taylor’s unwavering commitment to expanding access to educational programming and technology along with offering opportunities for self-sufficiency to Floridians embodies the spirit of The MASKED Award,” stated Castor. “Coke Florida’s contributions have had a profound impact on countless citizens in our communities – we are proud to honor this partnership in advancing our shared community goals.”

The UNCF Tampa Bay Mayor’s MASKED Ball drew a host of civic leaders and dignitaries, UNCF alumni, and corporate partners rallying behind the UNCF motto: “A mind is a terrible thing to waste”®. Proceeds will benefit local students.

“Coke Florida has made significant contributions in Tampa Bay and across Florida to education, creating pathways for higher education and economic empowerment, and fostering a culture of service that closely aligns with our vision and mission at UNCF,” said Gwen T. Hewitt, UNCF Tampa Bay Area Development Director. “We appreciate Troy Taylor and his family for investing directly in the future of students and communities and facilitating real opportunities. The results of their generosity are deserving of this esteemed UNCF recognition.”

About Coca-Cola Beverages Florida

Coca-Cola Beverages Florida, LLC (Coke Florida) is a family-owned Coca-Cola bottler with an exclusive sales and distribution territory that serves over 21 million consumers across 47 Florida counties, and includes the major metropolitan markets of Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, and Tampa. Coke Florida markets, sells, manufactures, distributes, and merchandises over 600 products of The Coca-Cola Company and other partner companies such as Monster Energy. The company is the sixth largest Coca-Cola bottler in the United States. Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Tampa, Florida, Coke Florida is the fourth largest Black-owned business in the United States, one of the largest minority-owned business in Florida, and a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) certified company. In 2023, the company was named a US Best Managed Company, for the second consecutive year, joining an elite group of private companies holding this designation awarded by Deloitte-Private and The Wall Street Journal. To learn more, visit