Sep 062011
Authors: Allison Sylte

The College of Business announced late last week the inception of a new Beverage Business Institute, which will focus on preparing MBA students and business leaders for the business side of the beverage industry through certificate programs and research.

“This program is unique in the country in that, while other universities have programs that focus on beverage production, we look at the business involved with that,” said James Francis, who will serve as the institute’s director.

Private sector funding will support the initial curriculum development and faculty recruitment for the institute. Founding sponsors include new CSU partner Coca-Cola, as well as New Belgium Brewery and Odell Brewing Co.

In addition to counteracting state shortfalls in higher education funding, these corporate partnerships will offer strategic connections for those involved with the institute, said John Hoxmeier, an associate dean in the College of Business.

“It’s very exciting to have a program like this in our own backyard,” said Wynne Odell, the CEO of Odell’s Brewing Company, a founding donor to the institute. “I can see us sending employees there to learn about the business side of our industry.”

The idea for the institute initially came from Hoxmeier, who saw a unique niche that CSU could fill in northern Colorado’s thriving brewing industry.

The College of Business later approached relevant businesses, including Odell’s, for support.

“There’s nothing else in the country like it, and we were very excited to get involved,” Odell said.

The institute will offer workshops that can be combined into certificates as well as an MBA with a specialization in business management. While its initial focus is on Northern Colorado, Francis said he would like to see the institute garner participation from beverage business participants nationwide.

“What we would like is a strong industry presence,” Hoxmeier said.

The institute will host its inaugural workshop Nov. 16 through 18 in Fort Collins. On Nov. 16, Muhtar Kent, the CEO of Coca-Cola, will serve as a guest speaker.

In addition to the MBA and certificate programs, the institute will also offer internships and research opportunities involved with the beverage industry.

“With the level of state funding the way it is, we need programs like this to fill a niche,” Francis said.

_Content Managing Editor Allison Sylte can be reached at _

Initial sponsors

  • Coca-Cola
  • American Eagle Distributing Company
  • The Colorado Beer Distributors Association

*New Belgium Brewery

  • Odell Brewing Company
  • Stolle Machinery
  • Tamarron Consulting
 Posted by at 4:25 pm

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