Office For the Blind, Governor's Scholars, Parks to Benefit from New Beverage Contract
(Frankfort, KY) – Thanks to a new exclusive contract with Pepsi, the Commonwealth will receive unprecedented benefits for numerous state agencies.
For the first time ever, The Kentucky Office For the Blind (OFB), an agency of the Education Cabinet, will receive $20,000 a year to pay for tuition and books for students who are blind or visually impaired. Special promotions in the contract could yield the office an additional $10,000 - $15,000 a year.
Federal interstate rest area vending services are operated through the OFB and commissions received at those locations are used for OFB programs.
"Money from this contract will allow the Office for the Blind to help more visually impaired Kentuckians get a post secondary education and prepare them for the workforce. This year, OFB financially assisted 249 students at 62 postsecondary schools," said OFB Executive Director Stephen Johnson. "We appreciate the investment that Pepsi is making in our students’ futures."
In federal fiscal year 2005, the agency served 2,895 people with visual impairments. It is a statewide network with 11 regional offices with rehabilitation counselors and independent living specialists who help blind or visually impaired prepare for employment and job opportunities.
OFB provides medical evaluation and assistance, personal counseling, independent living skills development, vocational evaluation, training and job placement, and technical equipment and visual devices. A rehabilitation counselor works with individuals to get them ready for a vocation or help them keep their current job.
Pepsi will partner with The Department of Parks in promoting and marketing one of the premiere parks systems in the country. Rooms, gift cards and other parks items will be given away.
"This unprecedented project will help the parks system," said Parks Commissioner George Ward. "We have a limited marketing and advertising budget. This allows us to take advantage of synergies that a national retailer like Pepsi brings to the table, with little expense to the Commonwealth."
The Kentucky State Park System is composed of 52 state parks plus an interstate park shared with Virginia. The Department of Parks, an agency of the Commerce Cabinet, operates 17 resort parks with lodges -- more than any other state. Each year, Kentucky parks draw 7 million visitors and contribute $317 million to the economy.
The Governor’s Scholars Program will continue to receive $30,000 a year from the beverage contract holder, in this case Pepsi. Pepsi-Cola’s gift of $30,000 will allow 20 extraordinary young Kentuckians to be named Governor’s Scholars.
In its 23-year history the Governor’s Scholars Program has enhanced the development of 16,690 outstanding young Kentuckians who are and will become Kentucky’s future leaders. Through the generosity of the governor, members of the General Assembly and private donors, the program offers Kentucky’s rising seniors who have a record of high academic and personal achievements a five-week academic enrichment and leadership development experience in a college setting.
As evidenced by the results of a survey of the 1,129 Governor’s Scholars who participated in the 2005 session, Scholars consistently affirm the program’s ability to provide a life-changing experience.
"Pepsi-Cola’s commitment reflects one of the largest single donations the program has received," said Sherleen Sisney, the program’s executive director. "Pepsi-Cola joins Kentucky’s political and educational leaders in proclaiming a strong belief in the limitless potential of the difference these Governor’s Scholars can make in the lives of all Kentuckians."
Pepsi has also agreed to put the Kentucky Unbridled Spirit logo on 10 million Pepsi cans that will be sold in the state. The contract calls for Pepsi to feature the state brand in ad campaigns, on delivery trucks and during University of Kentucky and University of Louisville promotions.
"This contract is something the state can be proud of," said Commerce Cabinet Deputy Secretary Derrick Ramsey. "We’re helping people, educating kids, promoting our world class parks and exposing the country to our brand. This is terrific."
"Invaluable state programs, such as the Governor's Scholars and those through the OFB, demonstrate Kentucky's commitment to the well-being of its citizens," said Robert C. Pohlad, Chairman and CEO of PepsiAmericas. "We're honored to play a role in their continued success."
"Kentucky truly embodies the state's motto of 'Unbridled Spirit,'" said Michael MacDonald, Vice President General Manager, G&J Pepsi-Cola Company. "Our company is happy to adopt that same sentiment and contribute to Kentucky's many worthwhile causes, while also offering our wide portfolio of beverage choices to people across the state."
The contract allows Pepsi to be the exclusive beverage distributor for the Executive Branch of state government such as the Kentucky rest areas, state parks and state run cafeterias. There will be exceptions for retailers who have separate and existing deals. The five-year contract is similar, in these regards, to the previous contract the state had with another beverage company.
PepsiAmericas is the second largest Pepsi bottler with operations in the U.S., Central Europe, and the Caribbean. PepsiAmericas manufactures, distributes and markets a broad portfolio of Pepsi-Cola, and other national and regional brands. PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE: PEP) beneficially owns an approximately 42 percent equity interest in PepsiAmericas. Additional information on PepsiAmericas is available at www.pepsiamericas.com <http://www.pepsiamericas.com/>.
G&J Pepsi-Cola manufactures, markets and distributes Pepsi-Cola products and other National and regional beverages in 29 counties in Central and Eastern Kentucky. The 70-year old company is family owned and operated with local ownership in the Lexington area. G&J operates two Pepsi Production facilities in Lexington and Winchester, Kentucky.
About Pepsi-Cola North America
Purchase, N.Y.-based Pepsi-Cola North America (www.pepsi.com) is the $4 billion refreshment beverage unit of PepsiCo Inc. in the United States and Canada. Its U.S. brands include Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Pepsi ONE, Wild Cherry Pepsi, Pepsi Twist, Pepsi Vanilla, Mountain Dew, Diet Mountain Dew, Mountain Dew Code Red, Mountain Dew LiveWire, Sierra Mist, Sierra Mist Free, Mug, Slice, Aquafina, Aquafina FlavorSplash, Aquafina Sparkling, Dole single-serve juices, Tropicana Juice Drinks and SoBe. The company also makes and markets North America's best-selling ready-to-drink iced teas and coffees, respectively, via joint ventures with Lipton and Starbucks.