A fourth-generation family member joined Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr Pepper Bottling Co. in a new leadership role.
Vice President Sally Hargis said her son, Gregory Hargis, started in the newly created position of general counsel for the beverage distributor. Hargis is the grandson of Edwin “Cookie” Rice Jr., Ozarks Coca-Cola’s CEO.
“I am pleased and honored to become an integral part of such a long-standing and respected company, especially one that is synonymous with my family name in this region,” Gregory Hargis said in a news release. “The fact that I’m following in those footsteps and carrying on that tradition makes the opportunity that much more meaningful.”
Hargis completed four years as a lieutenant with the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps, for which he completed two tours and gained experience in prosecution, defense, appellate law and public affairs. He’s remaining in reserve status with the Navy.
Hargis joined Ozarks Coca-Cola in October, according to the release issued yesterday.
“It’s a great feeling to see the next generations stepping up to become part of our company,” Rice said in the release. “I loved seeing Gregory go out on his own and establish himself, then make the choice to bring his talents back home to support our family business.
“His hiring was a very proud moment for our family and me.”
Edwin Rice Sr., Rice’s father, started the business in 1920.
Ozarks Coca-Cola currently is expanding an existing 125,000 square feet at its 1777 N. Packer Road operation in a multimillion-dollar project, according to past reporting.