The week after I arrived in Wichita, Kansas to take the lead at Coors of Kansas, I had to replace my operations manager. I brought in one of my former Coors NE employees from San Antonio to assume the role of operations manager. He did a great job in that role. At the end of the year, one of the owners, R.D. Hubbard, bought out the other owner, Terry Scanlon. Dee had big plans and started buying out other Coors operations across the country, the first being Hutchinson, adjacent to Wichita.
The plan was to run the Hutch market out of Wichita, but not immediately, thus leading me to find a branch manager. Considering all aspects of running that plant, I moved the Wichita operations manager to Hutch, thereby creating another hole to fill.
The Coors of Kanas operation was a large volume operation for Coors selling around three million cases a year. This volume ranked CKI as one of the top five volume houses for Coors. We moved a lot of product, so the operations manager needed a strong logistical background. As luck would have it, I had moved my family into a neighborhood close to the warehouse. One of my neighbors, Carter S. Huber, turned out to be the ideal candidate for that position.
At the time, Carter was the Emery Air Freight General Manager for Wichita. His professional background made him a perfect fit for CKI, and in addition, Carter was a Vietnam veteran. He had been deployed overseas shortly after graduating from high school and served in the Army for a two year tour of duty.
As we all know, our country’s treatment for returning vets was much different after the Vietnam War than it is for today’s vets returning from a deployment. Carter returned home to Kentucky to attend the University of Kentucky, where like at many colleges in those days, the anti-war movement made life difficult for returning vets. Carter later joined Emory and was transferred to Wichita.
Carter liked the idea of working in the beer industry so it did not take much convincing from me for him to join us at CKI. Within the year I had decided to buy Texas Beers and left Kansas, taking Carter with me. He ran the operations at Texas Beers. Carter’s professional and military background was ideal for Texas Beers. At the time, we were losing our Schlitz business and worked hard to stay ahead of those trends.
After I sold out and left, Carter took over as head of Texas Beers. Texas Beers continued to hemorrhage volume and in five years the operation was sold and Carter left to join the Miller operation, Valley Beverage, where he managed the imports. Once again, fate jumped in, and as Miller Lite continued to lose share, as Schlitz had some years earlier, Valley Beverage was sold to Glazer’s.
Carter was made Branch Manager by Glazer’s and with the addition of Glazer’s spirits, wine and beer, it made their Valley operation a giant. After many years of overseeing this operation, and 35 years in the business of selling beer, Carter S. Huber retired this spring.
Carter is the personification of a beer guy: professional, nose to the stone, and always a team player. As a veteran, Carter was ideally suited for the industry, and I was fortunate to have worked with him for so many years. Carter and his wife, Libby, still live in the Valley where Carter spends time at church and on the golf course. Carter S. Huber, the Kentucky Colonel….
BBU Honor Roll;
2016 – Carter S. Huber – Schlitz/Miller
2015 – Albert Jaenicke – Hops
2014 – R.D. Hubbard – Coors Distributor
2013 – George Henricksen – Royal Imports
2012 – Diane Fall – Warsteiner
THIS IS THE LAST POST OF 2016. I WISH EACH OF YOU A HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON AND A MERRY CHRISTMAS. NEXT POST WILL BE ON JANUARY 3, 2017.