You can No longer Find Me in Saint Louie

As the title of this blog states, my time in Saint Louis has quickly come to a close and I am now once again in Hot-Lanta, home of the peach and the chicken sandwich. It is time to start the field Sales & Marketing training down here in Region 3. First though, let me recap the last two weeks in Sweet Saint Louie, home of the Great American Lager and the Billikin.

 

It started with the awesomeness of being able to meet with the Board…

All the GMTs, Board of Directors, some ManCom members and the four new MBA hires

I have proof that I really did meet the big dogs. That is a pretty wicked sweet picture. The Eagle, Flags, and most of all the Bad Asses underneath them. I choose to wear yellow because of a piece of advice I received from my friend Chris when we were in middle school (he taught me how to play baseball and Basketball). He told me that when ever I go to a tryout and they tell me to wear a certain color, to wear the exact opposite. His philosophy was that  the evaluators would watch you more than others just because their eyes keep focusing on your non-homogenous color. Since getting people’s attention is half the battle, I took his advice from that day on and it has worked for me since (he was a Gold Glove winner in College so I guess it is working for both of us).

The next two weeks were filled with Trade Marketing, Wholesaler Development, Sports & Entertainment Marketing (didn’t seem like too bad of a gig), National Retail Sales and Space Management. All of these things I like to think of as psychology, trying to figure out what the consumer wants and giving it to them without them knowing that we are there. 

There were some cool parts to all of this learning. On the Wednesday before Veterans Day, we went into the market (about an hour outside of Saint Louis) and visited retail accounts with a Sales Rep from the area’s wholesaler and a Trade Marketing person from ABI. I was lucky enough to go around with the VP of sales @ Krey Distributing who taught Amanda, Andrew and I a ton about how to sell off-premise (where you cannot consumer the beer you bought) and on-premise (where you can drink you beer where you bought it).

The other cool thing that we did on our last day was we visited GROUP360, one of the Ad Agency’s that we employ to do some of the creative work for our brands. We went to their office in downtown Saint Louis and met with their creative folks as they showed us how they support the “mother ship“. They were having a chilli cook-off while we were there and they let us sample it too. It was a totally different atmosphere there. They had dogs bombing around and their dress code was even more lax than ours. They were building a new office space in the building next door and they put in a pool on the roof of the building…

The Pool on the top of Group360's office

Inside on the roof-top lounge @ Group360

Outside of work a bunch of us were able to go to the Saint Louis regional finals for Band of Buds (The winner won a trip to Vegas and a chance to compete for $100K). It was cool seeing Budweiser plastered all over the bar (free beers too… A common trend I have been seeing).

The Guys @ Band of Buds (Sweet shirt ABux... Europe called they want it back)

While living on the Mississippi, I was also able to hang out with the Big Guy, my mentor James. He took Riley, Christina and I to a couple of Blues games and he took Abux and I golfing to celebrate Veterans Day (it was 78 degrees, awesome day). I guess I like this Job???

@ the Blues game... What do you want, complimentary everything?

Well I had better get some rest as tomorrow we start our Field Commercial Training in Atlanta and have to fly to Tampa tomorrow night for some meetings Tuesday. I quote a wise man, Lloyd Christmas, “Some people just weren’t cut out for life on the road”, HA, I think I will manage. Talk to you soon Chuckleheads.
 
Cheers,
SL I
 

Cool Spread @ the office

Great tap spread at the Chase Park Plaza (where I lay my head in STL)

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My Mentor

 One of my most prized possessions is something I received from my Dad. It is the smallest book in my collection but it is my favorite. It is “Thoughts of Chairman Buffet: Thirty Years of Unconventional Wisdom from the Sage of Omaha”. Warren Buffet has always been one of my idols ever since I learned who he was in the late 90’s. In this book, which is just a compilation of quotes from Buffett (which is signed by the Sage himself) one of my favorites is about mentors… it reads: 

“The best thing I did was choose the right heroes” 

I used this quote to segway into tell you about my mentor @ ABI, James Villeneuve. He is the VP of Corporate Affairs & Communication in our North American Zone. He has been working for ABI companies for as long as I have been alive! Coming from Canada and the Labatt portion of our company and he is in charge of most of the Better World initiatives that happen in the North American Zone along with government & regulatory affairs, PR, CSR and foundation/donation management. 

The Big Guy... James... Not the greatest picture (hopefully he doesn't get mad at me for it)

 

It is safe to say that I have the best mentor out of the all the NA GMTs. We talk every Friday and email back and forth every couple of days. Whenever I have had a question about the company he answers it or finds out the answer for me and he has helped me to learn the inner workings of such a large company. 

Besides all the internal help James had provided me with, he has also taken me golfing at his country club Sunset Country Club (I shot 86 w/ two birdies) (The story goes… Sunset CC was built by Aldolphus Busch when he was told he wasn’t allowed to join another CC in St. Louis), he has taken me to a Cardinals game and even to a St. Louis Rams game (both teams lost). What a guy! He even took two other GMTs with us to the Cards game. He has also said he is going to come visit Atlanta while I am here and hopefully get to a Thrashers game. 

I am very grateful to have such an awesome mentor. If one day I can be as smart and successful as him, then I know that I will have done a lot. Talk to you soon Chuckleheads. 

Cheers, 

SL I

Leaving St. Louie for Atlanta

(this blog was written a while back)

Leaving Sweet Saint Louie

Holy Shirts and Pants! The first five weeks have flown by so fast. I am actually sitting on the plane right now flying to Atlanta with TagsBudBlog sitting to my right. AirTran is pretty sweet, free satellite radio on board as well as Wi-Fi for a small fee. 90’s on 9 is the best channel ever, makes me feel like I am back at home driving in my Jetta.

Now back to the real Holy Shirt and Pants. On Thursday of this week (8/26), we (all of the GMTs) presented our Innovation projects. We had been working on them for the past five weeks and I know that I was extremely nervous to present our ideas. One of the reasons that I was so nervous was because of the people who attended the presentations. Along with the fourteen of us, there were  another 25 people there. The crowd included the Innovations team (which includes the only other Steve Thurston in the world!), a handful of HR people who have been training us, sales, marketing, logistics people and last but not least… Luiz (the North American Zone President) and a handful of his direct reports including the VP’s of Sales, Marketing, HR, and the President of Anheuser-Busch Dave Peacock. It was intimidating to say the least. Having the first real deliverable of your first job being presented to SUCH senior leaders in our company, the challenge was on to say the least.

So how did we do? From the feedback that we have gotten we did pretty well. We have heard that all of the projects are going to be looked into to see if they can be implemented. Luiz seemed happy with the projects and we haven’t been scolded for them, which is a success in my mind. I have even heard that my roommate Riley’s team project is in the process of being implemented. Hopefully we can keep up the good work at our next assignments. Talk to you soon Chuckleheads.

Cheers,

SL I

This is a picture of me (taken by my project partner Christina) while we were doing research for our Innovation Project at the Edward Jones Dome (Where the Rams Play)

Global Induction Week

Before I start this post, I wanted to give credit where credit is due and that is to MBAcookie, who introduced all of us to blogging and came up with the assignment for us. Thanks Sierra.

In the second week of work and we had Global Induction Week here in St. Louis. This was where all of my peers, GMTs from all the other 5 Zones (Latin America North, Latin America South, Asia-Pacific, Western Europe, Central & Eastern Europe) North America being that zone that the U.S. GMTs are apart of, along with the Canadian GMTs. So there was 130 GMTs here in St. Louis from August 2nd to the 6th.

The week started with all the GMTs doing an ice breaker in the lobby of the headquarters….

Everyone got another persons name and had to find them and link arms. Eventually, after 5 minutes, every GMT was linked together (as shown).

After our ice breaker, we were welcomed by the North American Zone President Luiz Edmond. Our creative side was then brought out by Brandon from IDEO, who spoke to us about brainstorming and being creative with our ideas (I am sure that costed a pretty penny). After lunch we were then graced by CEO Carlos Brito, who spoke to us about Dream, People, Culture… the company’s backbone. He stayed around the rest of the day to talk with all of us and answer any questions that we had for him.

Other senior managers that came to speak/hang out with us throughout the week were: David Almeida (CFO of the NA Zone), Dave Peacock (President of Anheuser-Busch), Sabine Chalmers (Chief Legal & CA Officer & my mentors boss), Claudio Garcia (Chief People and Technology Officer), Claudio Ferro (Chief Supply Officer), Pete Kraemer (VP of Supply in NA), Chris Burggraeve (Chief Marketing Officer)… and last but not least there was Tony “The Billiken” Milikin (Chief Procurement Officer). Tony is, how should I say this… the Man?! He gave a great presentation on what procurement is and gave a great sales pitch on why we should all come work for him. There are some rumors about Tony within the company, I will share a few with you…. Tony can eat soup with a fork, He can hear his phone ring when it’s on silent, he wears sun glasses to protect the sun from his eyes and it has been said that his tears could cure cancer… too bad he never cries.  That’s TM in a nutshell and I would love to work for him someday.

 This is The Billiken himself

One last thing that we did during the global induction week was we worked at the Cardinals game in the concession stands, serving Buds, dogs, burgers and nachos. This was quite an experience. It was 100+ degrees and the Cards lost by a telephone number. I will say that it is a lot harder to work a cash register than it looks, so next time you are at the concession stand at a stadium, don’t yell at the person behind the counter since it could be someone like me, just trying to raise some money for charity!

That is all i have for now. Talk to you soon chuckleheads.

Cheers,

SL I

My Job

At my grandmother’s request, I am going to explain a little bit more about my job description. So… the program that I am in is again called the Global Management Trainee Program. It is a rotational development program that has been with the company for 20 years, it started in Brazil, with many of our senior leaders today coming from the first few GMT classes… such as our Zone President here Luiz and our Chief People and Technology Officer Claudio Garcia.
My job description for my first ten months of training, per Luiz, is to learn as much as I can. He told us in January that we are being paid for the next ten months to learn as much as we can. As for right now, I am in St. Louis doing training (from July 26th to August 27th). We are doing training in areas such as white belt training (not karate), presentation skills, beer tasting and other minor things that we had to go through when joining the company (healthcare & harassment). We are also doing some projects while we are here that we have to deliver to Luiz before we leave (mine is on promotional innovation with Newbeerchick). After my time here in St. Louis I will be traveling to Atlanta to complete 9 weeks of brewery training and 10 weeks of sales and marketing training. Once that is complete then it is back here to STL for another month before we get our 4 month project assignment somewhere in the U.S. So to answer your question… Right now my job description is to learn as much as possible. Talk to you soon chuckleheads.
Cheers,
SL I

Happy Hour

Sorry I haven’t been able to update my blog in a while, we have been busy this week during the global induction of all GMT’s and they have us scheduled with events throughout the days keeping us busy.

7/26/10

On our first day of work at ABI we went over a lot of housekeeping items or logistics as one of my old coaches used to say (I majored in logistics and still don’t see a connection but what do I know) that needed to be taken care of. At the end of the day we took a trip to one of the many bars in the office building and had a happy hour with the President of the North American Zone Luiz… or as I like to think of him as “L I Am” because he loves the black eyed peas and the song ‘I got a feeling’. Also all of Luiz’s VPs (our mentors) and the consumer insights team members that we worked with on a project during school, all came to the happy hour to socialize and drink the free beers. It was pretty awesome being able to talk to such senior members of the company and also the beers were pretty cheap. I also have to give a shout out to the nicest and hardest worker at the St. Louis office … Regina. She wears many hats at the St. Louis office. She is the first person I talk to in the morning when I check out at the cafeteria and she always tell me to make sure I come back for lunch. She then doubles as a bar tender during the happy hours. This Bud’s for you Regina. Talk to you soon chuckleheads.

Cheers,
SL I

 Hanging out in Autobeerography‘s Room @ the Chase

Straub's... the grocery store across the street

Let Happy Hour Begin

Dictionary.com defines a blogger as a person who keeps a Web log (blog) or publishes an online diary. So I never thought that I would be one to keep a diary, but I guess we will see how this works out.

So… the “real world” started for me on Monday the 26th of July at One Busch Place in St. Louis. After a 23+ year vacation that I have been on, waking up early and going to work every morning is a little different than the life I had been living. At least I convinced a sweet company like ABI that they needed me working for them (and they are even paying me!). Work isn’t too bad so far though, they only make us work on days that end in Y.

The title that ABI has given me is Global Management Trainee (GMT), I am still holding out for the position of taste tester though. There are 14 of us in the first class of U.S. GMT’s @ ABI. I will be referring to each of them throughout my blog by their blog names, so you can read their blogs too.

Feel free to subscribe to my blog to receive an email every time that I update “the diary” or just check back whenever you have free time to catch up on the life of Sweet Lou (make sure to drink a Bud while you read it as I will be having one while I write it). Also send me some comments and feedback on what you like and/or want to hear more about. I will see you all again soon for some more Happy Hour.

Cheers,
SL I