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Part 3: Quaker Oats

I survived several sudden corporate splits in just 3 months. CFS Continental was purchased by Tate and Lyle PLC. They wanted only the sugar operation and sold the rest to Sysco Food Services. Sysco only wanted the customer list and distribution centers. Sysco sold the soap division to Economic Labs. They also sold the coffee and preserve divisions to Quaker Oats and absorbed the rest.

After almost a decade of incredible success, I was still held down by a dodgy boss. In fairness, he reported to the president of the company and his job was the only place for me to grow into. I received letters of commendation from everyone, but not one from him. I started a move directly into sales to escape the cap. I was halfway there when the Snapple fiasco erupted. With a 1.5 billion dollar loss to Quaker Oats with the sale of Snapple, head counts shut down. My boss blocked my return to service.

One day a high ranking executive I hadn't noticed earlier stopped at my table in a restaurant while I was talking to close a friend. I was talking about returning to the office to quit. With a hand on my shoulder the visitor said "trust me, wait 2 weeks." Three days later, I received a huge severance package and was officially number one on the list of the first 2500 people to be laid off due to Snapple. It's nice to have friends in high places.

I cashed in my retirement, combined it with my severance, and spent a year building and working the Michigan homestead while learning to fly airplanes at Chicago Midway airport. After weeks of intense training I became a licensed pilot, SEL.

Returning to reality, low funds, I decided to look for paying work. I made one phone call. I called an emerging manufacturer that had desperately tried to sell Continental brewers. I had always recognized them for quality and innovation but they were too small, poorly managed, and couldn't be considered a viable vendor. I was hired during that phone call and started the next Monday with FETCO.

Continue on to part four...

Table of Contents

  1. Lanier Business Products
  2. Continental Coffee
  3. Quaker Oats
  4. FETCO
  5. BMG Holdings LLC