Pete Coors, CEO and chairman of Coors Brewing Company, talked about the importance of innovation and the need for businesses to cater their objectives to a changing consumer environment during a recent guest lecture. He also shared the significance of encouraging employees to focus on what they can do differently to better contribute to the organization.
“It’s just as important to bring your mind to work as it is your muscle,” Coors said.
The noted beer man shared stories from his 40 years in the business and answered questions at a beer and culture class in The Collins College of Hospitality Management on April 28.
The afternoon began with a meet-and-greet session, in which Coors Banquet beer and Coors Light were paired with pesto panino sandwiches. Coors then headed over to the demo auditorium, where he lectured on his organization’s history and the joint venture with SABMiller to form MillerCoors in 2008.
While students and guests tasted Coors Banquet, Blue Moon Summer Honey, Grolsch Premium Pilsner, Blue Moon and Killian’s Irish Red, Coors spoke of his 64-brand “company of firsts.” He also commented that his undergraduate engineering degree from Cornell taught him how to think, how to solve problems, and how to probe and ask questions.
“That is the most valuable part of any kind of education,” said Coors, “when you are taught how to think, not what to think.”
When asked what he loves most about beer, Coors didn’t hesitate: “Drinking it.”
Collins lecturer and Professional Brewery Consultant Owen Williams, who planned the visit, said he was grateful and honored to host Coors.
“Pete Coors is one of the most stoic and humble individuals I have ever met,” Williams said. “The students benefitted from Pete’s words of wisdom and realized how many opportunities are out there.”