Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

TAKING GINGER BEER TO THE WORLD CEO Helps Serve Up Bundy; Brewer Signs Deal with Pepsi Cola

Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

TAKING GINGER BEER TO THE WORLD CEO Helps Serve Up Bundy; Brewer Signs Deal with Pepsi Cola

Article excerpt

Carolyn Archer

REPORTER

carolyn.archer@news-mail.com.au

A TRIAL partnership between Bundaberg Brewed Drinks and Pepsi Cola Bottlers in the United States is evidence of the growing reach of Bundaberg's own ginger beer on a global scale.

The partnership kicked off yesterday and resulted in Bundaberg Brewed Drinks being sold in 300 supermarkets in just the Denver area alone.

For Bundaberg Brewed Drinks' CEO John McLean, the role as head of a multi-million dollar company, with staff based in four countries, was hardly the career he imagined growing up as a kid on the Sunshine Coast.

"I was going to be a guidance officer, that was my dream job. I used to watch Mr Gilroy read the newspaper everyday and thought - that's a job. He doesn't have to do much," he said.

But after marrying Rae-Lee Fleming, the daughter and granddaughter of Bundaberg Brewed Drink's founding Fleming family, the couple were asked to join the company.

Mr McLean took six months leave from his environmental education centre principal position to give it a trial.

"I'm still on my six month trial," he joked.

"I started in April of 1994 and over the years I've worked in nearly every department in the business.

"I started out in administration and then did IT and finance, then production manager, and business development, operations management and I've been CEO for the last nine years.

"For me I think it was a really great grounding."

Mr McLean watched and helped grow the company, a feat that last week saw him named among the state's 25 Best and Brightest in the Courier Mail's QWeekend Magazine

"I think when I stated turnover was about $12 million and we probably employed 45 people," he said.

"Now our turnover is about $100 million and we employ about 180 in four different countries. …

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