Insight News

Tuesday
Sep 02nd

THE COVENANT

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Leo Kiely stepped to the mic after a glowing introduction from John B. Smith Sr., chairman of the Black Press of America.

"I am Leo Kiely. And I sell beer. That's what I do," he said to laughter from the audience, members of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, the nation's premier Black Press organization.

But, Smith quickly clarified that selling beer is not the only work of Kiely, CEO of Molson Coors Brewing Company, the third largest brewer in the U. S.

"He is a gentle giant because of what he believes in terms of community and a true friend of the Black Press," Smith said in his introduction during the NNPA winter conference in Las Vegas. "He is a true advocate for the cause of African-American liberation and an advocate for us on the inside."
Right: Houston Defender Publisher Sonny Messiah-Jiles looks on as Molson Coors Brewing Company President and CEO W. Leo Kiely, signs new covenant with the Black community. Other covenant partners, including Co-Chair Stanley Washington, NNPA Foundation Chair Dorothy Leavell and NNPA Chair John B. Smith Sr. look on.

LAS VEGAS (NNPA) – Leo Kiely stepped to the mic after a glowing introduction from John B. Smith Sr., chairman of the Black Press of America.

"I am Leo Kiely. And I sell beer. That's what I do," he said to laughter from the audience, members of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, the nation's premier Black Press organization.

But, Smith quickly clarified that selling beer is not the only work of Kiely, CEO of Molson Coors Brewing Company, the third largest brewer in the U. S.

"He is a gentle giant because of what he believes in terms of community and a true friend of the Black Press," Smith said in his introduction during the NNPA winter conference in Las Vegas. "He is a true advocate for the cause of African-American liberation and an advocate for us on the inside."

Kiely's next move put Smith's words into action. He recommitted to a 4-year-old national economic covenant, continuing a mission first initiated 24 years ago.
The covenant, signed by Kiely and NBEDC Co-Chairman Stanley Washington, as the publishers applauded, strengthens the company's commitment to economic growth and relationship in the Black community through diversity in employment, marketing, advertising, distribution, retailing, purchasing, corporate contributions and board representation.

"Our partnership with your organization is a wonderful thing in terms of us reaching out to our communities, employees and all of our constituencies – including beer-drinkers," Kiely said to chuckles. "You hear a lot these days about the way people get news and information…We have the Internet, blogs, podcasts – and I have my kids trying to educate me on what all that is as another generation is coming along – but I personally believe that these days, where there's a lot of transformation on how people are getting their information, that they really appreciate getting their information from a familiar face that they can trust. And that face is you, the 200 plus newspapers of the NNPA…I think that is as true today as it has ever been."

Kiely said the Coor commitment to community, initiated in 1984 – 10 years before he came to Coors – was first established with the National Black Economic Development Coalition. NBEDC representatives, along with representatives from some of its member organizations, including NNPA the NAACP, and the Rainbow-PUSH Coalition were present at the signing.
 

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