Meredith Mapel, a Durango native and president and CEO of Durango Coca-Cola, has been appointed to the Fort Lewis College Board of Trustees. The Colorado State Senate will vote on her confirmation in the 2020 legislative session. Mapel will serve a four-year term and is one of two Trustees from Southwest Colorado.
“Living here for much of my life, I have a sense of the history and the dynamics of the community’s relationship with the College,” Mapel said. “I know FLC is a very valuable asset to the community and I wanted to put my focus on this role locally to support the college and ultimately the community.”
Mapel has been president and CEO of Durango Coca-Cola for five years. The third generation, family-owned business has been operated by her family for over 80 years. Mapel returned home to Durango to join the family business in 1999 and started her career building business partnerships with local and regional customers. Over the past 20 years, she has served in various roles for the company and was appointed President in 2016.
Collaboration is an important focus for Mapel in the local business community as well as the Coca-Cola system. She has represented the smaller, independent Coca-Cola ownerships of the United States and currently serves as the Treasurer for the Coca-Cola Bottler’s Association representing all 67 ownerships in the U.S.
“I know what it is to be a small cog in a big system,” she said. “You can’t lose your voice and you have to learn from others. I’m hoping that will help inform my scope and what I can bring to the Board of Trustees.”
“Coming from a local position and the business world, I appreciate decisions that are rooted in facts which is happening at Fort Lewis and should continue,” she said. “All academic institutions are facing challenges, and I think we want to focus on efficiencies but maintain a growth mindset. Two focuses, both equally as important.”
Mapel has participated on many other local boards including First National Bank, Iron Horse Bicycle Classic, Adaptive Sports, San Juan Symphony, and the Colorado Beverage Association. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Scripps College. Her passions are her family, community, the arts, education, outdoor activities, and travel. She is married to Jimmy Kight and they enjoy spending time together in the outdoors.
The Board of Trustees consists of seven members who serve four-year terms. Each of these individuals is appointed by the Governor and requires Senate confirmation. No more than four shall be from any one political party, and two shall be from Southwest Colorado, which is defined as Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma, and San Juan counties. Non-voting representatives from the student body and faculty also serve on the board.