MillerCoors, one of the leading brewing companies in America, has provided leadership support for the League's Entrepreneurship Center for the past two years. Additionally, MillerCoors recently supported the League’s Metropolitan (Junior) Board’s ‘Young and Ambitious Speaker Series’. In the following Q&A, MillerCoors’, Steve Canal discusses the company’s commitment to economic empowerment, and shares his vision on collaborative partnerships.
Steve Canal, MillerCoors Community Affairs - National
What is your role at MillerCoors?
I lead our national African American community affairs efforts, and develop community investment and outreach strategies, programs and platforms to increase commercial impact, build consumer and customer interest and enhance MillerCoors reputation.
I also help establish and nurture a network of internal and external relationships in order to accomplish our Community Affairs priorities and objectives that support the company’s reputation and brands.In addition, I partner with marketing and sales to drive volume within our communities through programs like Miller Lite Tap the Future with Daymond John from ABC's Shark Tank, and Coors Light Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Classics where we've donated more than $1.5 million in scholarships benefitting seniors aged 21 and older.
Why is investing in economic empowerment important to MillerCoors?
Economic Empowerment allows MillerCoors to help strengthen our hometown and multicultural communities through higher education, entrepreneurship, job creation and workforce readiness initiatives – all which better equip people with the tools to be successful in life.
What does an ideal partnership with a nonprofit organization like the Chicago Urban League look like to MillerCoors?
An ideal partnership with an organization like the Chicago Urban League is one that is mutually beneficial to both parties, but more importantly, beneficial to the areas where we live and work.
Ideally, our partnership helps solidify our position as civic leaders through support of important programs relevant to our communities.
A great partnership also allows our employees an opportunity to get involved, from monetary donations to participating in volunteer activities, we want to ensure our personnel is engaged in the initiatives that are important to our partners and our communities.
How do you see the partnership with the Chicago Urban League evolving?
Our partnership has already evolved over the years, as what started as our initial entrepreneurship platform a few years ago has grown with the addition of community initiatives like Coors Light Full Court reFRESH, the support of the MetroBoard Speaker Series and increased volunteer opportunities, like those which support the annual Gala.
But certainly we want to continue to evolve. And when you have a strong partner like the Chicago Urban League pushing every day to strengthen our households, the possibilities are endless and we look forward to many more years of our growing our relationship and serving our communities.