Bacardi’s Community Spirit


Bacardi – with North American headquarters in Miami -- has a long history of not only distilling spirits but of also pouring dollars into the communities in which it operates and Miami organizations benefit greatly. The Coral Gables Community Foundation, The Frost Museum, The Wolfsonian, are just some of the organizations that count on the company to help with its fundraising efforts. In 2018, the company was named among the most reputable in the world by Forbes and today includes a culture that upholds community pillars such as responsible marketing, environment, and community investment.
"We touch every corner of the community," says Rick Wilson, Sr. Vice President, External Affairs & Global Corporate Responsibility "It's something we've done for a long time. We want to give back."

The company makes a significant investment in the Orange Bowl, applauding the organization's support for youth sports. In addition to a carefully designed float for the parade –marketing materials are developed in conjunction with the Foundation for the Advancing Alcohol Responsibility — the company sponsors the parade and the party.

"We're not just putting our logo on there," says Wilson. "We're part of the celebration."

Bacardi has also made a significant commitment to environmental issues, starting with one campaign that's close to business: the elimination of plastic straws. The company has a goal of erasing single use straws from the cocktail landscape and says it's succeeded at stopping some 54 billion from being stirred.

"It's about influencing behavior," says Wilson. "If you come to our events, a cocktail competition for example where hundreds of bartenders compete, they know they can't use plastic straws. We hope they'll go back and implement this."

And there's the corporate culture that encourages volunteerism in May, which is corporate responsibility month. Employees worldwide sign up for an activity, says Jessica Merz, global corporate communications director. Employees can sign up to participate in a variety of activitiues, for example planting trees in Amelia Earhart Park or work with Habitat for Humanity to build houses or to help with resume writing and interview coaching at Suited for Success. In addition to that, says Merz, employees can take a day from the office to focus on the foundation of their chose – perhaps helping children or a specific region.

"The company does a good job of encouraging people to give back," says Merz. "It's still family owned and after seven generations, you still feel the value, the importance."

Brett Graff is SocialMiami.com's editor-in-chief. A journalist covering money, people and power, Graff contributes to magazines including Maxim, Glamour and Harper's Bazaar. Once a correspondent for Reuters, her nationally syndicated column ran first in the Miami Herald and then in newspapers across the country including the Chicago Tribune, The Kansas City Star and The State. A former U.S. government economist, Graff's book "Not Buying It: Stop Overspending and Start Raising Happier, Healthier, More Successful Kids" was featured in outlets such as USA Today, US News & World Report, The Today Show, BravoTV.com, and Forbes.com. Graff, a regular on Washington DC's most popular morning show, GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON, is a frequent guest major network television affiliates across the country including CBS, NBC, CW, and ABC.