Career Paths: From warehouse manager to corporate VP, Kevin Harris took the road less traveled


To stay at one company for 25 years, two things have to happen.

One, the company has to like you. Two, you have to like the company. And for Kevin Harris, vice president of supply chain planning, that’s definitely been the case.

“There’s never been a dull moment,” says Harris, who started his career in beer with Miller Brewing Company at Molson Coors’ former facility in Irwindale, Calif., in 1999. He’ll mark 25 years with the company in May.

And he’s far from being alone in having a long tenure with Molson Coors.

“I remember when I started, we had a lot of tenured folks who’d been with the company 20, 25 years. And I thought, how can you stay in one place for 25 years?” Harris recalls. In fact, in 2023 Molson Coors had many employees celebrate anniversaries ranging from 20 years to 50 years with the company.

A supply chain expert, Harris began his career at Molson Coors managing warehouses. The University of La Verne graduate remembers his first gig as a dispatch supervisor, managing dock activity: “It was like a video game.”

That led to positions managing palletizer maintenance, overseeing material management; liaising between the corporate transportation team, carriers and brewery operations; all the way to calling on distributors across the Pacific region and leading supply chain teams at Molson Coors breweries in Eden, N.C. and Golden, Colo.

Now based in Milwaukee, the father of two oversees supply chain planning for all of North America and Latin America.

As he worked his way up the ladder, crisscrossing the country at the same time, he found many chances to build his skills and learn new parts of the business.

“There have been lots of opportunities to grow as a professional and individual,” Harris says. “Every three to four years, I took a new assignment, learning something completely different about the business, but able to tie into my previous experience.”

He calls his career “risky” – in that he took a lot risks to develop his skills, network and understanding of Molson Coors and supply chains.

“I spent a lot of time betting on myself,” he says.

These days, it’s less common to spend your entire career at one company. Younger workers are more likely to change companies every four years or so. But Harris says there’s a benefit to staying in one place and developing a deep understanding of an organization. And up isn’t always the best direction to look.

“One of the things I stress with my team is that if you’re looking for development, it could be a lateral move into a different function,” he says. “Master your current responsibilities. Get good at that and look for an (another) opportunity. If you make one or two or three lateral moves before you look to get promoted in the organization, you’re building a good base that gives you options.”

Molson Coors has provided Harris with plenty of options. And it’s given him confidence in himself.

“You have to bet on yourself. Don’t be afraid of the challenge,” he says. “That’ll help you grow stronger and progress your career faster.”