From the Navy to Molson Coors, a leader inspired by his grandmother

Jake Davis has worn many hats during his 14 years at Molson Coors. He started as a mechanic and moved into leadership roles at the Golden brewery and Rocky Mountain Bottle Company (RMBC), then was named senior manager of engineering and technical services at RMBC. An officer in the Navy Reserve, Jake’s heritage is Native American and Japanese, by way of his grandmother, who married his Japan-based grandfather during the Korean War.

He recalls learning about the importance of community and service at his grandmother’s house, and credits that in helping set the foundation of his current leadership roles at Molson Coors and in the Navy.

Tell us about your career. How did you end up choosing this path?

I started my professional career in the U.S. Navy right out of high school. I spent 10 years working as a mechanic in the nuclear power industry department of an aircraft carrier. After leaving the military, I started at Molson Coors as a mechanic in the central utilities department at the brewery. I then moved up to be a shift senior specialist, plant project coordinator, asset care planner, senior process leader/ line leader in the keg department, asset care manager at RMBC, and then moved into my current role two years ago. I have now been working at Molson Coors for 14 years.

In parallel to my Molson Coors career, my family and I made the decision in 2017 to rejoin the Navy in a reserve role. I was selected into the supply corps logistics community as an officer and have been supporting Fleet Logistics Center Pearl Harbor as the executive officer for the last several years. Last year, I was recalled back to active duty to support logistics operations in the Middle East. I was sent to an expeditionary unit in the Arabian gulf for a year and just returned this April.

You also served in armed forces. What is/was your role, and how has it impacted your civilian career?

These roles and experiences in the armed forces has given me a broad range of perspective on leadership and the flexibility it takes to manage a large operation with a diverse team in all corners of the world. This has given me the ability to share experience and training with both my team at Molson Coors and bring Molson Coors’ best practices to the Navy.

How has Molson Coors supported you as a veteran?

Molson Coors has been fantastic with its support of my military career and me as a person as I navigate two career paths. My management team supports the training and time away I spend with the Reserves on a monthly basis and established a solid foundation of support here at home when I was deployed. Recently, the RMBC team even made a commemorative bottle to recognize the time I spent away in the Middle East. It was a very humbling moment to have so many people involved with this act of kindness and gratitude.

This year’s AANHPI Month theme is “Advancing Leaders Through Opportunity.” What kind of career development have you sought out and how has that impacted your career arc?

As you can see from my career path above, I have worked hourly and salary roles at Molson Coors and have transitioned through several different departments and facilities, even working a dual career path in the military. The great thing about this company is the opportunity that exists to move into multiple professional career paths and network with such a wide range of people with different skills an backgrounds.

The path that I have chosen did take work, but the fact that I was able to create a strong group of mentors that helped me achieve my goals speaks volumes to what is possible with the opportunities that exist in this company.

Specifically thinking of the nuances of AAPI culture, what does that theme mean to you?

In my grandmother’s house, there was always a big focus on community and attention to detail. I believe that these principles of doing what is best for the community before yourself has helped lead me into a career of leadership and service.

What advice do you have for younger professionals considering a career in the beverage industry?

The thing to remember about this industry is it is not just about brewing beer. The product that we manufacturer is supported by dozens of professions from sales, marketing, technical service, engineering, operations, human resources, safety, etc. No matter where your passion is , there is likely a position here that would support your goals in professional growth.