Welcome The Honey Baked Ham Co.’s New CEO—Coca-Cola Company Veteran Jim Dinkins

Jim Dinkins sits in an office smiling at the camera.

As many readers will surely know, The Honey Baked Ham Company recently announced Jim Dinkins as our new Chief Executive Officer, effective May 10, 2021. Jim brings decades of experience to his new role, including an impressive 30-year tenure at The Coca-Cola Company.

The Passing of the Torch

The decision comes after Linda van Rees, our current CEO and the granddaughter of The Honey Baked Ham Company founder Harry Hoenselaar, announced she will retire as CEO. “It’s been the greatest privilege of my career to serve as CEO of our consolidated family business for the last three years. I look forward to continuing my grandfather’s legacy as a member of the Board of Directors.”

In stepping out of her role as our CEO, Linda offered her blessing to her successor.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Jim Dinkins to the Honey Baked Ham Family. Jim’s holistic view of the food industry, highly regarded leadership and deep experience in operations makes us confident that he’s the right person to lead our company through this next chapter.”

Jim Dinkins, CEO of The Honey Baked Ham Company

Jim joins HoneyBaked from The Coca-Cola Company, where he gained diverse experience working in a variety of areas, including senior sales, marketing, operations, channel planning, sports marketing, franchise leadership and general management.

After announcing his retirement from Coca-Cola, Jim was interested in beginning his next chapter and discovered exciting opportunity and a promising future at HoneyBaked.

“I was so excited. I’ve been a fan of the brand for many years. Honey Baked Ham has been on my holiday table for many years and I thought ‘what a great brand to be a part of.’”

For Jim, HoneyBaked has a proven track record as a healthy franchise system. As he sees it, a healthy franchise system demonstrates three crucial qualities:

  1. A Healthy Brand
  2. A Positive Financial Relationship
  3. Honest Communication

Why Jim Chose HoneyBaked In His Own Words:

“I’m honored to be named CEO of such a beloved and iconic brand. The Honey Baked Ham Company is in a unique position to grow. Most importantly, I’m excited to begin working alongside our team members and franchisees to continue building on its 64-year heritage.

Experience at Coca-Cola

“Coca-Cola has a big food-service and on-premise business. About 75% of all restaurants in America sell Coca-Cola, including The Honey Baked Ham Co. Coke also has a big franchise business. Most recently, I served as the President of Coca-Cola North America—about a third of the company’s business—and a big part of that is the franchise business.

Experience with Franchise Business

“About half of Coca Cola’s business in the U.S. is franchise business. Coke bottlers get exclusive rights to sell products and exclusive territory for Coca-Cola. We had 68 bottlers, and 64 of them were family-owned businesses, and I just loved that. I loved working with those businesses and partnering together. It taught me about the importance of a healthy franchise system.”

Past Experience

Jim has also served as President of the Minute Maid Business Unit and Chief Retail Sales Officer for CCNA among other leadership roles within the company. Before joining Coca-Cola in 1988, he held various sales positions with Procter and Gamble. Jim holds an MBA from Emory University and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Georgia.

Interested in following the lead of a veteran business executive? Join Jim Dinkins as part of the HoneyBaked franchise system! Find out how to get started today.

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