Molson Coors

Molson Coors

By Beth Lipscomb

WHEN JEANNIE MILLER graduated from CSU in 1982, she had big plans. As a microbiology major with a minor in chemistry, her first goal was to become a medical technologist. “My grand plan was to work in a hospital for a while, and later apply to med school,” Jeannie said.

Then, something happened that she could never have predicted: the medical industry went through a period of downsizing. Jeannie was one of many across the country to get laid off — a big bump in what had seemed like a sure road to a long career.

As she found herself looking for work, one memory would ultimately set her on an entirely new course, though she didn’t know it at the time. “When I studied at CSU, we had a microbiology club. It allowed microbiology majors to talk about careers and other topics. And people working in that field would come and speak to the club. I remembered that a microbiologist from Coors had spoken to us about yeast, yeast genetics, and malting – which is a biological process. So I decided to put in an application at Coors.”

She got the job, and went to work at the brewery, assuming this would be a temporary industry change until she could get back on track in the medical field.

Where She is Today…

Thirty-one years and 14 positions later, Jeannie is now the Vice President of Global Technical Governance and Innovation at Molson Coors. She oversees hundreds of team members in a role that gives her responsibility for the company’s environmental health and safety, food safety and quality assurance, product and package development, plus new technologies for process and product improvement.

“Once I got into the business and realized how much I loved it and how cool it is, I decided to become a certified brewmaster. And then, because of the education I had gotten at CSU, I was able to move up in the ranks, and expand out to take on much more of a business role but with a technical background.”

Beyond her many day-to-day activities, which see her traveling the world for Molson Coors, Jeannie says she’s passionate about encouraging today’s students, and partnering with her alma mater.

She’s a member of the advisory board that has been tasked with crafting and refining the Fermentation Science and Technology program, and she’s been instrumental in building partnerships between Molson Coors and CSU.

And it’s very likely that Jeannie herself will have an unexpected impact on future students — just as a Coors employee did for her decades ago. She and several of her colleagues plan to visit the campus as guest lecturers, offering their own insights about the many opportunities now available to those with Fermentation Science degrees.

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