Coker first joined U.S. Sugar in 1982 as part of the Community Affairs Department. He was promoted to Vice President, Community Affairs in 1993 and to Senior Vice President, Public Affairs in 2000. He also has been responsible for overseeing the company’s corporate communications and corporate and charitable giving programs as well as numerous community and employee-relations activities. He holds a bachelor’s in political science from Florida State University.
Coker has been recognized as the Ag Lobbyist of the Year multiple times and named to Florida Trends’ Florida 500 and Influence Magazine’s 150 for top business leaders. Coker has also been credited for being one of the most enthusiastic supporters of keeping the Clewiston Sugar Festival alive.
“By all measures, Robert Coker has done an outstanding job in managing U.S. Sugar’s public affairs efforts over the last 42 years as well as always looking out for the best interests of our employees and our community,” said President and CEO Kenneth W. McDuffie. “He earned a reputation as a man of honor and integrity from the Glades to Tallahassee, to Washington, D.C and beyond.”
Clewiston native Eric Edwards will assume the Coker's responsibilities. Edwards has worked alongside Coker for seven years. His authority will extend to government affairs and regulations on the state, federal and local level.