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David M. Taggart.

David Taggart is a believer that chance, unintended meetings with people can often change the direction of where you thought you were going--and where you finally end up. For him, chance meetings set the direction of his education and career path, eventually steering him into the arena of international finance for a major globally branded company.

Title: President & Treasurer

Company: The Coca-Cola Company, the consumer products and beverages giant,

Born: Kansas, May 1951

Spouse: Married for 30 years to Dr. Ruth Berkelman, a medical doctor, professor at Emory University and retired from the Centers for Disease Control.

Children: Kim, 21, a senior at Princeton; John, 17, a junior in high school

Education: Princeton AB, 1973; Harvard Graduate School of Business, MBA, 1979

Career Summary: 1974-77, First National Bank of Boston, Boston, International Officer, Asia; credit responsibility for reviewing loans; 1980 to present, The Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta. Treasury Specialist, then Manager of Foreign Exchange; 1986, Assistant Treasurer; 1989, headed The Coca-Cola Trading Co., a barter and counter-trade organization dealing with Hungary, Yugoslavia, Poland and China and Africa, traveling about 50 percent of the time; 1992, started a global procurement organization, merging it with the trading company; 1993-present, Treasurer.

FEI Chapter: Atlanta; Chair, FERF Board of Trustees, and serves on the Committee on Corporate Finance (CCF).

Leisure: "Bike riding, hiking, tennis, golf and attending the children's sports events (soccer, cross-country, rowing). We've got a few cabins on lakes--which end up to be 'working vacations.' For example, we just closed our 85-year old cottage in the California mountains for the winter. Surrounded by 150-year old trees, that involved some repairs. maintenance and cutting up trees to make firewood."

Time Management: "I basically try to keep to things that are scheduled, and not schedule, cancel and reschedule, I like meetings to start on time, keep on focus and not just run on with no tight endpoint. I'm not one to organize my day--don't have a 'to-do' list, but I do manage to get everything done."

Stress Management: "Running, working in the yard. Having an office job--a white-collar role, worried about accounting rules or Federal Reserve policy--doing something completely different is a break, and stress-reducing. Doing something physical, I'm usually able to get rid of stress better than not."

Favorite Book: Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand; read several times,

Best Job: "Current job, due to its global aspect, Whatever goes on--anywhere in the world--has some impact on our business somewhere, and much of what goes on politically and economically has impacts on the markets that we deal with, especially from the treasury side.

Anything on the news or anything of any relevance around the world connects with what we do each day. The people in my group have become much more expert at geography than they ever intended to when they were going through school."

Worst job: "As a youth, plowing wheat fields in dust and 110 degrees for 12 hours a day, getting paid $1 per hour. I learned I didn't want to plow wheat fields for the rest of my life."

Favorite Deal: "Issuing several eurodollar bonds during the mid-1980s, when allin costs obtained were significantly below U.S. Treasuries."

Quotable: "Man is not the sum of what he has but the totality of what he does not yet have, of what he might have," by Jean Paul Sartre.

Memorable Moments: "Meetings with people who you had no connection with that develop into things that change the direction of your life. For example. where I ended up for college was the result of an alumnus of the school calling me and getting me interested in Princeton. Think of the implications of that for my life of this Midwestern teen going to an East Coast, Ivy League school. It got me oriented completely differently than I would have been had I stayed and gone to the state university.

Also, my first job out of college. I moved to Boston, and tried to find a job in a recession. Someone who didn't have a job for me steered me in the direction of Bank of Boston, which got me started on the international finance side. From that chance meeting, it's ended up how I've spent my life working,"

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Title Annotation:balance sheet
Author:Heffes, Ellen M.
Publication:Financial Executive
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2003
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