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Polar Beverages CEO to Keynote Super 60 Event

SPRINGFIELD — Ralph Crowley Jr., president and CEO of Polar Beverages, will serve as the keynote speaker at the Springfield Regional Chamber’s Super 60 event on Friday, Oct. 27. Now in its 28th year, the program celebrates the success of the fastest-growing and privately-owned businesses in the region which continue to make significant contributions to the strength of the regional economy.

Worcester-based Polar Beverages was founded by Crowley’s great-grandfather, Dennis Crowley, in 1882, primarily as a wholesale and retail liquor business. However, prohibition put a stop to the family’s liquor sales, forcing them to focus on bubbly waters and bottled water instead. Under the entrepreneurial and visionary leadership of fourth-generation Ralph Crowley Jr., Polar Beverages has grown to be the largest privately owned soft-drink bottler in the U.S., having completed more than 30 acquisitions, including proprietary brands Adirondack, Waist Watcher, Clear ‘n’ Natural, and national brands 7Up, A&W, Sunkist, Seagram’s, Royal Crown, and Diet Rite, along with new-age brands Snapple, AriZona, Fiji Water, O Water, HyDrive, and Nantucket Nectars. Polar also bottles home and office water.

In September 2001, Polar Beverages formed a joint venture with Cott Corporation. The partnership is known as Northeast Retailer Brands, LLC. This joint-venture partnership produces and distributes most of the retailer-branded beverages in the Northeast. At one time, Polar Beverages maintained a warehouse in Springfield.

“Polar Beverages is an example of a regional, family-owned business that has remained true to its roots, while at the same time growing its brand by smart acquisitions and innovative, entrepreneurial thinking,” said Springfield Regional Chamber President Nancy Creed. “Its founder could probably not have envisioned a line of mythically inspired, limited-edition cans of seltzer with names like Mermaid Songs, Unicorn Kisses, and Dragon Whispers that, in 2017, fly off of store shelves.”

The Super 60 Celebration event honoring this year’s class will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Chez Josef, 176 Shoemaker Lane, Agawam. Reservations are required. The cost is $60 for members, $75 for general admission. Reservations may be made for tables of eight or 10. The deadline for reservations is Oct. 18. No cancellations will be accepted after that date, and no walk-ins will be allowed. Reservations may be made online at www.springfieldregionalchamber.com or by e-mail to [email protected].

The Super 60 event is presented by Health New England and sponsored by Farmington Bank. The event is also sponsored by the Republican, the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County, and Zasco Productions.

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