Point of sales

by Matt Jardin  |   

Natural sciences alumna Lessie Kincaid, B.S. '13, is the recently promoted director of sales for the Odom Corporation in Alaska. If you purchase a Coca-Cola product anywhere in the Last Frontier, it's a good bet that she helped get it in your hand. (Photo by James Evans / University of Alaska Anchorage)

Chances are you've consumed a Coca-Cola product recently, and for good reason. Coca-Cola is one of the largest and most recognizable brands in the world. In Alaska, that brand is managed by UAA natural sciences alumna Lessie Kincaid.

Kincaid is the recently promoted director of sales for the Odom Corporation in Alaska. If you purchase a Coca-Cola product anywhere in the Last Frontier, it's a good bet that she helped get it in your hand.

Her newest position is the culmination of a 15-year career in sales, which Kincaid points out is a lot less door-to-door and a lot more listening and engaging.

"I think that there's this general idea that salespeople just talk a lot," says Kincaid. "But really, good salespeople should be listening, and letting others talk."

Before joining Odom and the beverage industry in 2014, Kincaid worked in tourism for the Hilton. As their director of sales, she was responsible for getting organizations to book events at the hotel, which Kincaid calls "an easy sell" due to its location in a state many people only dream of visiting.

While the move from selling a place to selling drinks may seem like a big transition, Kincaid describes all sales as boiling down to creating a sense of community. In fact, the emphasis Odom places on community engagement was one of the biggest selling points for her.

"We do a ton of sponsorships, and that's one reason I'm really proud to be a part of Odom," says Kincaid. "We have been a part of this community for 85 years. This is where we were founded. Alaska is where Milt Odom purchased the distribution rights to Coca-Cola for just one dollar. It's neat to be part of an organization that has roots locally and that generously gives back to the community." 

Kincaid knows a thing or two about valuing community. Before it became one of the best reasons for her to change organizations, it was what compelled her to stay in Anchorage after moving here from Hawaii in middle school.

"When I established my friend group in high school, I couldn't imagine leaving the state," says Kincaid. "Even today, I have a lot of the same friends I had from high school and I wasn't interested in going anywhere else besides UAA."

At UAA, Kincaid majored in natural sciences with minors in biology and psychology. Even though her course load was designed to be a reprieve from her day job, Kincaid has seamlessly found ways to apply what she's learned to her career. For instance, Kincaid's time in biology labs have helped her become more detail-oriented and analytical, and studying psychology is a natural fit for a career interacting with people.

"I never felt like I needed to get a business degree because I was always entrenched in business at the Hilton," says Kincaid. "I decided to go to school for what I thought was interesting and what I had fun learning. If I was going to go to school while working full time, it was important to enjoy what I was learning."

Kincaid graduated in 2013 and joined the Odom Corporation in 2014 as the key account manager for Coca-Cola. Kincaid was welcomed by a large community of Seawolves to make her feel at home in her new organization. In fact, Odom proudly boasts a total of 26 UAA alumni employees, making UAA the highest represented university among Odom employees.

"I think it's important to be engaged where we live," says Kincaid. "Like UAA, we want people to stay in Alaska. Alaska is such a wonderfully unique place to live, work and play and we want to encourage people to choose Alaska as their home. I think it's essential to be engrained in this community."

Written by Matt Jardin, UAA Office of University Advancement

Creative Commons License "Point of sales" is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.