Philip L. Arvidson
(December 23, 1936 –December 4, 2021)
Philip L. Arvidson passed away peacefully at his home onDecember 4th , surrounded by family. He was married to the love of his life, Louella Ann (Hulbert) Arvidson, for over 65 years.
Born in Ashtabula, Ohio, he was a son of the late Regnerand Edith (Gustafson) Arvidson.
In addition to his wife Louella, he is survived by his daughter Karen Arvidson, his brother Denny Arvidson; his brother-in-law James (Betty) Hulbert, and sister-in-law Claire Facente.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his daughter Leah James; his grandson Michael James and his brother Lee Arvidson
Phil began his lifelong career in the soft drink industry in Ashtabula in the 8th grade, where he worked diligently moving up the ranks, while attending high school, and receiving his own route by the 12th grade. Phil was a very proud alum of Edgewood High School, where he graduated in 1955. He went on to attend Ohio State University and the Harvard Business School.
In 1958, Phil and Lou moved to Florida where he worked for the Palm Beach Coca-Cola Bottling Company. He was promoted to Sales Manager in 1963, General Manager in 1967, and Vice President in 1968. In 1972, Phil was promoted to Vice President of the southern division of the Miami Coca-Cola Company. Within five years, under his leadership, Coke captured the market share previously held by Pepsi-Cola. As a result of this success, the parent company went to Miami for five years consecutively to create a series of marketing, sales and profit programs built around Phil’s strategies for success, entitled “The Miami Story”.
In 1977, Phil began his Pepsi-Cola career where for two years he was vice President and General Manager of the Miami Pepsi-Cola plant. He had such a reputation for success that many of his Coke colleagues followed him to Pepsi, and of course, sales flourished. During one particularly stellar month, business increased at a rate of 76%. He then was promoted to Vice President of the General Cinema System which owned over 50 bottling operations. He was working around the clock. At this time in his life, Phil realized that he wanted to slow down and spend more time with his wife Lou, and his two children, Karen and Leah.
Hearing of his decision to retire, he was persuaded by the President of the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Ft. Lauderdale-Palm Beach, Inc., who later became a dear friend, to help build the Pepsi business on a short term basis of 3-5 years. What became his dream job, and one that changed the lives of so many in a very positive way, turned into his greatest success, both personally and professionally. In the years he was at Pepsi, he led them from sales of 3 million cases a year in 1981, to over 15 ½million cases a year in sales in 1999. After serving as Vice President of Marketing and Sales for many years, he became President of the company in 1995 and retired in 1998. He continued many of his duties for Pepsi, however, as President Emeritus. After, he accepted a position with Moroso Motorsports as Vice President of Marketing.
Phil was a bright light in the lives of those who knew him, and a very kind and generous man. He was an avid Army athletics fan and attended as many sporting events at West Point as he could. He hosted several of the teams in south Florida and was named “Fan of the Year.”
Phil’s tremendous business expertise was invaluable in helping him generate millions of dollars that have been distributed to many local community organizations. Phil championed efforts to assist children in south Florida with organizations such as Boys and Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County, Chaminade Madonna College Preparatory School and the Palm Beach Community College Foundation. He served as Chairman of the board of the South Florida Blood Bank, working to help boost the critical presence of the blood bank in the community. Hemade significant contributions serving on the boards of dozens of other organizations
Phil was a true leader in the soft drink industry in sales, marketing and development for more than 50 years. Phil’s vibrant personality allowed him to create long lasting friendships with business associates, colleagues and clients across South Florida. He truly believed, “companies don’t succeed – people do.” He knew the value of surrounding himself with good people and always believed in the importance of giving back to those who helped him achieve success. He never forgot his values, the love of family and the gift of friendship. His smile and contagious laughter will be greatly missed.
Services will be held Wednesday December 8, 2021 at Czup Funeral Home, 1329 Lake Avenue; calling hours will be held from 11:00-12:00 with the funeral starting at 12:00. Burial will follow in Edgewood Cemetery.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Philip L. Arvidson, please visit our floral store.