Nancy Quan, Nancy Kwan and The Coca-Cola Company
Nancy Quan serves as global research and development leader at Coca-Cola Company, overseeing and connecting the R&D agendas of regional R&D centers and key functions worldwide.
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Early Life and Education
Flower Drum Song (1960), as the first major motion picture featuring an almost exclusively Asian cast, set an important precedent in Hollywood representation of Chinese-Americans. Kuan, born Ka Shen, began her dance career at England’s Royal Ballet before transitioning into Hollywood acting roles.
Dr. Melissa Jones serves as Senior Vice President and Chief Technical Officer, North America Businesses at The Coca-Cola Company where she leads a networked team to accelerate growth by driving innovation pipelines; technical commercialization; strategic ingredient procurement and product integrity initiatives including quality, safety and environment issues. In addition, she serves on the Advisory Board for University of California Davis MBA Food & Agriculture Program as well as Grocery Manufacturers Association Scientific and Regulatory Affairs Executive Committees.
She volunteers her time for various organizations such as the YWCA and Tocqueville Society. Currently residing in Oakland with her partner and daughter.
Nancy Quan serves as Senior Vice President and Chief Technical and Innovation Officer of The Coca Cola Company, responsible for setting global R&D vision, strategy and priorities; leading corporate Research & Engineering functions; as well as creating strategic partnerships with universities, key suppliers, technology start-ups and others to source innovations that ensure sustainable competitive advantage.
She has built strong teams across a diverse set of countries – United States, UK, The Netherlands, Belgium, China, Japan India and Australia – spanning her career. For this work she was honored to receive numerous recognitions – induction into Purdue University’s Hall of Fame as well as membership into YWCA Academy of Women Achievers being among them.
Nancy is actively engaged in her community, volunteering her time at several not-for-profit organizations throughout DeKalb and Gwinnett counties as well as Atlanta. Additionally, she enjoys running marathons and traveling to exotic places.
Achievement and Honors
Nancy Kwan’s pioneering roles and activism as an Asian woman in Hollywood have left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry, from breaking stereotypes to advocating for equal representation – and she remains an inspiration and mentor to aspiring actresses and actors today.
Grace and beauty made Kwan an in-demand star in the 1960s, as she brought an authentic Asian identity and dynamic dynamism to each character she played, making them more engaging and relatable for audiences. Soon thereafter she was also revered as fashion icon – Vidal Sassoon designed her elegant bob haircut specifically to represent Kwan. This stylish cut became known as the Kwan cut.
As Coca-Cola’s Senior Vice President and Chief Technical Innovation Officer, Quan oversees a global team in research and development; transformational commercialization; supply chain; quality, safety and environmental management; as well as quality, safety and environmental management and scientific/regulatory affairs. She serves on both Grocery Manufacturers Association’s Industry Affiliates Advisory Board as well as their Scientific/Regulating Affairs Executive Committee – she also sits on Liberty Mutual Group’s Board.
Nancy Kwan (Kwan Ka Shen), from Hong Kong, began as a ballet dancer before making her acting debut in The World of Suzie Wong (1960 with William Holden). Since then she has made appearances on television shows like Hawaii Five-O and Kung Fu as well as commercials for cosmetic products.
She established her own production company during the ’70s and produced instructional videotapes on tai chi. Additionally, she appeared in movies like Noble House (1988) as an actress before becoming spokesperson for Pearl Cream cosmetic product.
Today, she serves as the Chief Technical Officer of Coca-Cola North America businesses and is responsible for setting global R&D vision, strategy and priorities. In addition, she sits on the Advisory Board for University of California Davis MBA Program as well as Grocery Manufacturers Association’s Scientific and Regulatory Affairs Executive Committee.
Kwan is one of the highest-paid executives at Coca-Cola, currently serving as its Senior Vice President, Chief Technical and Innovation Officer. In this position she oversees global teams who create innovation pipelines to support short- and long-term growth; ensure safe quality products meet environmental sustainability regulations; drive transformational supply chain solutions globally with bottlers.
As of 2023, she held 85,906 Coca-Cola shares valued at over $5 Million and owned substantial stakes in several other companies as well.
Kwan prefers to keep her personal life private, yet has had various relationships throughout the years. For nearly two decades she was romantically linked with actor Bernie Pock until they parted ways in 2021 and never married or had children together.