Businessman Ces Butner is First Vice President of the Oakland Board of Port Commissioners.
After graduating from the University of Missouri in 1975 and working in Minneapolis and Chicago for fortune 500 Companies, Butner settled in Oakland in 1981, working for a local beverage distributorship. Beginning as Sales Manger, he also held the positions of General Manager and Vice President when, in 1987 at the age of 33, he purchased the business with business partner Denny Suzuki, naming it Horizon Beverage Company and becoming the youngest owner of an Anheuser-Busch Wholesale Operation in the nation. Horizon is now recognized by Anheuser-Busch as one of its outstanding distributors having won the coveted Ambassador Award (the top distributors in the nation) for three years in a row. Mr. Butner has served on the board of the NBWA (National Beer Wholesalers Association), CBBD (California Beer Beverage Distributors), and currently serves on Anheuser Busch’s “Wholesale Advisory Panel” and Crown Imports’ “Wholesaler Council” representing all wholesalers in California, Nevada, and Oregon. Through acquisitions and expansions over the last 25 years Butner has more than tripled the size of Horizon Beverage Company revenues placing it among Black Enterprise’s top 100 Black Owned Business nationally. Horizon employs more than 150 families and is the only labor friendly (Teamster Local 853) beer distribution operation in the East Bay.
Ces Butner has long been involved with the Oakland community. He has been Chairman of the Board of the YMCA of the East Bay, the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, and President of Sequoyah Country Club. He has also served as Co-Chair of Friends of Oakland Public Schools and Board member with Oakland Rotary #3, the City of Oakland’s Budget Advisory Board, the Oakland Education Council, Bay Area Black United Fund, Lake Merritt Breakfast Club, Oakland Convention and Visitors Authority, Oakland Commerce Corporation, Redwood Day School, and Oakland Festival of the Arts. As Chairman of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, Ces led the charge for the adoption of City Center revitalization plan and the creation of the Business Budget Advisory Committee to build the necessary link between city government and the business community. Butner was also a candidate for Mayor of Oakland in 1998 losing to former and current Governor Jerry Brown.
Mr. Butner currently serves as the First Vice President of the Oakland Board of Port Commissioners.
Mr. Butner’s interest in public service is a continuation of his efforts to utilize business principles to promote equal opportunity, economic development, entrepreneurship, education, and environmental responsibility for all the citizens of Oakland. He is committed to preaching the gospel of efficiency and accountability in government, as well as economic development as a means to success for Oakland and its residents.
Mr. Butner lives in Oakland with his wife Teresa and two daughters Raquel & Andrea while working out of his warehouse and offices in a recently constructed new facility in East Oakland.