Marking its 14th year of recognizing exceptional retail produce managers, the United Fresh Produce Association has named the honorees of its 2018 Retail Produce Manager Awards Program. The group of 25 produce managers represents supermarket banners, commissaries and independent retail stores from 17 different states and Canada. The winners will be the honored guests at the United Fresh 2018 convention, June 25-27, in Chicago.
Sponsored by Dole Food Co., the program pays special recognition to produce managers working every day on the front line to increase sales and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. Since the program began in 2005, nearly 300 retail produce managers, representing more than 100 different retail banners, have been honored for their contributions to the industry.
“Produce managers are the face of our industry to the consumer. Their creative merchandising and positive approach to customer service directly correlates to the growth of sales and ultimately consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables,” said United Fresh President and CEO Tom Stenzel. “We are grateful to Dole for once again sponsoring this program and for their partnership in recognizing these 25 deserving honorees.”
The 2018 Retail Produce Manager Award winners are:
- Mandy Aniciete, Brookshire Grocery Co., Mt. Pleasant, Texas
- Clint Baskett, Raley’s Family of Fine Stores, Sparks, Nevada
- Laura Boeke, Carter’s Supermarket, Walker, Louisiana
- Jack Bogan, Stop & Shop/Ahold, Dedham, Massachusetts
- Gustavo Cadena, Grocery Outlet, Richmond, California
- Paul Calkins, Price Chopper Supermarkets, Latham, New York
- Shelly Carlock, FoodMaxx/The Save Mart Cos., Redding, California
- Coty Edward Jones, Meijer, South Bend, Indiana
- Heather Gengler, Hy-Vee Inc., Springfield, Missouri
- Tyler Gibson, Food City/K-VA-T Food Stores, Crossville, Tennessee
- William Graham, Nellis AFB Commissary, Las Vegas, Nevada
- Devon Hoffer, Marketplace Foods, Minot, North Dakota
- Mike Martin, Tops Friendly Markets, Manlius, New York
- Travis Michael, Safeway/Albertsons Cos., Portland, Oregon
- Wade Michels, Big Y Foods Inc., Guilford, Connecticut
- Patrick Norman, Harris Teeter Supermarkets, Charlotte, North Carolina
- Tony Rivolta, Zehrs Markets, LaSalle, Ontario, Canada
- Ron Rolston, Friday Harbor Market Place, Friday Harbor, Washington
- Patrick Ryan, Roche Bros. Supermarkets, Wellesley, Massachusetts
- Justen Sturch, Schnuck Markets Inc., St. Louis, Missouri
- Nate Swan, Coborn’s Inc., Sartell, Minnesota
- Bill Taylor, Martin’s Super Markets, South Bend, Indiana
- Daniel Tellier, Metro Ontario Inc., Orangeville, Ontario, Canada
- Steven Thorp, Southeastern Grocers LLC, Lakeland, Florida
- Steve Waggoner, The Kroger Co.-Dillons Food Stores, Wichita, Kansas
“Today and every day the contribution these exceptional produce managers make for us all in sharing with their customers their knowledge and expertise on the selection, preparation and benefits of fresh produce is something worth our thanks and recognition,” said Tim Stejskal, GM and SVP of sales for Dole Fresh Vegetables. “Dole is privileged to be the company that gets to express this gratitude on behalf of our industry through our support of the United Fresh Produce Manager Award.”
The winners were selected from hundreds of nominations submitted by retailers and produce suppliers across the industry. Nominations were evaluated on several criteria, including efforts to increase produce consumption through excellence in merchandising, special displays and promotions, community service and commitment to customer satisfaction.
All winners, along with their corporate produce directors, will be honored at United Fresh 2018 during the Retail-Foodservice Celebration Breakfast on Wednesday, June 27, at McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago. In addition to their awards, five grand prize recipients will each receive a $1,000 cash prize.
Once again, United FreshMKT and United FreshTEC will co-locate with the Global Cold Chain Expo and the International Floriculture Expo, and new this year, the debut of the SmartFood Expo, focused on fresh, healthy and better-for-you foods. The total event will bring together the retail, foodservice, fresh produce, floral, healthy food and perishable industries to embrace shared interest in providing high-quality, colorful, fresh and safe products to consumers. Register at unitedfreshshow.org.