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    Finalists Chosen in FMI's Annual Store Manager Competition

    Three grand-prize winners will be selected at the FMI Show.

    The Food Marketing Institute revealed yesterday the finalists in its 2008 Store Manager Awards competition. Three grand-prize winners will be chosen at the FMI Show plus MARKETECHNICS on May 5 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.

    "Successful supermarkets are led by store managers who are committed to customer satisfaction and improving the communities they†serve," said FMI president and c.e.o. Tim Hammonds. "All of the finalists of the Store Manager Awards [demonstrate] outstanding customer service, operational excellence, and innovative community service."

    The contest finalists, stores, and locations are Mark Halvorson, Cub Foods, St. Paul, Minn.; Jeffery Iwamuro, Potash Bros. Market, Chicago; Dale Kahn, Bi-Lo, LLC, Cleveland, Tenn.; Bob Kees, Sissonville Foodland, Sissonville, W.V.; Ramiro Marquez, Bashasí, San Luis, Ariz.; Cheryl Rondenelli, Hannaford Bros. Co., Clinton, N.Y.; Mitch Streit, Hy-Vee, Inc., Columbus, Neb.; Ralph Towery, MarketPlace Foods, Minot, N.D.; and Janice Yergeau, Hannaford Bros. Co., Hooksett, N.H.

    Supervisors or their associates submitted stories about each store manager that illustrated how that manager promoted sales growth and customer satisfaction. The judges rated entries according to originality and creativity, as well as the manager's effect on growth, customer satisfaction and community service.

    The entries are divided into three categories: retailers with one to 49 stores; retailers with 50 to 199 stores, and retailers with 200 or more stores.

    Store managers in the food, mass merchandise, and convenience store channels are able to enter after one year of employment at the same store.

    All nine finalists received two tickets to the FMI Show, three nights of hotel accommodations in Las Vegas, and a certificate of achievement. The three grand-prize winners will each receive a $1,000 check.

    Last yearís grand-prize winners were Lewis F. "Bud" Kennedy of Green Hills Farms, Inc. in Syracuse, NY; Kenneth Hall Jr. of Schnuck Markets, Inc. in East St. Louis, Ill.; and Don Blair of Bi-Lo, LLC in Rock Hill, SC.

    FMI's retail membership consists of large multistore chains, regional firms and independent supermarkets. The organization's international membership encompasses 200 companies from over 50 countries.

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