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CHICAGO -- Three store managers were the grand prize winners of this year's Store Manager Superior Service Awards, which recognize innovation and excellence in customer and community service programs. The annual awards were given out Sunday at the 2005 FMI Show here.
Paul Boisjolie of Hy-Vee, Inc. in Austin, Minn; Pamela Peterson of Spartan Stores in Manistee, Mich.; and Duane Roderick of Covington Foods, Inc. in Attica, Ind. garnered top honors.
"FMI is truly delighted to single out these extraordinary individuals for their dedication to making a difference in their communities," noted FMI president and c.e.o. Tim Hammonds in a statement. "All three have made exceptional contributions that have positively affected the lives of their customers."
Store managers or their supporters submitted stories describing how each manager has surpassed the ordinary in the area of customer or community service. The contest was open to in-store managers in the food retail, mass merchandise, and convenience store industries. Entrants must have been employed at the same store for at least one year. FMI staff and a panel of outside judges evaluated the entries on originality, creativity, impact on store growth, customer satisfaction and community relations. Each winner received a $1,000 check.
Boisjolie was honored for such activities as organizing and sponsoring an annual Austin Youth Sports Pork and Corn Feed that has raised more than $45,000 for the city's youth sports programs, serving as president of a community beautification program called "Spruce Up Austin" that has planted more than 20,000 trees in the area, and aiding the region's rising Hispanic population by volunteering to serve on the board of The Welcome Center, which offers residents job placement, English classes, and assistance with immigration issues and obtaining driver's licenses. Additionally, Boisjolie helped a competitor store its products when a major flood struck the area, earning him praise from Austin's mayor.
Peterson was recognized for such creative programs as an "Island Party Week" featuring a large tiki hut that houses different product demonstrations and a Fat Tuesday event that celebrates Manistee's distinction as the "Unofficial Polish Capital of the North." Also, Peterson and her staff take part in the 24-hour "Relay for Life" Breast Cancer walk, run store tours to teach children ages three and up about nutrition, and sponsor half-court "Hoop Shoots" at high school basketball games.
Roderick's store hosts KIDSFEST each summer, which includes games, prizes, and a band; holds a back-to-school night event during which parents can buy school supplies, and healthy snacks are provided as samples for the children; and co-sponsors the Attica High School Honor Jacket Program, paying half the cost of an honor jacket for any student meeting the school's academic criteria. Roderick’s brainchild, "The Good Cookie Program," lets teachers at a local elementary school award free cookie certificates redeemable at his store to well-behaved students.
Eighteen award finalists who were announced in late April received two tickets to the 2005 FMI Show, two tickets to a VIP reception, and three nights' hotel accommodations in Chicago.
In other FMI news, Supervalu, Inc. president and c.e.o. Jeff Noddle was elected chairman of the group's board of directors, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reported. Noddle serves on FMI's Wholesale Advisory Board, in addition to its executive, industry relations, and finance committees.