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United Fresh Produce Association has revealed the honorees of its 2016 Retail Produce Manager Awards Program. The 25 winning produce managers, chosen from hundreds of nominations, work at supermarket banners, commissaries and independent retail stores in 19 states and two Canadian provinces. The winners will be honored at a celebratory dinner held during the United Fresh 2016 convention, which is scheduled for June 20-22 in Chicago.
The Dole Food Co.-sponsored program recognizes the efforts of produce managers to boost sales and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. Since the program started in 2005, almost 300 retail produce managers from more than 90 retail banners have received the award.
“Produce managers are the face of our industry to the consumer,” affirmed Tom Stenzel, CEO of Washington, D.C.-based United Fresh. “Their creative merchandising and positive approach to customer service directly correlates to the growth of sales and ultimately consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.”
The 2016 Retail Produce Manager Award Winners are as follows:
- Amy Allman, The Kroger Co., Athens, Ga.
- Tricia Arceneaux, Frank’s Supermarkets, Golden Meadow, La.
- Ryan Blancas, Beale AFB Commissary, Marysville, Calif.
- Jeffery Bonacquisti, Market 32/Price Chopper, Pittsfield, Mass.
- James Corcoran, ShopRite, Carteret, N.J.
- Ted Elliott, Tops Friendly Markets, Warsaw, N.Y.
- Mark Garcia, The Common Market, Frederick, Md.
- Michael Giberson, Niemann Foods Inc., Champaign, Ill.
- Dan Hanson, Hy-Vee Inc., Mankato, Minn.
- James Howard, Food City/K-VA-T Food Stores, Pikeville, Ky.
- Denise Kelly, Sobeys, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada
- Ken Miller, Save Mart, Placerville, Calif.
- Brice Mollohan, Harris Teeter Supermarkets, Matthews, N.C.
- Jason Norviel, Schnucks Markets, Des Peres, Mo.
- Steve Parker, Raley’s Family of Fine Stores, Reno, Nev.
- Henry Porter, Vashon Thriftway, Vashon, Wash.
- Jennifer Ratkiewicz, Big Y Foods Inc., Springfield, Mass.
- Lely Reyes, Albertsons Cos., McLean, Va.
- Ronnie Showers, Roundy’s Supermarkets, Sun Prairie, Wis.
- Skyler Smith, Marc’s Stores, North Canton, Ohio
- Gary Standing, Loblaws Supermarkets, North Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
- Amy Steinke, Coborn's, Ramsey, Minn.
- Lucilo Torres, Northgate González Markets, Long Beach, Calif.
- Brett Walker, Brookshire Grocery Co., Pittsburg, Tex.
- Keith Zielonka, Food Lion, Morrisville, N.C.
Nominations were judged on a number of criteria, including efforts to increase produce consumption via excellence in merchandising, special displays and promotions, community service, and commitment to customer satisfaction. As well as their awards, five grand-prize recipients will receive a $1,000 cash prize.
United Fresh will start accepting 2017 nominations this fall, with winners to be honored at United Fresh 2017 in Chicago.