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The United Fresh Produce Association has revealed its list of 25 outstanding retail produce managers that will be honored on Thursday, April 23, at its upcoming convention during the Chairman's Reception & Annual Awards Banquet at the Palazzo Hotel in Las Vegas.
The winners of United Fresh’s Retail Produce Manager Awards Program represent 21 supermarket chains, commissaries and independent retail stores in 14 states and Canada. The program, generously sponsored by Irwindale, Calif.-based Ready Pac Foods, Inc., pays special recognition to those on the front line in supermarkets working every day to increase sales and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. 2009 will mark the program's fifth anniversary.
This year’s winners, which were selected from hundreds of nominations submitted by retailers and produce suppliers across the industry, include:
Richard Bixler, Brookshire Grocery Co., Sweetwater, Texas
Fernando Bovadilla, Nob Hill Foods/Raley’s, Mountain View, Calif.
Elden Cave, Food Lion, LLC, Dobson, N.C.
Malinda Cleveland, Bashas' Diné Market, Window Rock, Ariz.
Nan Day, NAS Lemoore Commissary, Lemoore, Calif.
Ronald Flosi, Jewel-Osco, Chicago
Uziel Galvez, Safeway Stores, Inc., Hood River, Ore.
Humberto Gonzalez, Ralphs, Los Angeles
Dustin Haney, Hy-Vee, Inc., Ankeny, Iowa
Robert Hewett, Raley's Family of Fine Stores, Ukiah, Calif.
Chris Hood, Brookshire Grocery Co., Tyler, Texas
Greg Hurst, Vons, San Diego, Calif.
Ron Inatomi, Gelson’s Market, Newport Beach, Calif.
Paula Lucas, Colemans Food Centre, Stephenville, Newfoundland, Canada
Jeff Mallory, Hy-Vee, Inc., Olathe, Kan.
Robert Oare, The Kroger Co., Mount Vernon, Ohio
Frank Owens, Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., Fairhope, Ala.
Lequitte Perry, Food City, Louisa, Ky.
Abraham Ramirez, Raley's Family of Fine Stores, Benicia, Calif.
Donald Rich, Price Chopper Supermarkets/Golub Corp., Burlington, Vt.
John Smith, Brookshire Grocery Co., Ruston, La.
George Tataris, Dominick’s, Park Ridge, Ill.
Scott Theisen, Blue Goose Market, St. Charles, Ill.
Timothy Tremblay, Hannaford Bros. Company, Scarborough, Maine
Brett Warfield, Save Mart, Sonora, Calif.
"Retail produce managers play a key role in how fresh fruits and vegetables are perceived at the consumer level,” said Ready Pac president/COO Michael Solomon.
Applications for the 2010 Retail Produce Manager Awards Program will be available this fall online at www.unitedfresh.org, with winners to be honored at the 2010 United Fresh convention.