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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Karen Cappuccilli, produce manager at the Charlotte, Fla. Winn-Dixie store, is one of 20 associates who will be honored with the 2007 Retail Produce Manager Award from United Fresh Produce Association on May 4.
Cappuccilli, a 19-year Winn-Dixie associate, will be recognized by the trade association during its national conference in Chicago. She is also eligible to receive one of four additional $1,000 cash grand prizes.
"Produce is my passion," said Cappuccilli, who has been the produce manager for 16 of the 19 years she's been with the company, in a statement. "I enjoy my job because it's not the same thing every day -- each new season brings change."
Cappuccilli grew up in a family that was involved in the grocery business. Her mother was a meat cutter at an IGA in Rhode Island, where Karen got her first job as cashier at age 16. After moving to Florida 20 years ago, she joined Winn-Dixie as a cashier.
Her passion for Winn-Dixie has even spread within her family -- her husband Joshua is a pharmacy student at the University of Florida and hopes to be a Winn-Dixie pharmacist one day.
"This award is a result of Karen's long-time dedication to Winn-Dixie customers," said Jeff Pouk, Port Charlotte store director. "Because of her hard work and passion for the job, customers find the freshest, high-quality produce that's beautifully displayed."
Cappuccilli's goal is to become a produce specialist who oversees an entire area of Winn-Dixie produce departments. "I want to travel among stores teaching associates and managers everything I've learned over the years to help make our produce departments better," she said.