Exceptional produce managers representing 21 different supermarket chains, commissaries and independent retail stores in 16 states and Canada will be the honored guests at United Fresh 2013 this May through the United Fresh Retail Produce Manager Awards Program.
Sponsored by Ready Pac Foods, the awards program is now in its ninth year and is presented through the United Fresh Foundation's Center for Leadership Excellence. The awards pay special recognition to those on the front line in supermarkets working every day to increase sales and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.
"The produce department is one of the most important customer touch points for the fresh produce industry, and we are so fortunate to have these outstanding professionals positively representing our industry," said United Fresh CEO Tom Stenzel. "Through their creative merchandising and innovative presentations, they are making fresh fruits and vegetables shine in their stores."
The 2013 Retail Produce Manager Award Winners are:
· Ryan Acosta, Raley's Family of Fine Stores, Sacramento, Calif.
· Louis Brock, Quality Food Centers, Seattle, Wash.
· Manson Camp, Weis Markets, Williamsport, Pa.
· Kevin Cazeaux, Rouses Markets, New Orleans, La.
· Lavern Clark, Brookshire Grocery Co., Alexandria, La.
· Darren Estermann, Food Maxx/Save Mart Supermarkets, Visalia, Calif.
· David Fitts, Harris Teeter Supermarkets, Charlotte, N.C.
· Jim Fleming, Price Chopper/Golub Corp., Newburgh, N.Y.
· Ken Gaylord, Safeway Stores, Portland, Ore.
· Aaron Geohring, Ray's Food Place, Grants Pass, Ore.
· Donna Goodman, Daniel's Sentry Store, Whitewater, Wis.
· James Gordy, Safeway Stores, Auburn, Calif.
· Doug Groendyke, King's Supermarkets, Gillette, N.J.
· Rick Hogan, Hugo's Family Marketplace, Grand Forks, N.D.
· Deborah Horton, Fort Worth NAS Commissary, Fort Worth, Texas
· Pat Kapelka, The Kroger Co., Tiffin, Ohio
· James May, Food City/K-VA-T Food Stores, South Williamson, Ky.
· Maureen McCarthy, Fort Bragg North Commissary, Fort Bragg, N.C.
· Nathan Mineart, Hy-Vee, Inc., East Marion, Iowa
· Nicholas Olivieri, Pathmark, Bethpage, N.Y.
· Bill Power, Dominion, St. John's, NL, Canada
· Brett Reed, Hy-Vee, Inc., Windsor Heights, Iowa
· Frankie Thacker, Food City/K-VA-T Food Stores, Rogersville, Tenn.
· Jeffrey Vocatura, Big Y Foods, Stratford, Conn.
· Corey Watkins, Raley's Family of Fine Stores, Elk Grove, Calif.
"The professionalism and exceptional talent these retail managers have demonstrated deserves to be recognized and honored," said Ready Pac's president and CEO, Michael Solomon. "Ready Pac is proud to sponsor this program and offer our congratulations to these hardworking individuals and companies for their tireless promotion of the fresh produce industry."
The program's 25 winners were selected from hundreds of nominations submitted by retailers and produce suppliers across the industry. Nominations were evaluated on a number of criteria, including efforts to increase produce consumption through excellence in merchandising, special displays and promotions, community service and commitment to customer satisfaction.
All winners and their corporate produce directors will be honored at United Fresh 2013 during the Produce Celebration Dinner, Thursday, May 16, at the Marriott Marquis San Diego. In addition to the awards, five grand prize recipients will receive an additional $1,000 cash prize.
The Produce Retail Manager Award winners will also be featured in a panel discussion on the United Fresh 2013 trade show floor in the Fresh Marketplace Learning Center. A panel of the winners will share their perspectives on creative produce merchandising strategies during this special education session.
Nominations for the 2014 Retail Produce Manager Awards Program will be accepted this fall, with winners to be honored at United Fresh 2014 in Chicago.
More information on United Fresh 2013 can be found at www.unitedfreshshow.org