United will honor top retail produce managers

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 in its ninth year and is presented through the foundation’s Center for Leadership Excellence. The awards recognize those on the front line in supermarkets working everyday 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 Company, Alexandria, La.
  • Darren Estermann, Food Maxx/Save Mart Supermarkets, Visalia, Calif.
  • David Fitts, Harris Teeter Supermarkets, Charlotte, N.C.
  • Jim Fleming, Price Chopper/Golub Corporation, 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, Ft. Worth NAS Commissary, Fort Worth, Tex.
  • Pat Kapelka, The Kroger Company, Tiffin, Ohio
  • James May, Food City/K-VA-T Food Stores, South Williamson, Ky.
  • Maureen McCarthy, Ft. Bragg North Commissary, Ft. Bragg, N.C.
  • Nathan Mineart, Hy-Vee, Inc., East Marion, Iowa
  • Nicholas Olivieri, Pathmark, Bethpage, N.Y.
  • Bill Power, Dominion, St John’s, Newfoundland, 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 President and CEO Michael Solomon. “Ready Pac is proud to sponsor this program and offer our congratulations to these hard-working 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 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.

Originally posted Tuesday, Mar. 26, 2013

Tags: awards and recognition, united fresh