Food Lion named Nerissa Johnson, who works at its Columbia, N.C., store, 2017 store manager of the year.
Company officials say it was Johnson's connection with her customers that earned her the coveted Ralph W. Ketner Store Manager of the Year designation Thursday at the company's headquarters in Salisbury, N.C.
"When I turn the key to my store every day, I pray that I never forget the value of people so they will find value in us," Johnson told Food Lion associates in the audience. "I just feel so overjoyed and humbled right now and happy for my team."
Johnson, who serves as the store manager of the Food Lion located on 625 US Highway 64 East in Columbia, N.C., was selected from a group of more than 1,000 store managers across the company. She and three other Food Lion store managers from Lancaster, N.C.; Newport News, Va.; and Colonial Heights, Va., were named earlier this week as the company's divisional winners representing their different regions.
"This is my favorite day of the year because it's a day in honor of all of our store managers and who they are to our customers, our store associates, our total organization and to me personally," Food Lion President Meg Ham told the crowd. "Although we are honoring the top four divisional winners and naming our Store Manager of the Year, today is about highlighting all of our more than 1,000 store managers because they are the heartbeat in the towns and cities where we operate."
Johnson grew up in the grocery business as a second-generation grocer. She has nearly 27 years of experience with Food Lion and has done many extraordinary things over the past year leading her associates and ensuring that her customers are a first priority, including leading Food Lion Feeds community projects while increasing store sales and developing her 40 associates.
In addition to Johnson being selected as Food Lion’s Store Manager of the Year, three other store managers were recognized for exceptional leadership. The 2017 Division Store Manager Excellence Award recipients are as follows:
- Erica Hayes, store manager at 980 J Clyde Morris Blvd. in Newport News, Va.
- Greta Simmons, store manager at 11 Dunlop Village in Colonial Heights, Va.
- Adam Threatt, store manager at 937 N. Main St. in Lancaster, S.C.