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Kroger, Hy-Vee, Raley’s Among List of United Fresh Retail Honorees

Association reveals 25 recipients of its 2019 Retail Produce Manager Awards Program
Kroger Storefront
Photograph: Shutterstock

The United Fresh Produce Association has released the list of recipients for its 2019 Retail Produce Manager Awards Program, marking its 15th year of recognizing the industry’s exceptional retail produce managers.

The group of 25 produce managers represents supermarket banners, commissaries and independent retail stores, including The Kroger Co., Hy-Vee Inc. and Raley’s Family of Fine Stores, among others, from 16 states and two Canadian provinces. The winners will be honored at the United Fresh 2019 convention, which will be held June 10-12 in Chicago.

Sponsored by Dole Food Co., the program recognizes produce managers who have helped to increase sales and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables innovation in merchandising, special displays and promotions, as well as community service and commitment to customer satisfaction.

“Produce managers are the face of our industry to the consumer. Their creative merchandising and positive approach to customer service directly correlates to the growth of sales and ultimately consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables,” United Fresh President and CEO Tom Stenzel said in a statement. “We are grateful to Dole for once again sponsoring this program and for their partnership in recognizing these 25 deserving honorees. I look forward to celebrating our winners this June in Chicago.”

The winners were selected from hundreds of nominations submitted by retailers and produce suppliers across the industry. All recipients and their corporate produce directors will be honored at United Fresh 2019 during the Retail-Foodservice Celebration on June 12. In addition to their awards, five grand-prize recipients will each receive a $1,000 cash prize.

“These individuals and the companies that they represent are really putting forward the tremendously positive messages around produce to shoppers every day,” said Johan Linden, president and CEO of Dole, in a statement. “All of us, whether growers, processors or distributors—the entire supply chain—would not be as successful without their knowledge and expertise at the store level. The United Fresh Retail Produce Manager Awards program is an opportunity for Dole, and all of us as an industry, to show our appreciation and say thank you.”

The 2019 Retail Produce Manager Award Winners are:

  • Vincente Aguirre, Fort Bliss Commissary, El Paso, Texas
  • Gregory Barnufsky Jr., Yokes Fresh Markets, Spokane, Wash.
  • Mike Burdi, Metro Ontario Inc., Toronto
  • Jerry Clark II, The Fresh Market, Roanoke, Va.
  • Cassandra Crone, North State Grocery Inc., Auburn, Calif.
  • Bobby David, Audubon Market, St. Francisville, Louisiana
  • William Denault, Price Chopper Supermarkets, Lenox, Mass.
  • Elaine Fong, Calgary Co-op, Calgary, Alberta
  • Baryn Hagood-Lund, Safeway Inc., Everett, Wash.
  • Heather Hudgins, MOM's Organic Markets, Whitemarsh, Md.
  • Edward Jette, Big Y Foods, Easton, Mass.
  • Jason Karaffa, Albrecht's Sentry Foods, Delafield, Wis.
  • Robin Manwaring, Tops Friendly Markets, Pulaski, N.Y.
  • Greg Miller, Raley's Family of Fine Stores, Chico, Calif.
  • Michael Rowe, Brookshire’s Grocery Company, Bridgeport, Texas
  • David Scarlett, Food City/K-VA-T Food Stores, Knoxville, Tenn.
  • Martin Sevensky, Weis Markets Inc., Clarks Summit, Pa.
  • Michael Sockett, Gelson's Markets, Valley Village, Calif.
  • Jimmy Strickland, Harris Teeter, Fayetteville, N.C.
  • Charles Tavacol, Giant Foods, McLean, Va.
  • Roman Teig, Hy-Vee Inc., Omaha, Neb.
  • Jason Thompson, Hollywood Markets, Madison Heights, Mich.
  • David Thompson, The Kroger Co., Peachtree City, Ga.
  • Brittany Woodall, Fred Meyer, Bellevue, Wash.
  • Patricia Young, Meijer, Springfield, Ill.


Since the program’s inception in 2005, more than 325 retail produce managers across more than 110 retail banners have been honored for their contributions to the industry.

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