The United Fresh Produce Association honored 25 retail produce managers as part of its 2020 Retail Produce Manager Awards program. In its 16th year, the program recognizes the essential workers in supermarket banners, commissaries and independent retail stores. This year’s honorees, from 16 different states and Canada, will be feted at the Retail-Foodservice Celebration, which will be held during United Fresh Live, a virtual event platform, the week of June 15. During the event, which will be hosted in real time, five grand-prize winners will be selected to receive a $1,000 cash prize.
“As the face of our industry in-store, retail produce managers play a significant role in influencing a consumer’s decision to shop for fresh produce,” said Tom Stenzel, president and CEO of the United Fresh Produce Association. “More so than ever before, we are extremely fortunate to have these outstanding produce managers representing our industry and working each day to deliver a positive customer experience in the produce department during the coronavirus pandemic. We’re especially grateful for their resolve in the face of this public health crisis.”
The 2020 Retail Produce Manager Award Winners are:
- Michael Foint, Big Y Foods Inc, Amherst, Mass.
- Freddie Dowell, Brookshire Grocery Co., Malakoff, Texas
- Dave Baxter, Daniels Sentry Foods, Walworth, Wis.
- Jaleisha Freeman, Oceana Naval Air Station Commissary, Virginia Beach, Va.
- Steve Kaluahine, Gelson's Market, Rancho Mission Viejo, Calif.
- John Hollenden, Giant Food Stores, Warrington, Pa.
- Paul Rosen, Good Foods Store, Missoula, Mont.
- Gabriel Cabrera, Grocery Outlet, Visalia, Calif.
- Clay Williams, Harps Food Stores, Fayetteville, Ark.
- Ricky Morrison, Harris Teeter Supermarkets, Charlotte/Harrisburg, N.C.
- Ronnie Minteer, Hy-Vee Inc., Springfield, Ill.
- Brian Lowery, Jewel-Osco, Chicago
- Christine Burton, The Kroger Co., Shelbyville, Ind.
- Randy Davis, K-VA-T Food Stores (Food City), Gatlinburg, Tenn.
- Maynard Miller, Martin's Super Markets, Nappanee, Ind.
- Tammy Joseph, Meijer, Cedar Springs, Mich.
- Kevin MacLeod, Metro Ontario Inc., Orleans, Ontario, Canada
- Bill Ryder, Publix Super Markets Inc., Tullahoma, Tenn
- Michael Thomas, Raley's Family of Fine Stores, Carson City, Nev.
- Josh Smith, Rouses Supermarkets, New Orleans, La.
- Ken Marske, Schmitz's Economart, Spooner, Wis.
- Jose Garcia, Sprouts Farmers Market, Santee, Calif.
- Eduardo Queirolo, The Fresh Market, Aventura, Fla.
- Brad Franklin, Tops Friendly Markets, Towanda, Pa.
- Robert Fowler, Whole Foods Market, Chicago
Sponsored by Dole Food Co., the program pays special recognition to produce managers working every day on the front line to increase sales and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. Since the program’s inception in 2005, more than 325 retail produce managers, representing more than 110 different retail banners, have been honored for their contributions to the industry.
This year’s winners were selected from hundreds of nominations submitted by retailers and produce suppliers across the industry. Nominations were evaluated on several criteria, including efforts to increase produce consumption through excellence in merchandising, special displays and promotions, community service and commitment to customer satisfaction.