Dave Meister, frozen-food manager of Hy-Vee’s Plattsmouth, Neb., store, earned the company’s annual highest honor – the Legendary Customer Service Award – in recognition of his exemplary achievements in providing service that exceeds customers’ expectations.
Only nine winners are selected annually from among more than 80,000 associates in eight states, Hy-Vee said. Legendary Customer Service Award candidates are nominated by co-workers, and winners are selected by a panel of Hy-Vee’s top officers. Nominees are evaluated on their overall contributions to the company in nine areas: passion for customer service, attitude, initiative, teamwork, problem-solving skills, dedication to Hy-Vee fundamentals, communication skills, professional image and self-confidence.
“Dave has spent the better part of two decades working for Hy-Vee and essentially ‘bleeding’ Hy-Vee,” said Deborah Ellington, human resources manager for the Plattsmouth Hy-Vee, in a statement. “He is a true friend to anyone he comes into contact with, whether he’s known you for years or a few minutes. I get to see every day how passionate he is about this company and his work.”
“Customers in Plattsmouth come into the store specifically to see Dave because they love the service he provides,” said Joel Allen, regional VP for Hy-Vee’s western region. “He is a fantastic leader and a great ambassador for Hy-Vee.”
Randy Edeker, Hy-Vee’s chairman, CEO and president, also praised Meister for delivering the level of customer commitment that Hy-Vee leaders envisioned when establishing the Legendary Customer Service Award in 2006.
“Dave lives out the things Hy-Vee stands for in everything he does by providing helpful, honest and outstanding service, all while going above and beyond for our customers day after day,” said Edeker. Meister “is most deserving of this recognition ... [which] honors the best of the best” from Hy-Vee’s family. "Over and over,” Edeker continued, “nominators called out his dedication to making an impact in the local community, and doing it with a smile.”
Meister and his fellow 2018 Legendary Customer Service Award winners will be inducted into Hy-Vee’s Customer Service Hall of Fame. He and other honorees will receive a Legendary Customer Service name badge and a commemorative custom-designed ring; they will be honored at the retailer’s service award dinner in October, as well as at its annual stockholders’ meeting in December. Their photos will also be prominently featured on the side of Hy-Vee trucks, showcasing their helpful smiles to millions of travelers across the Midwest.
With annual sales of $10 billion, employee-owned Hy-Vee Inc. operates more than 245 stores in eight Midwestern states, including its newest small-format, health-focused locations in its hometown of West Des Moines, Iowa.