12 Publix Leaders Receive Company’s Greatest Honors

Store, district managers receive George W. Jenkins, President’s Awards
Marian Zboraj
Digital Editor
Marian Zboraj
Publix 2023 George W. Jenkins Award recipients
The 2023 George W. Jenkins Award recipients were honored at this year’s annual Publix retail operations conference.

Publix Super Markets has revealed the recipients of the company’s 2023 George W. Jenkins Award and the 2023 President’s Award. These retail and support leaders were honored at this year’s annual Publix retail operations conference on Nov. 16 in Orlando, Fla.

The George W. Jenkins Award is named after Publix’s founder, known to associates as Mr. George. The award is presented to one store manager from each of the company’s five divisions and one support area manager who exemplify leadership, perpetuate the Publix culture and demonstrate their commitment to his ideals. As part of the award, each recipient is presented with a special green Publix jacket, marking them as a member of this group of honorees.

2023 George W. Jenkins Award Recipients 

Atlanta Division

Store Manager Joy Daniell, #1409, Florence, Ala.

Daniell started her career in 2005 as a front service clerk and continued to work her way up through the customer service department before becoming an assistant store manager. In 2017, she was promoted to store manager in Chelsea, Ala. Today, she works in Florence, Ala.

“To me, leadership is when your actions inspire others to want to be more, to learn more, to do more and to achieve more,” she said. “We have a duty to maintain this company and be there for our associates, and this is what we should strive for every day.”

Charlotte Division 

Store Manager Josh Stubblefield, #1846, Louisville, Ky.

Stubblefield started his career in 1998 as a front service clerk and continued to work his way up through the grocery department before becoming an assistant store manager. In 2014, he was promoted to store manager in LaGrange, Ga. In 2023, he was named the store manager in Louisville, Ky., where he will oversee the opening of Publix’s first Kentucky location.

“It’s important to me as a leader to treat everyone with dignity and respect and connect with the hearts and minds of our associates,” noted Stubblefield. “I want them to see Publix as a family and not just as a place to work.”

Jacksonville Division

Store Manager Wes Oliver, #716, St. Johns, Fla.

Oliver started his career in 1989 as a front service clerk and then worked his way up through the grocery department before becoming an assistant store manager. In 2007, he was promoted to store manager in Jacksonville, Fla. Today, he works in St. Johns, Fla.

“We should never forget the many lessons Mr. George left us. I believe the most important one is to treat our associates with dignity and respect. They will then enthusiastically treat our customers like royalty,” he said. “I don’t believe that any award or achievement at Publix has ever been given for what someone did individually. It takes a team to achieve great success.”

Lakeland Division

Store Manager Denise Peterson, #426, Fort Myers, Fla.

Peterson started her career in 1990 as a front service clerk in Fort Myers, Fla., and worked her way up through the customer service department before becoming an assistant store manager. In 2008, she was promoted to store manager in Lehigh Acres, Fla. Today, she works in Fort Myers. 

“As leaders, we are faced with challenges every day. It's how we handle ourselves through those challenges that makes a difference,” said Peterson. “Throughout my years of serving, I have learned that a positive approach and the right mindset is the key to facing any challenge.”  

Miami Division

Store Manager Carlos Fonseca, #127, Miami

Fonseca started his career in 1985 as a front service clerk and continued to work his way up through the grocery department before becoming an assistant store manager. In 2014, he was promoted to store manager in Miami.

“One of the most important career lessons I have learned is that no person puts together an organization on his own,” observed Fonseca. “When I was promoted to store manager, leaders sat me down, told me the good news and explained to me that I would be the one creating the environment inside the building. I’ll never forget that advice, and since then, I have always done my best to inspire and motivate my people.”

Support 

Senior Director of Accounting Ken Stanger

Stanger began his career with Publix in 2000 as a manager of business analysis in manufacturing. He continued to work his way up to senior manager of business analysis and reporting (BAR) and then the director of BAR. In 2022, he was promoted to his current position as senior director of accounting.

“The most important part of my job is to be there for my people,” said Stanger. “I have 150 people whom I work with, and I make it a goal to talk to each one about their personal career goals. The way I see it, I won't be around forever, and it is my duty and honor to help grow and support Publix’s future leaders.”

Commenting on this year's George W. Jenkins Award winners, Publix CEO Todd Jones said: “For 93 years, we’ve remained committed to making Publix a great place to work and shop. I am proud of these leaders for their dedication to Publix and upholding the values and philosophies of Mr. George in their work.”

Publix 2023 Presidents Award recipients
The 2023 Presidents Award recipients were also honored on Thursday, Nov. 16.

Meanwhile, the President’s Award honors one district manager from each of the company’s five divisions and one support manager who are committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. They are also role models to others by demonstrating exemplary leadership.

2023 President’s Award Recipients

Atlanta Division

District Manager Sean Franklin

Franklin began working for Publix in 1991 as a grocery clerk in Clermont, Fla. He held various roles in the grocery department before becoming an assistant store manager. In 2016, Sean was promoted to store manager and promoted to district manager in 2021.

He has sought out associates and encouraged them to grow with the company. “It’s about sharing the dream of Publix and showing associates what this company can do for them and their families,” said Franklin. “I think we’ve done a very good job showing Publix is for everybody.” 

Charlotte Division 

District Manager Vicki Parker 

Parker began working for Publix in 2003 as customer service staff in Lexington, S.C. She held various positions in customer service before becoming an assistant store manager. In 2013, she was promoted to store manager before being promoted to district manager in 2019.

“Being a good leader means that you know how to treat others and help them succeed,” noted Parker. "I have put great effort into helping my associates so they can realize their full potential, letting them know that they can go as far as they want at Publix.”

Jacksonville Division

District Manager Abe Gonzalez

Gonzalez began working for Publix in 1998 as a front service clerk in Pembroke Pines, Fla. He held various roles in customer service before becoming an assistant store manager. In 2010, Gonzalez was promoted to store manager before becoming a district manager in 2015.

“I truly believe everyone brings something different and special to the table,” said Gonzalez. “Our success is all about our people. We are nothing without our associates and customers.” 

Lakeland Division 

District Manager April Young

Young began working for Publix in 1987 as a front service clerk in Bradenton, Fla. She worked her way up through the grocery and customer service departments before becoming an assistant store manager. In 2001, Young was promoted to store manager, and she became a district manager in 2008.

“Inclusion in the workplace is a must if we want to attract future leaders. In today’s world, we cannot successfully operate without diversity,” observed Young. “Everyone has something to offer, and it’s up to us to help them find their greatest potential.” 

Miami Division 

District Manager Lillian Cook 

Cook began working for Publix in 1984 as a cashier in Tequesta, Fla. She continued to work her way up through the customer service department and then the grocery department. Cook became an assistant store manager in 2003. In 2006, she was promoted to store manager, and she became a district manager in 2011.

“I’m a leader with high standards and expectations, but also one who is personable and there for my team whenever they need it,” she said. “I tell my team that from the minute you walk into your store, start thinking about every associate engagement, every customer interaction and all the little details. The little things are what make a difference in how we serve our customers.” 

Support

Senior Director of Pharmacy Administration Katie Scanlon

Scanlon began her Publix career in 2007 as a floating pharmacist in Sandy Springs, Ga., and was promoted to assistant pharmacy manager the same year. She was promoted to pharmacy manager in 2009 and transferred to support in 2012 as a clinical pharmacist. After holding various roles, Scanlon was promoted to director of central and specialty pharmacy in 2018. She was then promoted to senior director of pharmacy administration in 2020.

“Our communities are made up of diverse populations, so it is inherently important our team is diverse to ensure we’re looking at things from different perspectives,” said Scanlon. “Thinking about others’ viewpoints allows us to provide a higher quality of service and a richer experience for the communities we serve.” 

Commenting on this year’s President’s Award recipients, Publix President Kevin Murphy said: “These managers lead with a passion for mentoring associates. Their ability to continually grow their teams while providing premier service is inspiring and helps nurture a caring culture for every member of the Publix family.”

Employee-owned and -operated Publix has close to 1,300 supermarkets in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia. Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix is No. 12 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. PG also named the company one of its Retailers of the Century and one of its 2023 Best Regional Grocery Chains in America.

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