UNFI Names 4 Associates Elite Drivers of the Year

Retailer’s Driver Ambassador program fosters safety and service
Lynn Petrak
Senior Editor
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UNFI Driver
UNFI driver Andrew Verhaeghe, based out of the retailer's Racine, Wis., distribution center, is one of four Elite Drivers of the Year.

Recognizing the importance of the people who lead its fleets and connect products to stores and consumers, United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) has named four of its associates as Elite Drivers of the Year. Each driver was awarded $10,000 and their respective distribution centers received a new UNFI-branded Navistar LT625 tractor.

The awards are part of UNFI’s Driver Ambassador program, created to honor drivers who achieve specific metrics for service, safety and performance. UNFI drivers can earn a Distinguished Driver Award if they meet attendance goals and do not have any preventable accidents or injuries, as well as hours of service or Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) violations. Drivers who get that award for four quarters in a row become Elite Drivers. At least 40% of UNFI’s driver workforce, or 1,040 drivers, attained Elite Driver status this past year.

UNFI's 2022 Elite Drivers of the Year include the following associates:

  • Jody Lee Turski, Dayville, Conn., distribution center
  • Andrew Verhaeghe, Racine, Wis., distribution center
  • James Tucker, Billings, Mont., distribution center
  • Serghei Trus, Aurora, Colo., distribution center

UNFI drivers are a regular sight on North American roadways. The company estimates that its drivers make almost 1.4 million stops over the course of a year, delivering approximately 300,000 unique products to more than 30,000 customer locations.

“Our drivers epitomize the passion, commitment and perseverance it takes to help make our customers stronger, our supply chain better, and our food solutions more inspired,” said Mark Bushway, UNFI’s chief supply chain officer. “This group delivers almost 43 million pounds of food each day and Jody, Andrew, James, and Serghei represent the best of UNFI. Their dedication to our customers, their profession, and UNFI are an inspiration, and we are very proud they are on our team.”

Providence, R.I.-based UNFI delivers a wide variety of products to customer locations throughout North America, including natural product superstores, independent retailers, conventional supermarket chains, e-commerce retailers and foodservice customers. The largest publicly traded grocery distributor in America, the company is No. 49 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer's 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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