United Fresh Names 2017's Top Retail Produce Managers

The United Fresh Produce Association, based in Washington, D.C., has announced the honorees of its 2017 Retail Produce Manager Awards Program, a group of 25 representing supermarket banners, commissaries and independent retail stores from 14 states and two Canadian provinces. They will be honored at the United Fresh 2017 convention, set for June 13-15 in Chicago.

Sponsored by Dole Food Co., the program recognizes those who work every day on the front line to increase sales and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. Since the program began in 2005, nearly 300 retail produce managers representing more than 90 retail banners have been honored.

This year's recipients are:

  • Luis Fernando Almada, Northgate Gonzalez Market, Los Angeles
  • Mike Caceres, Haggen/Albertsons Companies, Olympia, Wash.
  • Mike Davis, FoodMaxx/Save Mart Companies, Oroville, Calif.
  • John Dedie, Tops Friendly Markets, Henrietta, N.Y.
  • Michael Dyer, Raley's, Reno, Nev.
  • Stefanie Galeana, Roundy's Pick 'n Save, Appleton, Wis.
  • Albert Garnett, Stop and Shop/Ahold, Horwich, Mass.
  • Andrew Gass, Sobeys, Moncton, New Brunswick
  • Lou Kwisnek, Big Y, Northampton, Mass.
  • Laura Llewellyn, The Food Co-op, Port Townsend, Wash.
  • Dillon Maple, Hy-Vee Inc., West Des Moines, Iowa
  • Gordon Matthew, Fred Meyer/Kroger, Seattle
  • Jack Myers, Weis Markets Inc., Bellefonte, Pa.
  • Erin Niedbalski, Martin's Super Markets, South Bend, Ind.
  • Patrick Odell, Price Chopper/Golub, Oneonta, N.Y.
  • Matt Pace, Lowes Foods Inc., Winston Salem, N.C.
  • Stephanie Peter, DeCA Commissary, Miramar, Calif.
  • Jerod Proctor, Schnucks, Springfield, Ill.
  • Ricky Rommell, Food Lion, Wallace, N.C.
  • Carlo Scafati, Metro Inc., Etobicoke, Ontario
  • Tim Sexton, Harris Teeter, Chapel Hill, N.C.
  • William Stewart, Food City/K-VA-T, Paintsville, Ky.
  • Tim Wilson, Meijer, Grand Rapids, Mich.
  • Bridget Winkelman, Coborn's Inc., Isanti, Minn.
  • David Wood, Brookshire Grocery Company, El Dorado, Ark.

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

The 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.

All winners, along with their corporate produce directors, will be honored at United Fresh 2017 during the Retail-Foodservice Celebration Dinner June 15 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. In addition to their awards, five recipients each will receive a $1,000 grand prize in cash.

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