United Fresh Names 25 Retail Produce Manager Award Honorees

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United Fresh Names 25 Retail Produce Manager Award Honorees


Marking 15 years of recognizing exceptional retail produce managers, the United Fresh Produce Association announced the honorees of its 2019 Retail Produce Manager Awards Program.

The group of 25 produce managers represents supermarket banners, commissaries and independent retail stores from 16 states and two Canadian provinces. The winners will be honored guests at the United Fresh 2019 convention, June 10-12 in 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 retail banners, have been honored for their contributions to the industry.

“Produce managers are the face of our industry to the consumer. Their creative merchandising and positive approach to customer service directly correlates to the growth of sales and ultimately consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables,” said United Fresh President and CEO Tom Stenzel.

The 2019 Retail Produce Manager Award Winners are as follows:

Vincente Aguirre, Fort Bliss Commissary, El Paso, Texas

Gregory Barnufsky Jr., Yokes Fresh Markets, Spokane, Wash.

Mike Burdi, Metro Ontario Inc., Toronto, Ont., Canada

Jerry Clark II, The Fresh Market, Roanoke, Va.

Cassandra Crone, North State Grocery Inc., Auburn, Calif.

Bobby David, Audubon Market, St. Francisville, La.

William Denault, Price Chopper Supermarkets, Lenox, Mass.

Elaine Fong, Calgary Co-op, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Baryn Hagood-Lund, Safeway Inc., Everett, Wash.

Heather Hudgins, Mom’s Organic Markets, Whitemarsh, Md.

Edward Jette, Big Y Foods, Easton, MA

Jason Karaffa, Albrecht’s Sentry Foods, Delafield, Wis.

Robin Manwaring, Tops Friendly Markets, Pulaski, N.Y.

Greg Miller, Raley’s Family of Fine Stores, Chico, Calif.

Michael Rowe, Brookshire Grocery Co, Bridgeport, Texas

David Scarlett, Food City/K-VA-T Food Stores, Knoxville, Tenn.

Martin Sevensky, Weis Markets Inc., Clarks Summit, Pa.

Michael Sockett, Gelson’s Markets, Valley Village, Calif.

Jimmy Strickland, Harris Teeter, Fayetteville, N.C.

Charles Tavacol, Giant Foods, McLean, Va.

Roman Teig, Hy-Vee Inc., Omaha, Neb.

Jason Thompson, Hollywood Markets, Madison Heights, Mich.

David Thompson, The Kroger Co., Peachtree City, Ga.

Brittany Woodall, Fred Meyer, Bellevue, Wash.

Patricia Young, Meijer, Springfield, Ill.

“These individuals and the companies that they represent are really putting forward the tremendously positive messages around produce to shoppers everyday,” said Johan Linden, Dole president and CEO. “All of us, whether growers, processors, or distributors—the entire supply chain—would not be as successful without their knowledge and expertise at the store level. The United Fresh Retail Produce Manager Awards program is an opportunity for Dole, and all of us as an industry, to show our appreciation and say thank you.”

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 2019 during the Retail-Foodservice Celebration on Wednesday, June 12, during United Fresh 2019. In addition to their awards, five Grand Prize recipients will each receive a $1,000 cash prize.

United Fresh 2019 Convention and Expo, June 10-12, is three days of enhanced networking, B2B partner meetings, education and energy packed into Chicago’s McCormick Place Convention Center. Registration information is available at www.unitedfreshshow.org. Participation in the Retail-Foodservice Celebration is open to all attendees of United Fresh 2019.

For more information about the Retail Produce Manager Awards Program, contact United Fresh’s Industry Relations Manager Spencer Crawford at 202-303-3415 or [email protected]

Founded in 1904, the Washington, D.C.-based United Fresh Produce Association brings together companies across every segment of the fresh produce supply chain, including growers, shippers, fresh cut processors, wholesalers, distributors, retailers, foodservice operators, industry suppliers and allied associations.