United Fresh Names Top Retail Produce Managers

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United Fresh Names Top Retail Produce Managers


United Fresh has named the winners of its 2013 Retail Produce Manager Awards Program, to be honored at United Fresh 2013 this May. This year’s award recipients represent 21 supermarket chains, commissaries and independent retail stores in 16 states and Canada.

Sponsored by Ready Pac Foods, the awards program is presented through the Foundation’s Center for Leadership Excellence. The awards pay special recognition to those working on the industry’s frontlines to increase sales and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.

“The produce department is one of the most important customer touch points for the fresh produce industry and we are so fortunate to have these outstanding professionals positively representing our industry,” said United Fresh CEO Tom Stenzel. “Through their creative merchandising and innovative presentations, they are making fresh fruits and vegetables shine in their stores.”

The 2013 Retail Produce Manager Award Winners are:

  • Ryan Acosta, Raley's Family of Fine Stores, Sacramento, Calif.
  • Louis Brock, Quality Food Centers, Seattle, Wash.
  • Manson Camp, Weis Markets, Williamsport, Pa.
  • Kevin Cazeaux, Rouses Markets, New Orleans, La.
  • Lavern Clark, Brookshire Grocery Company, Alexandria, La.
  • Darren Estermann, Food Maxx/Save Mart Supermarkets, Visalia, Calif.
  • David Fitts, Harris Teeter Supermarkets, Charlotte, N.C.
  • Jim Fleming, Price Chopper/Golub Corporation, Newburgh, N.Y.
  • Ken Gaylord, Safeway Stores, Portland, Ore.
  • Aaron Geohring, Ray's Food Place, Grants Pass, Ore.
  • Donna Goodman, Daniel's Sentry Store, Whitewater, Wis.
  • James Gordy, Safeway Stores, Auburn, Calif.
  • Doug Groendyke, King’s Supermarkets, Gillette, N.J.
  • Rick Hogan, Hugo's Family Marketplace, Grand Forks, N.D.
  • Deborah Horton, Ft. Worth NAS Commissary, Fort Worth, Texas
  • Pat Kapelka, The Kroger Company, Tiffin, Ohio
  • James May, Food City/K-VA-T Food Stores, South Williamson, Ky.
  • Maureen McCarthy, Ft. Bragg North Commissary, Ft. Bragg, N.C.
  • Nathan Mineart, Hy-Vee, Inc., East Marion, Iowa
  • Nicholas Olivieri, Pathmark, Bethpage, N.Y.
  • Bill Power, Dominion, St John’s, NFL, Canada
  • Brett Reed, Hy-Vee, Inc., Windsor Heights, Iowa
  • Frankie Thacker, Food City/K-VA-T Food Stores, Rogersville, Tenn.
  • Jeffrey Vocatura, Big Y Foods, Stratford, Conn.
  • Corey Watkins, Raley's Family of Fine Stores, Elk Grove, Calif.

The program’s 25 winners were selected from hundreds of nominations submitted by retailers and produce suppliers across the industry. Nominations were evaluated on a number of criteria, including efforts to increase produce consumption through excellence in merchandising, special displays and promotions, community service and commitment to customer satisfaction.

All winners and their corporate produce directors will be honored at United Fresh 2013 during the Produce Celebration Dinner, Thursday, May 16, at the Marriott Marquis San Diego. In addition to the awards, five grand prize recipients will receive an additional $1,000 cash prize.

The Produce Retail Manager Award winners will also be featured in a panel discussion on the United Fresh 2013 trade show floor in the Fresh Marketplace Learning Center. A panel of the winners will share their perspectives on creative produce merchandising strategies during this special education session.

Nominations for the 2014 Retail Produce Manager Awards Program will be accepted this fall, with winners to be honored at United Fresh 2014 in Chicago.

Founded in 1998, the United Fresh Produce Association Foundation is committed to meeting the public’s needs for an abundant supply of healthy, safe and affordable fresh fruits and vegetables.