Winners were selected from hundreds of nominations submitted by retailers and produce suppliers. They, along with corporate produce directors, will be honored during the Produce Celebration Gala on June 11 in Chicago. Five-grand prize recipients receive an additional $1,000 cash prize at the event.
“Produce managers across the country make a valuable contribution to the success of our industry,” said Tony Sarsam, chief executive officer of Ready Pac Foods, Irwindale, Calif., sponsor of the awards, in a news release. “These men and women work hard to make sure the produce looks the best on the front lines of retail produce merchandising by engaging and educating their consumers.”
Winners were selected based criteria including efforts to increase produce consumption through “excellence in merchandising, special displays and promotions, community service and commitment to customer satisfaction.”
To date, the Retail Produce Manager Awards have recognized 230 produce managers from 80 banners from more than 2,000 nominations submitted over the past 10 years.
This year’s winners are:
- Gustavo Agillon, Arteaga’s Food Center, Gilroy, Calif.
- Larry Aledo, Food Maxx/Save Mart Supermarkets, Brentwood, Calif.
- Dan Atkinson, Hy-Vee, Inc, Iowa City, Iowa
- Mike Bawol, Tops Markets, Grand Island, N.Y.
- Bob Beaudoin, Albertsons, Lemon Grove, Calif.
- Bill Denault, Price Chopper/Golub Corporation, Lenox, Mass.
- Douglas DeWitte, Meijer, Grand Haven, Mich.
- Darin Eversaul, Quality Food Centers, Bellevue, Wash.
- Dan Fabris, Jewel-Osco, Park Ridge, Ill.
- Alice Firkus, Roundy’s Supermarkets, Steven’s Point, Wis.
- Garrett Fowden, Payson Market Place, Payson, Utah
- Joe Gapp, Hy-Vee, Inc, Lincoln, Neb.
- Sal Gentile, A&P, Yorktown, N.Y.
- Kenny Hackman, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Fayetteville, Ark.
- Jeff Haines, Fry’s Food & Drug Stores, Phoenix, Ariz.
- Brent Harkleroad, Food City/K-VA-T Food Stores, Kingsport, Tenn.
- Luis Huerta, Raley’s Family of Fine Stores, Oakley, Calif.
- Gina Johnson, The Kroger Co., Dayton, Ohio.
- Bill Logan, Jr., ShopRite, Medford, N.J.
- Kendall Lopez-Buitrago, MOMs Organic Market, Alexandria, Va.
- Steve Mendes, Raley’s Family of Fine Stores, Turlock, Calif.
- Abel Meza, Northgate González Markets, Barrio Logan, Calif.
- Jason Mooring, Safeway Stores, Marysville, Wash.
- Michele Parks, McClellan Commissary, McClellan, Calif.
- Patty Patino, Save Mart Supermarkets, Truckee, Calif.
- Dick Rose, Metcalfe’s Market, Wauwatosa, Wis.
- Crystal Scherer, Roundy’s Supermarkets, Appleton, Wis.
- Randy Sheets, Food City/K-VA-T Food Stores, Abingdon, Va.
- Derek Sibley, Oak Point Fresh Market, Watson, La.
- John Spellman, Kings Food Markets, Livingston, N.J.
- Robert Tanaka, Los Angeles AFB Commissary, Los Angeles, Calif.
- Justin Warner, Brookshire Grocery Company, Lindale, Texas
- Gina Wasilefsky, Big Y Foods, Northampton, Mass.
- Mike Willis, Harris Teeter Supermarkets, Charlotte, N.C.
- Jake Wittman, Weis Markets, Fogelsville, Pa.