Twenty-five produce managers from retail stores in the U.S. and Canada will be officially honored in New Orleans in May through the United Fresh Retail Produce Manager Awards Program.

Sponsored by Ready Pac Foods, the awards honors those in supermarkets working to increase sales and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.

“These men and women have such an undeniable impact on our industry,” said Tom Stenzel, president and chief executive officer of the United Fresh. “In so many cases, they are the face of the fresh fruit and vegetable industry for our consumers, and these produce managers represent the best of the best at their craft.

“Through their creative efforts and interaction with customers, they’re making produce a centerpiece of the retail shopping experience and wowing consumers every day.”

United Fresh’s annual Chairman’s Reception & Annual Awards Banquet is set for May 4 at the Hilton Riverside Hotel in New Orleans. Five grand-prize recipients will win $1,000 cash prizes.

The 2011 winners:

  • Shannon Adkins, Food City, Shelbiana, Ky.;
  • Dorinda Bertoldi, Big Y Foods, Inc., Wilbraham, Mass.;
  • Terry Blackburn, Hy-Vee, Inc., Lincoln, Neb.;
  • Aaron Carleton, King Soopers/City Market, Boulder, Colo.;
  • Donald Courtright, Beale AFB Commissary, Beale, Calif.;
  • Michael Crutchfield, Save Mart, Angels Camp, Calif.;
  • Craig Docherty, Vons, Las Vegas;
  • David Dozier, GFF Foods, Moore, Okla.;
  • Paul Ferro, Jewel-Osco, Chicago, Ill.;
  • Jake Foster, Brookshire Grocery Co., Athens, Texas;
  • Greg Gerdes, Hy-Vee, Inc., Sioux Falls, S.D.;
  • Mark Glanville, Hannaford Bros. Co., Scarborough, Maine;
  • Dave Heetderks, Spartan Stores, Grand Rapids, Mich.;
  • Brad Lange, Brookshire Grocery Co., Shreveport, La.;
  • Dave Lemire, Safeway Stores, Inc., Tsawwassen, British Columbia, Canada;
  • Ben Lopez, Nob Hill Foods/Raley’s Family of Fine Stores, San Ramon, Calif.;
  • Bob Merritt, Quality Food Centers, Seattle;
  • David Nappi, Price Chopper Supermarkets/Golub Corporation, Plattsburgh, N.Y.;
  • Ron Potter, Food City, Kingsport, Tenn.;
  • Marilyn Jo Poyzer, Woods Supermarkets, Nevada, Mo.;
  • David Schoch, Bel Air Markets/Raley’s Family of Fine Stores, Woodland, Calif.;
  • Eric Segerstrom, Safeway Stores, Inc., Bellevue, Wash.;
  • Jennifer Smith, Camp Pendleton Commissary, Oceanside, Calif.;
  • John Ward, VG’s Food, Shelby Twp, Mich.; and
  • David Williams, Rouses Supermarkets, New Orleans.