Web Editor's note: The following article is an extended version of a piece appearing the Feb. 25 print and digital editions of The Packer, and contains the names and locations of all award winners.

(Feb. 20, PACKER WEB EXCLUSIVE) The United Fresh Produce Association has named the 2008 Retail Produce Manager Awards Program recipients, and the association will honor them at the United Fresh Marketplace convention May 4-7 in Las Vegas.

The association named the 25 winners Feb. 19, and they will be recognized at an awards banquet May 6 at Bally’s hotel, when four $1,000-grand prize winners will be revealed, said Amy Philpott, vice president of marketing and industry relations for Washington, D.C.-based United Fresh.

Winners and their corporate produce directors also receive airfare, hotel accommodations and convention passes, Philpott said.

“With so many outstanding managers, a review committee of six produce industry members had the hard job of ranking the winners,” Philpott said.

The association selected the produce managers from 200 nominations; they represent 20 retail chains in 17 states.

The awards program, in its fourth year, is sponsored by Ready Pac Foods Inc., Irwindale, Calif., and the 25 recipients — up from 20 in 2007 — are chosen based on success in four categories:

  • innovative merchandising, special displays and sampling programs, including participation in the Wilmington, Del.-based Produce for Better Health Foundation’s “Get Smart! “Fruits & Veggies — More Matters” (the March National Nutrition Month campaign) and commodity promotions;

  • commitment to customer satisfaction;

  • recognition among company peers;

  • and produce-related community service or outreach, such as adopt-a-school programs, school tours and community service, Philpott said.

Here and the winners and their stores:

  • Robert Cardwell — Raley’s, Fairfield, Calif.

  • Gary Clay — Raley’s, Santa Rosa, Calif.

  • Kevin Colligan — Brookshire Grocery Co., Lafayette, La.

  • Terry Cox — Foodtown Supermarket, Lambertville, Mich.

  • Eddie Duncan — Food Lion, LLC, Gate City, Va.

  • Todd Fenton — Safeway, Inc., Seaside Ore.

  • Brian Gab — Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., Chalmette, La.

  • Jake Harding — Hy-Vee, Inc., Omaha, Neb.

  • Neil Harley — Harris Teeter Supermarkets, Kill Devil Hills, N.C.

  • Angela Hopson — K-VA-T Foods, Big Stone Gap, Va.

  • Amy Kirk — Safeway, Inc., University Place, Wash.

  • Mark Leung — Smith’s Food & Drug Stores, Midvale, Utah

  • Harry Lewis — Luke AFB Commissary, Glendale, Ariz.

  • Paul Lopez — Vons, Paso Robles, Calif.

  • David Meier — Safeway, Inc., Auburn, Calif.

  • James Molloy — Hannaford Brothers Co., Nashua, N.H.

  • John Monahan — Price Chopper Supermarkets/Golub Corp., Marlboro, Mass.

  • Ken Peche — BKT Sentry Foods, Wakesha, Wis.

  • Greg Reinhart — Hy-Vee, Inc., Marshall, Minn.

  • Nancy Riekena — The Kroger Co., Peoria, Ill.

  • Julie Rodriguez — Smith’s Food & Drug Stores, Bozeman, Mont.

  • Bernard Rogers — Jewel Osco, DeKalb, Ill.

  • John Schwenk — Bristol Farms, Newport Beach, Calif.

  • Richard Thompson — Meijer, Okemos, Mich.

  • Ismael Vela — Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Edinburg, Texas