Retail Produce Manager Awards Program

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The United Fresh Retail Produce Manager Awards Program pays special recognition to those on the front line in supermarkets working every day to increase sales and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. United Fresh is proud to extend the produce industry's thanks to outstanding supermarket produce managers around the globe!


The Retail Produce Manager Awards Program was founded in 2005 and has been exclusively sponsored by Ready Pac Foods since its inception. Be sure to join us at the 2014 convention as we celebrate our 10th program year!

Over the past ten years, the Retail Produce Manager Awards Program has recognized 200 Produce Managers from 70 different retail banners:

Albrecht's Sentry Foods
Al's Supermarkets
Beale AFB Commissary
Bel Air Markets
Big Y Foods, Inc.
Bi-Lo Markets, LLC
BKT Sentry Foods
Blue Goose Market
Bristol Farms
Brookshire Grocery Company
Buy-Low Foods
Camp Pendleton Commissary
Chief Supermarket, Inc.
Clemens Family Markets
Colemans Food Centres
Daniel's Sentry Store
Dine' Markets
Food City/K-VA-T Food Stores
Food Lion, LLC
Food Maxx
Foodtown Supermarket
Fred Meyer
Ft. Bragg North Commissary
Ft. Worth NAS Commissary
Gelson's Market
GFF Foods
Hannaford Bros. Company
Harris Teeter
Hugo's Family Marketplace
Hy-Vee, Inc.
Jewel Osco
King Soopers
King's Supermarkets
Lemoore NAS Commissary
Luke AFB Commissary
Market Place
MOM's Organic Market
New River MCAS Commissary
Nob Hill Foods
Ord Community Commissary

Paul's Food Pride
Price Chopper
Quality Food Centers
Ray's Food Place
Rouses Supermarkets
Rueben's County Market
Safeway, Inc.
Save Mart
Smith's Food & Drug
Spartan Stores
Sunflower Farmers Market
Super 1 Foods
The Kroger Company
Travis Air Force Base Commissary
VG's Foods
Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
Weis Markets, Inc.
Winn Dixie
Woods Supermarkets

The Retail Produce Manager Awards Program recognizes 25 winners each year for their excellence in the following areas:

  • Commitment to customer satisfaction and promoting fresh produce
  • Innovative merchandising, special displays and sampling programs, such as participation in Fruits and Veggies: More Matters and MyPlate campaigns, commodity promotions, and more
  • Produce-related community service or outreach, such as adopt-a-school programs, school tours, community service projects, and more
  • Recognition among peers within their company

25 winners AND their corporate produce directors will receive FREE:

  • Roundtrip airfare to Chicago for the United Fresh 2014 Convention, June 10-13, co-located with the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) Convention 
  • All-Access registration to the convention
  • Two nights lodging
  • Recognition at the United Fresh Produce Celebration Gala
  • Five Grand Prize Winners will be announced at the convention, each receiving $1,000!

Click here to download the complete 2014 nomination brochure.

"We have found tremendous value in this program from the corporate level to the store level.  It sends a powerful message to our produce managers that we value and respect their work."

- Kevin Barry, Director of Produce and Floral, Big Y Foods

While only a few of the many thousands of produce managers across the country can be recognized through this program, United Fresh salutes every produce manager working on the front lines of our industry to promote the sale of fresh fruits and vegetables and the better health of their customers. Founded in 2005, this program honors all of their efforts and serves to promote role models of excellence across our industry.

Interested in learning more?  Click here to watch United FreshTV see videos of past winners,  award ceremonies, and expert panel discussions.

Benefits of Participation

The United Fresh Retail Produce Manager Awards Program is an opportunity for the industry and supermarket management to honor managers who are making a difference. Here are just a few reasons to nominate a manager for this award:

  • Your outstanding associates are recognized at no cost!
  • Salute your most exceptional managers, who are the industry's front line to your customers
  • Raise the bar within your own company, with employees vying for this prestigious recognition
  • Provide an experience for your produce managers to futher their industry knowledge by participating in educational workshops, engaging with retail and produce leaders, and learning about the newest products at the United Fresh Convention
  • Winning supermarkets are recognized as industry leaders, with Produce Directors also sharing in the honor

Click here for a featured story on past winners: "Taking the Produce Department from Good to Great"

For questions about the Retail Produce Manager Awards Program, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , vice president of member services at  202-303-3410.

How to Nominate a Manager

  • Complete a nomination form:
    - Use the online form
    - Download the nomination form in Microsoft Word
  • Participation in this program requires the winners to travel to the United Fresh convention in Chicago.  As a part of the program, winners must be accompanied by a corporate produce executive from their company.
  • Winners are selected by a team of produce marketing experts
  • Winners and their corporate produce executive will attend United Fresh 2014 in Chicago and are recognized at the Produce Celebration Gala

The nomination period for the 2014 program is now closed.
Companies may nominate multiple store produce managers. Former winners are not eligible.

Guidelines, FAQs and Best Practices

Hundreds of nominations are received each year. Please click here for common questions and helpful tips on how to complete the nomination form and submit high quality nominations.

Past Award Winners

Congratulations to the 2014 Retail Produce Manager Award Winners:
  • Gustavo Agillon, Arteaga's Food Center, Gilroy, CA
  • Larry Aledo, Food Maxx/Save Mart Supermarkets, Brentwood, CA
  • Dan Atkinson, Hy-Vee, Inc, Iowa City, IA
  • Mike Bawol, Tops Markets, Grand Island, NY
  • Bob Beaudoin, Albertsons, Lemon Grove, CA
  • Bill Denault, Price Chopper/Golub Corporation, Lenox, MA
  • Douglas DeWitte, Meijer, Grand Haven, MI
  • Darin Eversaul, Quality Food Centers, Bellevue, WA
  • Dan Fabris, Jewel-Osco, Park Ridge, IL
  • Alice Firkus, Roundy's Supermarkets, Steven's Point, WI
  • Garrett Fowden, Payson Market Place, Payson, UT
  • Joe Gapp, Hy-Vee, Inc, Lincoln, NE
  • Sal Gentile, A&P, Yorktown, NY
  • Kenny Hackman, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Fayetteville, AR
  • Jeff Haines, Fry's Food & Drug Stores, Phoenix, AZ
  • Brent Harkleroad, Food City/K-VA-T Food Stores, Kingsport, TN
  • Luis Huerta, Raley's Family of Fine Stores, Oakley, CA
  • Gina Johnson, The Kroger Company, Dayton, OH
  • Bill Logan, Jr., ShopRite, Medford, NJ
  • Kendall Lopez-Buitrago, MOMs Organic Market, Alexandria, VA
  • Steve Mendes, Raley's Family of Fine Stores, Turlock, CA
  • Abel Meza, Northgate González Markets, Barrio Logan, CA
  • Jason Mooring, Safeway Stores, Marysville, WA
  • Michele Parks, McClellan Commissary, McClellan, CA
  • Patty Patino, Save Mart Supermarkets, Truckee, CA
  • Dick Rose, Metcalfe's Market, Wauwatosa, WI
  • Crystal Scherer, Roundy's Supermarkets, Appleton, WI
  • 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, NJ
  • Robert Tanaka, Los Angeles AFB Commissary, Los Angeles, CA
  • Justin Warner, Brookshire Grocery Company, Lindale, TX
  • Gina Wasilefsky, Big Y Foods, Northampton, MA
  • Mike Willis, Harris Teeter Supermarkets, Charlotte, NC
  • Jake Wittman, Weis Markets, Fogelsville, PA

 Find out more about the past Retail Produce Manager Award Winners:

What Participants Are Saying

"One of the many highlights of participating in the program was meeting the other winners.  It was so inspiring to spend two days with produce managers who share the same genuine passion for our industry and consumers.  That passion and excitement continues to motivate me every day to strive even higher."

Doug Groendyke, King's Supermarkets, Gillette NJ, 2013 Winner

"This was an incredible experience. From speaking on the panel, to walking the show floor, to engaging with so many industry members - I learned an immeasurable amount of new ideas that I have brought back to the store.  This program broadened my horizons and surpassed my expectations."

Frankie Thacker, Food City/K-VA-T Food Stores, Rogersville, TN, 2013 Winner

"This was more than an award. This was an experience, an opportunity, and an incredible way to gain in-depth knowledge about an industry that we all love and work in everyday."

Corey Conrad, Colemans Food Centres, Corner Brook, NFL, Canada, 2012 Winner

"Thank you for providing this memorable experience. The program and activities were exceptional and being on stage and walking around the convention made us all feel sospecial. I feel honored to be one of the winners."

Leslie Alex, Hannaford Brothers, Dover, NH, 2012 Winner

"This program allowed me to see the other side of the produce industry and learn so much beyond the store. Receiving this award and attending the convention makes me want to work that much harder to achieve my career goals! I still can't believe I received this honor!"

Craig Docherty, Vons, Las Vegas, NV, 2011 Winner

"Thank you for this experience. It was a privilege and an honor to represent the thousands of produce managers out there who battle everyday to get the job done. This is an experience that will surely be remembered!"

Michael Crutchfield
, Save Mart, Angels Camp, CA, 2011 Winner