United Fresh Awards 5 Grand Prize Winners, Honors the Essential Workers of the Food Supply Chain’s Front Lines

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Marking its sixteenth year recognizing exceptional retail produce managers, United Fresh Produce Association today honored its 2020 Retail Produce Manager Awards Program winners during the Retail-Foodservice LIVE! General Session. The group of 25 produce managers represents supermarket banners, commissaries and independent retail stores from 16 different states and Canada. 

Sponsored by Dole Food Company, the program pays special recognition to produce managers working every day on the front line to increase sales and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. Since the program’s inception in 2005, over 325 retail produce managers, representing more than 110 different retail banners, have been honored for their contributions to the industry.

“As the face of our industry in store, retail produce managers play a significant role in influencing a consumer’s decision to shop for fresh produce,” said Tom Stenzel, President & CEO, United Fresh Produce Association. “More so than ever before, we are extremely fortunate to have these outstanding produce managers representing our industry and working each day to deliver a positive customer experience in the produce department during the coronavirus pandemic. We’re especially grateful for their resolve in the face of this public health crisis.”

United Fresh and Dole Food Company honored five exceptional retail produce managers with the $1,000 Grand Prize honor. Those recipients are:

  • Ricky Morrison, Harris Teeter Supermarkets, Charlotte/Harrisburg, NC
  • Ken Marske, Schmitz’s Economart, Spooner, WI
  • Jaleisha Freeman, Oceana Naval Air Station Commissary, Virginia Beach, VA
  • Freddie Dowell, Brookshire Grocery Company, Malakoff, TX
  • Christine Burton, Kroger Company, Shelbyville, IN

In addition, in recognition for the work these essential retail produce managers have been doing throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Dole Food Company has honored each of the 25 winners with a $1,000 check; further increasing the five grand prize winners to $2,000 each.

  • Michael Foint, Big Y Foods, Inc, Amherst, MA
  • Freddie Dowell, Brookshire Grocery Company, Malakoff, TX
  • Dave Baxter, Daniels Sentry Foods, Walworth, WI
  • Jaleisha Freeman, Oceana Naval Air Station Commissary, Virginia Beach, VA
  • Steve Kaluahine, Gelson’s Market, Rancho Mission Viejo, CA
  • John Hollenden, Giant Food Stores, Warrington, PA
  • Paul Rosen, Good Food Store, Missoula, MT
  • Gabriel Cabrera, Grocery Outlet, Visalia, CA
  • Clay Williams, Harps Food Stores, Fayetteville, AR
  • Ricky Morrison, Harris Teeter Supermarkets, Harrisburg, NC
  • Ronnie Minteer, Hy-Vee, Inc., Springfield, IL
  • Brian Lowery, Jewel-Osco, Chicago, IL
  • Christine Burton, Kroger Company, Shelbyville, IN
  • Randy Davis, K-VA-T Food Stores (Food City), Gatlinburg, TN
  • Maynard Miller, Martin’s Super Markets, Nappanee, IN
  • Tammy Joseph, Meijer, Cedar Springs, MI
  • Kevin MacLeod, Metro Ontario Inc., Orleans, ON, Canada
  • Bill Ryder, Publix Super Markets, Inc., Tullahoma, TN
  • Michael Thomas, Raley’s Family of Fine Stores, Carson City, NV
  • Josh Smith, Rouses Supermarkets, New Orleans, LA
  • Ken Marske, Schmitz’s Economart, Spooner, WI
  • Jose Garcia, Sprouts Farmers Market, Santee, CA
  • Eduardo Queirolo, The Fresh Market, Aventura, FL
  • Brad Franklin, Tops Friendly Markets, Towanda, PA
  • Robert Fowler, Whole Foods Market, Chicago, IL

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

“This is Dole’s sixth year as title sponsor of the United Fresh Retail Produce Manager Awards, and we could not be more proud to be a part of this important recognition program,” said Johan Linden, CEO, Dole Food Company. “These essential workers are most valuable to our industry as consumers trust in their knowledge of the healthy benefits and safety of fresh produce. They do so much to promote the increased consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, and this program gives us a platform to express our sincere thanks on behalf of our company and our industry.”

For more information about the Retail Produce Manager Awards Program, contact Spencer Crawford, Industry Relations Manager, at 202-303-3415 or [email protected].

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About United Fresh Produce Association

Founded in 1904, the United Fresh Produce Association brings together companies across every segment of the fresh produce supply chain, including growers, shippers, fresh cut processors, wholesalers, distributors, retailers, foodservice operators, industry suppliers and allied associations. We empower industry leaders to shape sound government policy. We deliver the resources and expertise companies need to succeed in managing complex business and technical issues. We provide the training and development individuals need to advance their careers in produce. Through these endeavors, we unite our industry with a common purpose – to build long-term value for our members and grow produce consumption. For more information, visit www.unitedfresh.org or call 202-303-3400.

About Dole Food Company
Dole Food Company, Inc., is one of the world’s largest producers and marketers of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables. Dole is an industry leader in many of the products it sells, as well as in nutrition education and is proud to honor the Produce Managers who are driven to make a difference in our industry and the communities in which they live. For more information, visit www.dole.com.