Bronx, NY, Wednesday – On Wednesday, February 17, in keeping with the celebration of Black History Month, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. recognized FreshDirect employees Larry Scott Blackmon, Kisha Brown-Anderson and Raymond Talovera for their selfless courage and stellar service throughout the pandemic. The event was sponsored by Empire BlueCross BlueShield, and a surprise recognition ceremony was held at the FreshDirect campus in the Bronx.
“Each year, Black History Month offers us an opportunity to celebrate both the African-American heroes of the past and those who are building on their good work and legacy today,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “While we were not able to physically join together as a community like we have in the past, I am thrilled we had the opportunity to recognize these outstanding individuals who have showed up everyday for our borough when we needed it the most, and made efforts to tackle food insecurity in The Bronx a priority. I want to thank them, and the entire FreshDirect team for their service during the COVID-19 pandemic and over the years.”
“We are very proud to be part of this great Bronx community that has embraced us over the years. Every team member at FreshDirect takes great pride in the importance of our role as an essential business, especially during this pandemic,” said David McInerney, Chief Executive Officer, FreshDirect. “Kisha and Raymond embody that pride and commitment to delivering on our mission to make great tasting fresh food accessible to as many people as possible, and we are honored that their efforts have been recognized during Black History Month by Bronx Borough President, Ruben Diaz Jr. and the community overall.”
“We’ve learned a lot from this pandemic, including the fact that its impacts are not the same on all of us. That is why at Empire BlueCross BlueShield, we are on a mission to improve the health of New Yorkers, and access to affordable, nutritious food is at the foundation of good health. Putting food on the table has become even more difficult during the pandemic, with nearly 23 percent of people in the Bronx experiencing food insecurity in 2020, according to Feeding America,” said Alan Murray, president, Empire BlueCross BlueShield. “We’re thankful for the essential employees at FreshDirect who work tirelessly to deliver fresh food to people’s homes across New York City. In celebration of Black History Month, we are excited to extend our congratulations to Larry, Kisha and Raymond for your outstanding service to our communities.”
About the honorees:
Kisha Brown-Anderson, a native New Yorker, is a Senior Operations Manager who supports FreshDirect’s Transportation and Customer Service Departments. Kisha has been with FreshDirect for 15 years and has held multiple roles, most notably running the Operations Center. Kisha believes all FreshDirect customers should have the perfect shopper experience and embodies that in all the work she does each, and every day. Additionally, Kisha helps coordinate all of the company’s special events including “Relay for life,” “Operation 5-Borough Food Drive,” and the annual turkey donations. Her career trajectory has become an example of internal growth opportunities at the company. She prides herself on helping nurture her team and colleagues and has become a mentor to many. Kisha has worked with numerous employees on development, establishing the next level of leaders at FreshDirect. One of her favorite quotes is “People & Process” and she loves the family-feel culture at FreshDirect. Kisha will say there’s nothing like being able to call on your executive leadership team when you have an issue or talking about lobster with the CEO!
Raymond Talovera is a Mobile Operations Team (M.O.T.) Driver for the Transportation Operations Center at FreshDirect and provides support to the department. M.O.T drivers duties span from supporting routes that need assistance to handling deliveries that don’t fit into the normal delivery process. No matter how big or small the task, Raymond is always willing to go above and beyond to assist his colleagues and get the job done. Raymond has been the lead driver on several special projects. He enjoys working with the Operations Center as there is always an event to attend and he gets to do what he loves being the Face of FreshDirect and spending that face-to-face time with the company’s customers. Raymond was FreshDirect’s lead driver on the “Operation 5-Borough Food Drive” project. He helped open and run the company’s N.J pick up service over the summer and also does our annual F.D.N.Y block party. Raymond is a major support for the FreshDirect community and customers overall. A proud Brooklynite and U.S. Airforce veteran, Raymond served our country for several years with tours in the U.S and overseas. He has been FreshDirect since November of 2013.
Born and raised in Harlem, Larry Scott Blackmon is the Vice President of Public Affairs at Fresh Direct. In this role, Larry leads the company’s community and governmental interactions, expanding current partnerships and cultivating new relationships. For years Larry has worked to build meaningful and impactful relationships in The Bronx community, and he has continued this during the COVID-19 pandemic, working tirelessly with different organizations and elected officials to distribute food to New Yorkers in need. He is one of the lead architects of the successful “Operation 5-Borough Food Drive” in partnership with the five Borough Presidents and the Mayor’s Office. He also launched FreshDirect’s annual GiveEmber Thanksgiving turkey drive and is responsible for many of the company’s various charitable and community partnerships across a variety of issues including fighting hunger, nutrition education and career development. Previous to joining FreshDirect, Larry held various New York City government positions including Deputy Commissioner for Community Outreach for the NYC Department of Parks, and Deputy Commissioner for Intergovernmental Affairs at New York City Department of Small Business Services. Blackmon has worked with a number of New York City’s elected officials, including serving in the administration of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Additionally, Blackmon has worked with former Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields, former City Council Speakers Christine Quinn and Gifford Miller and former City Council Member Kathryn Freed. He has also worked with many federal and state representatives, including U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.S. Congressman Charles Rangel, U.S. Congressman Gregory Meeks and New York State Assembly Member and State Democratic Party Co-Chair Keith L.T. Wright. These New York City government positions have prepared him to fight for the interests and issues affecting the families in the communities he serves. A graduate of the Coro Leadership New York program, Blackmon is a proud member of both the Pi Alpha Alpha National Honor Society and the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated. He was recognized as one of the “40 under 40” people to watch in both City and State News and the Network Journal publication. Having earned a B.A. from the State University of New York College at New Paltz, Blackmon received a Masters in Public Administration from Metropolitan College of New York where he currently serves as an adjunct professor teaching a course in Intergovernmental Relations. He lives in Harlem with his family and is an active member of the community.
FreshDirect is a leading online fresh food grocer, delivering directly to customers throughout seven states, including the New York and Philadelphia metropolitan areas, and the District of Columbia. FreshDirect is committed to sourcing the freshest and best-tasting meat, fish, produce, and specialty items through direct relationships with suppliers, growers, and farmers. Launched in 2002 and headquartered in The Bronx, NY, FreshDirect was acquired by Ahold Delhaize and Centerbridge Partners in January 2021. For more information, visit www.freshdirect.com.