Retail Produce Manager Awards deadline is 1/18

Don’t forget. January 18 is the last day to nominate an exceptional employee for the United Fresh Retail Produce Manager Awards. Go here to nominate someone.

I love this program. It really creates some excitement and buzz both on the night of the awards themselves and on the show floor as produce managers get to experience new things firsthand.

And who doesn’t love a free trip to San Diego?

United Fresh talked with previous winners about what they loved most about the program in its new Retail Foodservice Newsletter. (You knew about these newsletters, right? Members get in touch with Sophie Drayton at for help with that)


Here’s what they had to say:

Corey Conrad, Colemans Food Centres:

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.


Leslie Alex, Hannaford Brothers:

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 so special. I feel honored to be one of the winners.


Craig Docherty, Vons:

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!


Michael Crutchfield, Save Mart:

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!


Lisa Paulis, Vons:

THANK YOU for this wonderful experience. Attending the convention and engaging with the other produce managers was an exceptional learning experience. I’m so proud to be honored for doing a job that I love.


John Thut, Bel Air Markets; Raley’s Family of Fine Stores:

It was a privilege and a pleasure to be selected a Produce Manager Award Winner. This is definitely a lifetime achievement award for me.


Ron Inatomi, Gelson’s Market:

This award is such a prestigious honor that words couldn’t come close to describing how I felt when I was chosen. What really stood out for me throughout the event was the appreciation shown by the industry towards the men and women on retail’s front line. I am excited for the future award recipients, as it will be a life changing moment for them just as it was for me.


Humberto Gonzalez, Ralph’s:

After walking the show floor, I came away with a number of new display ideas and techniques that I applied directly to our produce department. Winning this award has continued to push me to improve and innovate within my store, and has given me a greater understanding of our important role in the broader produce industry.


Probably the best reaction, though, is from one of last year’s grand prize winners, Nick from Von’s.  I captured it with my iphone and uploaded it to youtube.