How do you acknowledge the hard work by your front line personnel?

Tops Friendly Markets, Williamsville, N.Y., instituted a program to recognize the best produce mangers for each district, based on sales growth, customer interaction, merchandising, shrink and profitability.

They’ve been doing it for three years now, says Jeff Cady, director of produce and floral. Originally, the nominations were to help identify produce managers for the United Fresh Retail Produce Manager Awards, Cady says. Specialists and district managers for Tops were asked to nominate employees, and those nominations would be narrowed down to two regional winners.

“I then thought that being nominated by your specialist and district manager as District Produce Manager of the Year was a pretty cool thing and felt rewarding that, as well as the United Fresh program, was a great thing to do,” he says.

Recognizing these winners recognizes multidimensional efforts, he says.

“The ability to creatively merchandise the product, interact with customers, and oversee the growth of not only the product, but the people within the department is paramount,” he says.

This year’s winners are:

  • •Eddie Mercado, Derby, N.Y.;
  • •Terry Bensley, Medina, N.Y.;
  • •Chris Buchholtz, Corning, N.Y.;
  • •Scott Grange, Liverpool, N.Y.;
  • •Rob Czaja, Attica, N.Y.;
  • •John Dedie, Henrietta, N.Y. < -- a United Fresh Produce Manager Award winner this year;
  • •Bill Steinbrecher, Syracuse, N.Y.;
  • •Dean Maracchion, Camden, N.Y.;
  • •Amanda Hapeman, Elizabeth Town, N.Y.;
  • Anthony Costigan, Farmington, N.Y.;
  • •Mike Atkins, Warren, Pa.

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