Nominations are now open for the 2018 United Fresh Retail Produce Manager Awards program.

Sponsored by Westlake Village, Calif.-based Dole Food Co., the program recognizes 25 produce managers for innovative merchandising, produce-related community outreach, increased store sales and recognition among peers.

“The ability to creatively merchandise the product, interact with the customers, and oversee the growth of not only the product, but the people within the department, is paramount,” said Jeff Cady, director of produce and floral at Tops Friendly Markets, and vice chairman of the United Fresh Retail-Foodservice Board, in a news release. “Produce is a vital part of our day-to-day business, and being able to undertake this and manage it successfully is something we truly appreciate and want to recognize in these individuals.”

Now in its 14th year, the program has recognized more than 300 produce managers from more than 100 retail banners.

Winners, and their produce directors, receive complimentary airfare, hotel and registration to Untied Fresh 2018, scheduled for June 25-27 in Chicago. Five grand prize winners also receive a $1,000 cash prize.

For more information, and to nominate a produce manager, visit UnitedFresh.org/events-programs/retail-produce-managers-awards.

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