(April 7, WEB EXCLUSIVE) The United Fresh Produce Association plans to honor 25 retail produce managers representing 21 supermarket chains, commissaries and independent retail stores at its annual convention April 21-24 in Las Vegas.

The United Fresh Retail Produce Manager Awards Program is sponsored by Ready Pac Foods Inc., Irwindale, Calif. This is the fifth anniversary of the program.

The 25 honorees were selected from nominations submitted by retailers and produce suppliers across the industry. They are:

  • Richard Bixler, Brookshire Grocery Co., Sweetwater, Texas;
  • Fernando Bovadilla, Nob Hill Foods, Raleys Family of Fine Stores, Mountain View, Calif.;
  • Elden Cave, Food Lion LLC, Dobson, N.C.;
  • Malinda Cleveland, Bashas’ Dine Market, Window Rock, Ariz.;
  • Nan Day, NAS Lemoore Commissary, Lemoore, Calif.;
  • Ronald Flosi, Jewel-Osco, Chicago;
  • Uziel Galvez, Safeway Stores Inc., Hood River, Ore.;
  • Humberto Gonzalez, Ralphs, Los Angeles;
  • Dustin Haney, Hy-Vee Inc., Ankeny, Iowa;
  • Robert Hewett, Raley’s Family of Fine Stores, Ukiah, Calif.;
  • Chris Hood, Brookshire Grocery Co., Tyler, Texas;
  • Greg Hurst, Vons, San Diego;
  • Ron Inatomi, Gelsons Market, Newport Beach, Calif.;
  • Paula Lucas, Colemans Food Centre, Stephenville, Newfoundland, Canada.;
  • Jeff Mallory, Hy-Vee Inc., Olathe, Kan.;
  • Robert Oare, The Kroger Co., Mount Vernon, Ohio;
  • Frank Owens, Winn-Dixie Stores Inc., Fairhope, Ala.;
  • Lequitte Perry, Food City, Louisa, Ky.;
  • Abraham Ramirez, Raley’s Family of Fine Stores, Benicia, Calif.;
  • Donald Rich, Price Chopper Supermarkets/Golub Corp., Burlington, Vt.;
  • John Smith, Brookshire Grocery Co., Ruston, La.;
  • George Tataris, Dominicks, Park Ridge, Ill.;
  • Scott Theisen, Blue Goose Market, St. Charles, Ill.;
  • Timothy Tremblay, Hannaford Bros. Co., Scarboro, Maine; and
  • Brett Warfield, Save Mart, Sonora, Calif.;

Winners and their corporate produce directors will be honored during the chairman’s reception and annual awards banquet April 23 at the Palazzo Hotel in Las Vegas. Five recipients will be announced to receive an additional $1,000 cash prize.

Conference attendees also will hear from several of the winners during “Insights from the Front Line: Produce Managers Speak on Marketing and Consumer Issues,” a two-part workshop on April 24.