(April 7) The United Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Association, Washington, D.C, announced the finalists for its second annual Retail Produce Manager Awards.

Twenty-one individuals chosen for the award are scheduled to be recognized May 8 during the annual awards breakfast at the United Produce Show at FMI on May 6-9 in Chicago.

Selected finalists are expected to share their experiences at a workshop May 6 called “The Truth About Consumers.” Four finalists will be awarded a $1,000 grand prize at the show.

All 21 finalists and their corporate produce directors receive complimentary registration, travel and hotel accommodations for the convention.

The award is sponsored by Ready Pac Produce Inc., Irwindale, Calif. Twelve produce managers were recognized last year.

Award recipients are chosen from nominations received on United’s Web site.

Amy Philpott, United vice president of marketing and industry relations, said having the award has helped boost the show’s retailer attendance from the produce sector.

United’s 2006 Retail Produce Manager Award finalists:

  • Bobby Alexander, H. E. Butt Grocery Co., Waco, Texas;

  • Dale Blakeway, Safeway, Inc., Bainbridge Island, Wash.;

  • George Brundage, Clemens Family Market, New Hope, Penn.;

  • Mike Clayton, Bi-Lo, Simpsonville, S.C.;

  • Kenny Dale, Food Lion LLC, Troutman, N.C.;

  • Mike Dickerson, Winn Dixie, LaPlace, La.;

  • Joe Freed, Safeway, Inc., Arlington, Wash.;

  • Jerry Hansen, Raley’s Supermarket, Vallejo, Calif.;

  • Todd Haubrich, Roger & Marv’s, Kenosha, Wis.;

  • Mark Koll, Hy-Vee Inc., Sioux Falls, S.D.;

  • Gerald Lam, Safeway Inc., Oakland, Calif.;

  • Dee Mabry, Brookshire Grocery Co., Shreveport, La.;

  • Michael Martorana, Albertson’s Jewel-Osco, Grayslake, Ill.;

  • Richard Mott, Bel Air Markets, Elk Grove, Calif.;

  • Chris Mumby, Hy-Vee, Inc., Marion, Iowa;

  • Laraine Ramirez, Vons Grocery, Las Vegas;

  • Doyle Robinson, Food City K-VA-T, Kingsport, Tenn.;

  • Jeff Thill, Hy-Vee Inc., Waterloo, Iowa;

  • David Thompson, The Kroger Co., Fayetteville, Ga.;

  • Bill Virnig, Hy-Vee Inc., Brookings, S.D.;

  • Jimi Warner, Brookshire Grocery Co., Lindale, Texas.