(Nov. 11) ATLANTA — The winner of The Packer’s 2005 Produce Marketer of the Year award, Dave Corsi, was characterized as someone who gets behind the produce industry in every possible way.

Corsi, vice president of produce and floral operations for Wegmans Food Markets Inc., Rochester, N.Y., accepted the award from Lance Jungmeyer, editor of The Packer, during the Produce Marketing Association's Fresh Summit 2005 general session lunch Nov. 7.

“This year’s honoree has been mentored by the best and now is a mentor to a new generation,” Jungmeyer said. “He is a genuinely passionate guy about produce. Not only does he love the industry, he is entirely devoted to his actual company, a trait you don’t find as much these days.”

A past year’s honoree called Corsi one of a new breed, smarter than those before him, with a passion for produce and the intellect to go with it. Another characterized Corsi as one of the most remarkable produce talents he had ever met and a wonderful strategic thinker.

The 65-store chain Corsi has worked for for two decades is considered a trendsetter and a benchmark for the industry, Jungmeyer said.

Upon accepting the award, Corsi shifted the credit to his colleagues.

“I’m very honored that The Packer recognized Wegmans,” he said. “There’s not any one individual that can make any kind of an accomplishment. It really is many individuals and people that come together and are able to accomplish things.”

Fortune Magazine has repeatedly named Wegmans as one of the best places in America to work. This year, it was No. 1. Shoppers who visit Wegmans stores say shopping is more of an experience than a chore.

Consumer Reports magazine in 2003 named Wegmans as one of the nation’s most trusted conventional supermarket chains, ranked at No. 2. In terms of its produce department, customers ranked it second in the U.S.

At the Fresh Summit 2003, Produce Merchandising named Corsi as its retailer of the year.

Colleagues said Corsi is a big advocate of education and healthy eating.

At his stores, he encouraged nearly 10,000 employees to get in shape and eat more healthful foods by participating in an initiative he launched in 2003. The program has workers tracking their exercise and consumption of fruits and vegetables. Wegmans’ customers can participate in a similar program through the store’s Web site and consumer magazine.

Wegmans regularly features products in the peak of season in massive, creative displays with signs and recipe information. In-store messages promote fruits and vegetables.