By: Nathalie Etori, Senior Manager, Events Marketing, FMI store managers 2023 grouping

After 175 nominations, more than any previous year, 12 deserving finalists and a record 10,182 votes in the People’s Pick Contest, FMI unveiled the five recipients of the 2023 Store Manager Awards in a live virtual celebration.

Hailing from across the United States and as far as South Africa, our 12 finalists truly embody the resiliency of our industry. Their unique stories of courage against adversity and dedication to their customers truly make each one deserving of their accolades.

I joined FMI staff in our office for a watch party and here are just some of the amazing words of wisdom we heard during the virtual celebration.

What advice would you give to your industry store managers?

“We win as a team. If we invest in the people, take care of the people, they take care of the business and then they take care of the guests. Our number one job is to inspire and execute the store’s plan and continue to win.”

-- Greg Glisch, Festival Foods, Hales Corner, WI, Store Manager Awards 2023 finalist

What would you share with someone who wants to start a career as a store manager?

“Realize every single day you are inspiring somebody and making someone’s day better. You have the opportunity to be a mentor and guide new associates. You are building a foundation for them in their professional career to be successful. You will then have great customer service, build community, and financials will deliver by taking care of your associates.”

-- Wander Rezende, Roche Bros. Supermarkets, Mashpee, MA, Store Manager Awards 2023 recipient

How would you inspire your peer store managers working in the industry?

“Just serve. I would serve whatever store I was in. Whether it’s customers or employees or your boss—I will just serve. It’s a great way to lead your team and it shows your associates you are part of the team; they know you are there to help them out.”

--Joel White, The Kroger Co./ King Soopers-City Market, Gunnison, CO, Store Manager Awards 2023 People’s Pick recipient

Can you share some inspiration that will challenge your fellow store managers?

“Success is based off of the success of the people around us. It’s not about selling a bottle of ketchup. It’s about the people, about supporting them, giving them the training that supports the company’s vision and holding them accountable. The biggest challenge is to be open to change; it will diversify you and it will help you support your team.”

--Patty Kuehn, SpartanNash, Omaha, NE, Store Manager Awards 2023 finalist

What are some words of inspiration to those who are aspiring to be store managers?

“Failure is a prerequisite to success. Why do I bring up the word failure to motivate store managers? When we struggle, we learn about our team and our store. Thomas Edison learned how to incorrectly make the light bulb a thousand times before he got it right. If you are not struggling and failing, you are not challenging your team or your store to its fullest potential. We learn and we grow and get better and who knows, you may find yourself here toasting a Coke at the FMI Store Managers Awards!”

--Sean Conlon, Giant Food, Fredericksburg, VA, Store Manager Awards 2023 recipient

We raise our glass for a very special toast to all our 2023 Store Manager Awards finalists and recipients as we celebrate our industry.

Congrats to all!

FMI Store Manager Awards