June 10, 2015 – Chicago, IL – The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) is proud to announce the winners of the 2015 Store Manager Awards, which recognize exceptional supermarket store managers who generate sales growth; provide outstanding customer service; contribute to attaining company goals; and are an integral part of the communities in which they serve.

This year, FMI added an additional category to the awards program called the Store Manager People’s Pick Award. Profiles and photos of the 10 Store Manager Awards finalists were posted to the FMI Facebook page. The post with the most “likes” after one week received the People’s Pick Award.

“Store managers are truly the super heroes of the Food Retail Industry, working tirelessly on behalf of their customers, their companies, their employees and their communities,” said Leslie G. Sarasin, president and CEO of FMI. “The Store Manager People’s Pick category this year showed there is real community support for all our store manager finalists. In total, we had more than 4,600 likes on the related posts, reached more than 27,000 people and had hundreds of comments and shares about these amazing store managers.”  

The 16th-annual Store Manager Award winners are:

Category A: (1-49 Stores)

• Brian Hayes, Super Saver, Lincoln, Nebraska
Through partnerships with several local community organizations and regular store events including Red Hot Patio Parties, car shows and even food fights, Brian has helped establish his store as a strong community member. His new store has quickly become the fifth-ranked Super Saver in the state and store sales increased by more than 13% in 2014

Category B: (50-199 Stores)

• Mark Hubbard, Food City, Kingsport, Tennessee
Mark’s store is heavily invested in the community; his store annually participates in the local Santa Train, which last year distributed more than 15 tons of items, and Kingsport’s annual Fun Fest, providing snacks for thousands of runners and hosting a neighborhood block party before the race. Under Mark’s leadership and guidance, the Food City store thrives. In 2014, it was the company’s highest volume store with a total net profit increase of 15.1%.

Category C: (Over 200 Stores)

• Brian Wilken, Hy-Vee, Inc., Charles City, Iowa
Brian’s store also creatively showcases talent by hosting cooking demos in the aisles and events throughout the year – even a Valentine’s Day candlelit dinner with a string quartet. From local school events to charity events, including Relay for Life, Brian’s store is always giving back to the community. Brian combines strong leadership skills with a vision for the future that has resulted in a six percent sales increase and a 94% profit increase in fiscal year 2014.

Category D: (International)

• Charlynne Stunder, Overwaitea Food Group, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Charlynne prioritizes service to the local community, and last summer, every Friday afternoon she and store team members attended a children’s sports camp and served a free snack for the kids. Charlynne’s generosity also has a personal touch, as she and her team regularly shop and even deliver to one local customer’s residence at no charge after she learned her customer suffered a tragic accident.

People’s Pick Award

This year’s People’s Pick Award resulted in a virtual tie. Our two award winners are:
• Mark Hubbard, Food City, Kingsport, Tennessee
Mark has earned respect and admiration in his ability to motivate his associates, so much so that his associates recently surprised him by purchasing their own T-shirts for use at special events with the moniker, “TEAM HUBBARD.

• Steve Gannon, Winn Dixie, Jacksonville, Florida
Steve often goes above and beyond to recognize his store associates by hosting surprise luncheons for his team. In addition to his compassionate regard for his associates and community, Steve’s leadership resulted in an exceptional 2014 fiscal year, with a 10% sales growth and a 13.2% lift in profits for his store.

The 2015 Store Manager Awards were announced at FMI Connect and winners each receive a $1,000-prize and a crystal award. The People’s Pick winners receive $500 to celebrate their store employees and a unique award. Learn more about the finalists at www.fmi.org/StoreManager