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Kingsport, TN Food City Produce Manager Named Retail Produce Manager of the Year

ABINGDON, VA (Monday, May 16, 2011) – Each year United Fresh Produce Association recognizes the top 25 produce managers within the industry during their annual convention.  This year, the convention was held in New Orleans, LA.  The honorees were recognized at the Chairman’s Reception & Annual Awards Banquet on Wednesday, May 4, 2011.   

Ron Potter, produce manager of Food City’s Eastman Road location in Kingsport, TN and Shannon Adkins, produce manager for Food City’s South Mayo Trail location in Pikeville, KY were among the 2011 Retail Produce Manager Award Winners.  

“These men and women represent the “best of the best” in our industry,” said Tom Stenzel, United Fresh President & CEO.  “Through their creative efforts and interaction with customers, they’re making produce a centerpiece of the retail shopping experience and wowing consumers everyday.”

Potter is a leader in his store and community, regularly promoting the produce industry and the More Matters program.  He distributes healthy snacks for organizations such as Upward Bound Basketball, Kingsport Housing Authority, school tours and the Sullivan County Health Department and recently began assisting with the local Santa Train project.   Potter is an outstanding, creative merchandiser and utilizes his sampling station to promote a wide variety of produce items including new items, seasonal items and locally grown produce.  During the locally grown season, he converts the store’s outside sidewalk into a farmers market, a customer favorite.  Potter is committed to providing exceptional customer service and the freshest produce in town.

The candidates were selected from hundreds of nominations submitted by supermarket chains, commissaries and independent retail stores throughout the industry.  The award recognizes outstanding achievement in the areas of produce merchandising/marketing, community service and commitment to total customer satisfaction. 

Adkins is also a leader in her store and community, promoting produce and healthy eating habits through programs such as Relay for Life, school tours, Christmas for Kids and Salad for the Schools.  Additionally, she promotes awareness at the local WIC office, day cares and preschools.  She excels in her display and cross merchandising abilities and believes in achieving 100% customer satisfaction, which she does in part through product sampling, health and nutritional education and updates on the availability of fresh produce.

From among the 25 candidates, five grand prize recipients were chosen to receive an additional $1,000 cash prize.  Ron Potter of the Eastman Road Food City in Kingsport, Tennessee was selected as a grand-prize winner and named as an overall Retail Produce Manager of the Year. 

Food City associates were also named award winners in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.  Potter is the fourth Food City produce manager to be awarded a Retail Produce Manager of the Year. 

“We are extremely proud to have two of our associates receive such a prestigious honor,” said Mike Tipton, director of produce operations for Food City.  “We are fortunate to have Shannon and Ron as members of our produce management team.  They are talented merchandisers who deliver superior customer service and bring a great deal of knowledge and motivation to the department.”

Headquartered in Abingdon, Virginia, K-VA-T Food Stores operates 105 retail food outlets throughout the tri-state regions of Southeast Kentucky, Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee.