David Scarlett, produce manager for Food City’s Deane Hill store in Knoxville, was just named a grand-prize winner in the 2019 Retail Produce Manager of the Year Awards. Each year, United Fresh Produce Association recognizes the top 25 produce managers within the industry during its annual convention, held this year June 10-12 in Chicago. Five grand-prize winners are selected from the field of competitors.
“These men and women represent the ‘best of the best’ in our industry,” said Tom Stenzel, United Fresh president and CEO. “Through their creative efforts and interaction with customers, they’re making produce a centerpiece of the retail shopping experience and wowing consumers every day.”
The candidates are selected from hundreds of nominations submitted by supermarket chains, commissaries and independent retail stores. The award recognizes outstanding achievement in the areas of produce merchandising/marketing, community service and commitment to total customer satisfaction.
Bucky Slagle, Food City’s director of produce operations, said it was a well-deserved honor. “David is a tremendous asset to our company and the community as a whole.”
Scarlett creates special displays to engage and educate on the many health benefits of produce. He also utilizes his in-store sampling program to share product knowledge and the related health benefits with his customers and fellow associates.
In the community, Scarlett provides produce to his local high school football team and conducts department tours for area schoolchildren to encourage healthy eating habits. He is also a strong supporter of local farmers, creating additional displays of locally grown produce and promoting the products and their growers – having developed a strong working relationship with many of the local farmers within his community.
He has a keen understanding of the important role that locally grown produce plays in his community and the region as a whole, according to Slagle’s press statement.