SPRINGFIELD, MA – (April 24, 2020) United Fresh Produce Association has named Big Y World Class Market Produce & Floral Sales Manager, Michael Foint, as a 2020 Produce Manager of the Year in its Retail Produce Manager Awards Program. This year, Foint was honored among 25 outstanding produce managers representing supermarket chains, commissaries, and independent retail stores from 16 different states and one Canadian province. Big Y’s Foint was selected amongst hundreds of nominations across the industry.
Winners are selected by a special team of produce experts and based upon a number of criteria including efforts to increase produce consumption through everyday excellence in merchandising, special displays and promotions, community service and commitment to total customer satisfaction. Since the program began in 2005, 400 retail produce managers, representing more than 90 different retail banners, have been honored for their contributions to the industry.
“Produce managers are the face of our industry to the consumer. Their creative merchandising and positive approach to customer service directly correlates to the growth of sales and ultimately consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables,” said United Fresh Foundation’s CEO, Tom Stenzel.
Mike Foint began his career with Big Y in 1992 as a service clerk, before joining the Produce ranks in 1994. He became a produce sales manager in 2001. Foint has been with Big Y for almost 28 years and he is currently the produce sales manager of the Westfield Shops store in Westfield, MA.
“I have always felt that overall consistency in department conditions is the overwhelming factor that brings our customers back into our store and makes them loyal to our brand. I cannot say enough to the outstanding team of employees that I have had the privilege to work with over the past number of years in the Amherst and Westfield Shops locations. We are truly better together,” says Michael Foint.
According to Kevin Barry, Big Y’s director of produce and floral: “Mike is the 11th Big Y produce sales manager in a row to win the prestigious “Manager of the Year Award”. Mike has worked for Big Y for several years and his ability to train young associates, interact with his customers and create superior merchandising have resulted in increased sales and consumption of fruits and vegetables. We thank United Fresh for choosing Foint for this award and thank Dole for sponsoring the event”.
Past Big Y award winners are Rick Stolarik in 2010, DJ Bertoldi in 2011, John Heon in 2012, Jeff Vocatura in 2013, Gina Wasilefsky in 2014, Ron Tarini in 2015, Jennifer Ratkiewicz in 2016, Lou Kwisnek in 2017, Wade Michels in 2018 and Ed Jette in 2019. Big Y has had 3 top five placements amongst their 10 winners of this national award.
Big Y Foods, Inc. is one of the largest independently owned supermarket chains in New England. Big Y operates 83 locations throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut including 71 supermarkets, Fresh Acres Market, Table & Vine Fine Wines and Liquors and 10 Big Y Express gas and convenience locations with almost 12,000 employees. Big Y has been recognized by Forbes as a Best-in-State Employer in Massachusetts and Connecticut, as well as Employer of Choice by the Employers Association of the Northeast. Founded in 1936 by brothers Paul and Gerald D’Amour, the store was named after an intersection in Chicopee, Massachusetts where two roads converge to form a “Y”.