Top honors: Fort Bliss Commissary produce manager receives national award
FORT LEE, Va. – Vicente Aguirre, produce manager at the Fort Bliss Commissary, Texas, will be recognized as one of 25 top produce managers nationwide, selected by United Fresh for its 2019 Retail Produce Manager Award.
“My team and I are truly honored for being recognized, especially considering the significance of this award,” Aguirre said. “It represents all the hard work and commitment by my team to our military community customers and our commitment to excellence we show every day, to win their confidence in the quality, selection, and price of our produce.”
Aguirre was selected from hundreds of nominations submitted by produce suppliers and retailers from across the industry, according to United Fresh. The awards pay tribute to produce managers’ efforts to boost sales and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, and recognizes their accomplishments in helping customers eat healthier.
One factor Aguirre attributes to his win is the outreach events his team does every month. Whether it is an interactive display with other department tie-ins, or a tour for children in day care, Aguirre says he always has something displayed to increase sales and make a lasting impression on customers.
He also stressed that having a strong team is one of the most important aspects of success.
“You have to get your produce team excited by allowing them to make good decisions,” Aguirre added. “As they say, you are only as good as the team around you. I'm always surprised to find out how much talent and ideas are tossed around by our employees.”
As for his key to success, he believes that you have to keep idea channels open and it will lead to happy team members who want to show what they are made of. “Don’t get in their way, and ‘build it high and watch it fly’,” he added.
His leadership team said they are very proud of his accomplishment and dedication to providing the benefit to patrons.
“Fort Bliss is located in the middle of a desert and sometimes it is not easy to get what you want when you want it,” said store director Michael Mena. “We overcome this by creative merchandising and weeks of planning for events. Vince and his produce team make it happen with outstanding customer service, attention to detail, but most of all, because he loves what he does and our military community customers.”
Aguirre will receive his award June 12 at United Fresh 2019, during the Retail-Foodservice Celebration in Chicago. Since the program’s inception in 2005, almost 325 retail produce managers, representing more than 110 retail banners, have been recognized.
Photo caption: Fort Bliss, Texas, Commissary produce manager Vicente Aguirre, one of the 2019 United Fresh Retail Produce Manager Award winners, takes the time to ensure his customer receives the best service he can provide by explaining how to care for a Bromeliad house plant. (DeCA photo: Michael Mena)
About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Commissaries provide a military benefit, saving authorized patrons thousands of dollars annually on their purchases compared to similar products at commercial retailers. The discounted prices include a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.