Big Y in the News
Headquartered in Springfield, MA, Big Y is one of the largest independently owned supermarket chains in New England. Proud to be family owned and operated, we operate almost 80 stores throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts with over 11,000 employees. Big Y has been named a 2015 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".
Big Y in the News contains excerpts from press releases that have been sent to local media.
Big Y Produce Manager Wins National Award
SPRINGFIELD, MA (October 11, 2018)
United Fresh Produce Association has named Big Y World Class Market Produce & Floral Sales Manager, Wade Michels as a 2018 Produce Manager of the Year in its Retail Produce Manager Awards Program. This year, Michels was honored among 25 outstanding produce managers representing supermarket chains, commissaries, and independent retail stores from 15 different states and 2 Canadian provinces. Big Y's Michels 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, nearly 300 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.
Michels has been with Big Y for 15 years. He started there in the produce department at the Rocky Hill, CT store in 2002. In 2009 he was assigned to the Guildford, CT store and is now in Branford, CT. Before Big Y, Michels worked in produce for 2 other retailers having started at age 17. In his spare time, Michels enjoys helping out at local soup kitchens and food pantries. He is active within his church community and isproud of the work he's done to mentor children and participate in church missions and fundraisers.
According to Kevin Barry, Big Y's Director of Produce and Floral: “Wade Michels is the 8th Big Y producemanager in a row to win the prestigious “Manager of the Year Award” presented at United Fresh Expo in Chicago. Wade has worked for Big Y for several years and his ability to train young associates, interact with his customers and create superior merchandising has resulted in increased sales and consumption of fruits and vegetables at Big Y. We thank United Fresh for choosing Wade 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 and Lou Kwisnek in 2017. Big Y has had 3 top five placements amongst their 7 winners of this national award.