SALISBURY, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Food Lion store manager Nerissa Johnson cares so much for her customers you would think they were part of her family.
In return for that special care, her Columbia, N.C., customers shop the store daily not only to buy products, sometimes they just want to visit her and her associates. It is that special connection that earned Johnson Food Lion's coveted Ralph W. Ketner Store Manager of the Year designation Thursday at the company's headquarters in Salisbury, N.C.
"When I turn the key to my store every day, I pray that I never forget the value of people so they will find value in us," Johnson told hundreds of Food Lion associates in the audience. "I just feel so overjoyed and humbled right now and happy for my team."
Johnson, who serves as the store manager of the Food Lion located on 625 US Highway 64 East, in Columbia, N.C., was selected from a group of more than 1,000 store managers across the company. She and three other Food Lion store managers from Lancaster, N.C., Newport News, Va., and Colonial Heights, Va., were named earlier this week as the company's divisional winners representing their different regions.
"This is my favorite day of the year because it's a day in honor of all of our store managers and who they are to our customers, our store associates, our total organization and to me personally," Food Lion President Meg Ham told the crowd. "Although we are honoring the top four divisional winners and naming our Store Manager of the Year, today is about highlighting all of our more than 1,000 store managers because they are the heartbeat in the towns and cities where we operate."
Johnson grew up in the grocery business, and as a second-generation grocer, is carrying on the legacy of being a community grocer started by her father. She has nearly 27 years of experience with Food Lion and has done many extraordinary things over the past year leading her associates and ensuring that her customers are a first priority, including leading Food Lion Feeds community projects while increasing store sales and developing her 40 associates.
In addition to Johnson being selected as Food Lion’s Store Manager of the Year, three other store managers were recognized for exceptional leadership. The 2017 Division Store Manager Excellence Award recipients include:
- Erica Hayes, Store Manager at 980 J Clyde Morris Blvd Newport News, Va.
- Greta Simmons, Store Manager at 11 Dunlop Village Colonial Heights, Va.
- Adam Threatt, Store Manager at 937 N. Main St. Lancaster, S.C.
Food Lion’s Ralph W. Ketner Store Manager Excellence Awards recognize and honor exceptional store managers who enrich the lives of Food Lion's customers, associates and the communities we serve, successfully lead our business and support and inspire others.
About Food Lion
Food Lion, based in Salisbury, N.C., since 1957, has more than 1,000 stores in 10 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states and employs more than 63,000 associates. By leveraging its longstanding heritage of low prices and convenient locations, Food Lion is working to own the easiest full shop grocery experience in the Southeast, anchored by a strong commitment to affordability, freshness and the communities it serves. Through Food Lion Feeds, the company has committed to provide 500 million meals to individuals and families in need by the end of 2020. Food Lion is a company of Delhaize America, a U.S. division of Zaandam-based Royal Ahold Delhaize Group. For more information, visit www.foodlion.com.