John Charles named 2017 Hy-Vee Legendary Customer Service Award recipient

DAVENPORT, Iowa (Aug. 25, 2017) — John Charles, meat market manager at the Northgate Hy-Vee, is known as the “ambassador of friendliness” and is often referenced as the perfect example of a great Hy-Vee employee to both new and existing employees.

From constantly remerchandising his bunkers to provide customers what they are looking for and helping mentor new managers in other stores, to his involvement with the Honor Flight for military veterans and giving his own hockey tickets to a family he thought would appreciate them, Charles will do anything for anyone.

Charles is intentional in making sure he always provides the best service and products to his customers, all while smiling and making the meat department as fun as it can be. These are just a few of the reasons Charles’ co-workers nominated him for Hy-Vee’s highest honor, the Legendary Customer Service Award.

This afternoon, fellow employees, family members, customers and Hy-Vee executives gathered at the Northgate Hy-Vee in Davenport to surprise Charles with the Legendary Customer Service Award. The award recognizes exemplary achievement in providing service that exceeds customers’ expectations. Only nine winners are selected each year from among more than 85,000 Hy-Vee employees across eight states.

“There is not a customer who steps through the store’s front doors that does not come in contact with Charles in some way,” said Lindsay DeLong, manager of perishables at Northgate Hy-Vee. “Whether it’s his friendly smile and the arm around their shoulder as he helps them locate what they are looking for or his voice on the intercom inviting customers to visit the meat department, everyone knows ‘Meat Manager Johnny’.”

Candidates are nominated for the Legendary Customer Service Award by their co-workers, and winners are selected by a panel of Hy-Vee’s top officers. Nominations are evaluated on the employee’s overall contributions to the company in nine areas: passion for customer service, attitude, initiative, teamwork, problem-solving skills, dedication to Hy-Vee fundamentals, communication skills, professional image and self-confidence.

Hy-Vee’s Chairman, CEO and President Randy Edeker said Charles is exactly the type of employee company officials had in mind when the Legendary Customer Service Award was established in 2006.

“John personifies what Hy-Vee stands for — helpful, honest and respectful service to our customers. His dedication to this community and the people who live in it is evident each and every day through his hard work,” Edeker said. “This award honors the best of the best, and John is most deserving of this recognition.”

Charles and the other 2017 recipients of the Legendary Customer Service Award will be inducted into Hy-Vee’s Customer Service Hall of Fame and receive a coveted Legendary Customer Service name badge and a custom-designed ring to commemorate the honor. They will be guests of honor at their area’s service award dinner in October, which honors employees for longevity of service. They will also be recognized at Hy-Vee’s annual stockholders’ meeting in December. And finally, their photos will be prominently featured on the side of Hy-Vee trucks, showcasing their helpful smiles to millions of travelers throughout the Midwest.

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