MODESTO, Calif.--()--Save Mart Supermarkets – Save Mart, S-Mart Foods, Lucky, Maxx Value Foods, and FoodMaxx stores –honored Luke Houston, store manager of the Scenic and Oakdale Save Mart in Modesto with the prestigious 2012 Nicholas J. Tocco Outstanding Store Manager of the Year Award. During the company’s annual management appreciation gala on Saturday, January 12, 10 nominees were presented.
“I am both honored and humbled by my selection. I am fortunate to have an outstanding staff and to have been associated with and inspired by excellent leaders throughout my career.”
“The Save Mart banner is very proud Luke Houston was chosen the 2012 Store Manager of the Year. Luke has only one speed and that is full throttle; his leadership improves every store he manages. Profits grow every quarter and his team gives excellent customer service. Thank you for making us proud, I know you will keep up your winning ways,” says Ed Popke, Vice President of Save Mart Operations.
Luke’s grocery career started as a teenager at Gemco, then with Lucky stores in the South Bay for 11 years until hired by Save Mart in 1990. He was promoted to store manager in 1997. A successful manager, he has been a trainer and coach involved in various programs in the company. This was his fourth time in the Top Ten.
Luke was very pleased to receive this honor. “I am both honored and humbled by my selection. I am fortunate to have an outstanding staff and to have been associated with and inspired by excellent leaders throughout my career.”
David Gonzales – Save Mart North Milburn in Fresno and Rich Alstad–Save Mart Standiford Avenue in Modesto – were named first and second runners-up.
This year’s Nicholas J. Tocco nominees:
- Tony Angoletta- Save Mart Riverbank
- Vince Messina- FoodMaxx Lone Tree Way Antioch
- Rick Van Matre- Save Mart West Goshen Avenue Visalia
- Kelly Bizzini- Save Mart Ripon
- Joe Ribeiro- S-Mart Foods Quail Lakes Drive Stockton
- Tom Brooks- Save Mart Paradise
- Vince McFarland- Save Mart South Tracy Blvd. Tracy
The Store Manager of the Year award, presented by Save Mart Supermarkets Owner and Chairman Bob Piccinini, was created in honor of the late Nicholas J. Tocco, co-founder of Save Mart Supermarkets. Nominees for the award must meet the company’s standards for store performance, customer service, and community involvement.
**Photos and interviews available by request