Since 1995, Publix has honored more than 100 associates with the Mr. George Community Service Award. These associates continue Mr. George’s legacy of giving back and bring our mission statement to life by being involved as responsible citizens in our communities.
At last month’s stockholders meeting, six associates — one associate from each retail division and one support associate — were honored with the Mr. George Community Service Award. This award recognizes those who dedicate their time to serving others; not just where they work, but in the places where they live. In addition to the award, each associate receives $5,000 to donate to a charity or charities of their choice, three days off with pay, a personalized award and a dinner with Publix executives.
“These associates are an inspiration to all of us,” said Vice Chairman Barney Barnett. “They truly are responsible citizens in their communities with a servant’s heart. We’re very fortunate to have them in our Publix family.”
Atlanta Division: Store Manager Roderika Curtis, #665, Decatur, Georgia
As a child, Roderika was raised by her grandfather, who was a Baptist minister. So she was always involved both in her church and serving the homeless. The organization she is most involved with, and the one she’s chosen to donate the $5,000 to, is the Women’s Resource Center in Lithonia, Georgia. This organization provides a safe house for women and kids who have suffered through domestic violence. Roderika is also involved with the Atlanta Community Food Bank, helping to distribute food to people in need, and she is the community chair for her district.
Charlotte Division: Store Manager Doug Anglin, #1533, New Bern, North Carolina
Growing up, Doug’s parents preached about the importance of community service and volunteerism, and it was one of the reasons he came to Publix. Doug says he was fortunate to be raised with a focus on service and community, and he’s glad to continue that today. He is most involved with organizations geared toward youth and has volunteered at local schools to teach lessons that focus on healthy eating and lifestyle. He said that receiving this award is such a privilege and an honor, and was completely unexpected. He previously worked with a store manager in Georgia who received the award, and he was in awe of him. Now, it’s come full circle. He plans to give his donation to Reviving Ministries of New Bern, Promise Place, and Boys and Girls Club.
Jacksonville Division: Store Manager Rachel Buchanan, #1290, Ormond Beach, Florida
Rachel is a proud store manager and a breast cancer survivor. When she received her diagnosis in 2005, her fellow associates, customers and other members of the community brought her hats, scarves, books and cards. Rachel knew other women may not have this same level of support. So in 2006, she formed a team to participate in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer awareness walk, organized by the American Cancer Society. She was joined by 31 walkers and raised more than $11,000. She continues to participate in this event annually and is happy and humbled to participate in the survivor walk. But her connection to her community doesn’t end there. Rachel is also involved with United Way’s Women United, an organization that lends support to women and children in need. Rachel was raised to give back, and it’s just what she does. She plans to contribute the $5,000 award to Women United.
Lakeland Division: Assistant Store Manager Emily Madak, #349, Leesburg, Florida
Emily has been involved in giving back her whole life, starting through her church. At Publix, she crossed paths with an associate who would gather co-workers together to help with small community service projects like repair work for the elderly. When he left, he passed the torch to Emily because she also had a heart for helping her community. That’s when she started coordinating events to give back with her store, and eventually her whole district, calling it Publix Serves District 5. Emily truly believes the most important thing she and her team can give is time. She also works with United Way, LovExtension, Boys and Girls Club, and Special Olympics. She will donate the $5,000 to Find, Feed and Restore — a homeless shelter that provides emergency housing, transitional housing, and a range of programs and services to assist families as they transition back into society.
Miami Division: Store Manager Kevin Piper, #1445, Key West, Florida
Kevin started serving his community at an early age. His mother instilled in him the importance of helping others in need or less fortunate. Being able to see the joy it gave others made it easy for him to follow in her footsteps. He is the founder and president of the Kevin Piper Jr. Memorial Fund, established in 2011 to honor his son who passed away in a diving accident. The organization’s mission is to establish a local hyperbaric facility, educate the dive community and establish a memorial scholarship fund. Each year, the organization gives a scholarship to a male and female graduating senior who attends Key West High School, based on their individual essays on the importance of dive safety in our community. They actively raise funds throughout the year and work closely with local dive shops and instructors on training and dive safety. He is currently focused on getting the hospital to open a hyperbaric chamber. So it’s only fitting that he is donating to the Kevin Piper Jr. Memorial Fund.
Support: Manager of Associate Services, Greta Dupuy
Greta credits the way she was raised and the Catholic high school she attended for the emphasis she places on investing in her community. The earthquake that destroyed Haiti in 2010 was the turning point that ignited her passion to give back and make a difference in her community. Greta lost an aunt in the tragedy and felt she couldn’t help from so far away, but she knew she could impact her own community. She currently serves as vice chair on the United Way of Central Florida board. She is involved in United Way’s Young Leader Society, Women’s Leadership Council and Reading Pals program. She is also involved in her community through organizations, such as Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine, PACE Center for Girls, Polk State College, United Way of Central Florida and the Academy of the Holy Names. She is planning on donating $1,000 to each of those organizations.
While these managers volunteer for different causes, they all have something in common: they live with one purpose — to be servant leaders. This level of commitment has left a lasting impression on their associates and their communities.