By - February 1, 2018

Long-time associates share their Publix love and career advice


Over the years, thousands of associates have demonstrated their Publix love through multi-decade commitments of their time and talents. We asked a few of those with some of the longest tenures for a little advice about building a long-term career. Read their responses here.

What would you tell someone just starting a career with Publix?

Produce Retail Improvement Specialist Larry Delaney (53 years): You’re now at the greatest company in the world. No matter what role you want to do, the possibilities are endless. Your ability and desire can help you achieve your goals.

Store Manager Scott Carter, #215, Palm Bay, Florida (51 years): This is a great job. Every day has a different challenge. We are in the people business, and not all people are the same. This includes our associates and customers. They expect the best, and it is our job to deliver.

Vice Chairman Barney Barnett (48 years): A person starting with us should look at the great opportunities offered by Publix. Our current CEO & President, Todd Jones, started on the front end and is now the top executive over more than 190,000 associates. That’s a great story to tell.

Grocery Retail Coordinator Onelio Alonso (48 years): Always work hard, and give your best effort. Don’t take Publix for granted, and consider yourself fortunate to have this opportunity. If you invest time and resources into your company, Publix will take care of you [and help you prepare for] when you retire.

Grocery Replenishment Specialist Pat Sparks, #435, Gainesville, Florida (48 years): Don’t walk, run with your career! You don’t know it right now, but you have come to a gold mine. Do your best every day, and Publix will take care of you. There is no perfect company, but Publix is as close as you can get on this earth.

Meat Clerk Josie Johnson, #1306, Tallahassee, Florida (47 years): Come in with a positive attitude and always have a smile for customers. If you work toward staying, Publix will give you many benefits. You couldn’t work for a better company.

Senior Real Estate Manager Bob Burkett (46 years): Find something you like and stick with it. There are so many opportunities within Publix. We’re growing so quickly. And with our job security, you can make a career here doing almost anything.

Meat Cutter Patrick Temperly, #329, Oviedo, Florida (46 years): With our [retirement and] stock purchase plans, we are No. 1 for retirement. You’re not going to see it after one, three or five years, but stick around for 20 or 30 years, and you’ll be like, “Wow.” You’ll have [prepared for] a fabulous retirement.

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What made you stay and make Publix a career?

Larry: The longer I stayed, the more I saw how much care and concern the managers have for associates and the assistance you receive to help get ahead.

Scott: I was 16 when I started, and it just stayed in my blood. As I got older, other opportunities opened up. I have been a store manager for over 36 years, and I still enjoy going to work every day.

Barney: I discovered Publix truly cares about its associates and customers. The ability to buy stock and our promotion from within culture were also great incentives for staying.

Onelio: From the start, I recognized Publix cared about their associates and always strived to be the very best. The decision to stay and grow with our great company was easy.

Pat: Because Publix is such a good company, they allowed me to be really good to our customers. Every day, it’s a privilege to serve.

Josie: Publix has helped me a long way. I was able to get my kids through high school and help put one of my grandkids through college.

Bob: My father retired as a regional director, so when I finished college, I knew I wanted to take advantage of the opportunities Publix had to offer.

Patrick: I’d heard stories from other people, and I realized Publix is the best place to work. I have a retirement account I am proud of, and not many people can say that.

Why do you love Publix?

Larry: I love the fact that in today’s world, Publix still focuses on customers.

Scott: Publix has always taken care of its associates and customers.

Barney: At first I loved Publix because we shopped there and it was headquartered in my hometown of Lakeland. When I got out of school, I jumped on the opportunity to work here.

Onelio: I’ve had the pleasure to meet and work with some of the greatest, most dedicated people I’ve ever come across.

Pat: Publix is like a person. You can choose to be a nice person or not, and Publix has chosen to be a nice person.

Josie: Publix is a great company to work for. I love my customers and the atmosphere.

Bob: It sounds cliché, but it’s our culture. We always want to do the right thing, and that comes from our leadership at the highest levels.

Patrick: Publix is the greatest company. It makes me feel good to hear our seasonal customers talk about how different Publix is from their stores up north.