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Last month, we introduced the Mr. George Gold Coin Award to our readers. If you need a quick recap, the Gold Coin Award is something we at Publix use to provide special recognition to associates who truly go above and beyond to provide our customers with premier customer service.

As we explained in our introduction post, each month we will select a Mr. George Gold Coin Award recipient  to feature here for our customers to enjoy. We’ll be chatting with the associate to hear their side of the story as well as hear what it’s been
like working for Publix.

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We’d  like to share a story that comes to us from Deland, Florida about Michael Setaro, a customer service manager. An associate with Publix since 1996, Michael is described as a hard worker who is always willing to help in any way that he can. If you ask us, we couldn’t think of a better associate to feature in our first installment.

With no two days being the same, Michael says he most enjoys training, coaching, and mentoring associates on the Publix philosophy to ensure that they follow through with the mission statement that our company is known for. After all, the reason he says he wanted to work at Publix and still loves Publix so much is because of how associates genuinely care about one another and want to  do their best to give our customers the best shopping experience.

The Story

It started out just like any other Tuesday. Michael arrived bright and early to open the store and welcome in the morning crowd. Tuesday mornings are typically pretty busy for them because of the neighborhood communities that run shuttles to and from the store. It was a little after the lunchtime rush ended that Michael finally slipped into the back office to take a short break. At that moment,  the phone in customer service rang with a very frantic customer on the other line. She explained to the woman who answered the phone that her mother had been sick and she was very worried. It seemed like she was getting better for a while, but then it got worse and she lived too far away to bring her the things she needed.

Without hesitation, Michael took the call and asked what he could do to help. She explained that her mother and stepfather both live in an assisted living facility close by but they only get three meals a day,  no cook-to-order requests accepted. She knew some hot chicken noodle soup would do the trick but no restaurants in the area would deliver and she couldn’t find anything else that would work. In her final attempt, she decided to give Publix a call since she’d always had such pleasurable experiences while shopping there. Michael explained that while it wasn’t something they normally did, he felt it was something that needed to happen. He took down the woman’s order and let her pay for it over the phone. When she tried to pay for the delivery, he insisted that it would not be necessary. That same night, Michael delivered the soup to her mother which made the woman feel very happy and relieved. A few days later, her mother told her that she was starting to feel better and credits it all to the delicious chicken noodle soup that Michael brought her.

After hearing Michael’s version of the story when we spoke, it’s clear that he saw this kind gesture as nothing more than just another day in the office. But to Judy P. of Orlando, Florida, it meant more than Michael will ever know.

We asked Michael what receiving the Gold Coin Award meant to him, and he told us that after opening the envelope the coin booklet came in, he was speechless. He could not believe that by doing the right thing, he would receive such an acknowledgement. To receive the Gold Coin Award is such an immense honor. In the 20 years that he’d been with Publix, he had never seen a Gold Coin Award in person. In his humble opinion, he said it felt like winning the lottery.

I think it’s safe to say  that Michael has proven to be a tremendous Publix Ambassador and we look forward to watching him continue to grow with our company.


Have you ever witnessed an associate truly going above and beyond at your local Publix? Share your story with us on Facebook, Twitter, via our Contact Us page, or give our Customer Care team a call at (800) 242-1227.

Chris M.

Written by

When Chris M. is writing his blogs, you’ll find him sipping on Starbucks iced coffee and munching on his favorite Publix brand product – the peanut butter pretzels from our Produce department! His favorite holiday is Thanksgiving, because he loves being together with family, surrounded by delicious food. Joining the Publix team at just 14 in 2006, Chris enjoys taking the love that has grown for his company over the years and using it to share interesting stories you may not already know about Publix. All in all, Chris is a huge people person and loves spending time with friends – he knows there’s always adventure to be found together!

6 Comments on “Mr. George Gold Coin Award: Michael Setaro

  1. Susan Malone

    I didn’t know about this honor of receiving this coin. I love it and the idea of aa asscioiate being achknowledge with one for going ubove and beyond your daily routines congratulations to you, Mr. Setaro what a great story and great service givin in a time as customer thought Publix might help! Thank you for being that role model! I read the book about Publix and there where a lot of story’s like this one you experienced but they were all from older days gone by! Proud to know it still happens at today’s Publix as it would of back in the day!!! Great job!

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