One morning in April, Store Director Minesh Patel arrived at his St. Charles, Ill. store early to find dozens of handmade signs taped to the front doors thanking the heroic essential workers who work inside.
“Literally, I stood there for 10 minutes and told myself, ‘everything you have done for the community, they appreciate it,’” Patel said. “It brought tears to my eyes. That’s what it means for me to be a community partner and deliver those results.”
Months later, the pandemic continues to affect Patel’s approach to his work as he leads a team of frontline workers serving a vital purpose in his community.
“As a store director during a pandemic, my role has changed significantly,” he said. “It’s more than selling groceries at this point. It’s about saying, ‘what can I do as a store director to provide alternative solutions to their needs, whether they are a team member or a customer?’”
That kind of commitment and passion for his customers, team members and community is exactly what led Patel to be named a finalist for the 2020 Food Marketing Institute’s Store Manager Awards.
Patel’s 30-year career in retail has taught him that hard work pays off.
“In retail, you can make the difference by working hard,” Patel said. “My dad used to say, ‘any work you do, do it from your heart. Give your 100 percent and success will be right there.’ When I started in retail as a 16-year-old pushing shopping carts, my goal was to be a store director, and by working hard to make things happen, here I am today.”
As part of the FMI recognition, Patel qualifies to be a part of the online People’s Pick Award contest that kicks off today and ends Friday, Aug. 14. On Aug. 17, the nominee with the most votes will win a special trophy and $500 to celebrate their store team members. You can vote for Minesh here.