The Meijer Legacy Awards recognize team members who’ve made a significant impact on their teams, customers, and communities. This year’s winners shared thoughts on their careers and what it’s like to receive the company’s highest honor.
The 2023 Fred Meijer Award winner
Fred Walker – Director, Lansing Operations in Lansing, Mich.
I started my career at Meijer in January 1985 as an order selector at the Lansing Distribution Facility. It was supposed to be for a short period of time, as I saw myself moving on into my field of study: Electronics.
One day as I was selecting product, I was approached by a man who sparked a conversation and asked me about myself and my role. I told him I just finished college and was planning to look within my field of study for a career, and Meijer was a point of employment until then. He said, “I understand, but why would you look elsewhere versus staying with Meijer?” He then spoke to all the opportunities within Meijer to grow. He told me you can do whatever you want to do here at Meijer.
I didn’t understand why this person was so concerned about me as an individual; I was just a selector and, to him, just another team member doing a job. But that conversation went a long way with my thought process of staying with the company or moving on. That person was Fred Meijer. He inspired me that day to look for opportunities within Meijer, and 38 years later, I am still growing with the company and making a difference.
I am ecstatic, surprised, and happy that the company noticed my contribution over the years with the Fred Meijer Award. I don’t do what I did to win an award. When you do what you do as a person who cares about people, everything else will fall into place.
The 2023 President’s Award winners
Amy Messing, Senior Organizational Development Specialist – Grand Rapids, Mich.
I am absolutely humbled and honored to receive this award. In my Meijer career, I have had the privilege to build trusting relationships, ask for different perspectives, and coach and develop leaders to reflect on strengths and opportunities, show up as their authentic selves, and cultivate an environment for others to show up at their best. You can learn a lot by being a good listener.
Brandon Ford, Store Director – Avon, Ohio
My goal every day is to make a difference in either a customer’s or a team member's day; that helps me feel I've given back to my community and my team. I am both humbled and thankful that the work teams have put into the community have made a difference. Being a part of the Wisconsin and Cleveland markets has been the high point in my career.
Chris Thurner, Indirect Procurement Support Manager – Grand Rapids, Mich.
When asked why I have worked at Meijer so long, it’s an easy answer. I’ve worked at Meijer for so long because we can be our authentic selves. Our thoughts and ideas are valued; no matter what we bring to the table, we are equally accountable for taking care of the communities we serve, as well as the 70,000 team members in our Meijer family. It is really overwhelming to receive this award. One of my team members once thanked me for caring so much. I hope caring – about all things Meijer – is a piece of what this award represents.
Cris Jones, Senior Real Estate Manager – Grand Rapids, Mich.
Bringing a new store to fruition can take multiple years of effort and takes passion, persistence, optimism, patience, and problem-solving with a willingness to be reasonable and find common ground. Our store expansion into northeast Ohio is equally as exciting as the determination of all Meijer team members who touch new store openings and are a critical component to our success. Receiving this award is humbling, exciting, and rewarding. It’s a testament to having great teammates as we consistently find ways to deliver results. My role is so forward-facing that reflecting on accomplishments rarely happens, but drawing from and imparting experiences is priceless.
Sahar Nabbud, Cashier – Shelby Township, Mich.
My time at Meijer has been nothing but enjoyable. Over the past seven years, I’ve learned so much with the help of my team leads and managers who helped get me where I am today. I feel like I am part of the best team and family! I am super excited to receive the President’s Award and feel very appreciated. To get an award like this truly makes me think that there are people who see the good and potential I have. I want to thank the whole Meijer team for what they have done for me!