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Hy-Vee Subsidiary Employee Earns Company's Highest Honor

Whenever Hy-Vee shoppers enjoy a delicious helping of Hy-Vee pasta salad or place a fresh serving of Hy-Vee’s trademark Chicken Grillers on their grill, they’re being served by the helpful smile of D&D Foods meat supervisor Sonia Solano.


September 4, 2020 | News & Press Releases


WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (Sept. 4, 2020) — Whenever Hy-Vee shoppers enjoy a delicious helping of Hy-Vee pasta salad or place a fresh serving of Hy-Vee’s trademark Chicken Grillers on their grill, they’re being served by the helpful smile of D&D Foods meat supervisor Sonia Solano. Sonia’s helpful smile, “can do” attitude and commitment to her team are why fellow employees, family members and Hy-Vee executives gathered at the D&D Foods facility in Omaha yesterday to surprise Sonia with the Legendary Customer Service Award. The award recognizes exemplary achievement in providing service that exceeds customers’ expectations. Only nine winners were selected from among more than 85,000 Hy-Vee employees across eight states. 

“Sonia’s smile may not be seen in the aisles of our stores, but our employees at D&D Foods see it day in and day out, and her outstanding attitude and leadership are why our team at D&D continues to deliver quality products to every Hy-Vee store in our company,” D&D Foods President Steve DeLaCruz wrote in his nomination. “She’s a leader who has the respect of everyone in our facility, and her passion and strong work ethic serve as a great example to every team here.”

Sonia has been part of the D&D Foods team for eight years, and currently serves as a meat supervisor. Sonia’s commitment to her team and her contagious energy have helped her teams work through busy holiday seasons with high demand for their products, and her leadership and attention to detail have helped the entire D&D Foods team successfully meet production challenges and keep Hy-Vee stores supplied with product. 

“Sonia consistently provides legendary service in everything she does,” wrote Jason Wagner, assistant vice president of operations for D&D Foods. “She is always to the first to assist in developing new products and giving her insights into what will help deliver new products to our customers. She embraces every task that comes her way with a ‘customer first’ attitude.”

Candidates are nominated for the Legendary Customer Service Award by their co-workers, and winners are selected by a panel of Hy-Vee’s top officers. Nominations are evaluated on the employee’s overall contributions to the company in nine areas: passion for customer service, attitude, initiative, teamwork, problem-solving skills, dedication to Hy-Vee fundamentals, communication skills, professional image and self-confidence.

Hy-Vee’s Chairman, CEO and President Randy Edeker said Sonia’s attitude and commitment to customers demonstrates exactly the type of commitment to customers that Hy-Vee leaders had in mind when the Legendary Customer Service Award was established in 2006. 

“Sonia lives out the things Hy-Vee stands for in everything she does,” Edeker said. “At Hy-Vee, we believe that if you’re not serving a customer you should be taking care of someone who is, and Sonia demonstrates that commitment every day in her work. This award honors the best of the best from among our Hy-Vee family, and Sonia is most deserving of this recognition.” 

Sonia and the other 2020 recipients of the Legendary Customer Service Award will be inducted into 
Hy-Vee’s Customer Service Hall of Fame and receive a coveted Legendary Customer Service name badge and a custom-designed ring to commemorate the honor. Recipients will also receive a crystal trophy and a free trip of their choice. And finally, their photos will be prominently featured on the side of Hy-Vee trucks, showcasing their helpful smiles to millions of travelers across the Midwest.

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Hy-Vee, Inc. is an employee-owned corporation operating more than 275 retail stores across eight Midwestern states with sales of $10 billion annually. The supermarket chain is synonymous with quality, variety, convenience, healthy lifestyles, culinary expertise and superior customer service. Hy-Vee ranks in the Top 10 Most Trusted Brands and has been named one of America’s Top 5 favorite grocery stores. The company’s more than 85,000 employees provide “A Helpful Smile in Every Aisle” to customers every day. For additional information, visit www.hy-vee.com