By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Ceres store manager honored by Save Mart
10 nominees for Nicholas J. Tocco Award honored
Owner Bob with Winner
Ceres Save Mart store manager George Bettencourt (left) received the Nicholas J. Tocco Store Manager of the Year Award from Save Mart Supermarkets owner and Chairman Bob Piccinini. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

George Bettencourt, manager of the Ceres Save Mart store, has been honored with the company's Nicholas J. Tocco Store Manager of the Year Award.

This is the 20th year of the coveted award given by Save Mart, S-Mart Foods, Lucky, Maxx Value Foods, and FoodMaxx stores.

"George Bettencourt is a top-rate store manager. He has demonstrated a continuous commitment to excellence for store performance, customer service and commitment to his community. He is a strong leader and great person," said Steve Junqueiro, president and chief operating officer of Save Mart Supermarkets.

Bettencourt started his grocery career at an Albertsons store in 1986, working his way up from utility clerk to store manager. Married for 13 years, he is heavily involved in the Turlock and Ceres communities. Bettencourt said he is passionate about running a store strong on the basics - service, freshness and value.

"Ceres is a tight-knit community and I am proud to be part of its fabric," said Bettencourt. "Our shoppers are also our neighbors and friends. This award was given to me, but it also belongs to the store team who work hard every day to provide top-level customer service."

During the company's annual management appreciation gala held on Jan. 11, 10 nominees for the award were presented. Al Rojewski, Kingsburg Save Mart Store Manager, and Mike Cook, Lucky Store Manger in Oakley - were named first and second runners-up, respectively.

This year's Nicholas J. Tocco nominees also included:

• Rich Alstad - Save Mart store on Pelandale Road in Modesto;

• Tony Angoletta - Save Mart store in Riverbank;

• John Bettencourt - Lucky store on Portola Ave. in Livermore;

• David Gonzalez - Save Mart store on N. Milburn in Fresno;

• Gerg Gilliam - Save Mart store in Hollister;

• Kevin Miyasaki - Save Mart store on W. Clinton in Fresno;

• Al Rojewski - Save Mart store in Kingsburg;

• Greg Wagenman - Save Mart store on Geer Road in Turlock.

The Store Manager of the Year award, presented by Save Mart Supermarkets owner and Chairman Bob Piccinini, was created in honor of the late Nicholas J. Tocco, co-founder of Save Mart Supermarkets. Nominees for the award must meet the company's standards for store performance, customer service, and community involvement.

The winner receives an etched blown glass vase, travel certificate, and cash. Runners up receive a cash award and all nominees receive a framed certificate.

Save Mart Supermarkets, a California corporation, owns and operates 225 stores in Northern California and Northern Nevada under the Save Mart, S-Mart Foods, Lucky, Maxx Value Foods, and FoodMaxx banners. Headquartered in Modesto, since the company was founded in 1952.