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Hy-Vee rolls out red carpet for one of its own

Marshall fuel station manager receives company’s highest honor

Photo by Jake Przytarski Hy-Vee Fuel Station Manager Bob Richards receives a round of applause from co-workers before receiving the Legendary Customer Service Award.

MARSHALL — Friends, family members and fellow employees rolled out the red carpet at Hy-Vee on Wednesday to surprise Fuel Station Manager Bob Richards with the prestigious Legendary Customer Service Award.

The award is the highest honor in the Hy-Vee company and is given annually to only nine employees out of 85,000.

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.

Richards said he’s humbled by the recognition and experience in getting to share it with everybody.

“It’s a very humbling experience and it was awesome to see so many old employees, friends and family here to help me celebrate this,” said Richards. “It was just a great experience.”

Richards has been an employee with Hy-Vee for more than 32 years and began as a member of the night stock crew at the

Marshall location in 1988. He went on to serve as a shift manager later on in his career before taking over as the Fuel Station Manager, where he has remained for over two decades.

Reflecting on his time with HyVee, Richards said the interactions with members of the community is the best part of his job.

“Being around customers and the daily camaraderie that you have with other people and customers (is my favorite). “It’s truly just a great place to work and just fun,” said Richards.

Marshall Hy-Vee Store Director Matt Parkhurst began the award presentation with a speech sharing stories of customers positively impacted by Richards’ customer service. Parkhurst went on to say that “Bob was made for this award.”

Hy-Vee Northern Region Senior Vice President Mary Fuhrman and District Vice President Carl Haidar made the trip to Marshall to present the award and induct Richards into Hy-Vee’s Customer Service Hall of Fame. The commendation includes a special Legendary Customer Service name badge, a crystal trophy and a custom-designed ring. Winners will also have their photos displayed on the side of Hy-Vee trucks.

Furhrman, who worked alongside Richards earlier in his career at the Marshall Hy-Vee, said it was special honor to present him with the award.

“He taught me as a young college person thta this is what Hy-Vee was all about,” said Fuhrman. “This one is special to me because you deserve this so much Bob. It’s been a long time coming for you.”

In addition to the ring, trophy and special name badge, Richards was presented with a voucher for a trip of his choosing. Hy-Vee corporate also rented a limousine for Richards and his family to go to Sioux Falls, South Dakota for lunch.

In receiving the award, Richards became the third member of the Marshall Hy-Vee team to earn the distinction. Cheryl Overland was the first to be recognized in 2010 while serving as the Floral Manager at the Albert Lea location. General Manager of Merchandise, Roger Ricke, was presented the award in 2017.

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