Rebecca Brosnan with Foodstuffs North Island CEO Chris Quin.

A New World Matamata checkout operator has been named Foodstuffs North Island’s ‘Checker of the Year 2018’, ahead of 711 of her peers. Rebecca Brosnan was awarded the top prize at Foodstuffs North Island’s annual Excellence Awards, held at SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre on Saturday 17 November.

Checkout operators from over 130 New World, PAK’nSAVE and Four Square stores had entered the contest, with each store entering up to seven operators who first competed in regional finals. Brosnan had already scooped the top Waikato prize in June, where checkers were judged on their speed, presentation, customer service and accuracy while scanning the same 30 items.

Mystery shoppers later visited Brosnan at New World Matamata – twice – in order to properly assess her operating skills in action. One described Brosnan as “professional, friendly, smiley and efficient, she set a fabulous example to the rest of the team at this store. The management should be very proud this was one of the best checkout experiences I have had.”

Rebecca Brosnan says winning the Checker of the Year award at the Excellence Awards had been “overwhelming” and an “incredible night” to remember.

“I’m feeling very honoured and humbled,” says Brosnan. “Such recognition is something that makes me feel very positive about a future within the grocery industry”.

New World Matamata owner-operator Matthew Hart said his whole store team was “very excited” by Rebecca’s win, and the wider Matamata community was showing their support too.

“We’re absolutely delighted for Rebecca. It is an amazing achievement and we’re all so proud of her efforts”, says Hart.

Meet Foodstuffs North Island’s most-valued employee

Foodstuffs North Island has named accountant Joan Verhoeven its most-valued employee of 2018. Verhoeven, who works at Roma Road in Auckland as Member Accounting Services Manager, won the ‘Overall’ award at the cooperative’s Excellence Awards, in recognition of her consistent role-modelling of Foodies’ values: Think Customer, Courageous, In It Together, and Above the Line.

Joan Verhoeven with Foodstuffs FSNI Board Member Rob Redwood.

Judges were told Verhoeven “exemplifies a total commitment to our store owners – to give them the best information to run their businesses, reduce their costs and ensure they have more time to focus on their customers”, and that she is constantly collaborating with her stakeholders “to ensure that all outcomes are positive”. Verhoeven was praised for an approach that “puts our members first” and tackles challenges positively, and for leading a team that’s “engaged, customer-focused and always up for a laugh, despite the high levels of change and challenge they are experiencing”.

Foodstuffs North Island CEO Chris Quin says Verhoeven’s commitment and dedication are “truly an asset to our co-operative”.

“Joan is a role model for the values we promote: she ‘Thinks Customer’ by delivering the information our store owners need to benefit their shoppers; she’s ‘In It Together’ with her team and the wider business, and ‘Courageous’ even when faced with weighty challenges; and she’s ‘Above the Line’ taking 100% responsibility for delivering day in and out and always doing so with a smile,” says Quin.

Exceptional people

More Foodstuffs North Island employees were honoured at the Excellence Awards, including:

  • Fleet Compliance OH&S Manager Blair Inglis won the ‘Courageous’ award for bringing about industry-leading road safety standards
  • New World Te Rapa general merchandise assistant Tracy Leslie received the ‘Think Customer’ award for consistently going the extra mile for shoppers and colleagues
  • Digital technician Chan Tallon earned the ‘Above the Line’ award for delivering great desktop support at Roma Road and doing so with patience and good humour
  • Merchandise category assistant Feri Tan took home the ‘In it together’ Award for his team-work on the Supplier Promotions Portal project.

Chris Quin says the award-winners were just five of the hundreds of employees nominated for such an award during the year, out of a total team of 22,000.

“We have some exceptional people across our stores, support centres and supply chain, and these Excellence Awards recognise the importance of us stopping and taking the time to recognise those Foodies who are living our values every day, to the benefit of our shoppers, staff and suppliers.”


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