Karl Fitzgerald of Applegreen Rathcoole named GMAs Supreme Champion

ShelfLife publisher John McDonald, editor Gillian Hamill and Owen Clifford, head of retail sector, Bank of Ireland, present the National Grocery Manager of the Year Award to Karl Fitzgerald of Applegreen Rathcoole, Co. Dublin

Supreme Champion praised by judges for “demonstrating the importance of togetherness, health, and the wellbeing of his team, particularly during the lockdown periods”

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28 October 2021 | 0

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Now in their 16th year, the ShelfLife Grocery Management Awards (GMAs) have once again recognised individual management excellence in the grocery sector. A total of 20 awards were presented at the prestigious ceremony held last night at the Royal Marine Hotel in Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin.

Led by RTÉ presenter, MC Shay Byrne, the ceremony honoured the best in the many departments that make up local convenience stores and supermarkets, culminating in the grand prize of ShelfLife National Grocery Retail Manager of the Year.

Supported by platinum sponsor Bank of Ireland and carried out in association with Excel Recruitment, the National Grocery Management Awards scheme is independently judged and seeks out best management practice among those who carry responsibility without ownership in the grocery retail sector.

‘Heroes of Retail: Not all heroes wear capes’ was the theme of this year’s event, which recognised the tremendous dedication to customers and colleagues demonstrated by retail managers across the country, as they navigated a second year of the Covid-19 crisis and the myriad challenges presented for the retail sector.

In recognition of this outstanding commitment, this year’s ceremony included a special ‘Müller Hero of the Year’ Award, presented to a store that during the pandemic has consistently gone the extra mile for its local community.

Daybreak Williamstown in Co. Galway was the worthy winner, based on a sterling team effort which included delivering groceries for the local community and offering personal shopping services at no additional cost to ensure the vulnerable were kept safe and protected.

The Daybreak store also extended its deli opening hours to provide meals for those in need within the community. Furthermore, the team are very active in raising funds for the Irish Heart Foundation (IHF), including hosting a spin-a-thon on their forecourt to raise awareness and funds for the charity.

Our Supreme Champion for 2021, Karl Fitzgerald of Applegreen Rathcoole, Co. Dublin, likewise stood out in the judges’ minds for the way in which he has supported his colleagues and local community throughout challenging times, boosting morale through his positive mindset.

The judges were full of praise for Karl Fitzgerald and his achievements, noting: “The overall winner this year stood out for several reasons, firstly his dedication and passion for the retail industry was clear and highlighted by his peers. He is a hands-on manager, who builds rapport, has patience with his team and has a clear focus on promoting excellent customer service. He has really demonstrated the importance of togetherness, health, and the wellbeing of his team, particularly during the lockdown periods.”

This included allotting additional time to developing the staff that were heavily replied on during the lockdown, holding regular team meetings to keep the bond and positivity strong within his store, and always aiming to maintain morale throughout the pandemic.

“Our Supreme Champion credits his competitive sporting background and personal achievements for having a major effect on his management style and managerial success,” the judges added. “This has greatly influenced his overall mindset in work which affects his mood, positivity, energy, and passion for his job. These last two years have really demonstrated the importance of Karl Fitzgerald’s mantra which is to build the business around the people as opposed to building people for the business.”

On behalf of all the team at ShelfLife, we would like to thank everyone who entered the awards this year and say a huge congratulations to all 20 deserving winners, outlined below. We would also like to express our heartfelt gratitude to our platinum sponsor Bank of Ireland and all the sponsors highlighted below, without whom the ceremony simply would not have been possible.

The full list of winners and sponsors at the ShelfLife Grocery Management Awards 2021 is as follows: 

David Melinn, head of key accounts at BAT Ireland and Vuse, presents the Cash and Carry Manager of the Year Award to winner Kieran Barron of BWG’s Value Centre Letterkenny, Co. Donegal

Cash and Carry Manager of the Year

Award sponsored by BAT Ireland and Vuse

Kieran Barron, BWG Value Centre Letterkenny, Co. Donegal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nikki Murran, director of grocery retail recruitment at Excel Recruitment, presents the Customer Service Manager of the Year to winner Emer Rave of SuperValu Sutton, Dublin 13

Customer Service Manager of the Year

Award sponsored by Excel Recruitment

Emer Rave, SuperValu Sutton, Dublin 13

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brian Lavelle, sales manager Northern Europe, UK & Ireland for Xpress Chef, presents the Delicatessen / Food to Go Manager of the Year Award to winner Ger Keenan of Masterson`s Centra, Carrick on Shannon, Co. Leitrim

Delicatessen/Food to Go Manager of the Year

Award sponsored by Xpress Chef

Ger Keenan, Masterson`s Centra, Carrick on Shannon, Co. Leitrim

 

 

 

 

 

Brian Lavelle, sales manager Northern Europe, UK & Ireland for Xpress Chef, presents the Forecourt Delicatessen / Food to Go Manager of the Year Award to winner Emma Sinclair of Applegreen, Malahide Road, St. Doolaghs, Dublin 13

Forecourt Delicatessen/Food to Go Manager of the Year

Award sponsored by Xpress Chef

Emma Sinclair, Applegreen, 17 Malahide Road, St. Doolaghs, Dublin 13

 

 

 

 

 

Sean Thomas, senior recruitment consultant at Excel Recruitment, presents the HR Manager of the Year Award to winner Adriana Pacurariu of Londis, Co. Dublin

HR Manager of the Year

Award sponsored by Excel Recruitment

Adriana Pacurariu, Londis, Co. Dublin

 

 

 

 

 

Siobhan Casey, customer marketing manager, Bibendum Ireland, presents the Off-Licence Manager of the Year Award, to winner Michael Molloy of SuperValu Ranelagh, Dublin 6

Off-Licence Manager of the Year

Award sponsored by Bibendum Ireland

Michael Molloy, SuperValu Ranelagh, Dublin 6

 

 

 

 

 

Donnie Christian, director, Albyn Retail Consultancy, presents the Small C-Store of the Year Award to winner Arthur McGuire of Daybreak Ravens Terrace, Co. Galway

Small C-Store of the Year

Award sponsored by Albyn Retail Consultancy

Arthur McGuire, Daybreak Ravens Terrace, Co. Galway

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jessie Coyle, customer business manager, PepsiCo, presents the Medium C-Store of the Year Award to winner Ger Kelly of Delaney’s Mace, Liosban Industrial Estate, Co. Galway

Medium C-Store of the Year Award

Award sponsored by PepsiCo

Ger Kelly, Delaney’s Mace, Liosban Industrial Estate, Co. Galway

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jessie Coyle, customer business manager, PepsiCo, presents the Large C-Store of the Year Award to winner James Brennan of SuperValu Kilmainham, Dublin 8

Large C-Store of the Year

Award sponsored by PepsiCo

James Brennan, SuperValu Kilmainham, Dublin 8

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eric Nolan, head of retail sales, Aryzta Food Solutions Ireland / Seattle’s Best Coffee, presents the Small Forecourt Manager of the Year Award to winner Clare Sheehan of Applegreen Youghal, Co. Cork

Small Forecourt Manager of the Year

Award sponsored by Seattle’s Best Coffee

Clare Sheehan, Applegreen Youghal, Co. Cork

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eric Nolan, head of retail sales, Aryzta Food Solutions Ireland / Seattle’s Best Coffee, presents the Large Forecourt Manager of the Year Award to winner Karl Fitzgerald of Applegreen Rathcoole, Co Dublin

Large Forecourt Manager of the Year

Award sponsored by Seattle’s Best Coffee

Karl Fitzgerald, Applegreen Rathcoole, Co Dublin

 

 

 

 

 

 

Owen Clifford, head of retail sector, Bank of Ireland, presents the Small Supermarket Manager of the Year Award to winner Marcin Rokosz of Brosnan’s Centra, Schull, Cork

Small Supermarket Manager of the Year

Award sponsored by Bank of Ireland

Marcin Rokosz, Brosnan’s Centra, Schull, Cork

 

 

 

 

 

Owen Clifford, head of retail sector, Bank of Ireland, presents the Mid-Size Supermarket Manager of the Year Award to winner Goren Kierse of Aldi, Douglas, Co. Cork

Mid-Size Supermarket Manager of the Year

Award sponsored by Bank of Ireland

Goren Kierse, Aldi, Douglas, Co. Cork

 

 

 

 

 

 

Owen Clifford, head of retail sector, Bank of Ireland, presents the Large Supermarket Manager of the Year Award to winner Noel Willis of Tesco Claremorris, Co. Mayo

Large Supermarket Manager of the Year

Award sponsored by Bank of Ireland

Noel Willis, Tesco Claremorris, Co. Mayo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Owen Clifford, head of retail sector, Bank of Ireland, presents the Superstore Manager of the Year Award to winner Robbie Kelly of Tesco Liffey Valley, Lucan, Co. Dublin

Superstore Manager of the Year

Award sponsored by Bank of Ireland

Robbie Kelly, Tesco Liffey Valley, Lucan, Co. Dublin

 

 

 

 

 

 

ShelfLife publisher John McDonald and editor Gillian Hamill, present the Hero of the Year Award, sponsored by Müller, to manager Jane Mooney, representing the winning team at Daybreak Williamstown

Müller Hero of the Year

Award sponsored by Müller

Daybreak Williamstown, Co. Galway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ShelfLife publisher John McDonald and editor Gillian Hamill present the Retail Team of the Year Award to Will Hanley, representing the winning team at SuperValu Hanley Rowlagh, Clondalkin, Dublin 22

Retail Team of the Year

Award sponsored by ShelfLife

SuperValu Hanley Rowlagh, Clondalkin, Dublin 22

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alan Crawford, trading director, BWG Foods, presents the Brand Marketing Team of the Year Award to the winning team at Sicín Sásta, including Brendan Nolan, Karen O’Connell and Hugh Goff

Brand Marketing Team of the Year

Award sponsored by BWG Foods

Sicín Sásta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colm Rooney, country manager Ireland of Shopper Intelligence, presents the Trading Team of the Year Award to winner Tesco Ireland, represented by Michael Small, head of trade operations at Tesco Ireland

Trading Team of the Year

Award sponsored by Shopper Intelligence

Tesco Ireland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supreme Champion – The National Grocery Manager of the Year

ShelfLife editor Gillian Hamill and Owen Clifford, head of retail sector, Bank of Ireland, present the National Grocery Manager of the Year Award to Karl Fitzgerald of Applegreen Rathcoole, Co. Dublin

Award sponsored by Bank of Ireland

Karl Fitzgerald, Applegreen Rathcoole, Co. Dublin

 

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