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April 17, 2024 — Publix Super Markets recognized Jacksonville Division Store Manager Danita Washington with a 2024 Mr. George Community Service Award at the company’s annual stockholders’ meeting. 

Washington’s passion for serving her community started at age 6 at First Missionary Baptist Church in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. This passion continued in college when she joined the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. 

“Growing up in the church, we would serve our community in every way possible,” said Washington. “We volunteered at soup kitchens, made care packages, wrote letters to those in need and helped send cards to military families. Later in life, after joining Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, service was taken to another level by going to schools to read books, mentoring youth, collecting school supplies, helping the homeless population and so much more. I fell in love with giving back to my community, and that passion has stayed with me ever since.” 

The importance of valuing community service is something Washington shares with her daughter. 

“My daughter is involved in a lot of activities, but we always make time to give back to the community in any way we can,” said Washington. “It has been so fun to share that passion with her and expose her to the real meaning of service to all mankind.” 

Washington’s new adventure has been volunteering at the YMCA, and she brings her daughter whenever possible. She also teaches lyrical dance and is involved in the youth community at her local church. She volunteers at Greenscape, where she plants trees and helps clean parks, and at Ronald McDonald House, where she prepares food care packages for the families there. She organizes Publix Serves events for her district and constantly looks for new ways to serve her community.

When she found out she was a Mr. George Community Service Award recipient, Washington was speechless. 

“I love giving back to any community surrounding me and spreading positivity,” said Washington. “Working at Publix and having the same vision as Mr. George to be involved as responsible citizens in our communities makes me believe that I am truly meant to be a servant in this amazing company.” 

About the honoree

Washington started her Publix career as a part-time cashier in Jacksonville, Florida, in 2004. She was promoted to office staff until 2010, when she moved to the produce department. Washington was promoted to produce manager in 2013 and then to assistant store manager in 2016. In 2022 she was promoted to store manager at her current store and hopes to become a district manager. 

About the award

Each year, one associate from each retail division and one support associate are recognized with the Mr. George Community Service Award. These associates are actively involved in their communities and represent the generous spirit of Publix founder George W. Jenkins. Recipients receive a personalized award, a feature in an internal company publication, dinner with Publix executives, three paid days off and $5,000 donated to the charity or charities of their choosing. 

Washington joins Atlanta Division Store Manager Hermith Coleman, Charlotte Division Store Manager David Kuehl, Lakeland Division Store Manager Matt Humphreys, Miami Division Grocery Replenishment Specialist Ody Infante, and Senior Supply Chain Replenishment Manager Brad Shiver as this year’s Mr. George Community Service Award recipients.