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April 18, 2023 — Publix Super Markets recognized Manager of Retail Security Solutions Rick Abbatiello with a 2023 Mr. George Community Service Award at the company’s annual stockholders’ meeting.

Abbatiello positively impacts several organizations that focus on the elderly, churches, children facing poverty and animal rescue. He takes the time to coordinate activities in his department and encourages team members to get involved. 

Abbatiello loves giving back. 

“I work with VISTE, which stands for Volunteers in Service to the Elderly, in Lakeland, Florida,” Abbatiello said. “I organize associates going there during Publix Serves Week, Publix’s biannual volunteer week to help serve the community; we pack and deliver personal care boxes. I coordinate pickup operations for their annual Thanksgiving meal delivery to 2,000 of their homebound clients. I also work with RVR Horse Rescue, an organization that rescues, rehabilitates and provides a safe place for neglected, abused and abandoned horses.”

Having met Mr. George, Abbatiello holds the ideals of Publix’s founder close to his heart. He makes it a top priority to talk to his team about the Publix culture of being involved as a responsible citizen in the community. When asked the most important thing he can give, Abbatiello was adamantly clear.

“One word: time,” he shared. “I tell others I know that they can do this. They don’t need to write a check or spend all day giving. It can be 10 or 15 minutes. We’re all busy; we just have to find the time to give back for our community and ourselves.”

About the honoree
Abbatiello began his career with Publix in 1998 as a corporate security specialist. Then he worked as a security manager. On Jan. 1, 2023, Abbatiello was promoted to his current position. His primary responsibilities include serving as the lead for retail security and crime investigative function of loss prevention and security.  

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, display personal integrity 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.

Abbatiello joins Atlanta Division Store Manager Sefik Gluhic, Charlotte Division Store Manager Tim Bismarck, Jacksonville Division Store Manager Nicole Miller, Lakeland Division Store Manager Billy Ray Drake and Miami Division Pharmacy Manager Deborah Lolo as this year’s Mr. George Community Service Award recipients.