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Dec. 5, 2023 — Publix Super Markets recognized Lakeland Division Store Manager Denise Peterson, Fort Myers, Florida, with the 2023 George W. Jenkins Award at the company’s retail operations conference.

Denise values the relationship she shares with her associates. She always tells her team to stick to the basics and look for ways to help one another. She believes all associates need to perpetuate Mr. George’s legacy of providing premier service and making Publix a great place to work.

“As leaders we are faced with challenges every day. It's how we handle ourselves through those challenges that makes a difference,” said Denise. “Throughout my years of serving I have learned that a positive approach and the right mindset is the key to facing any challenge.”  

Denise focuses on celebrating the successes of her team and is thankful for her past and present mentors who have helped her develop throughout her career. 

“I am humbled and grateful for this prestigious recognition — words cannot express my gratitude,” said Denise. “I am also deeply thankful for the support of my family. Without them, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.”

About the honoree

Denise started her career in 1990 as a front service clerk in Fort Myers, Florida, and worked her way up through the customer service department before becoming an assistant store manager. In 2008, she was promoted to store manager in Lehigh Acres, Florida. Today, she works in Fort Myers. 

About the George W. Jenkins Award

Named after Publix’s founder, the George W. Jenkins Award is presented to one store manager from each of the company’s five divisions and one support area manager who exemplify leadership, perpetuate the Publix culture and demonstrate their commitment to his ideals. As part of the award, each recipient is presented with a special green Publix jacket, marking them as a member of this deserving group of honorees.

Denise joins Atlanta Division Store Manager Joy Daniell, Charlotte Division Store Manager Josh Stubblefield, Jacksonville Division Store Manager Wes Oliver, Miami Division Store Manager Carlos Fonseca and Senior Director of Accounting Ken Stanger as this year’s George W. Jenkins Award recipients.