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People who work with Melissa Esteves speak of her dedication to her job, the store and also the greater community. “She is 100 percent community driven,” says Ronny Berreth, store manager at Young’s Payless IGA in Lockeford, California.
Kevin Young, who owns the Lockeford store as well as two other IGAs, agrees. “She’s outstanding. Very well respected in the store and is very involved in the community.”
We spoke with Berreth about Esteves and how he was inspired to nominate her for IGA Employee of the Month.
Q: How long has Melissa worked at the store?
Close to 20 years. She started as a courtesy clerk and has worked her way up to assistant store manager.
Q: What makes her such a stand-out employee?
I took over as store manager in our Lockeford location about five months ago and have been especially impressed with Melissa’s work. While I’ve been working in the grocery business for 18 years, there were still procedures and certain ways of doing things at this store I wasn’t familiar with. That’s where Melissa came in, with her knowledge of how everything runs. It was a huge breath of fresh air, to come into this position and have that help.
Q: Why did you nominate her?
This year, we’ve had a lot of things going on and we were settling on not having our annual Kids Fest celebration, which has been happening every fall for the past six to seven years. When we told her, she was disappointed and she asked if she could put it on herself. She quickly put together a proposal on why we should not miss this opportunity to get families together to celebrate this special event. I’m happy to say that within two weeks she had everything set up and planned. We had one of the most seamless Kids Fests we have ever had—one of the best attended, and organized with the quickest turnaround. Her passion for the community was on full display and it made me proud to have her on my team.
Q: Are there other ways she goes above and beyond?
Being part of the community, she approaches everything with a focus on customer service. She’s a mom herself and being a member of the local PTA means she’s tied into what the schools need. Any time the schools reach out for donations, she’s the one who works with the school on events. Like right now, she’s working with a local high school on coordinating food for a barbecue fundraiser they are doing. When Young’s IGA was putting together backpacks of non-perishable foods to give out at the local schools, she coordinated the program for our community and put together 450 backpacks. It has been very inspirational seeing her passion for these things and I look forward to working with her side by side to make our small community stronger.
Congratulations to Melissa Esteves of Young's Payless IGA for winning December's Employee of the Month award! Watch her speech after receiving the honor.