News Release
 June 22, 2016
CONTACT: Andrew Brocato

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. – Patty Bianco, store manager of Tops Friendly Markets in Grand Island, N.Y., has been named a finalist for the 2016 Food Marketing Institute’s (FMI) Store Manager of the Year.

Bianco is one of just ten finalists for the award among 85 nominations made this year. She is also one of three finalists for the award in her category of U.S.-based grocers with 50-199 stores.

After managers are nominated, they are scored by a panel at FMI based on their ability to generate sales growth, provide exceptional customer service and community relations, execute in-store innovation and demonstrate team leadership.

“Patty not only leads a successful store, but she places a high emphasis on the professional development of her team,” said John Persons, Tops’ president and chief operating officer. “In 2015 alone, ten associates were promoted to management positions and were recognized by the company for their performance. She is the definition of what a manager should be.”

Bianco, herself a native of Grand Island, has managed this store since 2006. She has been with Tops for 36 years, starting as a bakery clerk and then rising through the store management ranks.

FMI noted that her nomination stated, “Patty Bianco’s store is practically a pipeline for strong managers to other stores in her company.”

Aside from the day-to-day store management responsibilities, Bianco plays a key role in Tops’ internal training program. She has previously been recognized as the top trainer and people developer for the company.

Under Bianco’s leadership, the Grand Island store team is active in the local community. She and her team deliver groceries to two nursing homes on a regular basis, offer curbside service to customers with various needs and sponsor a sports league where special needs children can play baseball. In addition, the Tops in Grand Island sponsors the Grand Island Citizen of the Year Award, the annual Lion’s Club spaghetti dinner, Johnny Appleseed Day at local schools and a safe Post-Prom Night for high school students.

FMI will announce the winners of the award on this week during its annual FMI Connect event in Chicago. Winners will receive $1,000 and a crystal award.

Through programs in public affairs, food safety, research, education and industry relations, FMI offers resources and provides valuable benefits to more than 1,225 food retail and wholesale member companies in the United States and around the world. FMI’s U.S. members operate nearly 40,000 retail food stores and 25,000 pharmacies, representing a combined annual sales volume of almost $770 billion.

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Tops Markets, LLC, is headquartered in Williamsville, NY and operates 169 full-service supermarkets – 164 company-owned and five franchise locations. With more than 16,000 associates, Tops is a leading full-service grocery retailer in upstate New York, northern Pennsylvania and western Vermont. For more information about Tops Markets, visit the company's website at


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