May 22, 2015
Founders Award 500px
Danielle Viele, Winn-Dixie No. 2439 director in Englewood, Florida, receives the Founder’s Award for community service.​

Winn-Dixie store No. 2439 Store Director Danielle Viele is a strong advocate for giving back to her Englewood, Florida community through partnerships, volunteer efforts, local events and fundraising and she makes sure her store’s activity schedule is full throughout the year.

Southeastern Grocers commended Viele for her store’s active involvement at the April 30 Southeastern Grocers President’s Club award event, where she was named winner of the Founder’s Award for community service.

“It was such an honor to be recognized for the things my associates and I love doing for our neighborhoods,” she said. “The executive board spoke about how the award recipients are leaders and set the example for the whole company – hearing that the work we do is appreciated was really wonderful.”

Viele said she developed her enthusiasm for community outreach as an assistant store director. She saw the importance of giving back and building relationships with local organizations, and when she came to store No. 2439 as the director, she made it her priority to get involved.

“Our Winn-Dixie store is really immersed in the community, and that’s also helped our business here,” she said. “You grow your business by giving back to the community, and giving back is really important to us.”

Viele and her associates participate in many events throughout the year with community partners including churches, schools and recreation centers.

Among the many community service efforts, most recently Viele and more than 25 of her associates and their family members volunteered for the Tringali Recreation Center’s annual Beach Cleanup as part of an Earth Day celebration. The Winn-Dixie No. 2439 team was also part of Englewood’s Relay for Life, raising more than $1,200 to benefit the American Cancer Society.

During the holiday season, the store has teamed up with Helping Hands and St. Francis Church to help feed needy families. The store puts together $10 food bags for customers to purchase and donate back to the organization. Last year, more than 1,000 bags were donated.

One of the biggest community events Winn-Dixie No. 2439 hosts is the annual Harvest Celebration. The store invites local organizations, including the Englewood Fire Department, Animal Rescue, Hope the Therapy Pony and L.A. Ainger Middle School students to participate in the event, which always draws a huge crowd.

“Englewood is our home, our neighborhood, and we want to make it the best possible place we can,” said Viele. “Supporting local organizations’ events and hosting our own make our small town closer, and people see Winn-Dixie not just as a grocery store, but a community partner as well.”

More information about the 2014 President’s Club awards and a list of the winners will be featured in next week’s Community Connections.

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