Norfolk, NE Hy-Vee employee bestowed with company’s highest honor

Mary Magaña, (second from right), with Frank Woodward, regional vice president, Nebraska Region...
Mary Magaña, (second from right), with Frank Woodward, regional vice president, Nebraska Region (far left), Greg Rottinghaus, Norfolk Hy-Vee district store director (second from left) and Gene Walker, Norfolk Hy-Vee store manager (far right).(Hy-Vee)
Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 2:38 PM CDT
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NORFOLK, Neb. (KTIV) - An employee at a Hy-Vee in Norfolk, Nebraska was honored by the company with a 2022 Legendary Customer Service Award.

Mary Magaña, the human resource manager known locally as “Miss Hy-Vee,” was named with the honor at a surprise gathering on Friday, Sept. 23.

The award recognizes exemplary achievement in providing service that exceeds customers’ expectations. Magaña was selected from more than 80,000 employees across eight states.

“Mary builds great relationships by giving customers a high level of care while assisting them with their everyday needs,” wrote Frank Woodward, regional vice president for Hy-Vee’s Nebraska region. “Mary keeps a smile and a positive can-do attitude in every role she works in at the store and is the type of person who holds a team together. Everyone always receives a warm greeting and caring smile from Mary, and that makes customers gravitate toward her.”

According to a news release, as a bilingual employee, Magaña has fostered connections between the Norfolk East Hy-Vee and the local Hispanic community to build an inclusive and welcoming environment in the store for customers and employees.

Magaña also has built a partnership with one of the local elementary schools where students are recognized for their hard work with certificates for free pizza and soda. Magaña reads the students’ accomplishments over the intercom for everyone to hear.

“In all the years I have worked with Mary, she has truly never had a bad day,” wrote Gene Walker, store manager at the Norfolk East Hy-Vee. “She can always put the customer at ease in any situation just with her smile. I think that is why so many customers and employees seek her out for help because they know they are going to walk away feeling better just for having talked with Mary.”

The recipients will be inducted into Hy-Vee’s Customer Service Hall of Fame and receive a Legendary Customer Service name badge and a custom-designed ring to commemorate the honor. Recipients will also receive a crystal trophy and a free trip of their choice. Only 15 winners were selected this year from 80,000 Hy-Vee employees.