Statement as issued Tuesday by the Kroger Co.:
FORT WAYNE, IN – October 16th – Kroger Central Division announced today that Todd Earnest of Fort Wayne, Indiana received the highest recognition given to a Kroger associate, the 2012 President’s Award. Todd is a carpenter supporting an area of 18 stores in northeast Indiana.
According to Kroger Central Division President Bob Moeder, “In addition to being a very talented carpenter who does an outstanding job of supporting 18 stores in the Fort Wayne region, Todd is a hero. In early May a routine maintenance ticket was filed concerning ceiling tiles that had fallen and needed to be replaced. Todd happened to live near the North Anthony store in Fort Wayne and went over to check on the store in his neighborhood where he also is a customer. Todd discovered the issue was much more severe than falling ceiling tiles and involved a very serious structural issue. The outside wall had pulled away from the building leaving a 4 inch gap. The landlord was notified, additional Kroger engineering support was called in and the city’s building inspector was contacted. The store was deemed structurally unstable and unsafe for occupancy. If Todd had not acted promptly, correctly assessed the problem and its potential risk, the North Anthony store might have collapsed while Kroger associates and customers were in the building. While the store regrettably had to be closed, Todd’s heroic action likely averted a potential life-threatening crisis. As soon as the building was evacuated, it took more than 60 heavy support timbers to stabilize the roof and halt the structural shift of the roof and walls. Both for his carpentry talents and his heroism, it is my honor to present Todd with a 2012 President’s Award. I also want to note that this award most often goes to store and district management. For a behind-the-scenes member of the facility engineering team to receive this award is extremely unusual, but I have no doubt well-deserved in this instance.”
The Kroger Co. has been serving local communities for 129 years. The Kroger Central Division has 138 food stores, 115 pharmacies and 72 fuel centers operating under four banners; Kroger, Scott’s, Owen’s and Pay Less, with locations primarily in Indiana and Illinois, in addition to five stores in Missouri, one in Michigan and one in Ohio. Kroger Central Division is dedicated to supporting every local community it serves, contributing more than $14.7 million in 2011 to local organizations, primarily focusing on hunger relief, K-12 education, health causes and diversity. The Kroger Co. was recently named the most generous company in America in a Chronicle of Philanthropy listing detailed in Forbes Magazine. At Kroger we value: honesty, respect, inclusion, diversity, safety and integrity.