For the second year in a row, an employee of a Lincoln Hy-Vee has won the company's top award.
Eddie Bucknor, a customer care manager at the Williamsburg Hy-Vee store near 40th Street and Old Cheney Road, was one of 11 companywide recipients of the 2021 Hy-Vee Legendary Customer Service Award, which rewards employees who "go above and beyond every day to help customers and provide them with exemplary service."
Hy-Vee has more than 86,000 employees in its eight-state region, and thousands are nominated for the award every year.
Bucknor is only the fifth Lincoln employee to win the award, which has been around since 2006. Three of those employees have come from the Williamsburg store, including Phil Savidge, who is now the manager of the store.
"Customers are never a stranger to Eddie," Savidge said. "He lives and breathes customer service every day."
He said that when Bucknor greets and speaks to customers in the store, "you can hear the excitement and genuine care in his voice."
"We are blessed to have him on our team," Savidge said.
Bucknor, who has been at the store for 25 years, appeared stunned that he had won the award, which is kept a secret from the employees who receive it.
"I just want to say how grateful I am," he said.
Bucknor was joined in person by two of his children and his longtime partner. His mother, who lives in New York, was able to watch via video. There were also a number of Hy-Vee executives and employees at the ceremony.
"I think of all of you ... as a family," he said.
As part of the award, Bucknor received a $5,000 travel voucher to take a trip to wherever he wants. He also got to take a helicopter tour of Lincoln on Tuesday and also received a few other perks, such as his own designated parking spot.
The biggest chains in Lincoln
Subway: 29 Lincoln locations
Scooter's: 19 Lincoln locations
U-Stop: 19 Lincoln locations
Casey's: 19 Lincoln locations
Amigos: 15 Lincoln locations
Runza: 14 locations in Lincoln
Walgreens: 13 locations in Lincoln
McDonald's: 13 Lincoln locations
Valentino's: 12 Lincoln locations
Jimmy John's: 8 Lincoln locations
Cost Cutters: 9 Lincoln locations
CVS: 9 Lincoln locations
Burger King: 9 Lincoln locations
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