Bruce Murman is described by his Hy-Vee co-workers as someone who is known for his contagious laugh and good conversation, but Thursday those colleagues, along with his family and friends, left him at a loss for words.
Murman was surprised with the Hy-Vee Legendary Customer Service Award Wednesday morning during a ceremony hosted by corporate representatives of Hy-Vee. The presentation took place before a crowd of about 100 family members, co-workers, past Hy-Vee employees, customers and friends.
Murman, who is manager of the Fort Dodge Hy-Vee Wine and Spirits store on Second Avenue North, was moved to tears as he was escorted through the main entrance of the Fort Dodge Hy-Vee by Tim Flaherty, store director.
-Messenger photos by Emilie Nelson
Bruce Murman, Hy-Vee Wine and Spirits manage receives congratualtory hugs from his wife Dee, daughter, Beth, and son, Brian, after being named a 2012 Legendary Customer Service Award recipient Wednesday morning.
-Messenger photos by Emilie Nelson
Bruce Murman, left, listens as Jon Harbaugh, an assitant manager at the Fort Dodge Hy-Vee store, reads his letter of nomination during a special presentation Wednesday to award Murman with the Legendary Customer Service Award, the company’s top employee honor.
-Messenger photo by Emilie Nelson
Bruce Murman, right, reacts as he is introduced by Fort Dodge Hy-Vee Store Director Tim Flaherty as a 2012 Legendary Customer Service Award recipient. Murman has been employed by Hy-Vee for 34 years and is currently manager of the Wine and Spirits store on Second Avenue South.
"Wow," Murman said as the crowd greeted him with cheers and applause. "I'm speechless. Just floored."
"It is an honor and a privilege to present this award to Bruce," said Flaherty. "He is a great role model, husband, father and friend."
Out of 62,000 employees companywide in eight states, Murman is one of nine to be presented the award in 2012.
"This man is a rock star in my opinion," said Jen Kopriva, assistant vice president of operations with Hy-Vee Inc. "He is an incredible Hy-Vee employee."
Flaherty, along with Jon Harbaugh, an assistant manager at the store, nominated Murman for the award. Murman worked with Flaherty when Flaherty was new to Hy-Vee 25 years ago.
"I don't know where I'd be right now if Bruce hadn't taken the time and interest 25 years ago to train a 16-year-old the business of customer service and teamwork," said Flaherty.
Harbaugh worked with Murman at the Wine and Spirits store.
"I'm happy to have had the opportunity to work with someone who knows what it means to be a good person," said Harbaugh.
Known as "The Murm" to many of his co-workers, Harbaugh said Murman has a way of making everyone feel welcome.
"He has a way of making everyone feel special," said Flaherty.
"Bruce lets everyone know he cares," Harbaugh said. "He's at his best even on his days off. What could be a 10-minute trip to the store to pick up a few things usually turns into an hour because everyone knows him and likes to talk to him."
Murman credits his parents for instilling a good work ethic in him from a young age.
"I had two wonderful parents who taught me hard work and values," he said.
Murman, a Fort Dodge native, began his career at Hy-Vee on June 5, 1978, at 16. He worked in stores in Faribault, Minn., and the Des Moines area before returning to his hometown. He will be recognized at the area service awards banquet in October, and will receive a special name badge and ring for the honor. His photo will also appear on the side of Hy-Vee semi trailers.
Said Harbaugh: "I consider Bruce a friend who mentored me to become a better worker and a better man."