Phoenix Employee Earns National Route Salesperson of the Year Award
November 14, 2018
November 14, 2018
New Orleans, LA – The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) has announced today that a Phoenix, Arizona employee Michael Richards has won the prestigious Route Salesperson of the Year award for 2018.
Mr. Richards, a route salesperson for DS Services of America, Inc., was awarded the title at IBWA’s Annual General Meeting during the 2018 IBWA Annual Business Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Mr. Richards has been a route salesperson for 39 years, and is known for routinely going above and beyond with his customer service, and takes extreme pride in his work.
“Mike is a leader among his branch in Phoenix and the Desert-Mountain Division of DS associates,” said IBWA Convention Committee Co-Chair Dan Kelly. “He consistently models the behaviors needed to be successful on the frontline, and he exemplifies the best values in customer service. Mike’s boss tells us that every day Mike starts his route with the goal to satisfy every customer—and, by the way, he’s got 708 customers. He takes extreme ownership of not only his growing customer base but also the bottled water business.”
Mr. Richards is also known for leading initiatives and regularly excelling on the job. Away from the job, he is dedicated to other causes.
Mr. Richards owns a 1978 Corvette, and he displays it at various car shows in the area for charities such as Phoenix Children’s Hospital and the Pat Tillman Foundation, among others.
He is viewed as a leader at DS Services and has paved the way as a model for younger associates to look up to.
“It’s because of associates like Mike that the current generation coming into our business has a route to run, having grown the business taking care of customers year after year, creating the opportunity for new associates to have a route of their own,” said Kelly.
IBWA has been recognizing the efforts of the bottled water industry professionals since 1963. As ambassadors of the bottled water industry, route salespeople are on the front lines of customer service, and—through them—the bottled water industry has direct contact and connection with customers.
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The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) is the authoritative source of information about all types of bottled waters, including spring, mineral, purified, artesian, and sparkling. Founded in 1958, IBWA's membership includes U.S. and international bottlers, distributors and suppliers. IBWA is committed to working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates bottled water as a packaged food product, to set comprehensive and stringent standards for safe, high-quality bottled water products.
In addition to FDA regulations, IBWA member bottlers must adhere to the IBWA Bottled Water Code of Practice, which mandates additional standards and practices that in some cases are more stringent than federal and state regulations. A key feature of the IBWA Bottled Water Code of Practice is a mandatory annual plant inspection by an independent, third-party organization.
IBWA is proud to be a partner with Keep America Beautiful and a supporter of Drink Up, an initiative of former First Lady Michelle Obama and the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), which encourages Americans to drink more water more often – whether from the tap, a filter, or in a bottle. Choosing water is always the healthy choice.