Centralia UNFI driver receives $10,000 award for safety on the job


A local employee received recognition from his company for outstanding driving safety while on the job.

Jacob Eberle was one of four United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) associates selected as a 2023 Elite Driver of the Year as part of the Company’s Driver Ambassador Program. 

The program recognizes drivers who meet attendance and safety standards for the company, such as not having preventable accidents and no compliance, safety or accountability violations.

Across the country, United Natural Foods has over a thousand employees who fit the criteria.

“Our drivers are the critical link to our customers. They embody the professionalism,  perseverance and passion of UNFI, and their efforts help make our supply chain better and our customers stronger,” Mark Bushway, chief supply chain officer at UNFI, said in a news release.

Eberle works at the company’s distribution center on Galvin Road in the Port of Centralia. 

The other drivers recognized include Henry Gervais, of Chesterfield, New Hampshire, Michael J. Potratz, of Aurora, Colorado, and Bruce Highness, of Fargo, North Dakota.

Each of the drivers were given $10,000 for a reward. 

“As a team, our drivers make more than 1.5 million stops per year delivering food and essential products to customers and communities across North America. Kevin, Michael, Bruce, and Jacob represent the best of UNFI and we are very proud they are on our team,” Bushway said.

United Natural Foods drivers travel nearly 147 million miles a year.