Jan. 08, 2018

2017 Employee of the Year: Paris Tsigonoff, Director of Sales Coordination

“Tough,” “smart,” and “strong leader” are just a few of the words used to describe Paris Tsigonoff, 2017 Employee of the Year and recipient of the first annual Mike Harmon Captain’s Award. Paris, Director of Sales Coordination for Superfresh Growers, is the point guard connecting operations and sales. She oversees a team that coordinates the movement of fresh apples, pears, cherries, and apricots to stores and customers worldwide. Paris loves the fast-paced environment and the support and encouragement given to the employees by management. “I take my position very seriously, but I try to make the day fun and cause a round of laughter that usually fills the building at least once daily.”

Paris is the first annual recipient of the Mike Harmon Captain’s Award, an award named in honor of former Superfresh Grower’s Employee Mike Harmon, who passed away in 2017. He was known for encouraging the recognition of exceptional employees. The Superfresh Growers Employee of the Year is consistently voted on anonymously by company peers. “We always say that you can fool the coach but can’t fool your teammates. Your teammates know who brings the energy and passion every day.” Harmon inspired the first Employee of the Year award (formerly the “Kershaw Cup”) in 2003. Since his passing, we wanted him to be remembered forever with the Mike Harmon Captain’s Award since teammates vote on it,” explains Robert Kershaw, CEO of Superfresh Growers.

Positive comments flooded in for Paris when votes were received for this new award throughout the year. She stood out as a team leader with the point guard mentality. “Paris is the point guard of everything that has to do with getting the product from an order to a truck... Thank you, Paris, for allowing us to be great,” writes one colleague.

Paris is known for her laughter and vivacious personality in the office.

More colleagues wrote, “Paris has done and continues to do an amazing job training and keeping her team in sales coordination, a critical piece of what we do at Superfresh Growers, and allowing us to do all we do in sales. Thank you, Paris, for being forward-thinking, problem-solving, kind, and understanding and helping your team develop to do the same.”

“She leads by example (always willing to put in the extra time and effort) and digs into problems and issues to find solutions and better ways of doing things.”

“Paris is always available to assist and help with issues no matter what time of the day or night it is, and she always does so with a smile. She will get it promptly if she doesn’t have your answer.”

“Employee of the Year! No doubt. #1 seed.”

Paris with her family as she receives the Mike Harmon Captain's Award.

Paris is an outstanding leader for the Superfresh Growers team, a skill she has had from a young age. She grew up playing basketball and learning team and leadership skills through sports. Paris is known for being tough, a characteristic her mother ingrained in her. Paris’ mom saw her crying under the basketball hoop one afternoon at basketball practice. She told her she didn’t raise crybabies and to get up off the floor. It turns out that Paris had broken her ankle. Her tough “get through anything” mentality makes Paris an excellent leader.

When reflecting on receiving the Mike Harmon Captain’s Award, Paris writes, “Receiving this award has meant a lot to me! I set very high standards for myself and my team and work very hard to reach the goals that I set for myself in all aspects of life. When you see a positive outcome and hear that your peers appreciate your work, it makes all that hard work worthwhile and motivates me to keep moving forward!”

“There have been so many great moments working here at Superfresh Growers that it is hard to pinpoint just one memory,” Paris continues. “The best thing that has come out of working here is the people I get to work with every day and the opportunities that have been presented to me. There have been so many strong relationships built during my time here, and I appreciate them. These relationships have helped me grow into a much stronger individual.”

At the annual Christmas party, where Paris received the honor of the Mike Harmon Captain’s Award, Kershaw passed the Award to Paris, saying, “Paris, you are exactly what I would hope for in a teammate at Superfresh Growers, and the first recipient of the Mike Harmon Captain’s Award, given to the best teammate, voted on by your teammates. Congratulations, Paris.”

Paris with Robert Kershaw as she receives the award.