Publix is where shopping and working is a pleasure

2015 04-20 Publix at venue NOVA 535 downtown St Pete

Publix is where shopping and working is a pleasure. This I’ve experienced, from every angle, as Publix hosted their annual awards banquet here last Monday, April 20th, 2015. See as a young man I had the pleasure of working at our local Publix here in St. Petersburg, Florida for a bit more than a year. I bagged groceries, cleaned the store and learned how a great organization that is focused on customer service get’s it right. I also made pals with another young man named Jeff. Well I went on into real estate and am now running my own customer service based company, NOVA 535 Unique Event Space, here in downtown St. Pete, Florida, and Jeff, well he stayed at Publix. Fast forward about 30 years later and here we are.2015 04-20 Publix-at-venue-NOVA535-downtown-StPete-69

Jeff, aka Jeffery Stilwell is the district manager for Publix, responsible for many stores, and he really get’s customer service. We spoke – it was great to catch up after so long – about what make’s companies excellent – and we both readily agreed it’s the people. And the processes (systems). People join and stay with great organizations because of the culture, which comes directly from the owners /leaders. So in this case we BOTH have Mr. George W. Jenkins, the founder of Publix, to thank. So again, Publix is where shopping and working is a pleasure!

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As soon as everyone arrived at NOVA 535 today, they entered our private, beautiful brick and bamboo courtyard, were welcomed by their team, and directed upstairs to our VIP lounge where they enjoyed taking fun photos with lots of hilarious props. What a great icebreaker and source of wonderful lifetime memories.

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We spoke earlier of people and how they are the core of any customer service based business, and Lisa Jackl (below), who I worked with during the planning of this event, was of course fabulous. I can see why Jeff entrusted her to handle putting the event together. Above is Tony and Roger who also did a fabulous job with the video and audio presentations and music. No wonder Jeff trusts his team, they are all 5 Star!2015 04-20 Publix-at-venue-NOVA535-downtown-StPete-34 2015 04-20 Publix-at-venue-NOVA535-downtown-StPete-43

Above we have Chris and Bill, NOVA’s amazing team today and below are the delightful ladies Melissa MacDonald (dark hair on left) and Sarah Skelton that also planned and ran today’s event. Nice work ladies! Look how cute all of the table settings were – be careful Jeff I may (try) to steal a few of your people! =D2015 04-20 Publix-at-venue-NOVA535-downtown-StPete-42 2015 04-20 Publix-at-venue-NOVA535-downtown-StPete-4 2015 04-20 Publix-at-venue-NOVA535-downtown-StPete-5

The bakers, the guys who did these incredibly delicious desserts, from scratch, wow they really had me ignoring my (mostly) gluten free diet for a few hours. Mmmmm!!

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Of course before desserts, there was lunch by M-n-M BBQ Inc, which was the food truck you noticed earlier. Wow the smell of their delicious BBQ was driving us all crazy with anticipation, and wow was it worth the wait! Mike and his team gave everyone a lunchtime smile. Yummy!!

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Entertainment today consisted of the lovely Emily Turnage singing and playing guitar (bravo!), a gentleman singing the national anthem (powerful!) there was a (cough-cough) “well choreographed” dance routine, then a head to head Lip Sync contest, which showed how cool the Publix team really is!2015 04-20 Publix-at-venue-NOVA535-downtown-StPete-176 2015 04-20 Publix-at-venue-NOVA535-downtown-StPete-174 2015 04-20 Publix-at-venue-NOVA535-downtown-StPete-186 2015 04-20 Publix-at-venue-NOVA535-downtown-StPete-184 2015 04-20 Publix-at-venue-NOVA535-downtown-StPete-183 2015 04-20 Publix-at-venue-NOVA535-downtown-StPete-194 2015 04-20 Publix-at-venue-NOVA535-downtown-StPete-192 2015 04-20 Publix-at-venue-NOVA535-downtown-StPete-190 2015 04-20 Publix-at-venue-NOVA535-downtown-StPete-198 2015 04-20 Publix-at-venue-NOVA535-downtown-StPete-201 2015 04-20 Publix-at-venue-NOVA535-downtown-StPete-202 2015 04-20 Publix-at-venue-NOVA535-downtown-StPete-215 2015 04-20 Publix-at-venue-NOVA535-downtown-StPete-210 2015 04-20 Publix-at-venue-NOVA535-downtown-StPete-208 2015 04-20 Publix-at-venue-NOVA535-downtown-StPete-133

There were photos with everyone below the SHINE gobo, then regional director Jim Herring, another extraordinary Publix team member,  gave a rousing speech and update on how wonderful Publix is both to work, how strong Publix is financially, and about their positive growth and future directions. I’ll say it again and again, Publix is where shopping and working is a pleasure!2015 04-20 Publix-at-venue-NOVA535-downtown-StPete-219 2015 04-20 Publix-at-venue-NOVA535-downtown-StPete-222

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Down below is ALL of the photos that I took on my Canon 6D, I’m not a pro just a guy with a good camera. If you enjoyed your time here at NOVA 535, then please be kind and write a nice review online here THANKS!

People think of NOVA 535 as a wedding venue, which we are, though of course we host companies all the time for parties, seminars, awards banquets, etc. The only thing Team NOVA is “married” to is excellence and providing 5 Star experiences for everyone. I offer the vision and set the bar high, often saying “think of NOVA as like Ritz Carlton meets Disney World”. We believe that we are only as good as our last event – like a comedian or fighter – and we use that subtle paranoia and clearly focus on only one event at a time…yours!

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To get started with your event go to and answer a few quick questions, then if you haven’t already scheduled your tour via our online scheduler, and might want / need some extra attention, Team NOVA will be in touch to walk you through our quick and easy process.

Prefer to talk or text instead? 949-873-6682 Thanks and good luck to us all!

To get started with your event go to and answer a few quick questions, then if you haven’t already scheduled your tour via our online scheduler, and might want / need some extra attention, Team NOVA will be in touch to walk you through our quick and easy process.

Prefer to talk or text instead? 949-873-6682