Company honors FoodMaxx manager

Debbie Bookil, store manager of FoodMaxx at 1845 Countryside Lane in Turlock, was named Save Mart Supermarkets' Manager of the Year and was given the company's Nicholas J. Tocco award Saturday at the company's annual Management Appreciation Dinner.

It was the first time in the 14 years this award has been given that a woman has received it. The award was presented by Save Mart owner and Chairman Bob Pic- cinini. It was created in honor of the late Nicholas J. Tocco, co-founder of Save Mart Supermarkets.

Nominees for the award must meet the company's standards for store performance, customer service and community involvement. The winner receives an etched blown glass vase, travel certificate and cash. Runners-up receive a cash award and certificate.

Bookil spent many years working in the grocery business before deciding to take on a management position. Starting at age 16 as a bagger, she spent almost nine years in conventional stores before making the move to a warehouse store. As a FoodMaxx manager, she has worked at a variety of store posts over the years.

She was among 10 finalists out of the company's 120 managers for Save Mart's 2007 Store Manager of the Year. First runner-up was Larry Rotelli, manager of the Save Mart at 1453 Goodwin Drive in Ripon. Second runner-up was Kevin Smith, manager of the Save Mart at 1157 N. Willow Ave. in Clovis.

Founded Jan. 17, 1952, in Modesto, the privately owned firm operates 248 stores under the Save Mart, Lucky, S-Mart Foods and FoodMaxx names throughout Northern California and northern Nevada from its Modesto headquarters.

The Building Industry Association of Central California will install its 2008 board of directors Feb. 7 at Del Rio Country Club.

Since its founding in 1954, the association's top leadership has been male. But the new president will be Pam Franco of California Heirloom Homes.

"I'm a home builder and I'm happy to serve. While I appreciate the significance of becoming the first female president, we all have the same challenges regardless of gender," Franco said.

Vice president will be Matt Innes of Bill Zoslocki Construction, and the secretary-treasurer will be Toby Wells of Pulte Homes.

The association is based in Modesto and has 350 members in Merced and Stanislaus counties.

The Business Forecasting Center at the University of the Pacific's Eberhardt School of Business has a new director.

Jeffrey Michael, director for the Center of Applied Business and Economic Research at Towson University in Maryland, will begin with the Stockton-based center in March.

The center produces quarterly economic forecasts for 11 cities in the state, along with California and the United States. Such forecasts were named the "Most Accurate Forecast in 2006" by the Western Blue Chip Eco- nomic Forecast of the JP Morgan Chase Economic Outlook Center.

Michael will replace Sean Snaith, who left for a position in Florida in late 2006.

Announcements of promotions, awards and other business achievements can be sent by fax to David W. Hill, business editor, 578-2207; by mail to Biz Lines,

The Modesto Bee, P.O. Box 5256, Modesto 95352; or by e-mail to Photographs cannot be returned.