UniFirst Corporation (NYSE:UNF), a North American leader in providing customized
business uniform programs, facility service products, and first aid and safety services, recently held their 21st annual Founder’s Day on July 15.
Founder’s Day has been a yearly UniFirst event following the passing of Aldo Croatti, company founder, in 2001. This event is held with in-person celebrations at Uni- First’s 260-plus locations throughout North America, including the UniFirst branch in Cave City, Arkansas. Thousands of UniFirst Team Partners take time to honor the man who first started the uniform service and supply company back in 1936.
With the 2022 Founder’s Day coming in the midst of the company’s ongoing brand evolution, Uni- First took the opportunity to unveil its new mission statement, “To serve the people who do the hard work; helping them succeed and deliver for what gives their lives meaning.” This year’s celebration was also used as an opportunity to reinforce and reflect on the company’s founding core values of Customer Focus, Respect for Others, and Commitment to Quality. “It’s only fitting that we are introducing our new mission statement at this year’s Founder’s Day,” says Cynthia Croatti, Uni- First Board of Directors member. “To me, our mission statement reinforces our longstanding commitment to serving all the workers out there, including our customers and our own people. My father would be extremely proud of the way we are honoring the people who do the hard work in such a meaningful way.”
Founder’s Day is also an opportunity for each UniFirst location to name its Employee of the Year (EOY)— the employee who best exemplifies the company’s core values. Each EOY was presented with an award and a gift of recognition, as well as a bonus paid day off. The EOYs have their names engraved on commemorative plaques that are on permanent display at their respective local offices throughout North America. During this year’s celebration, the Uni-First location in Cave City named Kenneth E. Brown as the Uni- First – Cave City Employee of the Year. Location manager Randy Greeson said, “We’re thrilled and honored to have Ken represent our location as our Employee of the Year for 2022. UniFirst’s 80-plus years of business success is due, in no small part, to people like him and their continued focus on making our customers the number one priority.” Mr. Brown was presented with an award and a gift of recognition, as well as a bonus paid day off. The EOY will have their name engraved on a commemorative plaque that will be on permanent display at their local office. Brown, who currently works as a maintenance technician, lives in Cave City and has worked at Uni-First since 2015.
“I am truly thankful for all of our hard-working employees at every UniFirst location. Their dedication to our customers, to our teams, and to UniFirst is what makes our company special and one that I’m proud to be a part of,” says Steven Sintros, UniFirst President and CEO. “My congratulations go out to all our Employees of the Year. I have always believed that our people are core our success.”
UniFirst also announced the recipients of their two higher-education scholarships, the annual Aldo Croatti Scholarship, and the Ronald D. Croatti Scholarship programs. The former, awarded in honor of its namesake, assists children of UniFirst staff members in their academic pursuits. The latter, presented in recognition of the longtime president and CEO who passed away in 2017, helps full-time UniFirst employees who enroll in undergraduate or graduate study at an accredited college or vocational/ technical school in the areas of information technology (IT), sales leadership, or business administration/ leadership.