We end each year by recognizing the achievements of outstanding team members through a handful of significant awards. Congratulations to these 2021 award recipients, along with each of the nominees. We admire your tenacity and thank you for your contributions!
Maple Leaf Award and Culture Hero 2021
Sophia Nguyen, Client Account Manager
The Maple Leaf Award recognizes an outstanding Canadian team member who demonstrates the continual pursuit of excellence in performance, leadership, and overall positive influence.
Sophia started at Premium as a Google Experience Manager in 2017. She quickly advanced to a Team Lead role, then shifted to our Microsoft team as a Territory Manager. In 2021, Sophia was promoted to Client Account Manager and now manages several key accounts.
In the first-ever sweep of two Premium awards, Sophia is also the 2021 Culture Hero, voted on by Premium’s Culture Team. In her two years on the Culture Team, Sophia has been a frequent contributor of fresh ideas. The Culture Team cultivates relationships among Premium’s remote and office-based teams, focusing on employee recognition, engagement, and fun. Sophia repeatedly volunteers to spearhead projects and shows genuine passion and care for her fellow team members at Premium.
Field Excellence Award 2021
Whitney Ford, Zone Specialist
Since 2017, the leadership team has submitted annual nominations for the Field Excellence Award to recognize one standout field team member for outstanding achievement, performance, personal interaction, and creativity.
Whitney goes above and beyond to support her Retail Market Manager and fellow Zone Specialists, completing every job with a high level of excellence and honesty and routinely picking up additional work. She joined Premium in 2019, covering areas of Kentucky and rural Indiana. Whitney is known as a team leader, maintaining a star rating of over 4.9/5.0 while also balancing family life as the single mother of seven children.
Earlier this year, Whitney was recognized with a Premium Proud award for her impeccable service at Schnucks stores on behalf of Lindt & Sprüngli North America. Her work in stores directly increased Lindt, Ghirardelli and Russel Stover sales and store managers often request Whitney by name.
Employee of the Year – Canada 2021
Michael Beaudoin, Director, Business Development
The Employee of the Year award recognizes outstanding corporate team members for unmatched hard work and dedication to Premium.
Michael has provided outstanding support in several complex roles managing many critical accounts since joining Premium in 2016. Over the years, Premium Canada EVP, Sandy Clarke, has referred to Michael as “the best wingman in the industry” for his ability to maneuver any challenge.
In addition to his core operations responsibilities, he has excelled in collaborating on finance, IT, analytics, and everything in between. This year, Michael took on additional responsibility leading recruitment for our Bell Neighborhood Marketing team and recently pivoted to a role driving new customer acquisition.
Employee of the Year – U.S. 2021
Chad Cooper, Senior Director, Field Operations
Chad has led Premium’s field sales operations for Walmart Wireless since 2018. In that time, the Walmart Wireless program has almost tripled in size while continually exceeding sales targets.
With Chad’s leadership and drive, the team continued to deliver excellence in the latest expansion opening over 300 stores, hiring and training almost 800 new team members, and achieving a near-perfect 99.6% rate of opening on schedule.
Chad is supremely dedicated to his team, holding himself and everyone around him to the highest standards, while relentlessly working to ensure each person has the tools and knowledge to succeed. His continuous improvement mindset is always looking for opportunities to strengthen and fuel the team’s growth.
Upon learning of the Employee of the Year recognition, Chad insisted we celebrate it as a team award for all who share in the success of the Walmart Wireless program. With that in mind, congratulations to the 2,300+ Walmart Wireless sales professionals and management team on your exceptional performance!
Premium Proud Awards
Premium Proud recognizes field team members who go above and beyond. Any Premium field team member may be nominated, regardless of hours worked or assigned team. This year, we received 1,099 qualified nominations that showcased exceptional representation of Premium across North America.
We are thrilled to work with each of you and are thankful for your dedication during another year of growth and new challenges!