Greta manages the Publix Service Awards program, a program that celebrates associates and their many years of Publix service. This involves planning luncheons, dinners, facilitating associate travel, all culminating in April when associates receive their awards—a time she says, “is the best time of year”.
She also plans and handles the logistics for the Publix Annual Stockholder’s meeting every April, and she facilitates the Mr. George Community Service Award—a project that involves bringing associate recipients in from each region, showing them important Publix landmarks in Lakeland, treating them to a meal at the Terrace, and presenting their award at the Stockholder’s meeting over the course of two days.
You might think that would be enough – but there’s more: Greta also plans and organizes the Publix Retail Ops Conference, a leadership conference held in Orlando annually for Publix store managers and above (nearly 1,500 attendees).
Outside of all these important responsibilities, Greta is most well-known for her involvement in Publix’s annual United Way campaign. Greta’s department plans, organizes, and manages an annual company-wide United Way giving campaign, a campaign that has made Publix the 3rd largest United Way donor in the world, behind UPS and Wells Fargo. It’s this part of her job that has gotten her deeply involved with United Way of Central Florida in Lakeland and has made giving back to her community part of her life, every single day.
Even after reluctantly and exhaustively listing the ways in which she’s involved in our community, she gets excited.
“But I want to do so much more!” she said.
There’s got to be something incredible and enviable driving a person to give so much of themselves to the people in their community, right? What drives Greta is seeing that positive change, the end result. So often, she says, great partnerships, strong relationships, and personal growth are the result of digging in and doing the hard work for your city.
The Community She Loves
Statistically, Lakeland is one of the most giving communities in Florida. But even with statistics unseen, Greta knows this city and its people have big, charitable hearts. For her, the people are supportive, giving, and make getting involved in new causes or organizations easy and never intimidating.
“People welcome you with open arms,” she said.
That, combined with the feeling of knowing someone everywhere you go and the sense of authenticity, she said, make our city unique. Maybe not unique the way big cities like Miami are unique, but niche landmarks like Munn Park, the Polk Theatre, Florida Southern College, and others help Lakeland stand out.
Greta hopes to see Lakeland continue to make strides and change as the population grows. Bringing more nightlife, live music, exciting dining options, improving public transportation, seeing our community become more diverse, and bringing those people from different age groups, races, backgrounds, and religions together to make a positive impact are some of things she is excited to see develop in the coming years.
Last year, Greta was crowned the Lakeland Derby Mama Swan by Lakeland Volunteers In Medicine, an honor she cherishes. Each year, LVIM hosts the Lakeland Derby, an exciting event in which leaders of Lakeland rally together to raise money for a worthy cause and have a blast racing paddle boat swans.
During the press conference before the Leaders of Lakeland were introduced before Derby Day, Linda Wiggs—wife of former Mayor Howard Wiggs—bestowed unto Mama Swan her very own #LoveLakeland pin. Linda took the pin off her own shirt, and gifted it to Greta, a gift she adores and still wears often.
“I felt that day that I got the keys to city with the #LoveLakeland pin!” Greta said.
It may be a “cheesy” story, she said, but it’s her Lakeland story, and it epitomizes the overwhelming love she feels for our community. And the joy emanating from her as she tells the story only reinforces that.
For Greta, Publix and the city of Lakeland have truly shaped who she is, how she lives her life, and how she treats other people, every single day. The culture that Publix has cultivated and perpetuated—a culture that drives associates and shoppers alike to do better by their communities and serve where they can—Greta exemplifies it. Whether it’s in her community, in her office, at home with family, or with friends and their children, Greta shows up, gives everything she can, and does it because she enjoys it.
Point blank, Greta Dupuy bleeds Publix green. And her city is so glad she does.