Scranton, PA — UniFirst Corporation recently held its annual Founder’s Day—a day when the over 250 locations of UniFirst Corporation across North America celebrate the memory and business values of company founder Aldo Croatti. The company’s 14,000-plus employee Team Partners took a break from their busy schedules to honor the man who started the $1.8 billion uniform service and supply company on July 12, 1936.

Founder’s Day has been an annual event since Mr. Croatti’s passing in 2001. Annual festivities held at each UniFirst facility include presentations, barbecues, speeches, fun-filled activities, employee awards, and more.

The day also recognizes Mr. Croatti and his founding Core Values that remain the foundation of the company’s corporate culture today—Customer Focus, Respect for Others, and Commitment to Quality— with Team Partners renewing their annual commitment to the company’s Essentials of Service and pledging to keep customers the focus of everything they do. At the celebration, each UniFirst location also names its Employee of the Year (EOY)—the person who best exemplifies the company’s founding Core Values.

UniFirst held its 2019 Founder’s Day celebrations on July 12 companywide, including at the local facility in Scranton. This year, Brian Valonis was named as the UniFirst – Scranton Employee of the Year. Location manager John Sedeski said, “We’re thrilled and honored to have Brian represent our location as our Employee of the Year for 2019. 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. Customer focus is the hallmark of our company.” Mr. Valonis was presented with an award and a special recognition gift, as well as a bonus paid day off. The EOY also now has his name engraved on a commemorative plaque that is on permanent display at the UniFirst site. Valonis, who currently works as Route Sales Representative, lives in Jessup and has worked at UniFirst since 2017.

This year’s celebration also recognized some of UniFirst’s “unsung leaders”—employee Team Partners who routinely work behind the scenes or on their own to positively influence peers, customers, or others in their communities without seeking recognition for their accomplishments. These individuals were nominated by their co-workers at UniFirst locations from coast to coast. Submissions were sent via video describing in detail the nominees’ “unsung” leadership qualities.