PITTSBURG — The JCPenney at Meadowbrook Mall was recently recognized as one of the company’s best stores in 2017.

The company honored its top performing stores with its Founder’s Award at a special ceremony, April 5 at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas.

With more than 870 JCPenney stores across the country, General Manager Dale Brame was one of over 90 store leaders recognized for outstanding performance in 2017.

“I’m proud of our dedicated associates at JCPenney in the Meadowbrook Mall who received this special recognition,” Senior Vice President of Stores Tony Hurst said. “The Founder’s Award is the Company’s highest honor, recognizing top-performing leaders that significantly contribute to the success of JCPenney and provide customers with an unmatched shopping experience.”

The Founder’s Award is presented to general and district managers for leading teams that deliver strong results in the areas of financial performance, customer and client service, and business expertise.

Brame attributes his store winning the award to his associates.

“I know we’ve just got a great group of folks because they try hard, they are engaged with the customers, and they truly care about the customers they help here,” Brame said. “They are part of the community and they are the driving force.”

Considering the JCPenney at 02 East Centennial Dr is a smaller store in a smaller market, Brame said he was pleasantly surprised to have received the award.

“We kind of got to see how all of our hard work and efforts got turned into a good year for the store, the company and Pittsburg,” he said. “I’m a little bit surprised, but on the other hand, we try to be that way every day.”

Although no direct, tangible benefits to the store come with the award, Brame said he is optimistic about his store’s future.

“I think there’s going to be great opportunities moving forward just based on our ability to service the customer the right way,” he said. “We’ve talked about it in layman’s terms, but we’ve just made it a goal of ours to be the friendliest shop in Pittsburg.”

Having been with the company for eight years, Brame said his time at the Pittsburg store in particular is among his most rewarding.

“I’ve been in a lot of different markets and even though you can’t always say this about every store you’ve been in, I can honestly say that I truly love working with my associates here,” he said. “It’s a really good community, the people are nice and hard working, they genuinely enjoy JCPenney, and we enjoy them.”

 — Brandon Schmitz is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be reached at bschmitz@morningsun.net.