NewsMy Hero


My Hero: Jackie and Mandy

Posted at 7:40 AM, Feb 09, 2023

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A hero can show up anywhere, even in a grocery store! Ernest Hawkins nominated two outstanding employees at the Publix on Eighth Street in Melrose.

"You won't believe this, Ms. Amy, but I am here three times a day," Hawkins told NewsChannel 5's Amy Watson. "I'm an impulsive Tennessee Lottery player."

So for two years, with three visits a day to Publix, he's made some forever friends. He's gotten to know Jackie Hagan, the store customer service manager and Mandy Haywood, the store manager. He says he often finds them going above and beyond their regular work duties. He says they do floors, clean windows, bag groceries and do just about anything to help their team.

"They even kiss babies!" he said, with a laugh.

Hawkins says they are leaders and friends and just good people.

But it appears to be a mutual admiration society because Hagan and Haywood say that Hawkins is their hero too.

"It's always great to see Ernest. He brightens my day and is so complimentary about the team and the teamwork. It's just great," Haywood said.

"He's my hero, he has a great attitude and respect for what we are doing at Publix and we just give that friendliness back to him," Hagan added.

If you would like to nominate someone for My Hero, send us an email at

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