Patricia Honnerlaw said she loves being a cashier that customers will wait in line to see.

“I love being a cashier as I get to know customers and their families,” Honnerlaw said. “When a customer says they waited to get into my line so I could check them out, (it) makes me feel so special. I like to make people laugh and smile before they leave.”

The Killeen resident said her career at H-E-B has helped her embrace working in customer service.

Honnerlaw is one of three Killeen women honored with the H-E-B Women of Distinction award in late April.

“To think they chose me out of all the hardworking women that I work with daily was such an honor,” Honnerlaw said. “H-E-B is such a great company to work for as they always recognize the good in people.”

Inspired by founder Florence Butt, who opened a small grocery store in Kerrville 113 years ago, H-E-B continues to distinguish female employees who make a significant impact on the company and their communities through the Women of Distinction award, according to a news release.

A full-time teacher for KISD, Honnerlaw currently works part-time at H-E-B.

“I plan to retire soon and pursue my last career in life with H-E-B,” Honnerlaw said.

She would eventually like to work in the training department or human resources department of H-E-B, she said.

“I want to let people know what a great company H-E-B really is and how they take such good care of their ‘partners,’” Honnerlaw said.

In addition to Honnerlaw, local honorees included Dessa Cummings and Letaua Tauiliili, of Killeen, according to the release.

“It is an honor and blessing to have been chosen to receive this award,” said Tauiliili. “I love working for H-E-B, it’s a great company to work for.”

Tauiliili said her managers and coworkers encourage her to grow as an individual.

“I’m lucky to work in different departments so I get to learn more every day,” Tauiliili said. “My goals are to just keep pushing and learn more and move up to wherever I’m needed.”

Heather Cross, of Copperas Cove, Savanna White, of Harker Heights, and Kari Ballard, of Gatesville, were also recognized as women of distinction, according to the release.

Ballard said after 18 years working at her local H-E-B, she is honored to be recognized and appreciated for the hard work and dedication she brings to the company.

“I have learned in the process of helping all different cultures of people that we are all very similar,” Ballard said. “I enjoy the opportunity to learn about the aspects of different cultures.”

Ballard said she intends to retire through H-E-B in 2030, when she reaches the 30-year mark.

“I am really grateful that when I first moved to Central Texas and was hired by H-E-B, a company that I knew nothing about, it turned into a career,” Ballard said. “I love my H-E-B.”

Winners were nominated by their peers and were selected based on a variety of qualities, including their dedication to excellence in customer service and their positive impact on co-workers.

A total of 400 women, including 24 from Central Texas were honored with the Women of Distinction award this year, the statement said.

“It is befitting to honor the women of H-E-B who, like Florence, work so hard to make a difference in our community,” the release said. “These events are an example of H-E-B’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.”

More than 4,000 Texas women have received the award celebrating their contributions to H-E-B and to their communities since the program began 19 years ago, the release stated.

“The women being honored represent the diversity of our workforce, and although they each have different backgrounds and life experiences, they are all bound by a commitment to leadership,” said Sonia Quirino Canales, H-E-B’s diversity and inclusion manager. “We hope that honoring our partners with this award will inspire more women to pursue leadership opportunities at H-E-B for years to come.”

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