Awards & Recognition

2023 Central MA Awards for Marketplace Excellence.

Worcester, Mass. — BBB of Central New England has announced that Imperial Distributors, FW Madigan Company, Castinetti Realty Group, Sunnyside Motors, and EVO Tents are the top winners at this year’s 2023 Central MA Awards for Marketplace Excellence.

The awards celebrate businesses in central Massachusetts and northeast Connecticut that epitomize corporate responsibility and always do what’s right by their customers. Honorees convey to the community of businesses that upholding the ethical standards of the Better Business Bureau is the hallmark of a successful business.

The businesses were recognized at the Central MA Awards for Marketplace Excellence ceremony, November 15th, along with other award recipients.

Imperial Distributors – Worcester

Winner – Large Business

Imperial Distributors has been a family-owned and operated company in Worcester for 84 years. Their family culture and values focus on supporting the success and wellbeing of their customers, suppliers, team members, and their community. Imperial Distributors, located in Worcester, has earned this special recognition for their long-standing commitment to Marketplace Excellence.



May 8th, 2023

103rd United Way Annual meeting.

The United Way’s Alexis de Tocqueville Award recognizes philanthropic and volunteer leaders who have devoted time, talent, and funds to create long lasting change by tackling our community’s most serious issues.  Today, we honor Carol and Michael Sleeper whose commitment to community service and leadership in philanthropy exemplifies the heart and spirit of the de Tocqueville Award.

“Carol and Michael Sleeper are long time generous supporters of the UWCM.  As both personal donors and as corporate partners through their family business, Imperial Distributors.  The Sleeper family has been deeply involved in the United Way and the Worcester community for many years. Carol has served on the leadership council of Women’s Initiative and as a United Way Board Member.  Michael has been a leader and driving force behind Imperial’s very successful workplace campaign.  Imperial’s annual golf tournament to benefit the UWCM has raised more than $1 million since its inception.  The Sleepers’ unwavering commitment to the United Way and strong leadership in fundraising and community involvement are unparalleled and so very much appreciated.”

WIC Community Appreciation Award May 2022

Worcester Islamic Center was brimming with excitement last night!
They hosted an Eid celebration event for Afghan refugee families to celebrate their first Eid in America in a joyful and special way at WIC.
It was a fun filled family event with toys and gifts for kids, Eidi bags, face painting and henna for sisters while enjoying a delicious Afghan dinner.

Imperial Distributors was recognized by Worcester Islamic Center with appreciation award from community for providing over 40 Afghan refugees employment opportunities. In conjunction with exceptional resettlement and assimilation actions by Congressman Jim McGovern, State Senator Harriette Chandler, City Mayor Joseph Petty and the United Way of Central MA.

2021 Diversity Equity Inclusion Award

Since our founding in 1939, we at Imperial Distributors have believed in the value of teamwork to serve our customers, partners and community. As a privately held organization with the second and third generation continuing in leadership roles, we think of our team not as employees but as family.
Our strength is rooted in the diverse backgrounds, experiences and viewpoints of team members. Imperial would not want it any other way. We are proud of our diversity and feature actual team members on our website.
When you walk through Imperial Distributors, you will see an abundance of races. You will hear conversations in different languages. Something that is universal in all of us – the smiles behind the masks when you say “hello.”
We work with community organizations such as Veterans Inc., Worcester Community Action Council and United Way to provide employment opportunities and hands-on experience.
We host a Multicultural Day, for which team members can bring in special dishes from their country. It is an inspiring day because everyone is so proud to share their heritage with their co-workers.
We break down barriers by partnering trainees with trainers who share their native language. A centerpiece of our cafeteria is a world map where team members are invited to pin where they or their family are from.
We openly accept everyone with mutual respect and encouragement. We are committed to hiring from within and actively create learning and advancement opportunities for everyone.
An example of these efforts is our Women’s Forum, which brings together leaders for open, honest discussions about the challenges our female leaders experience and create paths to greater achievement.
Since its inception, more than 10 women have been promoted and our executive team is 60 percent female. This is a true testament to our commitment to providing opportunity to the Imperial Distributors family.

2018 MassEcon Award.

Diverse Companies in State’s 5 Regions Have this in Common: Expansion

WATERTOWN, MA – MassEcon, the state’s private sector partner in promoting business growth in Massachusetts, today announced its Fifteenth Annual Team Massachusetts Economic Impact Award winners, recognizing 15 companies for their outstanding contributions to the Massachusetts economy. The companies were selected on the basis of job growth, facility expansion, investment, and community involvement since January 1, 2017. The winners will be honored at a luncheon on November 20, 2018 at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel, with Citizens Bank as presenting sponsor.

The winning companies were selected after site visits and a reception with their competitors and judges at Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP. The company expansion project’s represent a financial investment over $779 million, more than 1.6 million square feet, and more than 3,100 jobs added to the state’s economy.

2016 MFA Community Service Award Recipient.

Massachusetts Food Association

Michael was honored for his tireless philanthropic work in the Worcester area. Besides leading Imperial, Michael dedicates his time to various community efforts. He serves as a Trustee of Assumption College, Trustee Emerita of the Worcester Art Museum, Trustee for the Reliant Medical Foundation, and Corporator for the Greater Worcester Community Foundation, and Music Worcester. Michael served on the Board of Overseers of Babson College and is a lifetime member of the President’s Council at Assumption College.

He has served in a number of leadership roles and actively participates in business community efforts to improve the city of Worcester. Most recently he was honored with the City of Worcester’s most prestigious recognition for community service, the Isiah Thomas award. In 2013 Imperial Distributors was an inaugural winner of “Growing and Readying Our Workforce” (GROW). This award recognizes local employers and their efforts to provide job opportunities for young people. Under Michael’s guidance, Imperial has shown that it can be an example for other businesses to follow through its experiences in hiring disadvantaged youth through an initiative of the Central Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board administered by the Worcester Community Action Council.

Isaiah Thomas Award.

Telegram & Gazette Vision Awards.

Imperial’s Chairman Michael Sleeper was chosen to receive the 2015 Isaiah Thomas Award for service to the community. The award was presented by the Worcester Telegram & Gazette at Mechanics Hall with Gov. Charlie Baker as the keynote. The Isaiah Thomas Award is given to a Central Massachusetts resident who has made outstanding contributions to society, especially over a period of time.

“Big corporations get treated like partners in his family business, and individuals from humble backgrounds get a place in the company fold”, according to the Telegram & Gazette. “The chairman and chief executive of Imperial Distributors Inc. also uses something personal, community service, to shape the culture of his business.” “He gets his team so excited. He’s a multiplier of a thousand,” said Christopher J. Crowley, executive vice president of Polar Beverages of Worcester, a friend who has traveled on business trips with Mr. Sleeper. “He gets everybody committed to community service.”

Michael Sleeper reflects, “I think some of it has to do with my love for Worcester. I talk about it being beautiful Worcester. I never say Worcester. I say beautiful Worcester. It’s kind of a bit of a joke, but in a way, it’s not a joke, because that’s kind of the way I think about it.”

Under Michael Sleeper, Imperial has become an engine for charitable giving. The company and its team members have donated more than $1 million in the past 10 years to the United Way, a nonprofit organization that focuses on local communities. Imperial also has hired 25 people over 25 years through the Worcester Community Action Council, an organization focused on addressing poverty.

Business of the Year Award.

Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce

Imperial Distributors was named 2015 Business of the Year by the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce. The award recognizes Imperial for its commitment to excellence and significant contributions to the continued economic vitality of the region through community investment and service.