The Crest Ink is a quarterly newsletter that celebrates the success of Crest Foods and our employees.
Volume 31 • Number 02 April, May & June 2019 Ashton, IL 61006
New Toys by Jeff Meiners
It seems that Crest is in a constant state of upgrading our packaging equipment. As is the case with all news toys, personal or business, they are certainly fun to play with but conversely no fun to pay for. Due to the fact that we run such a variety of products, our want list is almost endless, but our ability to pay is not…so we try to make sure that the equipment we do buy makes the most impact on the floor. Several recently installed pieces of equipment will hopefully be making a big impact on the production floor soon. The West Production Facility is sporting a new palletizing system that replaces the outdated robotic system that was no longer in use. This thing is a monster and takes up a huge foot print on the warehouse floor just outside the production room. Once up and running, this system will have the ability to simultaneously stack three high speed production lines on a three shift basis. The investment in capital and the sacrifice of valuable space will be off-set by a substantial savings in labor. This is especially important since it is hard to find enough people to staff our lines in today’s economy. The end result will be that no one will lose their job due to this labor saving effort…we will simply be able to better run all of our scheduled lines without having to make daily cuts. We also have a new horizontal packager from HMC on the floor. This machine could be termed a monster as well
In This Issue
Getting to Know A-Shift Sanitation page 2
Packaging QA Goes Mobile page 7
Pets of Crest page 16
in size as it is bigger than any other packager we have. It does, however, have a number of unique features that will more than justify its footprint on floor. This machine has the ability to run zippered pouches, can run a variety of pouch sizes from large to small, can accommodate 3 filler heads and can generally run faster than any other machine
we have on the floor. The list of additional features is also very impressive in regards to safety, ease of use and quality of finished product. We might need to read the owner’s manual on this one, but we have sky high hopes for it once it is up and going.
Keep an eye out for this new equipment on the floor and just like a kid’s list for Christmas, there are a lot more items on our wish list…so watch for news on more additions in the coming months. GETTING TO KNOW A-Shift Sanitation The contract packaging A-Shift Sanitation crew consists of eight employees who manage to get their hands dirty in a variety of ways supporting all of our packaging lines in all facilities as well as general housekeeping duties in a number of areas. What at one time was a just-do-it type of job has evolved into a much more defined area domi- nated by written procedures and an understanding that work needs to be documented and verified or it is often con- sidered as never having happened at all. Our group of eight has a varied set of job responsibilities. Tasks include but are not limited to changeover sup- port, container management, janitorial duties, pest control, environmental monitoring, master sanitation and recy- cling. Nearly one third of our average 55 weekly changeovers are supported by our A-Shift group and these de- mand a lot of our time and planning efforts. Janitorial duties also account for about a person and a half worth of time commitment. It is obvious that this group has a variety of responsibilities and touches nearly our entire facility in one way or an- other. We simply wouldn’t operate without them and appreciate all they do to help keep our facility operational every single day. Ben Fichter (Floor Manager) Years at Crest Foods: 34
Interests: Wildlife and nature photography, camping with my wife (April) and dogs 1 thing most don’t know about me: My wife named our dogs after country music stars: Rucker and Paisley.
Austin Tornow Years at Crest Foods: 2 Interests: Video games, movies, spending time with my family 1 thing most don’t know about me: I’m married and have 2 kids. I also collect dragons.
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Glenn White Years at Crest Foods: 9
Interests: Restoring vehicles (I am currently restoring an ’85 Chevy El Camino.) 1 thing most don’t know about me: I am number 10 out of a family of 10 children.
Mark Beasley Years at Crest Foods: 4 Interests: Movies, video games, reading, food 1 thing most don’t know about me: I will soon be going to school to become a youth pastor.
Carol Murphy Years at Crest Foods: 10 Interests: Hiking, music and history 1 thing most don’t know about me: I have three grandkids and love fashion.
Nick Sterling Years at Crest Foods: 6 months Interests: Collecting records, music 1 thing most don’t know about me: The first concert I ever went to was Johnny Cash when I was 10 years old. Randy Otten Years at Crest Foods: 4 Interests: Going to flea markets and antique malls with my wife 1 thing most don’t know about me: I have been married for 31 years and like classical and opera music.
TimWittenauer Years at Crest Foods: 2
Interests: Doing obedience training with my dogs, tennis, volleyball and movies 1 thing most don’t know about me: I am a foster parent for Dalmatians.
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The auger hoppers used in contract packaging to deliver product to our packaging lines were identified as our num- ber one priority for safety modifications on equipment nearly a year ago. As a result, a complete redesign of these systems was accomplished by our internal staff. This was no small task as many hands needed to touch these pieces of equipment to reach our goal...and we had 35 of these hoppers that would need to be modified. After much thought and many changes, final plans were drawn by our internal engineering group for this project. The plan featured a category 3 safety circuit including safety sensors for various removable parts of the hopper which resulted in a piece of equipment that would not function if any of the safety features had been compro- mised. The finished new hoppers look and function like a high tech piece of equipment versus the basic machines that they previously were. While much time was devoted to this project on the planning side, it paled in comparison to the amount of time taken to do the actual work of modifying this equipment. Each hopper took at least 36 hours of labor to modify (remember we have 35 of them). The project in total took over one half mile of continuous welding and the use of 11,000 pounds of argon gas to accomplish. On top of that, each hopper needed to be totally rewired with new control panels being installed. This would be an ambitious project if it was the only project we had to work on, but it became especially difficult considering we had a full load of projects and new start-ups to support at the very same time. This project was completed over an eight month period of time – on schedule with an exceptionally high quality end product. A big thank you goes out to all involved in helping make our production floor a better place to work. Rumor has it that the next project is already on the drawing board and as always, we’re anxious to see it completed and ont he floor… guess that’s what one might call job security for our machine shop! Many of those involved with this project celebrated with an auger hopper cake (thanks Val Smith!). Nate Sullivan, Bob Pittman, Denton Yocum, Sam McBride, Ethan Veglio, Cody Brill, Jeff Karas, Steve Zellers, Rob Osborne, Matt Decker & Rick Rice Crest Sewer Project Complete by Steve Zera Believe it or not, our forced main sewer project is finally complete. Well, not totally true. As this is being written, we’re looking towards next week to make the final connection to the system and we’ll be operational by the time you read this. By June you should see no sign of the digging and construction and grass should be growing along Rt. 38 and around our West Facility. The only noticeable addition will be the lift and pump station directly north of the West Production office building.
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Power Hour by Jared Stumpenhorst By now hopefully everyone is familiar with the term Power Hour! If not, it is simply that first hour of the work day, or any day for that matter! It is that time of the day when everyone is busy trying to get things going and get the day started off on the right foot. Back in December when everyone heard about Power Hour during the plant- wide meetings we threw a lot of information out to everyone (even though it seemed like a lot of people just want- ed to talk about Legos). Now we want to provide everyone with an update and some things to think about looking forward. As was revealed in the plant-wide meetings we have a set goal of improving our OEE during the Power Hour by 10% in both the Main Plant on A-shift and the West Facility on A-shift. That is not to say that the first hour of every single shift is not important. It is! In fact, it is crucial. However, as you probably remember, hands down the biggest opportunity to improve upon lost production time at Crest Foods was on these two shifts. So, how are we doing? In the Main Plant we are averaging 67% OEE since January 1st with a goal of 77% by the end of the fiscal year. At the West Facility we are at nearly 80% OEE since January 1st with a goal of 86% by the end of the fiscal year. Obviously there is still some ground to make up in both areas but we can absolutely make it happen. We can do it by remembering that each and every one of us has an impact not only on how we start our own days, but also how those people that come after us start their days. Think about how you would want to start your shift and then think about what you can do to make sure that the person coming after you can start their day in the same way. Our end of year goal may still seem like it is out of reach, but if we can pull together and pick each other up we can absolutely achieve it. Keep generating those Actions, but also remember that you can make a difference to- day. Do not forget that every Monday a new report comes out on every iPad that gives an update of the prior week’s performance as well as how we are doing year to day against our goal. Beyond just the numbers, that report also provides details on what the biggest downtime issue have been during the Power Hour. That is where it is at! These are the areas that we should be focused on to get the biggest bang for the buck with where we put our ef- forts. If you do not have visibility to those reports and want to know how you can help, talk to a line operator or supervisor. They have access to the information and can hopefully offer some perspective. Watch out for those “Legos” out in the plant and make sure that you are not leaving them for somebody else! This project started in the early months of 2017. This was originally planned as a one year start to finish project, and we’re approaching the two year mark. The process of preparing an application for a state grant and all of the associated red tape and paperwork was more than we expected. Couple that with weather issues, material availabil- ity issues and continually trying to push the paperwork along, we found ourselves having gone a year past our origi- nal deadline. If you remember from our early Crest Ink articles about this, the reason this had to be done was to deal with the fact that our growth and water/waste output at the west complex, particularly the Mix Facility, was too large and no longer sustainable according to the EPA, who maintains and issues our industrial operating permit for that location. So, we had to do something and this seemed to be the best option. Not only did we solve our immediate problem at the Mix facility, we designed this system to accommodate recent and future growth at the entire west complex. This includes the Ingredient Warehouse and any future facilities. As needed we’ll be able to route all of our waste from the West Facility and send it to town. Don’t be surprised if you see some of that work being done this year to connect the West Production building as well. Thanks to all for put- ting up the mess and inconvenience.
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Retirements in Abundance
Tim Wittenauer, Nick Sterling, Carol Murphy, Gisela Belmonte, Ben Fichter, Karen Yardley & Austin Tornow
Over the last three months, Crest Foods has seen the retirement of five long time employees. These five employees have spent a total of 101 years at Crest Foods! We wish each of them well as they find their new ‘normal’ as a retired person. After 20 years, Gisela Belmonte, first shift Sanitation, decided to hang up her wash cloth and put down her bucket. Gisela will be remembered for her meticulous cleaning of equipment sent to the equipment storage area. This was equipment being taken out of service for a short time, or a long time, but when Gisela was done, there wasn’t a spot she had not touched. “Over the years, we received many compliments from customers or other visitors on the incredible detail that Gisela put into the cleaning of the equipment as it went into storage” said Gisela’s supervisor, Karen Yardley. Thank you Gisela for your years of service to Crest Foods! Judy Barrett, a thirty two year veteran of Crest Foods, first started working in Production. Over the early years she was versatile enough that the Production Department would loan her out to the Scheduling Department to fill in from time to time. Finally, in 2005, Judy became full time in Scheduling. Now that Judy is retired, she intends to find more time to work in her yard, read books and spend time with family. We wish Judy the best in her retirment. Sanitation lost another valued employee to retirement and that was Ruby Krueger. Ruby found her way here when an acquaintance told her about a new position open at Crest Foods and that was basic janitorial and housekeeping. Ruby left her job at a local convenience store/gas station and has spent the last 13 years working in Sanitation on second shift. Their loss was our gain! Ruby likes to spend time with her dogs and her family. Ruby, enjoy your retirement! Debbie Noon, first shift Production, is planning to spend time in warm places and with family when she retired in February after 17.5 years. Deb spent her career here at Crest Foods in the Production area. At one time or another Deb’s husband and two children also worked at Crest Foods so it was truly a family affair. Deb enjoys horses and has a passion for chronicling the lives of her grandchildren by making photo journals of their times together. We wish Deb and her family the best as she and her husband, who is also retired, find their new found time to explore new places. And lastly, Al Hess, first shift Floor Supervisor, decided to turn off his headset and pick up his golf clubs. When Al started working at Crest Foods in 2000, he worked in the Ingredient Division. A fun fact that many do not know, Al owned the Conover Bakery in Oregon for a long time before coming to Crest Foods! He sold the bakery and a few weeks later he was coaching soccer with Mark McWethy (MIS Director) who suggested Al come to Crest
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Foods to interview. And the rest is history! So working with food or food ingredients has been in Al’s life for quite
some time. After seven years in the Ingredient Division, Al was promoted to a Production Floor Supervisor where he has spent that last 12 years. At Al’s farewell lunch in March, he thanked everyone for all the years he was able to spend with them and re- minded everyone ‘to love your neighbor as yourself ’. Al and his wife plan to spend some time in Arizona and do a little travel. Al, you will be missed! Packaging QA Goes Mobile by Dawn Summers Packaging QA is on the move… literally! With the implementation of Redzone, QA has been working towards the goal of being fully mobile. After many months and a few hurdles, it looks like our efforts will be coming to fruition! It has taken the cooperation of many departments to make this happen through the resourcefulness of many Crest employees. After months of searching for the right tools, it seems we are ready to go live on line! This was not without some challenges. The seemingly most simple of tasks turned out to be complicated. For example, we trialed many dif- ferent mobile carts, none of which fit our exact needs. Our purchasing department thought “outside the box” and worked with our machine shop, to modify carts to fit our unique application…carts done. Next on the list were Blue tooth scales to talk to Redzone, which again with today’s technology seemed like an easy find. It was not. This type of scale, with the software we needed, was not readily available and came with a high price tag. Again using some creativity and ingenuity, QA and purchasing were able to make this a reality with the help of our knowl- edgeable suppliers and Crest resourcefulness. We also have had the help and support of the machine shop and building maintenance to build and install flowmeters throughout the plant. What does going mobile look like you ask? You will see QA Techs on the floor at each line not only doing their regular line checks, they will also be doing weights and leak tests right on the line as samples are pulled to be tested. This will reduce our discovery and action time if a problem is present. Secondly, with the flowmeters being acces- sible on the lines, line operators will be empowered to have more ownership and control over leakers since they can test product at any time if they suspect an issue or to be proactive in preventing one. Maintenance can also test product at start up and after adjustments to make sure they have gotten the desired results from their work.
Our goal is to reduce the amount of product needing to be pulled, in turn reduce rework, loss of material and manpower needed to repair quality issues. This initia- tive will also increase the amount of QA presence and checks on the lines which will allow QA to inform the operators if they are seeing issues with weights or leakers, in the “warning” stage, to ensure we are making adjustments before a fail- ure occurs. With line techs not needing to collect their samples and return to their weigh stations to do testing, which can take an hour, our reaction time to issues is expected to increase and the amount of pulled product is expected to decrease significantly. This has been a long journey and a combined effort of many departments and we are grateful for the support and are excited to see the results of our collaboration.
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Our Sympathy Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Deana Duncan (Production A), on her passing 1/22/19. Crest extends their sympathy to the family and friends of long time employee Morine Snodgrass (Scheduling), on her passing 1/29/19. Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Jeremy Hammonds (Maintenance B), on his passing 1/03/19. Our sympathy to Audra (Production A) and Jim (Karlin) Reindel on the death of Audra’s brother, George Hel- frich, this February. Our sympathy to Peggy Benford (Production A) on the loss of her sister this January. Our sympathy to Ann Prestegaard (Production A) on the loss of her mom this January. Our sympathy to Eric Droege (Maintenance C) on the loss of his mother, Jan Libberton, this February. Thank You Thank you for your monetary donation. Your support during this time is deeply appreciated. – The Family of Morine Snodgrass Your kind expression of sympathy and friendship will always remain in our memories. – The Family of Neil Henert Thank you all for all the prayers, love, and good thoughts through the sickness and passing of my sister It was a long battle for us. I couldn’t have made it through without your understanding and prayers. – Peggy Sue Benford Your kindness made a difference and your thoughtful- ness touched my heart. – Jerry & Joanne Waters, Rich & Denise Snodgrass, Lori & Terry Avery
Thanks for the retirement party. Crest has been a good place to work with a lot of really great people. Judy Bar- rett Thank you Crest Foods! You sure put a lot of smiles on our clients faces during the Holidays. What a great idea. They all loved opening the presents - what great shop- pers you have. Thank you! Sue Ely (Kreider Services)
Thank you Crest Foods for sponsoring our co-ed vol- leyball team! We are having a blast with our weekly competition and have found a great group of friends in the area. Team Name: “We Showed Up” includes Crest employees Catherine Larson (Production C), Carynn Pu- entes & Kimberlee McClana- han (both Accounting).
Thanks to everyone who supported us this year! Crest employees are always welcome to come see us in the pits afterwards for a cold beverage! Don Cole (Ingredient A)
Congratulations Rick (Controls Engineer) and Anne Rice welcomed their second grandchild, Damien James Brownrigg, on February 22, 2019. Damien decided to make his grand presence nearly 6 weeks ahead of schedule at 5 lb. 11 oz. Proud, first time parents are Matthew (Rice) Oswald and Ashley Brownrigg of London, Ontario, Canada.
Savannah Dees (Benefits) married Quinn Fagan December 8, 2018. Congratulations to the newlyweds!
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We are constantly amazed by the generosity and kindness of our employees. Whether it’s volunteering during the holidays for one of the many projects that give back to the community or a fundraiser to help one of our own as they deal with an illness, we see it time and again. Another way our employees give back is when they volunteer their services to be a First Responder on our Emer- gency Response Team. While some employees volunteer and Crest arranges for their training and certification, oth- er employees come to us already trained and certified because of their affiliation with local emergency response organizations. Such is the case with the following team members: Emergency Response Team Continues to Grow
Matt Richardson Purchasing Manager Dixon City Fire
Ben Yates Mix A-Shift Franklin Grove Fire
Rachael Muszynski Staff Accountant
Martha Holder Scheduling Clerk Ashton Fire
Mandi Kersten Lab Technician Ashton Fire
If you see any of these people, please thank them for the service they provide to us here at Crest as well as the role they play in our community. And if you have any interest in being a part of the Emergency Response Team as a First Responder, please let Karen Yardley, Safety/Sanitation Manager know.
Welcome Cory Morris! Cory Morris was recently added to the Crest management team as an Ingredient Division Buyer. He and his wife Taylor, and two sons Houston and Bryant, relocated to the area from Harrisonburg, Virginia. Both Cory and Taylor grew up in the Dixon area and are looking forward to returning and being closer with friends and family. Congratulations to Cory on his new position and welcome to Crest.
Congratulations to the following employees for obtaining new jobs at Crest Foods over the last few months!
Neli Coronel QA Line Tech B-Shift
John Howell Maintenance Mechanic B-Shift
Chris Mooney Ing Div. Production C-Shift Lead
Catherine Larson Maintenance Mechanic A-Shift
Brad Lawyer Maintenance Mechanic C-Shift
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by Jeff Meiners The Crest family mourned the loss of four long time employees over the past several months. We cherish the memories that each brought to us in different ways and our thoughts and prayers go out to each of their families as well as our thanks for sharing them with us for so many years. Crest is a much better place for these people having shared a part of their lives with us…may they all rest in peace.
Morine Snodgrass worked for Crest for 46 years in many different areas finishing her career in the Packaging Scheduling Department. She was an Ashton girl who put her roots down here and never left, raising her family and becoming an intricate part of Crest as well. She was a kind, giving person who was quick to help others and very involved with her expand- ing family. Lila Burhen worked for Crest for 43 years and was a fixture on the Production floor. She retired when she was 83 years old! She was part of the dynamic duo of Lila and Guyla who together taught many young and new employees the concept of a strong work ethic. She was a quiet and kind person, but wasn’t afraid to let us know what was on her mind should there be a reason to do so. Jeremy Hammonds worked for Crest for over 20 years as a valued member of our Mainte- nance Department. He was one of those guys who could fix almost anything and was often asked to do just that at Crest relying on his ingenuity to tackle the problem at hand. He was a soft spoken, good hearted man who was more than willing to do anything to help someone else in need. Deana Duncan worked for Crest for 10 years as a member of the Production Department. She was one of our core group of people who came to work every day and faithfully did any task that was put in front of her. She also shared her family with Crest as 3 of her daughters and her sister have worked for us. She enjoyed her large family, traveling, shopping, crafts and being part of her church. Notes From Payroll:
Addresses & Phone Numbers : Please keep Payroll informed of your correct address and phone number changes. It is very important information to keep up to date with our department, as we use this information to mail your Crest Ink, W-2’s, contact you during an emergency situation here at Crest or to keep insurance carriers up to date. If you change your phone number, cell phone carrier or email address please also remember to up date your paperless pay (my-estub) account so that you continue to receive your pay stub notifications. Two Hour Increments: Each new year means that the one vacation day you are allowed to split up in two hour increments has begun again as of January 1st. These increments must be pre-approved by your supervisor. Uniforms: Each year employees are offered a uniform allotment based on the month of your date of hire. Be sure to order your uniforms during the month of your date of hire each year. Forms are available in the break - rooms and can be turned in to Gary Guenther.
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Production Management Changes by Sue Osborne
Keith Larson A-Shift Supervisor Main Plant
Cass Askegaard B-Shift Supervisor West Facility
Lindsay Eaton B-Shift Supervisor Main Plant
Becca Dodd C-Shift Supervisor West Facility
Al Hess’ retirement brought about a domino of changes in the Contract Packaging Production Department. Al is leaving a position on 1st shift, which will be filled by Keith Larson, who is currently a 2nd shift Supervisor at the West Facility. Keith transfered to the 1st Shift at the Main Plant this March and joined Amy Wilcox. Keith’s move created another vacancy which will be filled by Cass Askegaard. Cass, who is cur- rently a 2nd shift Supervisor will be moving from the Main Plant out to the West Facility. She is moving on March 4th. Cass will be backfilled by Lindsay Eaton who joined Crest Foods on Feb- ruary 11th. Lindsay will be joining Gina Smith, and brings many years of manufacturing experi- ence in both Production and Quality Control roles at Donaldson. Welcome to Crest, Lindsay! Becca Dodd, who is currently the Level 6 at the West Facility has accepted the 3rd shift Pro- duction Supervisor position replacing Angie Paul. This move will take place on March 31st. Please wish all these people the best in their new roles and help make the transitions as smooth as possible. Nurses Corner: Alzheimer’s & Dementia by Nurse Heidi McGlown, RN Based on recent studies, Alzheimer’s dementia has been linked to some of the most common diseases in the U.S. Scientists recommend that we lower our risk by controlling certain related factors. • Reducing your risk for heart disease lowers your chance of getting dementia. To protect your brain, reduce your heart attack and stroke risk and also quit smoking. • Reducing alcohol intake. Excessive alcohol intake can cause some forms of dementia (although it has not been shown to raise risk of Alzheimer’s) • Type 2 diabetes increases the rate of mental decline, shown in memory test scores, likely because of elevated insulin levels. • Control your weight. During a 36 year study, the rate of dementia was 2 to 3 times greater for those who were obese in middle age. • Exercise regularly. Among older adults with increased genetic risk for Alzheimer’s, those who exercised regularly maintained normal healthy brains; when they began sitting too much, the positive effects began to reverse. If you have any questions as to how to control these things, talk to your Crest nurse or to your doctor for tips. Let’s try to keep our bodies AND or brains healthy!
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Jeff Roop Advances to State Level Officiating by Cheri Kemp The sound of tennis shoes skidding and screeching on cement, blacktop or gym floors and whistles blowing are sounds that are music to the ears of Jeff Roop. From pickup games in his driveway with his brothers and friends to grade school and high school bas-
ketball, Jeff Roop has always had the love of the game. Not one to talk about himself or his accomplishments, it was easy to see the love of what Jeff does in his spare time, and his commitment to the youth as we talked about his 19 years of officiating basketball. For Jeff, one of three boys in his family, himself a father to three boys and now a grandfather to three boys and three girls, sports has been a large part of his life. Jeff mentioned that in the year 2000, when his youngest son decided as a freshman in high school, not to play basketball, Jeff needed to find something to do with his time. No longer spending several nights a week sitting in the bleachers watching one son or another play basketball, Jeff de- cided to jump from the bleachers to the floor and become a referee. “To become a referee I had to pass an open book test and attend clinics through the White Pines Officials Associa- tion as well as becoming Registered as an official; Recognized as an official; and Certified as an official. It is truly on the job training. You are thrown onto the floor to start officiating at games.” (I imagine there are plenty of bleacher referee’s willing to help an official learn the ropes!) “The first three or four years I officiated grade school basketball and freshman basketball. By about the fifth year I moved into strictly high school basketball. “I probably officiated at 60 games per season early on but for the last four or five years only 30 to 40 games per season. I can pick and choose when I want to ref or not. Each year I have to use the associations’ basketball schedule website to block out certain dates that I do not want to ref, like for my wife’s birthday! For the dates that I do not block out, I might have to referee a game as far north as the Wisconsin border; south to Putnam County, east to Kaneland and west to Port Byron. So it is a pretty large area that I may need to travel. Some nights I might referee two games, other nights just one but there is virtually games going on several nights of the week. I began officiating at both girls and boys basketball games but now do just girls basketball.” I asked Jeff if he referees games for Ashton-Franklin Center (AFC) since that is our local school as well as where Jeff and his children all went to school. In our small, rural setting, everybody knows everybody, pretty much. Jeff said he will referee an Ashton-Franklin Center game, or an Amboy game (another small community in our back yard) but “I will not referee a game between AFC & Amboy. I know too many people from both towns. That would not be a good idea.” What drives Jeff to continue on as a referee? “Well, I set a goal 19 years ago when I decided to get into this, to go ‘down state’”. By that Jeff means he wanted to achieve the goal of being able to officiate State level games for high school girls teams that made it through the Regionals; Sectionals; Super Sectionals and on to play for the State Championship. These games are held in Redbird Arena at Illinois State University in Normal, IL. To be able to be considered for the basketball games that are above the local level, a person has to register on the official website to show an interest in officiating at the Regional; Sectional; Super Sectional or State Level. “I have achieved that goal!” Some officials go 30 to 35 years and never get the opportunity to go to State. It is a great experience. I wish every one could experience that. The level of play of these young people who make it to State makes our job easy. I was
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CIP 2019 2nd Quarter Winners The Continuous Improvement Program (CIP) is a program where employees submit suggestions on ways they think we can improve Crest Foods. These suggestions may help improve overall efficiency, employee safety, sanita- tion, record keeping, maintenance and various other areas around Crest Foods. We received 19 suggestions from employees for the 2nd quarter. Thank you to everyone for participating! Heather Thomasson, Production B-Shift 2nd Quarter 1st Place • $250 Any advice for those thinking about becoming a referee? “Some guys are in it for the money. If that is why, then you are in it for the wrong reason. It is for the kids and you get to meet a lot of great people. And just try to block out what the fans are saying and remember it is a game. It is, after all, for the kids! There will be a shortage of ref ’s in the future because not a lot of younger people picking up officiating. The ones that do, do not say long.” In the meantime, as Jeff contemplates the next year or two of officiating, he would encourage those interested to give it a try. The feeling of accomplishment and love of the game is what keeps him going back. able to go to State in 2017 and again in 2019. An official is only allowed to ref at the state level 3 times. It can take a number of years to get to the third time.” When asked if he was thinking of retiring from officiating basketball or wait until he is selected to go to the State level a third time, Jeff said he is unsure. “If I commit to officiate next year then I will likely be in a 2 year commit- ment waiting to get selected to officiate at the state level a third time. We (the officials) are getting older but the kids are still 16 or 17 years old. It gets hard on your body.”
We should install pallet stoppers or bumpers at the end of each roll conveyor in the dump areas of lines 83, 85 & 91. This would be to prevent totes from falling off of the back of the conveyors and potentially hurting someone. This is a good safety call-out, and they have already been made and installed.
Brad Furman, Mix B-Shift 2nd Quarter Runner Up • $150
To help prevent the fans on the hand lifts and chargers from burning out, order sleeves to fit over the batteries and control areas. This would keep powders from falling through the openings, and collecting on the electrical components. This is a great idea that could eliminate the need for someone to have to take apart the hand lifts on a routine basis to clean them. Hannah Derksen, Production B-Shift 2nd Quarter Runner Up • $150 On Line 23 when the sleever feeder faults out it automatically goes back into single feed mode, meaning they have to be jogged through and set back to auto-mode, caus- ing a lot of down-time. If it could be bi-passed, or set-up differently, it would prevent wasted sleeves. This is very time consuming for line operators when it happens, so it has been added to our project list.
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by Karen Yardley Let us introduce you to ALICE. The ALICE Training Program is committed to increasing survivability in a violent intruder event through training proactive response options. There are more ways than one to be prepared for a violent event. Whether you are here at work, at the mall, in a theater, grocery shopping, attending your favorite sports game or listening to a concert, you have options. When ALICE response strategies are implemented, you are empowered to choose your best survival option. A violent event is any event at any location where a person (or persons) attempts to harm innocent people by any means and regardless of motivation. We hear about these events on the news all too often and we can no longer deny the fact that they could happen in a small town like Ashton. Seconds count during a violent event and the actions taken in between when the even begins and law enforcement arrives, are significant and can increase surviv- ability. The ALICE program empowers individuals to participate in their own survival using proactive response strategies in the face of a violent threat. The program is designed to ensure anybody can employ the strategies. Young, old, male, female, it doesn’t matter. The program has been adopted by businesses, healthcare facilities, schools, churches and organizations to prepare employees, staff, students and individuals in the event of a violent threat. We will be talking a lot about the ALICE program in the coming year as we enhance our Emergency Response Guideline and train employees. Let’s start with the basics – the ALICE strategies: A lert is your first notification of danger. It is recognizing the signs of danger and receiving information about the danger from others. L ockdown: If Evacuation is not a safe option, barricade entry points. Prepare to Evacuate or Counter if needed. I nform: Communicate real time information on shooter location. Use clear and direct language using any commu- nication means possible. C ounter: As a last resort, create noise, movement, distance and distraction to reduce the shooter’s ability to shoot accurately. E vacuate: When safe to do so, run from danger using non-traditional exits if necessary. Meeting points should be predetermined. Remember, there are no guarantees in an active shooter or violent intruder situation. Just as in most other emergen- cy situations, the more you prepare, the better your chances of survival. Probably the best thing we can collectively do as a company is to treat each other with respect, be nice to each other, and ultimately look out for each other so that everyone gets to go home safe to their families every day. Streator FFA Wins Illinois Food Science Contest The Streator FFA Food Science Team won the Illinois Association FFA Food Science Career De- velopment Event in Joliet, Illinois! Tristen Geary, MacKenzie Donahue and Alea Ogle will travel to the 92nd National FFA Convention in Indiana this October to represent Streator and the state of Illinois! This team had to develop a new product for consumers, identify multiple aromas, complete a math practi- cum, classify a customer inquiry or safety problem, and identify an off flavor in a triangle test. Last March, students on the Streator FFA Food Science Team spent the day at Crest Foods with people from R&D, Quality Control, and Packaging as a way to help them prepare for their state competition. Congratulations and good luck in October!
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Employee Review Season is Here by Susan Larson, Payroll Manager
Along with spring, comes preparation for our annual employee performance appraisals. In April of each year our office prepares the basic information needed for supervisors to complete their respective employee’s reviews. Once we have distributed our information, your supervisor has until the first of July to complete the reviews and sit down with each employee to discuss the results. Our review period covers from April 1st of the prior calendar year thru March 31st of the current year. Examples of some areas touched upon for the review are Quality of Work, Job Knowledge, Communication and Initiative. Other factors considered outside of the job criteria scor- ing are employee awards (ex. Quality hero), attendance and discipline issues. The review format is based on a scoring system from 1 (unsatisfactory) thru 5 (top performer) and includes 10 areas to be rated. Total score is cal- culated, divided by 10 and then rounded down to the nearest whole or half (.5) score. Historically the across the board/incentive increases that employees receive at the beginning of the fiscal year are attached to the score that is received on the performance appraisal. Last years’ wage incentives ranged from 0 to 5%. Temporary employees are not included in this annual review process but have historically received a pay in- crease at the beginning of the fiscal year. If you have questions regarding the review process please stop by the Payroll office or call me at ext. 235. Ogle County Board Democrat by Lloyd Droege (Ingredient Production A)
It is said that all politics are local which when one thinks about that, you realize that what happens in local government affects you more on a daily basis than what hap- pens at the state and federal level. I would like to discuss the structure of government at the county level. Ogle County is divided into eight districts with three representatives per district on the county board. That makes for a total of twenty-four that comprise the Ogle County board. Each district is comprised of several precincts. For example, my district has five precincts – 1, 2, 3, 6, and 7.
To facilitate the business of the county, there are twelve committees which meet monthly during the day, a week before the county board meeting for that month. The committees are: Personnel & Salary; Road & Bridge; Judiciary & Circuit Clerk; County IT; Supervisor of Assessments – Planning & Zoning; HEW (Health, Education & Wel- fare), Solid Waste & Veterans; County Facilities; County Security; State’s Attorney – Court Service – FOCUS House; Long Range & Strategic Planning; Finance & Insurance; Executive. These committees are comprised of five to seven members from the county board and each committee has a chairman. For instance, I am on three commit- tees: Road & Bridge; Judiciary & Circuit Clerk and HEW Solid Waste & Veterans. These committees take care of the business in their perspective area and the chairman brings up that business (payment of bills, etc.) which they discussed and approved at the committee level for approval in front of the full membership of the county board. So one can see there is a lot going on at the county level of government which reminds us that what happens locally affects us all.
April, May & June 2019 Crest Ink 15
Meet the Pets of Crest Thank you to all employees who submitted pet photos for our 2019 Pets of Crest calendar! We received a lot of great submissions but weren’t able to use all of the photos since only one pet was featured each month. Every pet deserves to be in the spotlight though, so we’re showing them all off here. Introducing, the pets of Crest: The 2020 calendar will feature artists of Crest. If you have a special artistic talent – painting, playing music, sewing, decorating cakes, etc. – reach out to Kristina McWethy at x271 to be featured!
Bailey (Jack Otis)
Bob (Gina Smith)
Bow & Grasshopper (Vickie Monsarratt)
Briggs (Tim Wittenauer)
Charlie & Frank (Dennis Horton)
Cater (Tim Wittenauer)
Hazel (Alfonzo Alvarado & Stephanie Eich)
Scatter Gun aka Gabriel (Vickie Monsarratt)
Maggie (Margaret Cortesi)
Kitty (Margaret Cortesi)
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Marshall & Myles (Pam Kelley)
Zoey (Lisa Winkler)
Melvin Boog (Jamie Cooper)
Tabitha (Cass Askegaard)
Wrigley (John Mont)
Raider (Steve & Darcy Zera)
Pepperjack (Tom Clayton)
Max (Gary Guenther)
SoBeck (Mandi Kersten)
Pippen (Gerald Gibson)
Penelope Zariah (Steve Starke)
Molly (Ben Nelson)
April, May & June 2019 Crest Ink 17
Walking Club Returns!
It’s hard to believe we are about to start season 7 of the Walking Club! This year, our group will be supporting the PADS Homeless Shelter in Dixon. Our donation will be used to help them finish up their 2nd location in Dixon, which will double their capacity to 32 people and will give them separate shelters for women (and children) and men. While they are finishing up renovations on the inside, there is still plenty of work to be done to the outside of the 124-year-old house on Everett Street, and money raised from this group will go a long way. Our first event will be the Make-A-Wish 5K on May 18th in Dixon. We will participate in 6 local 5k’s this year, and for every em- ployee that walks or runs, Crest will put $20 into a fund to be donated to PADS Homeless Shelter at the end of the season. We’ve accomplished a lot over the last 6 years as a group and look forward to what this season has to bring! Below are some facts that sum up the last 6 years: • 39 5K’s • $46,160 donated as a team to local charities • 5416 total miles walked/ran by 1747 participants (That is roughly the same as walking from coast to coast of the United States 2 times!) • 275 employees have participated • 10 Corporate Challenge wins by our runners, which means $10,000 toward our total donated as a team • 1 costume contest winner 2019 Walking Club Schedule:
Make-A-Wish 5K: Saturday, May 18th @ 8:00am, Dixon Ashton Community Walk: Saturday, June 8th @ 10:00am, Ashton Reagan Run 5K: Saturday, July 6th @ 8:00am, Dixon Autumn on Parade 5K: Sunday, October 6th @ 8:30am, Oregon Haunted Halloween 5K: Saturday, October 19th @ 6:00pm, Dixon Turkey Trot 5K: Thursday, November 28th @ 8:00am, Dixon
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Chicago Marathon 2018 by Jeff Friday It’s hard to explain where the inspiration came from to embark on a journey to run the Chicago Marathon. It just became one of those “bucket list” ideas. Over time, I just wanted to train for and complete a marathon. During the fall of 2017, I thought “why not try the Chicago Marathon”? After all, in how many competitions can one say that they competed with Olympians and other world-class athletes? There are eight races that comprise the World Marathon Majors: The Olympics and World Championships are obviously closed to “non-elites”, with the Tokyo, Berlin and London Marathons being pretty far away. The Boston Marathon has a tough qualifying time, which leaves the New York Marathon and Chicago Marathon. It seemed like a no-brainer. Why not try Chicago? There are three ways to get into the Chicago Marathon. Run a
marathon under a qualifying time, raise money for an approved charity or enter your name into their lottery. So I entered the lottery drawing, paid my $195 and on December 12, 2017, received confirmation that I was selected. Now the journey gets real. It’s one thing to avoid a significant feat, but it’s another thing to quit… and I certainly didn’t want to bail out or to even walk any of the 26.2 miles. The only way to compete was to do the training. I found a Nike 18 Week Marathon Training Program and started to follow it on June 4th. I ran about 290 miles be- fore starting the “Plan” followed by another 470 miles during those 18 weeks. I am thankful that I did not have any significant injuries during my training, though I did lose nine toe nails. The toughest part was running long Sat- urday runs during August and September. I found myself getting up at 5:00 a.m. to beat the sun’s heat. Once race weekend came, my wife and I took the Metra train into Chicago. I had to appear at McCormick Place on Saturday to pick up my packet, so we stayed in Chicago through Monday. The race was on October 7th, starting at 7:20 a.m. for wheelchairs and handcycles, followed by runners at 7:30. The event is so large that friends, family and spectators are not allowed into Grant Park until all of the runners have started on their way. Since we stayed at an inn on the north side, I took the L train downtown on a dark and overcast Sunday morning. Security forces were visible and I’m sure they had a significant undercover presence, as well. Everything from check points in Grant Park, a strong police presence along the route and S.W.A.T. Teams, to military helicopters overhead. Just to give a bit of perspective on the size of this event, it took me 31 minutes to get to the starting line and I was near the be- ginning of the second out of three waves of starters. Fortunately, temperatures for the run turned out to be cooler than I expected with a bit of a downpour near mile seven. However, the rain subsided and conditions turned out rather favorably. The run launched in a general northerly direction, winding through the loop, Lincoln Park and returning south near Wrigley Field. Each neighbor- hood had their own celebrations with music, refreshments, costumes and colorful antics. We headed back to the loop, turned west past the United Center and back downtown to begin the final leg of the journey. South of the loop, we traversed Chinatown, approached Guaranteed Rate Field (a.k.a. Sox Park), returned north past Soldier Field and back to Grant Park to finish, along with over 44,000 others. I was able to run the entire course, only walk- ing long enough to guzzle Gatorade, whenever it was available. While I’ve completed three half marathons, this was my first full marathon and I’m glad that I did it. I hope to do another marathon, but don’t have any immediate plans, since the time commitment is significant and crowds out a lot of other priorities. For the remainder of 2019, I am content to participate in smaller running events along with my usual bicycling adventure.
April, May & June 2019 Crest Ink 19
Running is in the Blood
by Cheri Kemp
Perseverance: continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition: the action or condition or an instance of persevering This is the Meriam Webster Dictionary definition of perseverance. And that noun is what describes the dedication of the following employees who train for and par- ticipate in Marathons and Ultras. The preparation involved in training for run- ning events such as these require a sacrifice of personal time; dedication to train- ing despite the heat of summer or cold of winter; and a willingness to allow the toll taken on the body of the person training. But, the feeling of accomplish- ment outweighs all the negatives that might be felt at times while training. And training can be grueling, but nothing compared to the actual event. I spoke with Dan Stumpenhorst (QA Line Tech A-Shift) as well as Matthias Kemmeren about their little hobby of preparing for and running in Marathon’s as well as Ultras. A marathon is 26.2 miles. An Ultra is anything over the length of a Marathon. An Ultra can be anywhere from 30 miles, to 50 miles, or even 100 miles.
Jared, Dan & Josh Stumpenhorst
To date, Dan Stumpenhorst has participated in two Marathons; seven Ultra’s. Five of the seven Ultra’s were 50K which is 31.06 miles and two were the 50 mile Ultra’s. All of the Ultra’s have been on trails, not flat courses so the endurance needed is greater due to the up and down of the hills and trails. Currently Dan is on a waiting list (yes, there is a waiting list!) to participate in a nine hour endurance course where you run laps on a one mile trail for nine hours. “I train on the hiking trails at Franklin Creek State Park. There is about a 15 mile loop that I run. It gives me time to think and to plan my garden in my mind while I run. A Marathon is like a fashion show. People are in all their nice gear and it is all about the pace. An Ultra is like a hippie camp. The Ultra is just all about finish- ing, no matter how long it takes.” When asked why he wanted to begin running as a hobby, Dan stated he started running in 2005. “My sons and I have been doing the Reagan Run 5K (in Dixon Illinois) since 2005. Also, I sat behind a desk all day and I was gaining weight, not maintaining! I never ran as a kid except to run around the neighborhood. Now I find that run- ning helps to deal with stress.” Dan, joined by his two sons, Jared & Josh, participated in the 50 mile Ultra last April 2018. “It took about 14 hours to complete the run. I wear a vest with a reservoir to hold water so I can sip water as needed and carry pickles, olives and trail mix to help fuel me. The trick is to learn how to fuel your body because all the blood flow is going to your extremities and not to your stomach to digest food. We eat small amounts so as not to upset our stomachs but still need to have enough to fuel us as we run. In these long distances there is a point where you might actually become delirious. You learn just how far you can really go.” After participating in an Ultra Dan said he is some what stiff going up and down steps and needs a nap, but by the second day is feeling pretty much back to normal. “That speaks to your training. If you train right, there are no problems after the run. While training and participat- ing in Marathons or Ultras you meet some awesome people who are so supportive.” Later this year Dan is going to be on the crew that will accompany a friend who is running a 100 mile Ultra. By being on the crew, you assist along the way if the runner needs a change of clothes or shoes as well as food for fuel. Considering how many hours it takes to run 100 miles, you can encounter all kinds of weather and temperature changes as you move from day into night. While working on the crew for this Ultra Dan is also going to run a few
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