Volume 31 • Number 03 July, August & September 2019 Ashton, IL 61006
We’re a family first...and a business second. That’s kind of a strange statement to make about a business the size of Crest, but it was never more evident than at our dinner on May 11th celebrating employees who have been a part of the Crest family for forty or more years. Our true strength is woven into a culture that actually allows the re- lationship amongst people to hold a higher value in our company than the bottom line numbers...and oddly enough, the numbers have a tendency to take care of themselves when we take care of each other first. The attendees of our forty year dinner have had a lot of impact in making that culture come to life for nearly a half of a century. Eight of our nine active forty year staff were joined by three of our retired members and a large por- tion of the Meiners family to make an enjoyable evening of reminiscing and story-telling. The rookie in our group this year is Marcia Breeden, who works in the Parts Room, and had a lot of great stories to add to the conversations including some very interesting views on the Steve Meiners of forty years ago. The longest serving active member of our group is Chris Pfoutz at 48 years – no doubt she started at an extremely Carol Milens, Marcia Breeden, Jim Spangler, Steve Meiners, Pam Kelley, Kim Gallagher, Tammy Williams, Connie Schumacher, Guyla Pfeiffer, Chris Pfoutz & Linda Myers Forty Year Employee Celebration by Jeff Meiners
In This Issue
10 Year Trips page 3
Give Back Program page 6
Tug Across the Rock Competition page 11
young age. Guyla Pfeiffer, who retired not all that long ago, became the first ever 100 year old member of our group this year. We also took some time to remember three of our forty year friends who passed away over the course of the last year…we very much miss Neil Henert, Morine Snodgrass and Lila Burhenn. In the 72 year history of Crest Foods, we have been blessed with 18 employees who have made Crest their work home for forty or more years. We are humbled by and thankful for their dedication. Members of our forty year club are Marcia Breeden, Kim Gallagher, Andy McCannon, Tammy Williams, Steve Meiners, Connie Schumacher, Pam Kelley, Carol Milens, Chris Pfoutz, Guyla Pfeiffer, Jim Spangler, Linda Meyers, Ken Drew, Jerry Waters, Neil Henert, Morine Snodgrass, Lila Burhenn and Dick Moeller.
Mike Boatwright (left) - 8 Years Interests: Riding my dirt bike 1 thing most don’t know about me: Years ago I used to be a car painter and guitar player. Marcia Breeden (middle) - 40 years Interests: Nascar 1 thing most don’t know about me: I used to be a piano-playing Sunday School teacher on an Indian reservation in Montana. Troy Campbell (right) - 11 years Interests: Travel, mission trips, playing floor hockey, making people smile 1 thing most don’t know about me: I once was a pilot, and flew solo at the age of 16!
GETTING TO KNOW Parts Room
As the name implies, the Parts Room handles a lot of parts…8,500 of them in inventory to be exact. No doubt that is a lot of parts to keep track of, order, inventory and distribute and the Parts Room staff does a great job of doing just that. In a typical day, there will be between 50 – 70 calls from Maintenance needing a part supplied by the Parts Room. However, there is so much more to the responsibilities in the Parts Room than just parts. They ship and receive UPS and Fed Ex packages, change countless numbers of knife blades, restock the production tape and hand wrap cart, repair Bartelt clips and bag beater motors, clean glue nozzles, repair motors, rebuild gear boxes and in general make many other devices used in production work again when they need some attention. Items on the make list are drop cords, air hoses, top seal teflons and wired sucker cups. They even answer the phone when we the switch board operator isn’t here, monitor the employee entrance door and let the plant know when bad weather is about to hit. Many thanks go out to the three individuals who make up the Parts Room team that do so much every day to keep the lines running and the doors open at Crest.
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My Ten Year Trip by Cody Matheny (Production B)
I would like to thank the Meiners and the entire Crest Foods family for providing me with my 10 year trip. It had been four years since I saw my brother, Steaven Crawford, who lives in Lake Elsinore, Cali- fornia. I arrived at the Palm Beach Airport which is the most amaz- ing airport I have ever seen. It is surrounded by mountains and palm trees. These pictures are from Coronado, California Naval Base. Once again I would like to thank everyone so much for a wonderful trip and the time with my brother.
Cody Matheny and his brother, Steaven Crawford.
My Ten Year Trip by Ela Cichosz (Ingredient Lab Technician)
I visited my family and friends in Krasnystaw, Poland, where I came from 15 years ago. I was there from March 2 through March 20 and also was able to see my best friend from ele- mentary school, Gosia. My entire family as well as Zygmunt’s family is all from that area. Zygmunt and I are the only ones in the U.S. because Zygmunt came here to work for a Dairy that wanted to hire him. Krasnystaw is a very old town, it started 625 years ago. The very first information about this village is actually from the year 1219. My mom lives in a town that is five miles from Krasnystaw. Where she lives is very famous for its Arabian horses and horse races. I remember when I was young and Kenny Rogers as well as the Rolling Stones were there to buy Arabian horses. We try to go back to Poland every three to four years so this Ten Year Trip was great to have! Ela with her mother and a boquet of flowers she received for her 50th birthday. Ela with her niece in the town square.
My Ten Year Trip by Bob Schwabenland (Karlin Warehouse Forklift)
Hola Crest Amigos! For my 10 year trip, my girlfriend Jenny and I went to Dreams Puerto Aventuras Resort and Spa in the Riviera Maya, Mexico. Located right on the Caribbean Sea, the view from our 5th floor balcony was unbelievable! (See Photo!) It is all-inclu- sive, so much of our time was spent on the beach enjoying margari- tas and Coronas, or sampling the fine cuisine at the resort’s five dif- ferent a la carte restaurants, buffet, grill, and cafe. We also took in a couple of shows, a cooking class, and Jenny got to swim with and ride a dolphin in their Dolphinarium! She says the water was nasty, but it was a blast! A huge gracias to Crest Foods. Thank you very much! We had a wonderful time and your generosity is greatly appreciated!
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My Ten Year Trip by Shawneen Arreguin (Production B)
My husband Michael and I went to Cancun, Mexico. It was an amazing week of fun, food, and sights. We immediately hit the beach and met a couple from Spokane, Washington, that have a time share at the Royal Ca- ribbean Resort and are friends with the life guard. Ah, to know a local is a benefit. He took the 4 of us on a private tour to the Mayan Ruins, had lunch in a Mayan home prepared by a Mayan woman and went snorkeling
in a Sinote’ that was recently discovered. We enjoyed several buffets throughout the week with massive choices of American and Mexican cuisine. We experienced an authentic Mayan Dance show, shopped at the Market Place 29 and spent the rest of our spare time on the beach. We are very happy with our experience in Cancun and would not hesitate to go back. Thank you Crest Foods!
My Ten Year Trip by Dusty Koch (Building Maintenance)
I would like to thank the Meiners family for their generosity and for the wonderful opportu- nity they have given me. For my 10 year trip my wife and I flew out to San Diego for our honeymoon during the 4th of July. We made the most of the opportunity and took in a trol- ley ride of the city, where we learned about the history of San Diego and were able to see the sights that we didn’t even know the city had. We also were able to enjoy the beautiful weather and spend time at the Coronado Beach. Out of the entire week we spent in San Diego our favorite thing that we took part in together was getting lucky enough to watch the San Diego 4th of July fireworks display from the famous USS Mid way deck. Truly the best show we have ever seen. Everywhere you looked you could see fireworks. It was truly an amazing night and a time we both won’t forget.
My Ten Year Trip by Walter Willstead (Ingredient Production A) For my ten year trip I planned a fishing trip to Papoose Lake in Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin. This is about a six hour drive north from here but the weather was good. A little chilly in the morning but beautiful. There is a famous restaurant called Little Bohemia Lodge in Manitowish Wa-
ters, Wisconsin. Many years ago Little Bohemia was also a lodge. This is the lodge where the gangster, John Dillinger, had a shoot-out with the FBI in 1934. There are still bullet holes in windows from the shoot-out. Although my quest for a big musky went unfulfilled, I was able to catch some beautiful sunsets and boat trips on Papoose Lake. I enjoyed just being surrounded by nature, but I added a trip to the Wildwood Wildlife Park and Na- ture Center in Minocqua, WI, where I discovered that you can still feed the bears and deer in the North Woods! Thanks Crest Foods for a great 10 Year Trip!
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My Ten Year Trip by Gaven Meiners (Consumer Products Sales) It is hard to believe that I have been a full time Crest employee for 10 years already; it’s even harder to believe that I have been collecting a Crest Foods
paycheck for a period of 17 years, which means I have been working at Crest just over half of my life! Being in sales, I get the opportunity to brag about some of the cool things Crest has to offer our employees, selling who we are not just what we can do. The 10 year trip benefit is one that always catches people off guard, “I wish I got a 10 year trip, I want to work at Crest” are often the type of responses I get. After talking about it all these years it be- came time for me to cash in and get to experience a trip on Crest myself! For my 10 year trip, my wife Tracy AND cousin Erika headed to Exuma, which is an island located in the Bahamas. We were greeted by teal water, white sandy beaches, and perfect sunny weather! While being a beach bum was on the agenda for the week, we rented a car so that we could go exploring. Driving on the left side of the road from the right side of the car took some getting used to, but I got us around safely, even after turning the windshield wip- ers on instead of the turn signal, almost every time we turned. Some of the highlights from our adventures were seeing the Tropic of Cancer beach, walking the sand flats at low tide, swimming with Island Pigs, swimming with sharks (the kind that do not bite), feeding iguanas (the kind that scratch when you pick them up), feeding sting rays (the kind that bite when your wife tells you to stop holding on to them), snorkeling the Thunderball Grotto, and indulging on fresh fish/lobster all week. A big Thank You to Crest Foods for recognizing my 10 year achievement through this program. I am very humbled and proud to have decided to be a part of Crest Foods and look forward to hearing about all the 10 year trips to come! the safest products possible while adhering to established food safety protocols. This is somewhat of a recent phe nomenon as we used to not only prepare for audits, but also only experience a handful each year. My how things change! With the implementation of the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the bar has been raised for food safety compliance. For Crest Foods, this means another day, another audit! We take great pride in the fact that our facilities are always audit ready due to a complex food safety management system utilized throughout our com- pany. While somewhat of a time consuming process to facilitate, these audits serve as testament to our food safety pro- grams being established and effectively followed. Our annual Safe Quality Foods (SQF) re-certification audit is no exception. Conducted back in March of this year, all three divisions of Crest Foods were audited against Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) standards to ensure our proper compliance with safe food manufacturing processes. Out of all the audits conducted within our facilities each year, this audit is one of the most crucial as our final rating is reviewed and scrutinized by all customers. All three divisions performed exceptionally well and we were able to maintain our high ratings our customers are accustomed to seeing from Crest Foods. Hats off to all of our hourly and management employees who make these audits easy by simply following our food safety protocols and having pride and ownership with their assigned responsibilities! Audits by Brandon Meiners, Ingredient Division QA It seems like anymore, food safety audits of our facilities are just as common as the mail being delivered! Whether it’s a customer, regulatory, or even an internal employee, there is always some- one in our facility verifying that Crest Foods is manufacturing
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On May 15th, three groups from local high schools met in our training room to compete against each other for our 9th Annual Give Back Program. While each group will walk away with a portion of the $5,000 Crest gives, it’s clear that the 2019 Give Back Program by Savannah Fagan
groups are aiming for the first place prize of $2,500 to give to a charity, non-profit organization, or project of their choice. The students present their ideas in front of a group of Crest Foods managers (and the new Crest Ink re- porter!), who then discuss the information, presentation itself, and the student’s level of involvement with their choice of what to use their money towards. First up was the Rochelle High School’s FFA chapter. The three students presented us with their idea of a first aid kit for the local farmers. The chapter members form an assembly line to put together the kits, which includes all of your necessary first aid supplies plus a few extra items you may not think of. With their assembly line process it only took them approximately 8 minutes to fill 50 kits. Last year, the students tested their kits by handing them out at Maplehurst Farms and all of the kits were grabbed up quickly! With the amount of local farmers in the area, this is a fantastic idea, especially since medical help is not always available instantaneously when a farmer is out in the middle of their field. The second presentation was presented by the most local high school and largest group, AFC (Ashton-Franklin Center). They chose to represent the Dixon American Legion, a local non-profit organization. The Legion does not receive the recognition or assistance like they should, despite all of the wonderful things they do for the community. Each year the Legion works closely with the local Boy Scout Troops as well as sponsoring five boys to attend Boys State, which is a week-long program that teaches those who attend the rights, responsibilities, and privileges of citizenship. The Heroes to Hometown Program, Operation Comfort, and Wounded Warriors are several other programs the American Legion helps out tremendously. After seeing all of the good the American Legion does for the community, the AFC club members felt the need to make the public more aware of the assistance the American Legion could use. Our final and smallest group was the Dixon Key Club, who chose the Salvation Army of Lee County. With only two members able to present, the excitement and passion they felt about their choice was very clear. To name a few things, the Salvation Army helps provide financial assistance to those in need, assists the elderly, educates on do- mestic violence, and provides disaster relief. This year the Dixon Key Club got involved by volunteering for the an- nual Christmas bell ringing, raising $5,000.00 and serving over twenty shifts. They also put on an Easter Egg Hunt, stuffing over THIRTEEN THOUSAND eggs for their and the Dixon Park District’s egg hunt. They charged $3.00 per child or accepted a donation and 100% of what they raised went directly towards the Salvation Army. This past year, the Key Club had 72 members and put in a total of 1,500 service hours! After the three presentations, we left the room to discuss what we had just heard. It was unanimous that with the level of involvement and the presentation itself, the Dixon Key Club would take 1st place and $2,500.00. The Rochelle FFA took 2nd place and received $1,500.00 and AFC 3rd, receiving $1,000.00. We would like to thank the students for their time and effort they put in to these presentations. It was such an enlightening experience learning about these different organizations and projects!
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An Investment in the Future of our Youth by Holly Gleissner, Consumer Products Project & Tech Manager
WACC CEO Class with tour guides Brandon & Gaven Meiners, Jared Stumpenhorst, Jon Bakener and Amy Wilcox
Dixon High School Food Science Class
Crest Foods is always looking for ways to be involved in the community and to encourage our youth. Two new rela- tionships began this year with the Whiteside Area Career Center and Dixon High School, Dixon, Illinois. In January, Crest Foods became an investor in the CEO program at Whiteside Area Career Center. The CEO (Cre- ating Entrepreneurial Opportunities) program is a one year course offered to area junior or senior students to help them gain the knowledge and skills necessary to own and operate their own businesses. The course takes place at area businesses and includes tours of local industries with guest speakers from different business backgrounds. Another unique opportunity with the CEO program is the ability to become a mentor to these young adults as they explore their business interests and future, entrepreneurial potential. This spring, the CEO class came out to Crest Foods for a tour of our West Facilities, where they learned about warehousing, manufacturing and blending. Also beginning in January, the Science Department at Dixon High School started offering a semester-long Food Science class and Crest Foods happily agreed to participate by teaching a lab and inviting the students to tour our facilities. Emily Plapp with the Ingredient Division R&D group and Holly Gleissner from the Consumer Products R&D group, worked with Karen Chamberlain, the Food Science teacher at Dixon High School, to coordinate a sensory lab to help her students delve deeper into the five senses. On the afternoon of February 27th class began with a brief talk about the senses, the many ways the food industry can potentially tap into each sense, and how careers in the food industry might be associated with each area. Then we moved on to the more exciting and inter- active portion! The lab was designed with 4 stations to highlight sight, smell, taste, and touch. The sight station demonstrated some of the tricks our minds play associating color with certain flavors. Flavored chocolate and root beer were used to show the importance of smell when eating, how aroma enriches the experience, and also how it can play a part in product development. Our taste station showed how challenging it can be to introduce a new flavor to a cookie and how other sensory cues can be an important way to help consumers identify and accept novel flavors. The importance of touch was showcased using a variety of dairy and non-dairy yogurts to help the students learn how the mouthfeel of a food is affected by different ingredients, fat content, and also particulates present in the food. On May 20th, the same students took a trip to Ashton and, with the help of several volunteers, took a whirlwind tour of the Dairy Ingredient R&D lab and pilot plant, Consumer Products’ R&D facilities, and one of Crest’s manufacturing facilities. Our hope is this exposure will help the students have a better picture of how food is developed and manufactured. The ultimate goal was to help them see the food industry in motion and all the opportunities it can offer.
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Our Sympathy Our sincere condolences to Gerry (Warehouse A) and Georgia (Karlin A) Temmen and Abby Lahman (Pro- duction A) on the loss of Gerry’s father. We extend our sympathy to Bernie Iwema (Karlin) on the loss of his father. Our sympathy to Nurse Heidi McGlown on the death of her grandmother, Betty Roberts who passed away in May. To Lynn Burnette (Payroll) and Luke Burnette (Mix A), and family on the death of Lynn’s father and Luke’s grandfather, Loren Edwards. Condolences to the entire family. Babies ounces and was 20 inches long. Big brother, Elias, age 4, is quite thrilled with his new baby broth- er. Congratulations to the Hold- ens. (Pictured: Alyssa’s co- workers threw her a baby shower this spring before Jariah was born.) Congratulations to Rick (Engineer) and Anne Rice on the birth of their grandson, Damien James, who arrived February 22nd and was 5 lbs 11 oz and 19 ½” long. Proud parents are Matthew (Rick and Anne’s son) and his fiancé Ashley. Congratulations to all! Aaron Meyer (Maintenance B) and Crystal Killeen wel- comed son Alaric Weston Meyer on April 4, 2019. Alar- ic weighed 7 pounds 6 ounces and was 18 inches long. Alaric is welcomed by big sister, Aliyah age 11 and big brother Alexander age 10. Congratulations to all on the new addition to the family! Alyssa Holden (Production B) and husband, Aaron, welcomed their second son, Jariah Kendal Alan Holden, on May 5, 2019. Jariah weighed 8 pounds 7
Thank You To my friends at Crest Foods, Thank you for all you did for me on my retirement day. The cake, lunch, and kind words; It was a day I will always remember. Al Hess Thank you all for all the prayers, love, and good thoughts thru the sickness and passing of my sister. It was a long battle for us. I couldn’t have made it thru without your understanding and prayers. Peggy Sue Benford To the employees at Crest Foods – Thank you for the cards, well-wishes and prayers with the passing of my father. Bernie Iwema and family. Congratulations Craig Friday (Karlin Warehouse Manager) and wife, Teresa, had a memorable May. Daughter, Hope, graduated Summa Cum Laude from Northern Illinois University on May 11th with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting. Hope will be doing an internship at WIPFLI in Sterling, Il, then attending NIU again this fall to earn her Master’s degree in Accounting. Congratulations to Hope and the family! On May 18th, daughter Grace Friday, was married to Trevor Guerra. Grace & Trevor will be living in Peoria, Illinois. Congratulations to Grace and family on the wed- ding! Congratulations to Casi Kurschner, granddaughter of Pam Furman (Consumer Products), on her first full time teach- ing position. Casi will be teaching 4th grade at Madison Grade School in Dixon. Good luck Casi! Congratulations to Emily Reif, daughter of Shirley (Con- troller) and Jeff Reif, on her May 11th graduation from Western Illinois University in Macomb with an Ag Science degree. So proud of you and all you have accomplished, and best wishes as you start your new job in Kansas! Sarah Henrikson, daughter of David Henrikson (Materials QA Coordinator), has graduated the 8th grade at Ohio Grade School, and will be attending Ohio High School in the fall. Congratulations Sarah!
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Congratulations Brendon Carter, son of Jeannie Carter (QA A), graduated from Ashton-Franklin Center High School in May. Con- gratulations! Johnathan Henrikson, son of David Henrikson (Materi- als QA Coordinator), has graduated from Ohio High School and will be attending Morrison Technical College in Morrison, IL where he will major in Computer Admin- istration. Congratulations Johnathan! David Henrikson, son of David Henrikson (Materials QA Coordinator), has graduated the Air Force Basic Training and is studying Aerospace Jet Propulsion in Shepard Air Force base in Wichita Falls, TX. A big con- gratulations on your accomplishments and all the best in your pursuits! Connor Furman, son of Brad Furman (Mix B) and Amber Olson (Production A), graduated from Bright Beginning Preschool and will be attending kindergarten at Washing ton Elementary in Dixon this fall. Congratulations Con- nor!
Nurse Heidi McGlown’s daughter, Shakia, graduated in May from Dixon High School. During her senior year, Shakia also attended the Whiteside Area Career Center where her focus was on Early Childhood Education. Sha- kia will attend Sauk Valley Community College in the fall to continue her education in the Early Childhood Educa- tion field. Congratulations to Bobby Brown, son of Dan (Ing. Div. QA Manager) and brother of Peyton (Bldg. Maint.) for qualifying in three events at the state track meet in
Charleston on May 23rd. Although he didn’t make it to the finals, he saved his best for last, achieving per- sonal bests in all three. Bobby graduated from Lena- Winslow High School on May 26, concluding a high
school career which included being a member of the unde- feated 2017 14-0 state cham- pionship football team. Welcome Larry Stevens
We are very pleased to announce that Larry Stevens has joined the Crest Foods team as an RPG Developer in our IT Department. Larry brings a wide range of programming experience having worked for nearly 30 years in the industry mainly in manuracturing and healthcare. Larry resides in Rochelle and enjoys riding motor- cycles, playing volleyball, and boating in his spare time. Welcome, Larry!
Congratulations to the following employees for obtaining new jobs at Crest Foods over the last few months!
Arthur Moreno QA Line Tech B-Shift
Jeannie Carter QA Document Specialist
Josie Jenkins QA Line Tech C-Shift
Kyle Lawrence Ing. Warehouse Shipping & Receiving
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Internal Promotions to Management Positions
Candy Koch Quality Assurance Coordinator
Trish Carter A-Shift Quality Engineer
Kristina McWethy Marketing Manager
Arielle Johnston B-Shift Supervisor Main Plant
Four Crest employees who have worked their way up the ladder have recently secured new management positions within the company. Congratulations to all four who have earned their new level of responsibility at Crest…we’re grateful for the experience and energy you bring to your new positions. Candy Koch brings her years of packaging quality control experience to the Quality Assurance Coordinator posi- tion. Trisha Carter has worked her way up the Quality Control ranks in packaging to be the A-Shift Quality Engi- neer. Kristina McWethy brings her talents and ingenuity to the Marketing Manager position that addresses both external marketing programs for the Ingredient Division and marketing plans for numerous internal promotions. Arielle Johnston takes her line operating and people skills to the positon of packaging B-Shift Production Supervi- sor. Congratulations to all.
Sandi Stover Retires What started as a part time job in the Payroll office in late 2001, turned into a full time position as the Administrative Assistant in the Karlin Warehouse. In about the year 2000, the Karlin Warehouse was built for warehousing and soon became apparent that there was a need for an Administrative Assistant so in March of 2002, Sandi applied for and was given that job. Anyone who has been around for a ‘few’ years knows that the Karlin Warehouse has grown and grown, as did Sandi’s job duties. For 17 years Sandy was juggling the varied duties as truck loads came and went all the while keeping things running smoothly during some exceptionally busy times. Sandi’s supervisor, Craig Friday, said he would describe Sandi as having the ‘old school work ethic.’ “Sandi would tell you that is just how she was raised. She gave sacrificially to her job, often working overtime because there was still work to do. She was wholehearted; there was no half way with her. She was good at multi-tasking, it seemed at times she had another set of hands. But most importantly she was an example of a great worker” said Friday. Now, rather than juggle incoming and outgoing truck loads, Sandi will be enjoying some down time with husband, Don, and her children and grandchildren. We wish Sandi the best as she learns to relax a little more and fill her day with the things that make her happy.
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Tug Across the Rock Competition
14 Crest Foods employees signed up to be on the tug-of-war team for the Tug Across the Rock Competition at the Rockin’ River Fest in Oregon on June 15th. The rain finally stopped, the river level didn’t get too high, it wasn’t too hot, and they had a solid strategy this year. There were four teams total this year, and each team had to pull on either side of the river for two minutes. The rope is hooked up to a pulley system on the back of a tractor on both sides of the Rock River so teams can pull the rope parallel to the river. The Crest Team pulled 26.5 feet in their 1st heat and 27.5 feet in their 2nd heat. These were awesome distances, but ultimately another team was crowned the champion. Great job, Team Crest - we will try again next year! Justin Guenther, James Stuckey, Catherine Larson, Chris Mooney, Mike Miller, Keith Larson, Trevor Ferry, Dylan Hanabarger, Brad Furman, Alfonzo Alvarado, Matthias Kemmeren, Eddie Ellis, Joe Neal & Christian Peterson
Summer Help Jessica Luxton, Aaron Case, Matthew Nelson, Ana Guevara, Marco Lopez, Gustavo Garcia, Cynthia Lopez, Juanita Saldana, Roman Saldana, Alexis Quintanilla, Flor Becerra, Samantha Buelvas, Kaylie Smith, Desirae Moore, Greg Kessel, Dylan Moore & Austin Norman. Not pictured: Elias Lara, Trey Winkler, Alyssa Carter, Kennidy Summers, Sam Hahn & Caleb Drew Crest was able to employ 23 kids, grandkids or siblings of employees this summer in our Production Department. We also had summer help in Building Maintenance, the Parts Room, QA & Compliance, and the West Warehouse. We appreciated the help during a busy summer and hope they all enjoyed their time at Crest Foods!
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Dixon High School Baseball Team Goes to State by Cheri Kemp
DHS Baseball Team
Payton Lawrence (Photo by Sauk Valley Media) Dentrell McGlown (Photo by Sauk Valley Media)
For the first time in its history, the Dixon Dukes Baseball team made an appearance at the state level in baseball. In fact, when they won the Regional that was also a first for the Dixon Dukes! The Dixon Dukes played 30 confer- ence games with 26 wins and only 4 losses. This advanced them to the Regionals where they won both games tak- ing the Regional Championship. This win garnered them a trip to the Sectionals taking the win and moving on to Super-Sectionals. Their winning streak continued and earned them a spot as one of the top 4 teams in the State of Illinois! If you happen to see Kyle Lawrence, Ingredient Warehouse Shipping Coordinator, ask him about his son Payton who was one of the pitchers on the Dixon Dukes baseball team. You could not help but hear the enthusiasm in Kyle’s voice when talking about the Dixon Dukes baseball team as a whole and about his son, Payton. “Payton fell in love with the game of baseball at a young age. He knew he wanted to play college baseball and was part of a travel team for many years. When he was 14 he played for the Quad City Hitmen for one year then the last three years of high school, he played for the 29ers Academy out of Chicago. This travel team played in Atlanta and Florida every year. While he was playing he got a little notoriety from colleges and has accepted an offer at Black Hawk Community College in Moline to play ball. I am kind of happy he is semi-close so I can go to games for the next couple of years. After his two years there he is planning to move on to another level. Payton ended his high school pitching career with the season record for strike-outs with 113. At the sophomore level he set the records for ERA for the season.” “This whole season was a first. Dixon had not won a conference in 20 years. When it ended Saturday (June 8 at the State game), when we got beat, the coach pulled some of the seniors after the fifth inning but left Payton and Tucker Cole in the game. He later pulled Payton and Tucker at the top of the seventh inning with two outs. Payton and Tucker left the field to a standing ovation. It was very emotional to watch. I also just learned that Payton & Tucker Cole were also named to the 3A All State Team! This means they were nominated by the Illinois Coaches Association as among one of the best of 25 players in the State of Illinois. Dixon is the only school who has more than one player nominated!” Jerry Lawrence, Packaging Division Warehouse Manager, Payton’s grandfather, might just need some help keep- ing his feet on the ground. Jerry is an avid sports fan and his grandson’s accomplishments along with that of his teammates, is what Jerry thrives on. “I went to all of the DHS baseball games to watch my grandson. We never thought they would go this far. At the beginning of the season they were playing as individuals, then they started coming together as a team when they started winning. It was nice to see the whole city (Dixon) joining in on the excitement. The team had a lot of landmarks there and the city labeled them as history makers.”
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The months of April and May brought an unprecedented level of production volume to Crest in a time of year that has historically not been our busiest. Good news…in fact great news. However, with extremely low levels of un- employment in the area, it proved difficult for Crest to quickly add on and train a large amount of new staff on short notice. Consequently, our employees basically rolled up their work sleeves and did whatever was necessary to meet this new level of demand. All areas of Crest were impacted in one way or another. In addition to the obvious of hiring more people, a num- ber of different strategies were explored in helping meet our demand for more production. We tried having man- agers work on line and while all help was appreciated and most welcomed – the managers as a group proved that one simply doesn’t walk into one of these production jobs and hit the ground running and we all came away with a renewed appreciation for the work that was done on the production floor. We also had a team of ex-production workers that were now in different positions at Crest that volunteered to go back to the production line for nearly a month to help provide some relief – they proved to be very proficient and were still quite capable on the line. These combined efforts brought some relief and occasionally some comic relief, but they alone were not the answer to our problem. The bulk of the heavy lifting in meeting our production demand was handled by the employees who were already doing the various jobs required to make product go out the door every day. In the months of April and May Crest employees worked a staggering 12,000 hours of overtime ensuring that we were able to meet the needs of our customers. That’s a lot of tired, sore people who missed quality time at home on the weekends to make this hap- pen. We are grateful for all the extra effort that was put into this and thankful for the group of employees that call Crest their work home. Crest kicked in some extras as our way of saying thank you to those putting in the extra time and certainly we paid a lot of overtime expense that wasn’t covered in our pricing model that ultimately meant that April and May weren’t pretty on the end-of-month statements. However, in the end, we took care of our customers and lived to fight an- other day. For those that like some extra overtime don’t worry, there will certainly be more available in the com- ing months. We remain confident that we’ll make the right decisions that will put us in a position to reasonably handle any volume that comes our way. Taking Care of Business...and Working Overtime by Jeff Meiners Another connection to Crest is Nurse Heidi McGlown. Her son, Dentrell, a junior at DHS, is a starting out-fielder and sometimes a pitcher. When speaking to Heidi her eyes light up and she can’t help but smile at the history Dentrell was a part of at DHS. “Dentrell started playing T-ball when he was four or five. There weren’t any grade school baseball teams so he played through the Al Morrison League in Dixon then the American Legion League. An interesting fact is that Dentrell is the only left handed pitcher on the team. He is also known as one of the fastest runners on the team so he gets put in as a courtesy runner frequently. A courtesy runner is used to swap out a runner on first base or to replace the catcher or pitcher on first base. Recently he was chosen to play in an all-conference game in Rockford later in June. Yes, they were a little disappointed they got 4th at State but still ex- cited that they made it that far. Since he is a junior, he will get to play another year at DHS and plans on playing baseball in college.” Crest Foods would like to congratulate the Dixon Dukes on their accomplishments and especially Payton and Dentrell.
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Nurses Corner: Lyme Disease Prevention by Nurse Heidi McGlown, RN Summer is finally here and most of us will be spending more time outdoors. Please remember to take precaution and check for ticks this year. In the US over the past 20 years Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses have tripled! Ticks thrive in warm weather. Deer ticks that carry Lyme disease are most active in wooded and grassy areas in the summer but can be active in warm springs and early fall. Lyme disease is transmitted when the tick bites and stays in place for 24 to 48 hours. To help repel ticks, use an insect repellent with DEET and wear long-sleeved shirts and pants when out in brushy areas. Be sure to inspect your skin for ticks after being out in tick-infested areas. If you see a tick, remove it quickly and safely by grasping the tick as close to your skin as possible using fine-tipped tweezers. Remove the entire tick by pulling up with steady, even pressure. Remember to disinfect the bite and your hands! After a deer tick bite, your health care provider may recommend initial treatment with an antibiotic. If any unusual rash or redness appears around the area of the bite, you should get treatment right away. Blood tests usually do not show positive results for 2 to 5 weeks. Untreated Lyme disease can cause a rash, muscle aches, fever, and swollen glands. Late stage Lyme disease can even cause damage to the heart, joints, and nervous system. If you do get bit by a tick and are concerned about any kind of infection at the site, please have the Crest on-site nurse or your pri- mary care provider take a look. Stay safe and enjoy your summer! Building & Maintaining a Solid Credit Score by Kaylene Reynolds, Personal Banker III, First State Bank, Shannon-Polo-Lake Carroll Your credit score is one of the most important numbers in your financial profile. So how do you determine where to start and what to prioritize in order to boost your credit score and to establish good habits? Easy! Just follow these 5 simple steps to help build and maintain your score. 1. Know what determines your score. Credit scores are established using the credit score model which was developed by Fair Isaac Corporation; hence the term “FICO credit score.” Generally scores range from 300 to 850. The higher the number, the more credit wor- thiness is shown. FICO score factors include 35% past payment history, 30% amounts owed, 15% length of credit history, 10% amount of new credit, and finally 10% types of credit. 2. Pay your bills on time. The biggest impact on your FICO score is whether or not you pay your bills on time. If you have missed payments recently, it has more of an effect on your score than past late payments. Get into the habit of setting up a recurring or automatic payment, even if it is just the minimum payment due. This will help you avoid forgetting the due date. 3. Keep chipping away at your debt. For a secured loan, such as a car loan or mortgage, your FICO score looks at how much money you owe in relation to the original loan amount. For credit cards or revolving lines of credit, your FICO score looks at how much money you owe compared to the amount of credit you have access to. This is known as the credit utilization rate. Best practice is trying to keep your credit utilization rate at or below 30%.
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July, August & September 2019 Crest Ink 15 4. Be strategic about opening and closing credit accounts. Any time you apply for credit, the inquiry from that specific vendor will show on your credit report. If you have multiple inquiries in a short period, this could be a red flag to lenders. Be diligent when shopping around for the best rate, credit card, loan etc. so you don’t end up with multiple inquiries on your report. Likewise, be conscious when closing out credit accounts. If you close out a credit card with no balance, your credit utilization rate jumps from 10% to 15%. Also, if you cancel a credit card that you have had for a long time, this could also impact your score. FICO takes into consideration how long you have been borrowing money as well as the average age of your Building and maintaining your credit score does not happen over time. It takes time to budget and pay down debt that could be hindering your score as well as taking time to establish good payment history. Likewise, it takes time to actually establish credit if you’ve never had it. Being consistent is key. Also, take the time to periodically check your credit score. Every 12 months you have the right to obtain a free copy of your credit report. Going Outside Can Improve Mental Health by Ashley Koza, LCSW, EAP Counselor, Sinnissippi Centers Better weather is finally on the horizon. Days are getting longer, the sun is coming out. How does this affect our mental health? According to David G. Pearson (University of Aberdeen) and Tony Craig (The James Hutton Institute) going outside and being near “greenspace” may help depression and anxiety. There have been several studies that have found taking a break and going outside can improve attention and energy in the workplace. These researchers have also found that interacting with nature can improve ADHD symptoms in children. “Challenge the Storm” states that there are five mental health benefits to spending time outside. 1. Being outside can reduce your stress. 4. Exercise (walking, hiking, running). 2. Natural light and fresh air can boost your mood. 5. Help fight depression and anxiety. 3. Gives your mind a rest. So whether you are eating outside for lunch, participating in the walking club or going on a hike with family, you are improving your mental health and lessening the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Get Your Financial Game Plan by Kris Lichak, Mass Mutual The new MapMyFinances tool from MassMutual helps you to take control of your finances. Personal and family finances are complicated – we know. The biggest questions people are always trying to solve for are: Am I saving enough for retirement? Am I managing my debt correctly? Do I have enough insurance to protect my savings and/ or family? Whether you are starting out, living paycheck to paycheck, or even if you feel pretty good about your financial situation , you probably wonder how financially well you really are. MapMyFinances can help. What can it do: 1) Give you a financial wellness score based on your personal financial situation. 2) Provide you a step-by-step game plan to help you improve your financial wellness score. 3) Help you ensure you’re covering all your financial bases from budgeting to retirement to insurance Now is a good time to connect to MassMutual. You can log into your account at www.retiresmart.com; download the RetireSMART app or call MassMutual at 800-743-5274. credit accounts. 5. Keep at it!
Walking Club Returns! The 2019 Walking Club season is underway! 81 of our 130 employee team ran or walked in the Make-A-Wish 5K in Dixon this May, and 52 employees participated in the Ashton Community Walk this June, which is a great start in our fundraising efforts for the PADS Homeless Shelter in Dixon! Some of the team are pictured below:
Jamie Cooper, April Knowles, Rob Osborne, Kristina McWethy, Sue Osborne, Bob Logan, Carlos Buelvas, Karla Rivera, Shauna Currier, Abby Lahman, Peggy Dill, Al Kvool, Randy Reuter, Trupti Patel, Aurora Abarca, April Cover, Tom Windelborn, Steve Crook, Jenny Drew, Amanda Baker, Jason Drew, Katie Gaul, Kelli Shipman, Randy Calvert, Art Stark, Jared Stumpenhorst, Jessica Fair, Mike & Joyce Meiners, Ben Fichter, Stephen Osborne, Martha Holder, Ela Cichosz, Paul Simons, June Danekas, Deven Ster- benz, Carol Murphy, Gary Guenther, Natasha Pretzsch, Matt Richardson, Gary McCluskey, Lloyd Droege, Justin Guenther, Nina Sims and Becca Dodd
(Left) Jon Bakener, Kristen Frieberg, Jessica Frieberg and Becca Dodd (Right) Jessica Fair, Gary McCluskey, Jared Stumpenhorst, Chris Mooney, Carlos Buelvas and Jamie Cooper
Bike to Work Day Six employees took on the Rock River Valley Bicycle Club’s 7th Annual Richard Mardauss Ride to Work Challenge on Friday, May 17th. Before the rain rolled in that day, Mark McWethy, Justin Guenther, Jessica Fair and Joyce Meiners all rode to Ashton from Oregon, which is about 17 miles. Al Kvool and Ed Baylor had a much shorter commute since they reside in Ashton, but it still counts! Since we had the most participants for a local company that day, Crest Foods gets bragging rights for the next year and a trophy.
Ed Baylor, Al Kvool, Mark McWethy, Justin Guenther, Jessica Fair & Joyce Meiners
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CIP 2019 3rd 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 20 suggestions from employees for the 3rd quarter. Thank you to everyone for participating! Larry Shipman, Mix B-Shift 3rd Quarter 1st Place • $250
We were having a problem with product getting caught the hinged areas of totes, which is a food safety issue. Larry’s idea was to use a hooked end painter’s scraper to clean out the hinged areas of the totes. He also made a check list for the Mix Depart- ment to ensure that all hinges are inspected and cleaned out. This is a great improvement and the impact on the allergen program is significant.
Hannah Derksen Production B-Shift 3rd Quarter Runner Up • $150
Hannah designed a new style heater-head drop bar for the cup line. This prevents heaters from dropping while light curtain is broken and prevents web snaps. Great safety suggestion…this has already been implemented! Audra Reindel, Production A-Shift 3rd Quarter Runner Up • $150 Audra asked to have a hand-held scanner to scan pallets in Dump areas or downstairs on inventory days. You can put the pallets in the system with quantity changes, and won’t have multiple people writing the numbers down. Less steps, less time, less room for human error - this idea has been implemented!
Village of Progress Donation
Crest feels that being a part of a community means supporting worthy causes within that community. The Village of Progress in Oregon is one of the groups that Crest has chosen to financially support this year. They are a wonderful organization that provides daily structure, teaches vocational skills, provides recreational programs and most impor- tantly helps to create a sense of purpose for indi- viduals with developmental disabilities in Ogle County. They daily host dozens of people who could teach us all a few lessons in kindness and caring and Crest is thankful for the opportunity to support this organization and the people it serves.
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Evee the Therapy Dog by Cheri Kemp Meet Evee the Therapy dog. June Danekas (Production B) is owned by Evee the Catahoula. A Catahoula is an American breed named after the Catahoula Parish in Louisana and the only breed of dog to have historically originated in the State of Louisana. June was rescued by Evee about 3 years ago, when Evee was about 9 months old, and the two have been inseparable since. Not long after June and Evee were brought together, a woman who worked at a Hospice center saw the two of them. The woman comment- ed to June that Evee had gentle eyes. This prompted June to ask her questions about how dogs are used to comfort people in
hospice or nursing homes. And that lead to Evee the Therapy Dog. Therapy dogs must be trained to get used to having their ears, fur or tails pulled and not to react to this type of treatment. The dogs are also trained to keep their heads off the floor so if there happens to be medication that has fallen on the floor the dog will not eat it. They also are trained on how to approach someone in a wheelchair or on crutches. After completing specific training to be a therapy dog, Evee and June had to then go through an addition- al process to become certified as a therapy dog and handler. In all, this process took about six months. “When I put my volunteer tag on and put Evee’s therapy dog tag on her and use the command ‘visit’ Evee knows she is in working mode. I take Evee to the library in Oregon for the open reading time with the children and they love Evee. I also take her to nursing homes where the residents just love her. I try to go once a week and especially at holiday time because the nursing home residents do not seem to get many visitors during holidays. “The school for disgruntled children where Evee visits wrote me the nicest letter. They said Evee was an old soul in a young body and knew just what everyone needed. My next step is for us to be trained to go to hospice homes, which requires additional special training.” June is willing to speak to anyone who is thinking about going through t his process with their dog. June said “I find joy in seeing Evee make people smile.” You may have heard of therapy dogs, service dogs and emotional support (comfort) dogs. These are each a differ ent classification for dogs. Service Dog: A service dog is an assistance dog that has been specially trained to help someone who has a disability. A service dog may accompany the handler in to a public place while the dog is work ing. A service dog’s attention is to be only on its handler. Service dogs are not to be petted when they are working. Therapy Dog: These dogs are trained to complete different types of tasks. The trainer is the only handler of this dog. Their responsibilities are to provide psychological or physiological therapy to individuals other than the han dler. Typically they visit hospitals, schools, nursing or hospice homes. Being petted and hugged is their specialty. Therapy dogs are encouraged to interact with a variety of people while the dog is on duty. Emotional Support Dog: An emotional support animal supplies their owner or others with therapeutic benefits through companion ship. Emotional support dogs have also been used after traumatic events that may occur.
Savannah Fagan, Benefits Department Administrative Assistant, has volunteered to write ar- ticles for the Crest Ink. We look forward to her additions to our newsletter. You can read her very first article about the Crest Foods Give Back program in this issue! Welcome, Savannah! Welcome to the Crest Ink Staff
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