Crest Ink Volume 27 • Number 01
2015 2015 2015 2015 2015 2015 2015 2015 2015 2015 2015 2015 2015 2015 2015 2015 2015 2015 2015 2015 2015 2015
January, February & March 2015 Ashton, IL 61006
Crest Foods Inducts 20 Into The 20 Year Club!
by Cheri Kemp
Cheryl Sanderson Laura Mares
Apparently 1994 was a VERY good year. If you are thinking in terms of wine, a 20 year old wine would be con- sidered excellent. In this case, excellence is in the 20 employees, all hired in 1994, who still make their home at Crest Foods. This is by far the largest group to receive their 20 year rings at any one time. Each of these individuals have contributed so much over the years that we can’t even begin to mention what a combined total of 400 years achieve- ments would be. During the Christmas dinners held to celebrate the upcoming holiday season, each of these in- dividuals received their ring as a memento of the past 20 years at Crest Foods. Some of them have put a few thoughts on paper to share with our readers, which are on the following pages.
In This Issue
2014 Chritmas/Benevolence Auction page 6
40 Year Employment Dinner page 9
Construction Update page 16
In their own words: Pam Furman (Consumer Products Lab Lead Tech): Well it really does not seem like 20 years have gone by. While I have been at Crest I have been fortunate enough to wear many different hats. My first job here was 3rd shift sanitation. I then went to 3rd shift production, line worker, then line operator working for Randy Reuter. After they stopped having third shift production I became a 1st shift line operator. They then built the Karlin warehouse and I went there with Ken Drew to work in the shipping and receiving office. Ken had never run a warehouse and I had never worked in shipping/receiving office, what a pair we made but it was fun learning the logistics of a warehouse. After leaving Karlin warehouse I went back to the plant as 1st shift floor supervisor and worked with Jeff Roop. I felt sorry for Jeff because I knew nothing about that job, but he was very easy to work with. I went from sitting in an office to being on the plant floor, which was quite a change but I really enjoyed being back with all my coworkers. From there I went to the North Plant to work in the R&D lab for Herb Wykoff, which was another new experience. I found I really enjoyed working in a lab and now I am in the Consumer Products lab working for Joyce Meiners. They are both labs but very different environments. I actually first started working for Crest about 38 years ago. Then it was only the Main plant and the North plant. Back then Crest was running two lines in the basement of the North Plant where the workout center is now. One line was a glass coffee creamer line and the other was a bag filling line. Ken Drew and Gary Meyers were the line operators. It is really nice to watch Crest Foods grow. The Main plant has grown over and over. The North Plant has grown and no longer has lines but has labs, offices and a work out center. Crest now has a Mix Facility and Warehouses out west. Shortly we will be moving the Consumer Products lab across the street to the building first used by Crest Foods (most r ecently the Laundromat). When I started at Crest the first time I was just a couple years out of high school. I worked here about 4 years until my first son was born. Then after my youngest son started school I thought it would be a good time to return to Crest Foods. Both of my sons have worked here and my youngest son is still working for Crest. In 20 years a lot of good and bad things can happen in life and I am very lucky to be working for a company that is always there for their employees in both times. Thanks Crest Foods for being such a great place to work. Randy Reuter (Ingredient Division Production Manager): When I started in 1994 I worked the C- shift packaging division mix crew. I worked that shift for a couple years. In that time I also had the opportunity to be a section leader for a production crew in our packaging division on the c-shift. I was there for about a year and then I was moved to C-shift Ingredient Division. I worked on the C-shift for about a month and was given the opportunity to be the Production Manager on the A-shift. At that time we were working 2 shifts with 1 bag line per shift. I think we prob- ably produced 20,000 pounds per shift for 40,000 pounds a day. We now have the capabilities to produce 130,000 pounds per day. Some things about how we did packaging then were that we hand scooped our seasonings from a 47 gallon drum into a 5 to 25 pound bag. We now package our seasoning using a bag line. We had 2 bag lines until we renovated a break room and made a bag room out of it. We now have 3 bag lines. We used to have to catch all of our bags at the fill station and lower the bag onto a conveyor then hurry to stack the filled bags on a pallet before the back reached the end of the con- veyor and fell onto the floor. We now have semi -automatic bag lines that lower the bag once the bag is full and a bag stop at the end of each line. We had a major renovation in 2005 that gave us individual mix and dump areas. This renova- tion has enabled us to be compliant with all current food manu-facturing demands required in the food industry. Our most recent change is we started another production shift to enhance our production capabilities. I have made many new friends in the last 20 years. I feel I am a part of a huge family. In the last 20 years I have been blessed to have a work crew I respect. They have helped build the Dairy Ingredient Division to what it is today. They have spoiled me by working continuously to accomplish schedules, many times beyond 8 hours a day to meet customer demands. I have also
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been blessed with a sanitation crew that I respect that has made my plant clean enough to have a tour anytime and not be afraid of how the plant looks. It has been an amazing ride and surely does not seem like it has been 20 years. Thank you! Randy Mike Ward (B-Shift Production): The first thing I realized was Crest Foods had air conditioning when I started in September of 1994, and it was heated in the winter. After working a previous job for 31 years where I worked outside, in temperatures in the 90’s and high humidity in the summer and an actual -27 below and a lot of 20 – 70 be low zero wind chills, really made me appreciate a controlled temperature workplace. My first boss was Jim Lyles who instilled in me the Crest Culture. I have worked in Mix and in Production. I have stacked, dumped and shuttled. Being part of the First Responders was just an extension of my 20 years of volunteer work I do with the Mt. Morris Fire and Ambulance. I truly enjoyed working with people at Crest – it must have been noticed as I was asked to be a mentor for new employees. I was deeply honored to be asked to mentor our 10 new employees from Kosovo, not only into Crest as a work place, but into the American way of life. As I will be receiving my 20 year ring, I remember my 10 year Crest Foods vacation trip to Hawaii with my wife to see our son in the military. Someone on the plane asked what “Crest Culture Club” was. I told them it was the work culture of where I worked; a small company 100 miles west of Chicago in a very small town. After 10 years they give the employee their “vacation package”, and that is why I was going to Hawaii. Quite a few people around me mumbled something like “for only 10 years – I work for the wrong people”. One other thing, if you are reading this after December 31, 2014, I have now retired! Jenny Loomis (A-Shift Production/New Employee Mentor): I actually have two favorite memories of my 20 years at Crest. The first one is when I was still working in town. I was feeling down about a job change and I mentioned it to Jeff Meiners. He told me: “Do you know what Crest Foods is made up of ? Good people and you are good people.” My second is when I became the A Shift mentor here at the West Facility. I love doing this! I love meet- ing people and I hope I make them comfortable. Thank you Crest Foods for a great 20 years! Candy Koch (QA Administrative Support): I came to Crest Foods because the company I was working for was relocating its operation south. I remember working on the line that first day. I went home thinking I will never be able to pack and keep up on lines. I have done many jobs through my twenty years at Crest and have seen many changes through the years as the company has grown. The memories I still laugh about: When the warehouse guys and gals hid Tom Balch in an empty tote. They told me it was a rush for the plant. I should have known something was wrong...something was telling me it was not right. I went on to sample the ingredient and out jumped Tom and away I ran…I had to stop when I reached the block wall! The warehouse guys and gals had a good laugh that day. Another was when I had to be drug tested on a day we had a new customer visiting. We had a trial going on and my boss (Dawn Summers) had been busy with the new customers. She called into the plant looking for me. I had Deb Worley tell her I was given a three day suspension. She had a melt down on the phone. After a few minutes she must have heard us trying not to laugh. I THINK I am still paying for that one…Thanks for the last twenty years of laughs! Steven Crook (Lab Product Development Leader): Over the years I have seen many changes. At one time we had three shifts of production in the Packaging Division. Also, the mixers were in the Main Plant dump areas. There was no new mix facility and no Karlin Warehouse. The Wet Lab for lab batch testing was located in the middle of the Main Plant in production areas until new office and testing areas were built. And the North Plant on Main Street still had livable apartments located at the West end of the block!
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James Long (Ingredient Division Lead Sanitarian): It’s been a wild roller coaster ride the first 20 years! Sometimes I sit back and reflect on the “key” people that kept me here. First: A big thanks to the Meiners Family – Jeff, Steve and Mike. Your Dad would be proud of you guys for building a first class organization! I am thankful you didn’t fire me a long time ago. Then there’s Randy Reuter. Although he has two grown children, I’m sure I gave him a few of his gray hairs. Whenever I need to talk he is always there. Last but not forgotten, there is Stephanie Quinton. If Stephanie was a super hero she would be “Wonder Woman” for all she’s done for me over the years. There is one that sticks out for me: the week that my Dad passed away she sent me a hand written note which I still have today. For all you people above, thank you. For all you young people here: like Dorothy says in the “Wizard of Oz” – there’s no place like home! James Jim Lyles (A-Shift Mix, Level 6): My 20 year journey actually started in June of 1982, right out of high school. I started as a dumper on Big Batch Cookies. Bob Warkins was the lead mixer in my dump room. A funny story about that room was one day I was really tired and had dozed off. All of a sudden I hear this big loud voice that startled me. I jumped up and there is this big man with bright pants and a bright shirt giving a tour. When he left I asked Bob “who the hell was that?” He said “That’s the name on the bottom of your paycheck – Jay Mein- ers!” Then I went on to being a lead in the Pillsbury Fudge Jumbles. All those years ago talk about no allergen program! Fifty pound cubes of peanut butter through a screen on a particulate hopper and also 50 pound boxes of peanuts! No tagging mixers, totes or anything. The only bad thing was having only 2 man mix crews: Shuttle, weigh, pull batches and take them out. We handled one hundred pound bags of flour and sugar. One guy would throw 5000 pound batches while the other weighed and shuttled. Then I moved on to weighing single drum scales and four drum mixers. A lot of fun! Our crew was good though: Pete Capes, Jon Harrison, Gerry Temmen and Scott Webb. (All of these people except Pete Capes are still working at Crest Foods!) We had no dust collection but it was good times. Then after 7 years I thought the grass was greener in Rochelle. Not so much. In 1994, after three more jobs, Jason Anderson from Crest Foods contacted me about coming back to Crest to work on third shift. I jumped at the opportunity. After a short stint on third shift I went to scheduling as the mix scheduler. From there I went on to consumers for a very short time, before going to the West Warehouse and back to Mix. I have to say it has been a very eventful trip through my 27 years. Big changes, some for the good and some not so good. I have met a lot of people that have become great friends. I want to thank Jeff, Mike and Steve for the opportunities they have given me. I look forward to the opportunities in the future. As we all know – nothing stays the same at Crest Foods. Congratulations to the newest 20 Year Club Members: Adam Drew, Ingredient Division Support; April Fichter, Production A Shift; Candy Koch, QA Admin Support; Cheryl Sanderson, Production A Shift; Crystal Kessel, QA A Shift Line Tech; Donna Long, Production A Shift; James Long, Ingredient Division Sanitation; Jennifer Loomis, Production A Shift/Mentor; Jerry Sikkema, Mix Manager B Shift; Jim Lyles, Mix A Shift; Laura Mares, Production A Shift; Lloyd Droege, Ingredient Division; Marc Smith, Mix B Shift; Mike Ward, Production B Shift; Nina Sims, Production A Shift; Pam Furman, Consumer Products Lab; Randy Reuter, Ingredient Division Production Manager; Rod Bunger, Manufacturing Engineer; Steve Crook, Product Development; Sue Osborne, Production Manager.
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Christmas Dinners at Crest
Cheryl Sanderson, Sue Osborne, Nina Sims, April Fichter & Laura Mares receive their 20 Year Rings
Jackie Ayling & her father, Robert (who was visiting from England!)
Jeremy Butts & Sarah Kendall
Marc Smith & Jerry Sikkema receiving thier 20 Year Rings
Jon, Maria, Yesi, Maria and Jon in their Christmas attire
Marshall Pahkhurst & Ben Nelson
Lloyd Droege, Adam Drew, Pam Furman, James Long, Steve Crook & Randy Reuter receive 20 Year Rings
Jenny Loomis receives her 20 Year Ring
Jeff Meiners presenting 20 Year Rings to Rod Bunger, Donna Long, Crystal Kessel and Candy Koch
Dinner is served!
Cookies from the Accounting Cookie Party
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2014 Crest Benevolence/Christmas Auction by Cheri Kemp If you have ever been to an auction, you know how exciting, fun and competitive they can be. Our Christmas Be- nevolence Auction was nothing less! Our break room was jammed packed with employees wishing to see all the goodies on display and take their turn at bidding on one of the marvelous gifts. With our tag-team duo of auctioneers Max Ballard and Ron Amrein, and their side-kicks Jim Lyles and Randy Reuter, the action was fast and furious. When all the dust settled, we reached a level of success we never have before! Between the money raised by the auction, and the sale of raffle tickets, we raised over $13,500! Remember, Crest Foods matches these funds so the Benevolence Fund will have a contribution of $27,000 in it! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I cannot say that enough to each and every one who contributed an item, bid on an item, added to the fun in the breakroom, worked at the auction or bought raffle tickets! We could not have done this without each and every contribution! As a reminder to those new to Crest Foods, we use the money in the Benevolence Fund to help those employees who find themselves in unusual and difficult circumstances not of their making. We also shop for local nursing home residents who no longer have someone to spend Christmas with. This year alone we will shop for over 50 elderly people. We hope to make their Christmas a little brighter by bringing them the joy of opening a gift and having a visit from a Crest Foods employee. Here is a little pictorial of the auction:
Michelle Berard & Gerald Gibson were winners of cash during the drawing of raffle tickets
Danny Fuller with his new cooler! We had two different Extreme Tail Gate Coolers – a Packer Cooler and a Bears Cooler each stuffed to the brim with everything a good tailgater would need. The Scheduling Department and the Production Department decided to have a little contest. They wanted to see which Extreme Tailgate Cooler set would bring the most money. Scheduling donated the Bears Extreme Tailgate Cooler and Production do- nated the Packers Extreme Tailgate Cooler. Well, the Packers lost this game. The Bears beat them out for bringing in the most money.
A Cubs game is in Brandon Dodrill’s future!
Sherry Joos & Kyle Lawrence
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Joanne Waters making a bid.
Becky Henson with her new guitar!
Dale Lippens was the winner of an extra vacation day.
Jim Lyles, Max Ballard & Ron Amrien, our auctioners
Fran Warkins made a visit to Crest so she could see her co-workers and enjoy the auction. We are wishing Fran the best and everyone was overjoyed to see her.
Garnie Stevens proudly shows off his chainsaw after out- bidding all others!
During our Christmas Auction, we had a Must Be Present to win $1,000 cash prize. We even posted the time the drawing would be held. Well…Jon had entered that contest BUT just a minute before the drawing, he left the building. You guessed it, his name was drawn! Unfortunately Jon couldn’t be the winner but Gerald Gibson was sure glad Jon left! However, Jon did receive the consola- tion prize – a picture of Santa Claus with a personal message written on the back! Sorry Jon – maybe next time!
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by Jeff Meiners
Neil Henert & Jerry Lawrence at Neil’s retirement party at the Warehouse
Jim Spangler, Marty Barclay & Neil Henert
Jim Spangler in one of his going away presents
Not long ago Kenny Chesney had a song out about a 100 year old man being inteviewed who offered up his advice after 100 years of living which was - don’t blink – it all goes by so fast. At the end of this calendar year, we have three managers who are all retiring on the same day. While none of them are close to 100 years old, their combined time at Crest represents 109 years of experience that we will miss very much. A common sentiment between all three of them is that it all went by so fast. Neil Henert started with Crest in 1969 as a part time fill in until something bettercame along. After 45 years, he has finally found that something better in the form of retirement. Since Neil started before we had either a ware- house or a forklift, it is fair to say he started from ground zero at being the warehouse man ager. It’s hard to fath- om the number of changes he has been a part of in taking us from no warehouse space at all to over 300,000 square feet of storage and all the complexities that come with managing such an operation. Jim Spangler started with Crest in 1973 with his background as a plumber and an electrician. He took on the role of maintenance manager and eventually evolved into our facilities engineer. One could literally say that Jim built Crest Foods because over 20 construction projects since 1973 have all been under his guidance and that accounts for every building we have other than a portion of the facility on Main street and that building has been renovated several times since Jim started. Jim has taken us from plans being designed on the back of a napkin to sophisticated designs that would stack up against anything in the food industry. Marty Barclay, the rookie in this bunch, started with Crest in 1991 as the quality assurance manager for the packag ing division. His common sense approach to quality assurance ushered in a new era of quality for Crest packaging that has reacted to so many changes in industry and customer expectations that the operating parameters of 1991 and 2014 have only the very basics in common. Marty has also served as a member of the board of directors for a number of years. No doubt, our doors will still be open on January 1st and Crest will certainly survive without these three, but we will forever be changed by what they have done for Crest and more importantly how they did it. Good people make a good company and these are three of our best – we wish them well in retirement and they will always be a part of who we are.
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In 1991, after having worked at my previous employer for 15 years, a restructuring left me, and many others, with out a job. That was quite a low point in my life. I ended up at an Out Placement Service, where I found a small add for “Quality Manager” in the Chicago Tribune, placed there by Crest’s resident PhD. Way back then, that was the primary way to look for employment. I answered the ad and was invited to come to Ashton to interview. I showed up on a Monday, me in my 3 piece suit, and Jeff Meiners in blue jeans and tennis shoes. I was a little wor ried because I learned that there had been a number of QA Managers on the Contract side in a relatively short pe riod of time. I told Crest that I was looking for long term employment. They assured me that they wanted the same thing. I was offered the job, and my Out Placement Advisor suggested that I accept and get a feel for the company. The week I started, Crest was having their annual Managers’ retreat that following weekend. That did it for me. When I saw the comradery and respect that everyone had for each other, I knew I had made the right deci sion. That’s the history, and now comes the thanking. No one can be successful without the support of many others. I have been blessed to have great people in the QA and Sanitation departments that make things happen every day. There are a number of key people in both departments (you know who you are) that will run through a wall to get the job done. Without them, I would be lost and am eternally grateful. I am also extremely thankful to the Meiners family, for giving me the chance to begin with and supporting me through all these years. I have made many friends here at Crest Foods, and also with the countless customers of Crest throughout the years. I will miss you all, but it’s time that Cyndi and I begin a different journey. Our two daughters, and 6 grandchildren, live in Surprise, Arizona. We decided that it was time that we are there too, since in the end, family is all that mat ters. To our friends, come see us if you can – and again, many thanks to everyone. Thanks for Everything (A love letter to Crest Foods) by Marty Barclay
This year, we started two new traditions for the long-time employees of Crest Foods. We’ve had 10 Year Trips and 20 Year Rings as rewards for employment anniversaries for years, but hadn’t quite established anything of- ficial for 30 and 40 Year employment anniversaries. We are very fortunate to say that we have had 57 employees reach their 30 year anniversary with Crest 30 Year Employment Wall
Foods. In fact, 43 of those employees are still working at the company today. That’s many many years of knowledge, experience and dedication to the company that we can only begin to say thank you for. In order to recognize this accomplishment, we have made a “30 Year Wall” outside of the main entrance at the Main Plant. Each employee’s name is en graved on a black stone with the year that they started at Crest, and we will have a handful of employees to add to this wall every year going forward. Thank you again for all of the employees who have bricks on this wall – for the foundation of our company is built on the shoulders of our 30 Year Employees.
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With Sympathy To Chuck (Lab Tech, Ing. Div.) and Jo Ann Reynolds on the death of Jo Ann’s father, Vernon Straley. To Liz Rapp (QA B) on the loss of her mother, Frances Rapp. To Vicki Monsarratt (QA B) on the passing of her father, Eugene Monico. To Dan Estrella (Production B) and family on the passing of Dan’s father, Santiago Estrella. New Arrivals Jared (Maintenance Mgr., Pkg. Div.) and Amanda (Customer Service) Stumpenhorst are pleased to announce the birth of their son, Andrew. He was born November 12, 2014 and weighed 7 lbs. 14 oz. He was 21 inches at birth. Congratulations to Ron (Maintenance Mgr. Ing. Div.) and Barb Amrein on the birth of their grandson, Vincent Rob- ert Beschorner. He was born September 17th and was 7 lbs. 9 oz. and 20 inches in length. He is the son of Debbie and John Beschorner of Centennial, Colorado. Congratulations again to Ron and Barb Amrein on the birth of their grandson, Henry Augustus Bangert. Henry was born October 13th to Dawn and Erich Bangert of Carmel, Indiana. He weighed 9 lbs. 2 oz. and was 22 inches in length. Henry is the 8th grandson for Ron and Barb. Congratulations to Emily (Accounting) and Billy Smith on the birth of their son, Avery Allen Smith. Avery was born June 26, 2014. He weighed 7 lbs. 3 oz. He was welcomed home by big brother Carter. Avery is also the nephew of Val Smith (Accounting). Congratulations On Thanksgiving Day 2014, Kyle O’Dell (Ingredient A) bowled in the Turkey Shoot at T-Byrd Lanes in Rochelle. He had scores of 185, 203, and 213 for a series total of 601. BUT with a 128 pin total handicap, that gave him a score of 729! That score allowed him to take 2nd place overall in the Turkey Shoot. Way to go Kyle!! From mom, Shelley Schopp (Scheduling)
Thank You “This extra-special thank-you note sent to you today holds more appreciation that any words can say. For you’re among the nicest people I have ever known, and you’ll never be forgotten for the thoughtfulness you’ve shown.” Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Sandy Bennett (Sanitation A) Thank you to all the Crest employees who purchased the delicious burritos in October for lunch. Thank you for caring about me and my girls and my son-in-law. A kind gesture again from my gracious co-workers. I appreciate all of you and miss you! God keep you all safe, happy and healthy this holiday season. With thanks and love to my good co-workers and friends! Fran Warkins (Production A) Thank you to my co-workers with such wonderful talents! The lunch of beef or chicken burritos was a kind and giv- ing gesture! Never anything less from Crest Employees! Thank you to Yolanda Cadenas, Erika Zepeda and all who helped so much. Thank you and God bless and care and keep you safe, healthy and happy. My family appreci- ates your thoughtfulness also. With love, Fran Warkins Thank you to all who prayed for me when I was in the hospital. And to those who visited me. Thank you for the flowers. It’s such a blessing to work at a place that cares for its people. God bless, Joe Loomis (Ing. Whse) Dear Crest Family: Thank you for your thoughts and prayers and the beautiful plant while I was in the hospital. Tim Eshleman (Production B) To my Crest Family: The plant sent to me since my sur- gery has brightened my days. Thank you so much. Also, the facebook messages, phone calls and texts are an added bonus to recuperation! Miss you all! Lois Piller (Produc- tion A) To my Crest Foods family - Thank yo so much for the lovely green plant sent to me while I was recuperating from surgery. It is a bright spot in front of the window that makes me smile every time I look at it. Thank you all so much for remembering me. Cheri Kemp (Benefits Manager)
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40 Year Employment Dinner
Believe it or not, we actually have 9 employees who have reached their 40 Year Employ- ment Anniversary with Crest Foods and are still working at the company today! This year we stared a new tradition which involved dinner, drinks and lots of reminiscing. Crest invited Jim Spangler, Chris Pfoutz, Guyla Pfeiffer, Linda Myers, Neil Henert, Morine Snodgrass, Jerry Waters, Ken Drew, and Lila Burhen to a dinner at the Basil Tree in Dixon to celebrate their accomplishment. On Sat- urday, October 18th, 6 of the 9 employees and their guests, plus the entire Meiners family gathered for the first official 40 Year Dinner.
Jim Spangler, Chris Pfoutz, Guyla Pfeiffer, Linda Myers, Neil Henert, Morine Snodgrass
Congratulations! In the past few months, we’ve had a number of employees interview for different job openings at Crest. Congratulations to the following people for obtaining new jobs at Crest! Stories ranged from their first days at Crest and people they worked with through the years to growing up in Ashton and how things have changed at Crest over time. It was a great night that we will look forward to in the years to come. Thank you to the 9 employees who have reached this impressive milestone – we truly appreciate everything that you have done for the company over the last 40+ years. Also, thank you to Jim, Chris, Guyla, Linda, Neil and Morine for making it out to celebrate that night.
Brent Fransen Lead Mixer B-Shift
Kat Rice Quality Specialist (#7) B-Shift
Ben Kinn Warehouse Floor Manager
Jennifer Ryan QA Audit Systems Support B-Shift
Delnora Martinez Janitor B-Shift
Yolanda Cadenas Quality Specialist (#7) A-Shift
Tim Eshleman SWOP Out Karlin Whse B-Shift
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New QA Structure by Elton Turner, QA Director, Contract Packaging
There are many contract packaging companies throughout the US, just like Crest Foods. What sets us apart from all the rest are our values. These values can best be defined by our Culture and commitment to Quality. As a contract packager, customers like Karlin Foods and General Mills entrust the image, wholesomeness, and safety of their products to us. This trust, along with the fact that we operate in a regulated industry that’s always changing means we must constantly challenge ourselves to stay ahead. One of the ways we’ve decided to “stay ahead” is through implementation of a New QA Structure. (The Product Specification & Lab Systems Support will not be changing.) By now, many of you have heard of some new things happening within Quality Assurance and recently you’ve likely seen some new faces out on the production floor! The new QA team members you’ve seen are a result of our New QA Structure that began on December 1st. The intent of our new QA Structure includes: • Realigning our QA resources to better support operations where Line Techs are assigned to fewer lines to cover so they can do more frequent checks. This sets us up for higher levels of support, teamwork, and quicker reso- lution when we encounter quality issues on the lines. • Quality Technicians will work closer with operators and mechanics to stay ahead of issues, which will make us better over time by reducing the frequency of quality defects. • The long-term goal and expected results being improved “first-pass” quality with less resulting rework which is good for our customers and in turn, good for Crest! • Over time, we should be able to shift our focus away from the management of daily issues and into more strate- gic efforts like goal setting and process improvements. So what does our New QA Structure look like? Examples include: • Line weighers within operations have joined the QA team • Overall QA support for the lines nearly doubled from one Quality Technician for every 10 lines to one Quality Technician for about every 5 lines. • Quality Supervisors (Lori Tally & David Hendricksen) have now become Quality Engineers. They will lead our QA team with increased focus on driving QA incidents resulting in quality holds to understanding of root cause. • A single QA supervisor (Jessica Fair) will support the our inspection team by working a “split-shift” daily sched- ule, covering both A and B shifts We’re very excited about the recent changes in QA and sincerely look forward to working together with all of you to make Crest Foods a continuing success! More to come and thanks! Getting to Know
QA Audit & Inspection :
Kathy Conant & Joanne Waters
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Elton Turner QA Director Years at Crest: 6 months Interests: Golf, guitars, mixed martial arts (MMA), cooking, and desire to get back into camping Something most people don’t know about me: I once took a Wilton cake decorating class in the back of an Ace Hardware store! Lori Talley Quality Engineer, A-Shift Years at Crest: 24 Interests: spending time with family, watching her son play sports, camping Something most people don’t know about me: I like to go to wine tastings and I have a longaberger collection. David Henrikson Quality Engineer, B-Shift Years at Crest: 17 Interests: Gardening, Beekeeping, and enjoying my God and family. Something most people don’t know about me: I worked and served as a volunteer in full-time Christian ministry and missions for 10 years. Liz Rapp Line Technician, Main Plant B-Shift Years at Crest: 11 Interests: fishing, sewing, knitting Something most people don’t know about me: I have 4 beautiful grandchildren (2 boys & 2 girls). Kelly Stevens Lead Line Technician, Main Plant A-Shift Years at Crest: 30 Interests: movies, reality TV (HGTV & History Channel) Something most people don’t know about me: I was born in Beverly Hills, California.
Kelly Stevens, Jessica Fair, Linda Myers, Elton Turner, Crystal Kessel, Yolanda Cadenas & Maria Aleman
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Crystal Kessel Line Technician, Main Plant A-Shift Years at Crest: 20
Jessica Fair QA Quality Line Supervisor Years at Crest: 2 Interests: swimming, biking Something most people don’t know about me: I have a black belt in karate. Toni Schuler Line Technician, Main Plant B-Shift Years at Crest: 13 Interests: Watching her grandkids play sports, taking her dog to the dog park Something most people don’t know about me: I have a Viszla named Arrow. Kathy Dwyer Lead Line Technician, West Facility B-Shift Years at Crest: 29 Interests: reading, sewing Something most people don’t know about me: I made a quilt with my grandmother’s treadle machine. Heidi Topping Line Technician, West Facility B-Shift Years at Crest: 7 Interests: reading, music, playing old school video games Something most people don’t know about me: At 4’9”, I am technically a midget. Kat Rice Quality Specialist, B-Shift Years at Crest: 1 Interests: outdoorsy activities like hiking, fishing and going out on the river Something most people don’t know about me: I am really into football. Jennifer Ryan Audit Systems Support, B-Shift Years at Crest: 7 months Interests: hiking, going to the gym, playing with my dog Something most people don’t know about me: I am planning a wedding in the fall of 2015.
Interests: shopping, movies, spending time with my daughter Something most people don’t know about me: I have a hermit crab named Sheldon. Joanne Waters Lead Line Technician, West Facility A-Shift Years at Crest: 35 Interests: antique shows, antique costume jewelry, eBay Something most people don’t know about me: I am related to President Davis. Kathy Conant Line Technician, West Facility A-Shift Years at Crest: 13 Interests: traveling, studying alternative diets Something most people don’t know about me: I worked on the feed lot where the West Facility is before Crest bought it. Yolanda Cadenas Quality Specialist, A-Shift Years at Crest: 6 Interests: spending time with family, playing volleyball Something most people don’t know about me: I love Italian food. Linda Myers Audit Systems Support, A-Shift Years at Crest: 40 Interests: craft shows, reading, snowmen Something most people don’t know about me: I am very dedicated to my church, family & friends. Julie Tomblin Lead Line Technician, Main Plant B-Shift Years at Crest: 7 Interests: motorcycles, traveling Something most people don’t know about me: I like to garden. Vickie Monsarratt Line Technician, Main Plant B-Shift Years at Crest: 15 Interests: stained glass, and the “Saving the Greyhounds” organizion Something most people don’t know about me: I always wanted to drive an ice cream truck.
Congratulations to the newest members of QA Audit & Inspection: Trish Carter & Joe Lewis.
14 Crest Ink January, February & March 2015
CIP 2015 1st Quarter Winners The Continuous Improvement Program (CIP) is a program where employees may submit suggestions on ways that they think can improve Crest Foods. These suggestions may help improve overall efficiency, employee safety, sanitation, record keeping, maintenance and various other areas around Crest Foods. In exchange for their sugges- tions, each employee is rewarded with a $5.00 gift certificate to our Crest store. We received 43 suggestions from employees for the 1st quarter. Thank you to everyone for participating! Jerry Maronde, B-Shift Maintenance 1st Quarter 1st Place • $250 Jerry’s idea was the install roarty flap tuckers on the vertical cartoners to reduce turn flaps or flaps out tucked and better overall operation of the flap tucker. They have been installed on some of the cartoners and are working well!
Connie Schumacher, A-Shift Production 1st Quarter Runner Up • $150
Connie’s idea was the apply the same set up for line 23 as we have on lines 13 & 14. where the packer folds the minor flaps on the case and then flips them onto a 2ft. conveyor that then feeds into the tape machine. We are looking into getting this all set up on line 23!
Larry Shipman, B-Shift Mix 1st Quarter Runner Up • $150
Larry’s suggestion was to build a pair of wash carts that we can put equipment on to wash. It would get the parts up off the floor and would replace the cheap plastic skids we are current- ly using. By keeping those off the floor when we wash mixers it woud make washing much easier.
Congratulations to Steve Zera, Scott Storey, Brian Schafer, and Jerry Lawrence on their recent promotions!
Steve Zera Engineering Manager
Scott Storey Corporate Purchasing Manager
Brian Schafer Facilities Manager
Jerry Lawrence Warehouse Manager
January, February & March 2015 Crest Ink 15
There is no progress without building. And building we are! The construction of the Main Plant equipment stor- age area is moving right along despite the settling in of the cold weather. Soon the building will be enclosed so the construction workers can work indoors. On Main Street our new Consumer Lab is just about ready to be occupied. We have some people who are very eager to move into their new lab facility. Out west things are just getting a good start. Ground has been broken and footings poured. Every week we see progress and change. Construction Update
Ingredient Division Warehouse - Doesn’t look like a lot, but footings are in and all the site work is complete. The building will start going up towards the end of December and Mother Nature will determine how fast we move.
New Mixer for Contract Packaging - This project has taken longer than what we thought it would, but setting up a new mix system is not as easy as just plugging it in. We are in the process of fine tuning the electronics and getting the metal detection system designed. We hope to see this fully opera- tional by the middle of January.
Consumer Products Lab - We are getting really close on this one. This facility should be ready for occupancy by early January. Betty Crocker herself will be jealous of these kitchens - look for a full story in the next Crest Ink.
16 Crest Ink January, February & March 2015
Equipment Storage Building / Line 35 Renovation - This building will have complet- ed walls and a roof in a matter of weeks. Some inside work will then need to be done, equipment moved and then line 35 will be transformed into a full production area including a cup line. Look for all to be functional in March sometime.
Tiffany & Ruby Aldrich
Ruby Aldrich, Tiffany Aldrich & Nina Sims
Ruby’s face says it all! In September, unbeknownst to Ruby Aldrich (Production A), her daughter, Tif- fany Aldrich, a PFC in the US Marines, was coming home for a surprise visit. Tiffany came to Crest Foods and asked if she could see her mother. When we knew there was a surprise in the making, we prepared our camera and paged Ruby to come to the Production Office. Needless to say, the tears being shed were not only Ruby’s! The squeals of delight from Ruby could be heard in the halls and the rest of us just dabbed at our tears as we watched the reunion unfold. Tiffany’s aunt, Nina Sims, also works at Crest Foods so was able to have some time with Tiffany too. We are all grateful for Tiffany and all our military person- nel. Tiffany is now stationed in San Diego.
January, February & March 2015 Crest Ink 17
by Jeff Meiners
We’ve lost a little momentum so it’s time to make some changes in our WAVE (Working to Add Value & Engage) direction. The changes will be in teams and direction. Teams will continue to be on the floor at 1:15 on Mondays and 3:15 on Wednesdays for the most part (mix team being an exception). Teams will continue to focus on contract packaging issues since that is where our biggest needs are at this time. Our focus will continue to be on employee/manage- ment interaction to come up with creative solutions to problems. We continue to feel that it is healthy for Crest to have an ongoing situation that brings managers out of their offices and onto the production floor on a regular basis. If everyone participates enthusiastically, we win before we ever solve a problem by creating a new level of interac- tion between employees and management. Solving problems is the frosting on the cake that will ultimately sustain the program when employees and managers see results for their efforts. WAVE teams as of December 1st will be as follows: • Housekeeping o This area has had a number of teams for the past year. There has been a lot of progress made in some key areas. Four people will be given the entire production facility, main plant and west, to continue to champion issues that will improve our overall level of housekeeping. They will be in the plant on each shift once a week and will spread out individually. They will also meet together once a week to send a report to production and o This is an ongoing team that still has plenty to do in their area. The focus of this team is to offer a different perspective and insight on ways to improve the functionality of the mix operation and how it relates to the rest of the packaging world. This perspective then needs to be blended with the input of those that have feet on the ground in mixing all day to come up with innovative ideas on ways to better operate mixing. o Team members – Jenny Drew(leader), Sue Osborne, Tom Balch, Mike Meiners • Warehouse Operations o We are out of room in the warehouse. While we will be gaining another 93,000 square feet in warehouse space sometime this summer, we shouldn’t count on that as the cure to our space problem. This team will tackle those issues from a warehouse, scheduling, QA and production viewpoint. The goal will be to come up with a workable set of user guidelines and operational procedures that will allow us to use our space as productively as possible while meeting a reasonable set of needs of our customers. o Team members – Elton Turner(leader), Mark McWethy, Jerry Lawrence, Erika Meiners • Waste and Sustainability o Crest sends 30,000 lbs. of trash to the landfill every day. What lost opportunities does that 30,000 lbs. repre- sent? Could we have recycled some of it? What is the composition of that 30,000 pounds and how much of it maintenance on issues needing attention as well as to follow up on previous requests. o Team members – Cheri Kemp(leader), Jeff Roop, Andra Meiners, Jeff Meiners • Mix Operations
18 Crest Ink January, February & March 2015
represents lost production opportunities? How much does it cost to put that much trash into the landfill each day? There are so many questions that come from the initial statement. This team’s responsibility is to unravel the mystery of what goes into the trash and find out if we can recycle it or better yet avoid putting it in the trash in the first place. This is an existing team. o Team members – Steve Zera(lead), Randy Reuter, Scott Storey, Emily Smith • Safety o We have a very functional safety team at Crest that deals with and reacts to a number of issues, however our “safety presence” on the floor could use some support. Having a WAVE team work on safety issues should create a situation where the WAVE team becomes an extension of the safety team. This team can explore rem- edies for situations defined by the safety team as well as help to identify situations that need safety team atten- tion. These areas are perfectly suited for employee feedback and interaction. Developing a way to communicate o The management practice of continuous improvement continues to be a hot topic with many of our customers. We embrace the core concepts of continuous improvement. This team will devote their WAVE time solely to exploring the best ways of implementing continuous improvement practices as defined by the steering commit- tee for continuous improvement. o Team members – Jared Stumpenhorst(leader), Al Hess, Keith Larson There it is – our latest and greatest effort at making our WAVE program a vital part of our operation. We’re going to keep doing this until we get it right and we’re getting closer all the time…this time I think the stars are lined up right to make it happen. Let’s make sure to give this our best shot. plant wide on safety improvements or concerns will be key to the success of this group. o Team members – Karen Yardley(leader), Denton Yocum, Kevin O’Dell, Phyllis Ott • Continuous Improvement Growth
2014 Elks Chili Cookoff Team Jim Smith (Maintenance B) put together another great team to help cook chili and support the Dixon Elks Childcare Fund. Audriana Rice (Pro- duction B), Kaylin Yarbrough (Production B), Cody Matheny (Production B), Jackie Skrogstad (Production B), and Kat Rice (QA B), all helped Jim with making chili and fried bread - which won them The Peoples Choice Award this year!
Audriana Rice, Kaylin Yarbrough, Cody Matheny, Jim Smith, Jackie Skrogstad, and Kat Rice
January, February & March 2015 Crest Ink 19
Ingredient Division QA Christmas by Brandon Meiners On 12/1, the Ingredient Division QA department delivered a new Christmas Tree with all the trimmings to the Jack Mabley Center in Dixon for all of their residents to enjoy this season. The Jack Mabley Center is a state institution for severe developmentally disabled individuals and consists of over one hundred full time residents. Many of these people have spent a good portion of their lives in this facility
and rarely get the opportunity to spend time with their families. With that being said, we wanted to make sure these individuals got a chance to participate in something we all likely take for granted and grumble about every year, decorating the family Christmas tree. To see the excitement on the faces of the residents as they each helped hang the ornaments and string the garland was humbling for all of us involved from Crest, and certainly put things into perspective heading into the holiday season.
Becky Henson, Anne Harris, Brandon Meiners, Julie Pitchford and Mary McWethy at the Jack Mabley Center
The director of the facility informed us that many of these people have likely never decorated a Christmas tree, let alone spent time with family and friends around one celebrating the holidays. We hope that our tree will last at the facility for many years to come and can provide an annual tradition for the residents to enjoy every Christmas.
Bell Ringing for the Salvation Army
Christin & Isabelle Lindenmeyer
On 12/13 a group from Crest Foods busted out their bell ringing skills to help the Salvation Army Red Kettle Christmas Campaign. Teri Wolber, Julie Pitchford, Becky Henson, Brandon Meiners, Bernice Evans, Christin Lin- denmeyer, and Val Smith all volunteered one hour out of their day to greet shoppers at the Dixon Food Center and seek donations to support this great cause. The Red Kettle Campaign enables the Salvation Army to provide food, toys, and clothing to over six million people during the Christmas season and helps more than thirty four million Americans recovering from all kinds of personal disasters nationwide. Over the course of six hours, our small group was able to raise hundreds of dollars due to the generous support of our surrounding communities. We hope you can all spare some extra change the next time you pass a Salvation Army Red Kettle!
20 Crest Ink January, February & March 2015
Happy Retirement, Barb Woodyatt!
Barb Woodyatt has left the building…no really, Barb has decided it was time to retire after 27 years of keeping tabs on all of us through her role in QA. In December, co-workers and friends gathered to wish her farewell with a retirement party complete with lots of laughs, reminiscing and cake! Barb never made us guess what was on her mind and always had a colorful way of expressing her thoughts. She knew her stuff and we will miss her and we wish her nothing but the best in retirement. Congratulations!
Barb Woodyatt and her retirement cake
Barb Woodyatt & Jon Larson
On November 11th & 12th, Crest Foods passed out around 700 Butterball turkeys to employees. Thank you to Mitch Karlin for providing the stuffing and mashed pota- toes to round out the meal! We hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving with their family and friends!
Mike Meiners & Ken Drew
Sandy Bennett Fundraiser by Karen Yardley A huge thank you to anyone who helped us make the 50/50 raffle for Sandy Bennett such a success! Sandy, who is part of our crew on A Shift Sanitation, is battling Stage 4 cancer of the colon, liver and lungs. Sandy has been off work since late August and has been receiving chemotherapy. We wanted to do something to help Sandy and her family cope with some of the difficulties that come with a situation like this and knew we could count on our co- workers to feel the same. And boy did you come through! Between raffle ticket sales and monetary donations we raised $1500! A lot of people wanted to write Sandy’s name on the tickets so we encouraged people to leave the tickets blank and we would know if a blank ticket was drawn as the winner, it would be for Sandy. And sure enough, when the winning ticket was drawn on Friday, October 24th - it was blank! $1500 or $750 - either way, Sandy would have come out the winner! We were happy that Sandy felt well enough to come to Crest for a visit and we were able to share the raffle prize and well wishes from everyone with her. She hopes to be back to work soon as do we!
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