The Crest Ink is a quarterly newsletter that celebrates the success of Crest Foods and our employees.
Crest Ink Volume 32 • Number 02 & 03
April, May, June, July, August & September 2020
Ashton, IL 61006
GETTING TO KNOW: IT DEPARTMENT Welcome to a special combined issue of the Crest Ink! Many of these stories and pictures were written and taken before the pandemic hit. We will be back with a normal 3 month issue of the Crest Ink in October.
Jonathan Moye, Mark McWethy, Phyllis Ott, Kerry Tumleson, Larry Stevens & Andy McCannon
The Crest Foods IT department is staffed by six very creative and responsive individuals who do their best to make our computer world tick each day…and let’s face it, nothing at Crest happens unless the computer works. This group has fully subscribed to the theory that we, as a company, do not work for the computer – it works for us. To make that happen, each individual in this department has taken the time to truly understand how Crest actually functions and customizes their efforts to support that activity versus simply telling us what the computer will allow us to do. This philosophy combined with their efforts have created a very supportive and positive work environ- ment between IT and the rest of us who sometimes struggle to understand the power of the technology that is put at our fingertips every day. We are very grateful for their support.
In This Issue
Corona Virus & Crest Foods page 3
Construction Update page 4
Franklin Creek page 20
Mark McWethy - 25 Years VP of Information Technology Interests: Biking and traveling 1 thing most don’t know about me: I was adopted. Kerry Tumleson - 19 years MIS System Programmer Interests: Taking naps and backing my car into ditches 1 thing most don’t know about me: When I was younger, I could run the 100 yard dash in 27 seconds. Jonathan Moye - Just started! IT Systems Administrator Interests: Wilderness backpacking with my brothers, flying drones, cooking, gadgets & gizmos, and swimming 1 thing most don’t know about me: I’ve been stranded on an uninhabited island and was rescued by the coast guard. (Do not underestimate Lake Superior. A 3 man canoe with 7 people in it will crash when the water gets rough.)
Larry Stevens - 1 year RPG Developer Interests: Boating, beaches and home projects 1 thing most don’t know about me: I’ve flown model planes, helicopters and drones for 40 years. Phyllis Ott - 30 years IT Systems Administrator Interests: Cardio drumming, kayaking and traveling 1 thing most don’t know about me: I have been in every state of the United States except New Mexico. Andy McCannon - 41 years MIS Programmer Interests: Wine tasting, chilling by a lake and hanging with my grandson 1 thing most don’t know about me: I once won a dance contest.
GETTING TO KNOW KARLIN WAREHOUSE B-SHIFT
The Karlin Foods Distribution Center second shift crew is small but they are full service. The crew of Terry Jacobs, Bernie Iwema, Cody McCallister, Evan Knaak, Jon Parker and Steve Hilleman can handle anything that comes their way. The crew is responsible for shipping finished product to stores, receiving finished products from Crest Foods as well as Karlin’s other facilities and play a huge part in making sure the day shift is ready to go first thing in the morning. By staging loads and picking product all night, they make sure the wheel never stops moving. On average the crew handles shipping 15-20 outbound trucks per night and receives in a additional 10-15 trucks of product. Thats a lot of forklift miles they run at night covering the 322,000 square foot warehouse. The work you guys do is greatly appreciated! Keep up the good work! (Not pictured: Steve Hilleman)
2 Crest Ink April, May, June, July, August & September 2020 Terry Jacobs Bernie Iwema
Terry Jacobs - 5 years Interests: Working on his Jeeps, working around the house and yard work 1 thing most don’t know about me: I love working on 4X4 vehicles and have won several shows with one of my show Jeeps. Bernie Iwema - 13 years Interests: I enjoy hunting, especially for deer. 1 thing most don’t know about me: I was in the Air Force for 10 years, once lived in Italy for 5 years and have 3 kids. Cody McCallister - 2 years
Interests: Watching TV and relaxing 1 thing most don’t know about me: I rehabilitate small animals (anything from cats to opossums) at my home. Evan Knack - 6 months Interests: Playing tennis and working on cars 1 thing most don’t know about me: I love visiting Wisconsin brewing companies, with my favorite being Leinenkugel’s. Jon Parker - Just started! Interests: Being outdoors, fishing and family 1 thing most don’t know about me: I love to collect sports memorabilia (mostly Cubs and Bears).
Corona Virus & Crest Foods by Jeff Meiners The words corona virus were not even part of our vocabulary six months ago…today, many of us have been overwhelmed with information, theories, opinions, politicians’ views, conflicting direction from experts and a bar- rage of endless news coverage that deals almost exclusivly with those two words that have been thrust into our daily thoughts. All of our lives have been impacted by this situation, undoubtedly some much more significantly than others. Certainly all of us have individually been left with a sense of fear and confusion in deciding how to best deal with this situation that is unprecedented in most of our lives. Crest as a company has dealt with the same confusing flow of information when trying to decide what the best actions that we as a group of 750 people working together every day should take to stay healthy and safe. Our business is deemed essential – keeping food on the grocery store shelf certainly seems to fit that bill – so staying at home and laying low has not been an option. Many steps have been taken to increase awareness and to practice good measures to help prevent the spread of any virus brought into work. All of these changes in how we work every day have not always been pleasant to carry out to say the least (maybe we’ll have a mask burning party when this is all over). The overall positive and even enthusiastic embracing of these changes by Crest employees has been gratifying to see and much appreciated. We have had much success in keeping the corona virus from getting a foot- hold in our facility and in our employees’ lives…and that is largely due to the willingness of everyone working to- gether to keep this from happening. Despite all the fear, anxiety and sacrifices that many have experienced, we can still count ourselves as very fortunate. We live in a rural area that has not experienced a heavy outbreak of the virus, we are in a business that is highly in demand, we all have jobs and paychecks, no one has gotten seriously ill despite a few positive cases and most impor- tantly…through it all we have treated each other with respect and kindness. Truly the best traits of our people have shown through in a difficult time. We couldn’t be more proud and thankful.
April, May, June, July, August & September 2020 Crest Ink 3
Another Construction Project in the Books by Jeff Meiners Six months seems like a very long time…that is unless one is attempting to build 30,000 square feet of state-of-the- art production space including three production lines, a wash room, a maintenance area and a mechanical room. To complicate matters, let’s consider that the construction is being done in the middle of a very full and operating warehouse for food products – each room will be constructed so they are completely isolated from the others including their mechanical systems – one room will require ultra-low humidity levels (below 20%) – 1500 yards of cement and a half million feet of wire will be needed to complete the project – and just for kicks and grins, it will be done in the middle of a pandemic that brings with it a whole new set of restrictions and uncertainty. Then, my friends, six months becomes an incredibly short period of time to pull off the miracle that the Crest Building Main- tenance staff and our dedicated group of suppliers just accomplished. Crest seems to have a history of accepting challenges that call for ultimate creativity in shortening the normal timeline for accomplishing a project and this one was no exception. Steve Zera, our Engineering Manager and project leader, probably sighed a little when he got the news on the scope of the project and the timeline that was expected, but he never missed a beat from that time until completion. He and his staff of Brian Schafer, Peyton Brown, Dusty Koch and Jason Drew rolled up their sleeves and were intimately involved with all stages of the project. Our contractors were every bit as much dedicated to this project as we were and it simply would not have happened without the level of care and effort they brought to the job every day. Many thanks go out to Bennett Construction, Quality Electric, Mechanical Inc., Beesing Welding and Tom White Painting. Equally important to this process was the staff of the warehouse that was totally accommodating to this huge intrusion in their building. Just imagine the reaction of Jerry Lawrence when we broke the news to him that we would be stealing a big portion of space from his already full warehouse – we’re not sure how he did it, but they managed to make it work. Normal construction sites offer plenty of room to allow big equipment to make the construction project easier. Since this job was being done in the middle of our warehouse, the construction project became quite unique. Big footings needed to be dug and then poured in tight quarters resulting in dirt being hauled out one small cart at a time and cement delivered to the footings in a similar fashion. Normally, pre-stressed concrete slabs are set with a big crane from the back of the truck that delivered them, but in this case each slab had to be brought into the build- ing on a cart and then set with a much smaller lift in very tight spaces. These types of accommodations were made in all phases of the project. While the construction process was somewhat unique, the results are nothing short of fantastic. Our new production rooms are the best we know how to build and they will serve Crest, our employees and our customers very well for years to come. Since we didn’t build this area to stand empty and look pretty – the hand-off has been made to the Engineering and Maintenance group to fill the rooms with production lines that will offer sophistication to match the rooms they are being placed in. The plans look great…we can’t wait to see them in action. From Karen Yardley: After many years of making the long trek from the West Production area down to the Mix Fa- cility, Sanitation is very excited to have their very own washbay! How many of you remember using Mix or Sweco Room 8 as a washbay when we first moved into the Mix Facility back in 2003? When the need arose, sometime around 2011, the Battery Charging Area was moved from its original location, walls went up and we now had a washbay at the Mix Facility! With the addition of more production lines out west as Crest continues to grow and prosper, the proximity of a washbay became an even bigger issue. As plans were made for renovations at the east end of the Warehouse, a washbay was made the first phase of the project. The Sanitarians are very grateful to have this area as it makes our job much easier and saves a lot of time!
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C & A Shift Sanitation held a ribbon cutting ceremony for their new washbay! Tyler Ewens, Tom Heath, Austin Tornow, Ben Fichter, Glenn White, Dennis Horton, Randy Erickson, Randy Otten & Tom Baeza
Dusty Koch, Jason Drew, Brian Schafer, Steve Zera & Peyton Brown from the Building Maintenance Department
Cheers to 40 Years! by Gaven Meiners
Crest Foods exists due to the dedication of its employees. This is a common phrase used by our fearless leader. This year we celebrate two employees whom have given Crest 40 years of service. One is that fearless leader and the other is one of those dedicated employees, you’ll have to use your judgment one is which. Jeff Meiners and Georgia Temmen were just kids when they started working at Crest. The amount of change that has taken place during their employment warrants a book to be writ- ten. With the ways of business changing around both of them, one thing remained constant, dedication. Crest Foods would not be the place it is today without you both, thank you for paving the way. Congratulations on 40 years! *While we typically celebrate with all 40 Year employees in May, the party will have to be put on hold for a while. Looking forward to celebrating soon with all 15 employees who have reached this accomplishment!
Jeff Meiners & Georgia Temmen
April, May, June, July, August & September 2020 Crest Ink 5
Welcome Michelle Faivre has recently been hired to fill the role of Accounts Payable Manager in our Accounting Department. In this role, Michelle will performing a wide-variety of accounting, bookkeeping and financial tasks while providing direction and support within the Account- ing Department. Michelle comes to us after spending about 25 years in various Controller and Accounting roles at Monterey Mushrooms, LLC in Princeton, Illinois and brings many years of valuable experience! Michelle and her husband, Bill reside in LaMoille, Illinois. She loves to walk and work on the never-ending restoration of their 1850’s home with her hus- band. Jonathan Moye has recently been hired to join our IT Department as the IT Systems Admin- istrator. In addition to learning as much as he can from Phyllis Ott before she retires this summer, his responsilities will be centered around supporting our existing applications, serv- ers, workstations, phone system and network infrastructure. Jonathan’s education and expe- rience in Networking will make him a great fit for this role. Jonathan and his wife reside in Rockford and he enjoys wilderness backpacking, flying drones and cooking. Greg Noble has been hired as our new Machine Shop Manager/Welder/Fabricator in our Contract Packaging Division. Greg will spend most of his time managing all fabrication requests for the Machine Shop that support Production. He has a background in manufac- turing management, welding, fabrication and heavy equipment maintenance. Outside of work, Greg enjoys running his own concrete business, hunting, swimming, fishing and camp- ing with the family. He has 3 daughters: Kennedy (17), Emersyn (13) and Ella (10) and is happily married to his wonderful wife Katie. Bob Van Raden joined the Production Management staff this May as a 2nd Shift Supervisor at the West Facility in our Contract Packaging Division. Bob comes to Crest Foods with 16 years of experience in the food industry at the Del Monte Foods plant located in Mendota, Illinois. He has a diverse background with experience in production, warehousing and qual- ity control. He should be a great compliment to our existing staff. Bob has 11 children - 7 daughters and 4 sons ranging in age from 7 to 26. In his spare time he enjoys bicycling and is very involved in his local church teaching Sunday school, directing music, working in kids ministries and taking teens to youth conference in Indiana. Regina Cortez joined the Ingredient Division Research and Development team as a Project Manager this June. She served for 9 years as a Hospital Corpsman in the United States Navy. After her naval service, she earned an AAS in culinary arts from Kendall College Chicago. She then completed both her BS and MS in food science and human nutrition at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and has published much of her research. After graduation, she worked as a project manager for the University of Illinois system. Regina enjoys reading, cooking, golfing, hiking, camping, and is the pet parent of one Lemon Beagle named Charles Winston Brown. We are excited to have all of these new faces on board and know that they will be an asset their departments and Crest Foods. Welcome to the team!
Michelle Faivre Accounts Payable Manager
Jonathan Moye IT Systems Administrator
Greg Noble Machine Shop Manager
Bob VanRaden 2nd Shift Production Supervisor
Regina Cortez R&D Project Manager
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Congratulations Ingredient Division! Crest Foods was recently recognized by Upstate Dairy Co-Op as their 2019 Supplier of the year. This is the third time Crest has been honored with this award (back to back 2018 & 2019). Upstate is a large dairy company head- quartered in Buffalo, New York. Crest has provided them products for many years. Pete Bullock is the District Sales Manager associated with this account. He gives them exceptional service as he is also based in Buffalo. However, winning an award like this is a full team effort. Thanks to all doing their jobs well! We have continued to not only meet the needs of Upstate but do it better than any other supplier on a routine basis.
Production & Warehouse Departments
Customer Service Department
Congratulations Tara & Cass! Tara Lifka has accepted the Production Supervisor position on 3rd shift. Tara has been at Crest Foods for the past 24 years and spent all of that time in the Production Depart- ment working her way from a line worker, to an operator, to her current position as our level 6. Tara thought she would pursue another area of interest and studied to receive her CNA certificate. This has been very helpful for her work here at Crest Foods where she serves as a 1st responder and provided basic 1st aid to many on the 3rd shift. QA welcomes Cass Askegaard as their new B Shift QA Supervisor! She comes with many years (about 14) of experience and knowledge in both Production and QA, and is joining a new department after spending the past few years as a Production Supervisor on the B Shift. Congratulations to both Tara and Cass, who will be great assets in their new management positions at the company. We are grateful for the experience and enthusiam they bring to their new positions!
Tara Lifka Production Supervisor C-Shift
Cass Askegaard QA Supervisor B-Shift
April, May, June, July, August & September 2020 Crest Ink 7
Our Sympathy Juan Jesus Arredondo, husband of Celia Arredondo (Production A), father of Rafael Mancinas (Ingredient A), and grandfather of Rafael Mancinas Jr (Ingredient A), passed away February 1. Our sympathy to the family. Our sympathy to Kelly Rains (Production A) on the loss of her father, and to Kelsy Kuhnle (Production B) on the loss of her grandfather, Kenneth Kaiser. Our condolences to Tara Lifka (Production C) and Roger Wolber (Maintenance C) on the passing of Tara’s father, Russ Lifka. Our sympathy to Peggy Benford (Production A) on the loss of her mother. Our condolences to Dennis Horton (Sanitation C) on the loss of his father in law this February. Our sympathy to Chris Mooney (Ingredient C) on the loss of his grandmother this December. Our condolences to Doug Carolus (Sanitation B) on the loss of his sister in law, and to April Cover (Production C) and Jim Lyles (Mix A) on the loss of their aunt. Our sympathy to Herb Wyckoff (R&D) and family on the loss of his mother this March. Our sympathy to Dave McNitt (Sanitation C) on the loss of his brother, Steven this June. Our sympathy to the family of Jorge Ramirez (Ingredi- ent A) on the loss of his daughter, Amber Farve this April. Thank You Crest Foods Walking Club - Thank you for your recent contribution to the Dixon PADS Shelter. Your dona- tion will help provide the necessities needed to ensure the shelter and its residents are well cared for. - Terra Lorenzen, PADS Shelter Thank you for ringing bells for The Salvation Army. With your help we raised over $11,600 for those less fortunate. We couldn’t have done it without you. - Dixon Kiwanis
Thank you for the flowers that we received while recover - ing from being in the hospital. They really brightened our day. Carl and Peggy Reineke Dear Crest Foods, Thank you for our beautiful plants we received from you because each of us is convalescing from a surgery. How thoughtful. Most Sincerely, Ken and Maureen Kelley Joe and I have several people to thank for the help with Joe was in the ICU back in March. First, thank you to Dan Yates and Adam Drew, who both called me sev- eral times to make sure we were ok. We’d also like to thank Anne Noble, Savannah Fagan and Gary Guenther for all of their help with insurance and disability. They explained everything, sometimes more than once, and were very patient with me. Last, but not least, the Mein- ers family. The $500 that everyone was given helped a lot! You all mean so much to us! God Bless, Joe (Ing. Warehouse) and Jenny (Production A) Loomis Congratulations Congratulations to Alex (Mix A) and Krystal Herrera on the arrival of their first child, Sofia E. Herrera. Sofia was born on February 18th and was 7 lbs 10 oz. John Howell (Maintenance B) and Carynn Puentes (Ac- counting) were married February 29, 2020. Congratula- tions to the newlyweds! Congratulations to Dentrell McGlown, son of Nurse Heidi and Keith McGlown, on his graduation from Dixon High School. He will be attending Sauk to play baseball and study Business. Congratulations and good luck!
Congratulations to Sara (Production B) and Jon Ritchie who welcomed their first child on St. Patrick’s Day! Ella Ryann Ritchie arrived weighing 9lbs 6oz and was 20 inches long. Co-workers from Production threw the mother-to- be a baby shower this February. Congratulations to Austin Norman
(Summer Help) (nephew of Amy Wilcox, (Production A Supervisor) on graduating from Amboy High School.
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Congratulations Katherine Henrikson, daughter of David Henrikson (Ma- terials QA Coordinator), has graduated from Ohio High School as Valedictorian with a 4.0 GPA and will be attend- ing Sauk Valley Community College in the fall where she will be pursuing a degree in accounting. She is happy to brag that her class was able to beat all the other past Senior classes in her school, in how many Senior Ditch Days they were able to achieve, (with a little help from COVID19.)
Congratulations to Justin Friday (son of Craig Friday), who graduated from AFC High School on May 30th. Congratulations to Hope Friday (daughter of Craig Friday) and James Rahn who were married on June 13th. Steve (Building Maintenance Manager) and Darcy Zera are the proud grandparents to Parker Stephen Atamain. Born April 6th, Parker is the son of Angela (Zera) and Anthony Atamain. Jeff Karas welcomed a new grand-
Congratulations Katherine! Welcome home, Juliyanna! This February, Brian Hamm (Tech Service) was awarded full custody of his daughter. Brian couldn’t be happier having her home, and looks forward to their future!
daughter on May 1st. Morgan Rosemary Fletcher was 8lb, 1oz and was welcomed by Jeff ’s daugh- ter and son-in-law, Jamie and Max Fletcher.
Congratulations to Susan (Payroll Manager) and Jeff Larson on the birth of their second grandson, Connor McHugh. Connor was born May 22nd and was 9 lbs and 22” long. Juliet Lorraine was born May 20th, three weeks early, and weighed 5 lbs 11 oz - 18 inches. Proud parents, Trent and Dawnn Petersen, very happy big sister Elea- nor, who will be 2 next month, and of course, one very frustrated Grandma (Karen Yardley, Safety & Sanitation Manager) who hasn’t been able to actually meet her yet! Congratulations to Logan Mont, son of John (DSM) & Rhonda Mont. Logan graduated from West Aurora High School this May, and will be attending Central College in Iowa to study Business/Finance and play football. Congratulations to Andra (Customer Service Manager) and Erik Tremble, on the birth of their son, Boyd Matthew on June 9th. Congratulations to Annalee Joos, daughter of Sherry (QA A) and Todd Joos, on her marriage. Congratulations to Grace Guerra (daughter of Craig Fri- day), who graduated from Illinois Central College’s Physi- cal Therapist Assistant program on May 16th. Congratulations to Ethan Drew, son of Jenny (Schedul- ing) and Jason (Building Maintenance) Drew, who is graduating from AFC High School. Ethan plans on att- ending Sauk Valley College in the fall where he will be pursing an HVAC certification.
Tristan Munroe, daughter of Stephanie and Justin Mun- roe, graduated from AFC High School on June 30th. She is the granddaughter of Tom (Ing. Div. Whse. Manager) and LouAnn Balch and sister to Mason Munroe (Ing. Div. Summer Help). She plans to attend SVCC for 2 years, then transfer to NIU to obtain her Bachelor’s degree in the Science of Communicative Disorders, then go to graduate school and become a speech and language pathologist. Congratulations to Haleigh Wilcox (daughter of Amy Wil - cox) on her 8th grade graduation! Congratulations to Hope Friday (daughter of Craig Friday, Karlin Warehouse Manager), who received her Master of Accounting Science degree from Northern Illinois Univer- sity on May 8th. Congratulations to Trevor Guerra (son-in-law of Craig Friday), who received his Bachelor’s in Exercise Science degree from Trinity International University on May 9th. Congratulations to Ben (Building Maintenance A) and MacKenzie Esgar on the birth of their daughter, Campbell Kay. She’s welcomed home by big siblings Caleb and Col- lins. Congratulations to the Esgar’s! Congratulations to Dr. Brittany Smart, daughter of Cheryl Sanderson (Production A), who graduated in June from South College in Knoxville, TN with her Doctrine in Physical Therapy.
April, May, June, July, August & September 2020 Crest Ink 9
Remembering Carol Milens by Jeff Meiners Carol recently passed away following a heroic battle with a long illness. She was 71 years old and had spent 43 of those years working in an administrative capacity at Crest Foods with much of her time being spent in the Accounting Department working as our accounts receivable specialist. Her knowledge of her job and understanding of how Crest functions was invaluable. Carol was soft spoken, easy to get along with and always considerate of those she worked with. If you heard Carol say something bad about anybody, you misheard, because that simply never happened. She was the
ultimate get-along person. When faced with a horrible illness, she simply dug her heals in and went about her day-to-day life letting her condition have as little impact
Rachael Muszynski, Shirley Reif, Carol Milens, Carynn Howell, Ashley Mairs & Emily Smith
as possible – in fact, if you asked her how she was doing, she would often turn the tables around and want to know how you were doing despite how trivial your problems might be compared to what she was dealing with. In facing her obstacles with such poise, she taught us all a lesson on how we might better live our lives. Carol’s work family played a very important role in her life. Those that knew her were touched by her personality and we will miss her very much. God’s speed Carol Milens.
Congrats Guy Covell!
After a 17 year career here at Crest Foods Guy gets to hang up the semi keys for the last time. It is hard to telling exactly how many miles Guy logged behind the wheel during his time here but it would be well over 200,000 miles. It is hard to imagine driving that far when your longest haul was only 2.5 miles away. Now that Guy is no longer taking the scenic couple mile tour of rural Asthon, IL he get to focus more of he attention to the racetrack. Whether or not it will be watching the race or helping his grandchildren rebuild their dragsters I am sure he will enjoy his well deserved retirement. Thanks for many miles and many years Guy! Good Luck! (left) Guy Covell surrounded by his family. (right) Guy surrounded by his work family: Gerry Temmen, John Loomis, Rob Roath, Shane Stover, Justin Early, Jerry Lawrence, Rance Bardo, Ray O’Dell, Bill Henry & Tim Quaco
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Max’d Out by Gaven Meiners Max Ballard has seen more change at Crest then most, from bag phones to Iphones, he was able to adapt and adjust with the times, well on most things! If I had to pick two words to best describe Crest Culture, it would be Max Ballard. His love for his job, peers, and customers showed every day and we are all going to miss him. For 35 years, Max was on the road either selling or offering technical support to the dairy industry. His attitude, knowledge and devotion to Crest can never be repaid. He has saved our customers millions upon millions of dollars over the years, literally putting
his fingerprint on the industry. Some would even call him legenDAIRY. Well, he’s finally Max’d out his time at Crest and we want to wish him well in his retirement. Don’t be surprised if you call in one day and hear “Good Morning Ya’ll” as I have a sneaking suspicion that we won’t be able to keep Max away from Crest all together. I did get a chance to sit down and talk with Max for a while before his last day. My goal was to share some of Max’s most memorable moments. Max tends to get himself into some precarious situations, and some stories are just bet- ter untold! I will say, next time you see Max ask him how long it takes to break out of a hotel bathroom with no phone or tools. In my best Elvis Voice, I would like to say thank you very much Max, thank you very much. Best wishes and happy retirement.
43 years and a few months later, Connie Schumacher has decided it was time to retire from Crest Foods. Connie did it all at during her career. She worked on and ran a line for many years, as well as worked in the maintenance department. In addition to her many talents at Crest, in her free time (which she just gained a lot more of !) Connie also bakes and deco- rates cakes, makes delicious candy at Christmas time, and does all of her own landscaping and remodeling in her home. Connie, you may not have let us throw you the traditional retirement party, but we still wanted to let you know that we are thankful for the years and wish you the very best in your retirement! Congrats Connie Schumacher
There’s nothing quite like the smell of the entryway that can’t really be described as anything but the pleasant smell of Crest. It’s a mixture of all the scents somehow all combined and just waiting for Yankee to make another candle. Don Cole (Ingredient Production A) took that smell in every working morning for close to 18 years before he traded it in for the smell of burnt rubber and gasoline. Don worked at a car shop for many years before finding his way to our Crest Foods Family. Growing up he developed a love for cars and dirt tracking racing which was only trumped by his later love of his family. Every Monday morning over the summers we learned about the latest race, and every other day we learned about how proud of his family he was. Don Cole’s Retirement! by Justin Guenther
April, May, June, July, August & September 2020 Crest Ink 11 March 5th marked the beginning of his long weekend of retirement where he plans to spend all his time with his first two loves; family and racing. Don’s retirement career is working on his late model car by week, racing on the weekends, and mentoring his grandson through his own racing career. His grandson has been learning quickly and is getting close to beating him. Good luck in retirement, Don! I will forever envision you eating a cold bowl of Cheer- ios out by the track. Just remember the warning label on the mirror you see your grandson in, “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear!”
CIP 2020 2nd Quarter Winners The Continuous Improvement Program (CIP) is a program where employees submit suggestions on ways they think we can improve Crest Foods. These suggestions may help improve overall efficiency, employee safety, sanita - tion, record keeping, maintenance and various other areas around Crest Foods. We received 19 suggestions from employees for the 2nd quarter. Thank you to everyone for participating!
Jesse Morris, Production B-Shift & Jerry Maronde, Maintenance B-Shift 2nd Quarter 1st Place • $250 each While running some cartons with an X-Ray the cartons would turn and twist getting jammed inside the X-Ray causing significant down time and presenting a safety issue with clearing the jams. The solution
was to fabricate and install rails that would go through the X-Ray guiding the cartons through the entire machine. The prototype was implemented and worked well so far. We will modify so that they rails do not interfere with the function of the machine, but overall the solution has improved the function of the machine and mitigated an em- ployee safety hazard.
Jon Larson, Maintenance C-Shift 2nd Quarter Runner Up • $150
The cereal line scales have a divider in the top of them that requires a significant amount time to install because of the bolts and nuts. Jon’s idea was to replace the bolts and nuts with pins that will significantly reduce the amount of manpower and time to remove and install the dividers. There maybe some modifications to the design, but the plan is to implement this as time permits.
Hannah Hodges, Production C-Shift 2nd Quarter Runner Up • $150
Hannah’s idea was to improve the web cart on the cereal line by extending the wheel base and installing larger casters. This will help with moving the web at a higher level , will help with stability, and will make it easier to move if it has to be rolled over seams in the floor. This is a great safety suggestion that has alerady been implemented!
Eric Droege & John VanDyke, Maintenance C-Shift 2nd Quarter Runners Up • $150 each
When gear boxes heat up the heat is vented through the factory vent, sometimes oil will be released and drips onto the floor. This causes multiple concerns from safety and equipment performance. Eric and
John designed and implemented a reservoir tank that is installed before the vent that allows the air to rise and the oil to cool off and settle back into the gear box. This has prevented the gearboxes from venting oil. We will con- tinue to implement the solution on equipment that frequently has this issue.
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Congratulations to the following employees for obtaining new jobs at Crest Foods over the last few months!
Jarod Hernandez Lead Bagger Ing. Production C Aliyah Stinnett QA Line Tech B CIP 2020 3rd Quarter Winners John Davis Lab Technician Consumer Products
Shannon Gunnon, Production A-Shift 3rd Quarter 1st Place • $250
Shannon’s suggestion was to find a magnetic lined tape to replace the orange tape currently used to tie off barrels. Sometimes the bags tear and the tape gets into the hopper. If the tape was magnetic we could detect it at the metal detector and prevent foreign material from entering the product. We will take this one step farther and include slice tape. With the introduction of all the automatic pouch placers we have eliminated the ability to have a person pull out the pouch that has splice tape on the pouch. If the tape was magnetic it would reject at the metal detectors. Great idea!
James Long, Ingredient Sanitation B-Shift 3rd Quarter Runner Up • $150
James’ suggestion was to make a quick connect (clamp) system to replace the many bolts holding the hopper lids down. This will ultimately save a lot of time, makes it easier to take apart and put back together, and leaves us with no risk of bolts going missing in food prod- uct. This is a great idea that we are getting into place as soon as possible!
Brad Furman & Trevor Ferry, Mix B-Shift 3rd Quarter Runners Up • $150 each
Their idea was to add an “L” shaped bracket to the frame of the metal detector where the bin sits for metal kickoffs at the Mix Facil- ity. The rejected powder knocks the bin over every time it kicks off. This bracket would keep the bin from falling over and spilling. If the powder doesn’t spill, it makes it much easier to find the cause of the reject. Great idea! We are working wth the machine shop to make this happen.
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The Original 10 Year Trip by Jeff Meiners Joe Palumbo was the doctor in Ashton for decades starting in the 1950’s. He was a large man with a raspy voice and comforting, bedside manner that could have made him a feature in a Norman Rockwell painting. He delivered ba- bies, took care of the sick and was a fixture in the small town of Ashton who many remember still today. Oddly enough, he also played a key role in the tradition of Crest offering a ten year trip as a benefit to our employees. Doc Palumbo bought a condo in Acapulco, Mexico and offered it up to Jay Meiners and his family for a visit in the early 1970’s. The condo was on the tenth floor of the building it occupied with an open-air view to the ocean. Jay enjoyed his vacation so much that he decided that it would be a great reward for any Crest employee that had made Crest their work home for ten years to enjoy that same trip…thus the concept of the ten year trip was born at Crest Foods. The very first trips taken were just that…a visit to Doc Palumbo’s condo in Acapulco as that was the only option offered. While a wonderful benefit, it quickly became apparent that not everyone that earned the right was comfortable making the trip to Acapulco. The qualifica - tions for the program remained ten years of service, but the benefit changed to a cash bonus equivalent to what a trip to the condo would cost with a stipulation that the money be used to take a trip of the employee’s choice. The logic behind the benefit has not changed over the last fifty years…it is simply Crest’s way of saying thank you for choosing to be a part of the Crest family for a decade.
Chris Pfoutz on her 10 Year Trip to Hawaii in 1982
Gary Guenther on his 10 Year Trip to Disney with Justin & Jennifer Guenther in 1993
Since the first employee ten year trip was taken to Acapulco in 1973, 545 additional trips have been enjoyed at loca- tions literally all around the world. Destinations include New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii and the Caribbean with Disney, Mexico and The Dells being the most visited locations on our list. It has truly been our honor to sponsor so many trips and I’ve never run into another company with a similar service award in all my years in business. While both Jay Meiners and Doc Palumbo both left us many years ago, their ingenuity is still alive and well with us today in their ten year trip program.
We’ve been doing a little redecorating in the Main Plant downstairs hallway over the past few months. Lots of color and photos up on the walls to feature our new Crest Culture and the Compliance Corner. We hope to bring something similar to the West Facility hallway sometime soon!
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Summer Help Crest Foods was able to employ 30 kids, grandkids or siblings of employees this summer, with a majority of them working in our Production Department. We appreciated the help during a busy summer and hope they all enjoyed their time at Crest Foods!
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Modern Day Treasure Hunting by Savannah Fagan
Keith Larson with some curious spectators while he’s dirt fishing
1797 One Reale coin - the coin that made Keith an official 1700’s Club Member
When you hear the term treasure hunting, what comes to mind? It probably depends on who you ask. I’m sure many people would think pirates or if you’re a movie fan, maybe even The Goonies. If you ask Keith Larson (Pro- duction Supervisor A), he’d tell you metal detecting, something he’s been doing a lot of over the last ten years. Keith started his hobby back in 8th grade after spending a summer detassling and saving up to buy his first detector. When he first started detecting, he would go where he could easily walk or ride his bike but nowadays, he travels all over. If he sees an older home, you can bet he’s going to ask the owner’s permission to detect his property. Keith actually found one of his best finds, a 1797 One Reale, which is an old Spanish silver coin, on Erika Meiners’ prop- erty. He’ll also walk parks, school grounds, fair grounds and anything in between. Keith is often asked about his finds. He said his biggest finds to date are an old Ford hub cap and a shovel head. His neatest finds are all of the military items he’s found which include WW2 buttons, locks, and pins. Keith has 3 display cases in his home that he puts his favorite finds for people to view when they visit. He’s found over 75 Silver coins, 300 wheat back pennies, and a variety of old copper coins such as Indian Head pennies that range from mid to late 1800s and 3 large cents from 1833, 1850, and 1840. He’s also found many jewelry pieces, including over 15 rings, a mid-1920s gold brooch and 4 necklaces. He often buys equipment for metal detecting with the CLAD change (coin we use today) or uses it for a new detector. If you have an older home and would give permission to have the grounds detected, talk to Keith!
I found this skid at work 3 years ago and asked if I could take it home. I had the idea to use it to grow food and decided to plant potatoes in it. I’ve gotten about 30 pounds of fresh picked potatoes every year. It’s so easy! I just use potting soil and there’s no digging or weeding involved. It was definitely an awesome find! Spider Dan (B Shift West Warehouse)
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YETI Series by Savannah Fagan It’s rare to meet someone who’s willing to go running when it’s cold and snowing, but it’s even rarer to have 6 individuals from the same company who are willing to do so. This past winter, Jamie Cooper (Consumer Products), Jessica Guenther (QA Supervisor), Matthias Kemmeren (Maintenance Supervisor), Matt Richardson (Corporate Purchasing), Dan Stumpenhorst (QA A) and Jared Stumpenhorst (Operations Manager) all participated in the Yeti series. For those who don’t know, the Yeti series is in Dixon and is made up of four races – a 5K, 10K, 15K, and finishing off with a 20K. Unlike other races, participants were able to preview the course prior to the race. This helps the runner mentally prepare for what they were about to endure. Jess said that the 5K wasn’t terrible and that the 10K was her personal favorite. The 20K took out Matt’s knee at mile
Jessica Guenther, Matt Richardson, Matthias Kemmeren & Dan Stumpenhorst
7 (he still finished!) and was nothing but hills. What made them decide to compete in the Yeti series? The general answer was peer pressure. Jess said that she “drank the Kool-Aid” after hearing Matthias, Jared and Dan talk about how much fun it was. Jamie and Matt both said it was going to be fun, as long as they didn’t die. The shirt they re- ceived at the end of the series must have been worth it because most said they will participate again next year!
New Manpower Onsite Supervisor Traci Hartmann This March, Crest Foods was happy to welcome Traci Hartmann as our new Onsite Man- power Supervisor! As a general resource for all Manpower employees, our hope continues to be, as it always has been with this position, that the Onsite Manpower Supervisor helps new employees succeed, embrace the company culture and ultimately get hired in as a full time employee at Crest Foods. Traci has worked worked at Manower as the On-Site Super
visor at Rayovac in Dixon for the past 1.5 years. Prior to that, she spent many years in legal and Human Resources fields before joining Manpower. She loves the personal interaction her current job allows and knowing her work, in turn, helps people to provide for their families - which is a great feeling. Traci was born and raised in Dixon, Illinois where she resides with her boyfriend and sons. Her oldest son, Brendan will be 20 this year and her idential twins, Nicholas and Zachary will be turning 14. She loves watching hockey (Blackhawks) and baseball (Cubs - 2nd to my son’s team of course), reading, photography and going to the gym. We look forward to Traci bringing her years of experience and great communication and people skills to Crest Foods. Welcome!
Friday, July 3rd: Crest Foods Holiday (Independence Day) Friday, August 7th: Crest Foods Holiday (Floater) Monday, September 7th: Crest Foods Holiday (Labor Day)
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Nurses Corner: Fats... Good or Bad? by Nurse Heidi McGlown, RN
Fat has a bad reputation. Many people think the worst when they hear the word. While some fats can be harmful when consumed in excess, others can actually be helpful to the body. Saturated fats: These are solid at room temp and come from animal products and processed foods. A large intake of saturated fats can increase a person’s risk for heart disease and stroke! Monounsaturated fats: These are “healthy” fats that may lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and keep HDL (good) cholesterol at higher levels when saturated fats are kept in check. These can be found in foods like avocado, olive oil, sunflower oil, nuts and natural peanut butter. Polyunsaturated fats: These fats are also good for cardiovascular health and are commonly known as omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids. These can be found in nuts, seeds and fish! Trans fats: These fats are synthetically manufactured by adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid. They are NOT good for health but are widely used in products due to their stability, low cost and ability to extend shelf life of processed products. It is important to distinguish between helpful and harmful fats so that your body gets the healthy fuel that it needs. The best way to eat healthy is to consume less processed foods, but if you are going to consume packaged foods then you should read the labels before purchasing. Knowing what kinds of fats are in products can help you make smarter decisions. This may help you get better results on your next Wellness test and most importantly will help keep you healthy!
Spring Into Financial Wellness! by Kaylene Reynolds, Personal Banker III, First State Bank, Shannon-Polo-Lake Carroll
Spring (and summer) has sprung and it is time to start thinking positively about your financial wellness. Holiday spending may have impacted your bank account negatively so let’s shake the winter blues with 3 easy steps! Control your debt. If you have credit cards with higher interest rates, pay those off first and get rid of them! Also, pay smaller debts off by paying as much as you can on them and make only the minimum payments on the larger ones. By seeing those smaller debts disappear, it will prove to be a great financial accomplishment and great motivation to keep at it! Spend smart. Live within your means and document your expenses. By making your spending more visual, you will be more aware to where your paycheck is going each month. Utilize the saying “ask why before you buy.” Why do you need to buy something – is this a want or a need type of product or service? Increase savings. Give savings the same importance as paying your bills. You should try to save something out of each paycheck – no matter what the amount may be.Check with your financial institution on different types of sav ings accounts offered to steer you in the right direction of building up funds for emergencies, college tuition or even a new car. By exercising these 3 simple steps, you will be on your way to a healthier, happier financial wellness.
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Coping with Panic Attacks by Ashley Koza, LCSW, EAP Counselor, Sinnissippi Centers
Panic Attacks can occur without warning at any time. People who experience panic attacks may feel that they are having a heart attack, dying or “going crazy”. Some symptoms of panic attacks are: • Racing Heart • Feeling sweaty or having chills • Feeling weak, faint or dizzy • Chest pains • Tingling or numbness in the hands and fingers • Breathing difficulties • Sense of terror or impending doom or death • Feeling a loss of control Panic attacks generally last less than ten minutes in duration, however having panic attacks increases chances of future panic attacks and can lead to a panic disorder. Treatment for panic attacks can be therapy and speaking with your doctor. If you are struggling with panic attacks here are some coping skills to manage the symptoms. • Deep breathing o Breathe in for a count of four, hold for one second then breath out for a count of four • Recognize you’re having a panic attack o Remind yourself that this is temporary and it will pass. You are OK. • Close your eyes • Practice Mindfulness o Focus on physical sensations; what you can see, taste, feel, smell and hear • Focus on an object • Try muscle relaxation techniques o Consciously relax one muscle at a time starting with something simple like fingers in your hand and move your way up through your body
• Picture a happy place • Engage in light exercise
Practicing these skills on a daily basis will help you remember them when having a panic attack. If symptoms con tinue please seek professional help whether through a mental health counselor or talking with you doctor.
Our 2020 March Charity Madness competition took an unexpected turn this year with the NCAA’s decision to cancel the March Madness basketball tournament, a direct result of the evolving COVID-19 public health threat. Sixty four Crest Foods customer teams had already been recruited and assigned a slot on the Charity Madness bracket, which left us with an impor- tant decision to make. With no games to follow, do we cancel our parallel charity competition? At the end of the day, we decided that the Crest culture and spirit of giving must go on! Tradi- tionally, donations are made to the charity of choice for each of the final four customer teams. This year, we will take that money and donate it to an organization coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. While the big prizes changed this year, our continued support of participant-selected public school projects did not. Every member of a customer team received an email with a DonorsChoose.org gift code, allowing them to make a $10 donation to a help fund a public school project of their choice. Our customers have contributed toward a wide variety of projects, including indoor playground equipment for transitional kindergarten students, audio recording phones for second graders and graphing calculators for high school honors students from low income households.
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