Volume 30 • Number 04 October, November & December 2018 Ashton, IL 61006
GETTING TO KNOW Third Shift Line Operators
While most of us are blissfully sleeping away, or at least staring at the ceiling wishing we were sleeping, this group of employees is leading the charge on our third shift at the West Facility pounding out cases of finished product…the third shift line operators. While we’ve tried several times before, a third shift of production for packaging is a relatively new adventure and this group has played a vital role in making it a very successful move. It’s been running well for us since it started up on February 28, 2016. Creating another eight hours of potential production time in our work day has enabled Crest to meet some very high production demands at our West Facility. While members of this group (except several) are relatively new to Crest, their production numbers are outstanding. We all are grateful for the hard work and wonderful results that are being produced in the wee hours of the morning at Crest…keep up the good work! Keep reading to find out a little more about this group of employees! Andrew Buntjer, Brad Lawyer, Chris Bryant, Shawna Snapp, Catherine Larson, Tara Lifka, Val Serrano, Nick Workman & Alma Hernandez
In This Issue 10 Year Trips page 6
2018 Year End Celebration page 2
Robot Donation page 15
Tara Lifka Years at Crest Foods: 19
Nick Workman Years at Crest Foods: 1 Interests: Video games, Japanese animation and spending time with friends and family. Most People Don’t Know: I really like to travel. My favorite place is Japan, although I haven’t visited there yet. Brad Lawyer Years at Crest Foods: 2 Interests: Being outdoors, camping, fishing, hiking and cookouts. Most People Don’t Know: I am actually very mellow outside of work. Chris Bryant Years at Crest Foods: 2 Interests: The Green Bay Packers, basketball and building model cars. Most People Don’t Know: I like to watch kids movies...favorite being Frozen. Shawna Snapp Years at Crest Foods: 2 Interests: Sleeping, camping and hiking. Most People Don’t Know: I am a good cook! My best dish would be potato soup.
Interests: Spending time with my kids and dogs. Most People Don’t Know: I like to make fairy gardens. Val Serrano Years at Crest Foods: 2 Interests: Hanging out with my niece. Most People Don’t Know: I am originally from Chicago.
Alma Hernandez Years at Crest Foods: 5
Interests: Spending time with my kids and family. Most People Don’t Know: I used to be a really good soccer player.
Catherine Larson Years at Crest Foods: 3
Interests: Animals, sleeping and lifting weights. Most People Don’t Know: I collect four leaf clovers.
Andrew Buntjer Years at Crest Foods: 1
Interests: Video editing and video games. Most People Don’t Know: I used to be into Parkour.
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2018 Year End Celebration by Jeff Meiners Crest Foods marks the end of our fiscal year on July 31st every year. There aren’t any big blow-out parties and a countdown to midnight on that day, although rumor has it that the Accounting Department can get pretty crazy that night. We do, however, like to celebrate the end of our year in our own Crest Foods way. Bonus checks are passed out to all employees that day (I’ve heard stories that some greenhorn took a fall in the washroom on third shift passing out bonuses this year). We also like to have a cookout for employees, suppliers and any customers in the neighborhood to celebrate another year and to thank those who do so much every day to make Crest a great place to work. Through rainstorm and heat, nearly 1000 steaks sizzled on the grill by the big tent on August 7th this year. It is just another way to say how thankful we are to all who have made Crest their work home for another year. Our results have once again been great…Packaging stayed busy all year long resulting in a strong year for them – the Dairy Ingredient group had another strong year bolstered by continued business growth – the Consumer Products group also had a very strong year due to continued growth. On top of that, we continue to operate our company on a higher level than ever before – for those who have been around a while, we are doing things today that we didn’t even think were possible 10 years ago. We continue to be this independent little company (relatively speaking) out in the middle of nowhere who can play ball with any of the big boys. This is entirely due to the collective effort, creativity and passion of all those that work here. We feel lucky every day to be associated with such a great group of people. Thank you for a great year.
Peggy Dill, Jennifer Pittman, Matt Broderick, Heidi Hurd, James Stuckey & Jennifer Eich taking shelter from the pouring rain at the A-Shift lunch. We finally saw the sun for the B-Shift dinner (below).
Some of the Meiners crew grilling.
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2018 Suppliers of the Year by Jeff Meiners, Matt Richardson & Ed Baylor
We as a company spend a lot of time focused on the concept that we don’t exist without our employees...in fact, the employees of Crest Foods are Crest Foods. Take just a small step back from that concept and the same line of logic can be applied to our suppliers…we don’t exist without them. The buildings don’t get built, the equipment doesn’t get bought, the lines have nothing to run and the product doesn’t get shipped without suppliers. There is literally no part of our business that functions without the support of one of our many suppliers. We’re probably not easy on them – we ask them to expedite, be creative, be cost effective, have world class quality and ser- vice and occasionally just flat out do the impossible. The most calloused of the business world would explain that they do that because we pay them to do so…that is business. Indeed, at its most fundamental level that is definitely true. We, however, feel that the pinnacle of a supplier/customer relationship is not reached by the consummation of a financial transaction, but by the development of a true partnership relationship where both sides benefit. The best supplier relationships are not defined by the amount of money that exchanges hands or the quality of the legal arrangement between them, but by the quality of the personal partnership forged by the individuals that work to- gether. Sound corny? Absolutely. Does it produce the best results? We think so. Our suppliers do incredible things for us on a regular basis. We’d like to think that part of the reason for that is that we’ve taken the time to get to know them as people, built a relationship based on trust, taken the time to understand each other’s business and ultimately done everything we can to make our relationship more than a financial transaction. Part of any good partnership is occasionally taking a step back from the day-to-day to simply express your gratitude for how well things are going…to say thank you. We have been doing that with our suppliers at a supplier recogni- tion event for the past twenty-nine years. Every year we recognize a top performer for exceptional performance. This year we just couldn’t just pick one, so we are recognizing two suppliers for outstanding performance over the past year. The first supplier we recognized is Gary Wilhelm from SupplyWorks. Gary provides us with a lot of different supplies ranging from cleaning chemicals, janitorial supplies and HVAC filters to now include lighting and lockout padlocks. Gary has been a salesman to Crest Foods close to 25 years now. Gary continues to bring value to Crest Foods not only in the current items he sells to Crest but in new products for us. Gary has gone above and beyond this year picking up the slack of a vendor that started to slip in the service
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category. All it took was one phone call to Gary stating we needed help on this project and in two days he was here at Crest to make sure we were taken care of. Also, Gary wouldn’t be able to do the great job he does for Crest with out the support of his team at SupplyWorks. We would like to take this time and thank Cortney Craig, Sam Colyott and everyone else at SupplyWorks for all the hard work they do for Crest Foods. You think all that would keep a man busy, but it must not be enough for him as he is very involved in his home town community of Amboy, IL. He is involved with Knights of Columbus, Amboy Park Board, and Depot Days just to name a few. Gary previously won the Supplier of the Year award in 2010 and then again six years later in 2016. If you remem- ber the article in the Crest Ink from 2016, we challenged Gary to win this award in another six years. Congratula- tions Gary! It only took you two years! The second supplier we recognized reminded us that Change Is Good. JM Swank has been with Crest Foods since the early years, and has been in attendance at our supplier appreciation day year after year. To say they are an impor- tant cog in our wheel would be an understatement. JM Swank has gone through quite the metamorphosis over the years, from family owned, then sold to a big corpo- ration (Con Agra,) and now spun off to an equities group. During this time there have been some turbulent mo- ments to say the least in both service style and people turn over. The hard working dedicated team at JM Swank has embraced these changes and this year they have shined through more than ever. The team has stepped up and met Crest’s ever increasing (changing) demands in a multitude of areas. Documenta- tion requirements have increased enormously this year, and Swank has been first to step up and embrace the Trace Gains system. The sheer number of documents needed as we purchase hundreds of ingredients from hundreds of suppliers needing multiple documents can be overwhelming, yet Swank has complied with all these demands. Coverage and service in getting new ingredients to our R&D group has picked up this year. Swank has become the go-to distributor for Crest Foods. Improved communication with Swank and our R&D team has been key to this growth. Documentation requirement turn around has been quick; low minimum order quantities; short sample lead time; and price have all become the driving force in new ingredient requests being sent to JM Swank. For the Purchasing Department, market information supplied on numerous key ingredient areas has been stepped up this year. Scheduled bi-monthly conference calls between Crest and not just Swank distribution team members, but also actual suppliers has been a great help in keeping up with what is happening in the markets. Discussions on
not just current pricing, but projecting future trends and supply issues has helped make educated decisions and form solid ingredient strategies. We could go on and on about the many rush shipments, and issues of the day, but bottom line is the people at JM Swank have gone way above and beyond this year to make it hap- pen. Congratulations and thank
you again to all of our suppli- ers. We appreciate all that you do for Crest Foods. Pictured: Left: Gary Wilhelm (SupplyWorks) and Matt Rich- ardson. Right: Mary McWethy, Rachel Saltz, Laurie Rath (JM Swank), Amanda Yotty (JM Swank), Angie Stokes (JM Swank), and Becky Hen s on
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My Ten Year Trip by Natasha Pretzsch (Production B)
In 2011, I began playing a popular video game called League of Legends. I had watched my then-boyfriend play it for some time and thought to myself, “I could do that.” I started to play, got comfortable with a couple of the char- acters and never looked back. I have other interests that come and go, but League is always there. Spring 2013, I was in my freshman year of college. Finding myself with spare time between classes, I followed a Facebook link to see a professional match: Cloud 9 vs. Team SoloMid. I had enough knowledge of the game at that point to see the skill required to play at that level. Cloud 9 played a surprise strategy, a highly uncommon one, to great success. The next weeks, my spare time was spent going over their previous matches, during a time that their roster and strategies were dominant. They had me, and I’ve enjoyed watching competitive play ever since (especially C9!). A couple years ago, as I started to think of 10 year trip ideas, I knew I wanted to see a live competition, meet some of the players if I could. I considered going to Worlds initially, an international League of Legends competition that takes place in a different part of the world each year. It’ll be in Korea this October. While this competition is larger and more prestigious, there’s no guarantee that my favorite team will qualify. So, I eventually decided to stay local (so-to-speak), and attend the North American League Championship Series, or NA LCS, in Los Angeles, California. In late July I took my husband Kameron, our friend Aaron, and my sister Amanda along and spent 10 days in LA. The highlight of the trip was on the weekend, when I got to finally see my team play, and even meet them. During the week I kept myself busy with all the tourist-y things. Beach one day, Zoo another, Walk of Fame on a third. I also spent a great deal of time exploring some of the museums that LA has to offer (Wax, Guinness World Records, Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Museum of Natural History, Space and Science museum). The Natural History museum was my favorite of the bunch, with beautiful architecture and a full rose garden and huge fountain outside. I’m so grateful to Crest Foods for this opportunity. I think it is a clever benefit to ensure that employees get to live a little in addition to the daily grind. I look forward to returning to LA next year on my own. It was a fantastic time.
My Ten Year Trip by Heather Thomasson (Production B)
For my ten year trip, my two youngest sons Trenton, Devon and I went to Wis- consin Dells. We stayed at Mt. Olympus Resort for five days. During our trip we went on the Dells Ducks and the Wild Thing jet boat. We had a great time. There are a ton of places to eat and shop in the Dells. I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to Crest Foods for such a special reward for ten years of service. It was welcomed and greatly appreciated.
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My Ten Year Trip by Mark Hussey (Ingredient Warehouse A)
First I would like to thank Crest for their ten year trip program! It is a very nice thing for them to do. For our trip my wife and I went up to Tomahawk, Wisconsin, to Lake Nokomis and went fishing for a week. It is something that I have been doing since I was a small boy and then when my wife and I got married we continued the practice until the early 90’s when all the resorts at the lake where we used to go were sold and it all became private.
We got introduced to Lake Nokomis through our son and his in-laws that have a nice place on the lake. We have had the opportunity to go up a couple of times and it is a real nice area. I did a little checking around and found a resort just down the road and booked a cabin for the week. It turned out to be a nice trip for us and the weather was good all but one day where it rained all day. We are hoping to go again next year. We managed to catch a few fish every day. I would like to thank Crest again. In appreciation - Mark and Deb Hussey
My Ten Year Trip by Troy Campbell (Parts Room B)
I had long wanted to go to Alaska. The ten-year trip gave me all the motivation I needed. In July, my wife and daughter flew with me to Anchorage. Our Alaskan adventure began with an eight hour Alaska Railroad train trip north to Denali. Our very first impressions of Alaska were how beautiful and how huge it was. The train trip scen- ery was breathtaking, a trend that continued throughout our visit. We next took a 92 mile bus trip into Denali National Park to the Backcountry Lodge. We saw moose, caribou, Dall sheep, fox marmots, ground squirrels, eagles, magpies and grizzly bears. Denali is the name of the highest moun- tain in North America at 20,320 feet. It is often enshrouded in clouds. We were fortunate enough to see first the peaks and then later the entire mountain. We next drove from Anchorage to Seward where we visited the Seavey sled dog kennels. There we were treated to a ride on a cart pulled by a team of huskies, some of which have been in the Iditarod. The Seaveys have won the Iditarod seven times in recent years. Our next adventure was a nine hour Northwestern Fjord cruise. We saw humpback whales, orcas, seals, sea lions, otters, many birds including puffins and saw calving glaciers. On an amazingly calm morning in Seward we went sea kayaking on Resurrection Bay. On that outing we saw a harbor porpoise. We then drove to Homer (the end of the road) and back to Anchorage. Twice we saw a cow moose with calves. In Anchorage we visited the Aviation Mu- seum, walked along Hood Lake, home to 600 floatplanes, and enjoyed our traditional vacation mini golf game. On our last day in Alaska we went by float plane to Redoubt Mountain Lodge on Crescent Lake more than 100 miles southwest of Anchorage to see bears. We were not disappointed. We saw 5 grizzlies and a black bear. We also had a fantastic salmon lunch. What a trip! What a beautiful land! I echo Tom Bodett’s sentiments when he said, God, ‘you saved your best work for what we know as Alaska’. Thanks Crest Foods for aiding a dream come true.
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8 Crest Ink October, November & December 2018 Congratulations to Marisa Lopez (QA B) on the birth of her daughter! Adahlia Leanna Cover was born 07/05/18 and was 6 lbs 9 oz and 19” long. Congratulations! Congratulations to Jackie Skrogstad (Production B) and Brad Furman (Mix B) on the arrival of their son, Braden Jackson Furman! Braden was born 07/27/18 and was 10 lbs 6 oz and 22” long. He is welcomed by big brother, Connor (4). Braden is also the grandson of Pam Furman (Lab Tech). Congratulations everyone! Congratulations to Mikayla Cox (Production A) and Jesse Rolen (Production B) on the birth of their daugh- ter, Kiya Rolen. Kiya was welcomed 05/17/18 and weighed 7 lbs 3 oz and was 22” long. She is welcomed by big brother James (18 months). Our Sympathy Our condolences to Georgia Temmen (Production A) and Gerry Temmen, (Warehouse A) on the loss of Georgia’s sister, Diane, who passed in June. Our sympathy to Dusty Koch (Building Maintenance), Candy Koch (QA A) and Doug Koch on the loss of Doug’s father, Richard Koch, in June. Our sympathy to Tammy (Lab Tech.) and Steve (R & D) Crook on the loss of Tammy’s mother, Betty Hawley, on August 21st. Our condolences to Shawneen Arreguin (Production B) on the loss of her father. Lt. Vaughn Cecil Castle II who passed away August 27th. New Arrivals Congratulations to Danny Fuller (Warehouse A) and his wife Joni on the birth of their second son, Daniel Robert Burt Fuller. Daniel arrived 07/08/18 and was 6 lbs 11 oz and 17 1/2” long. He is welcomed home by big brother Isaac.
Congratulations to Kaitlyn Hanabarger (Production B) and John Scott on their new son, Logan. Logan was born 09/02/18 at 5 lbs 8 oz and 18” long. He is wel- comed home by big brother, Denver. Congratulations to you all! Congratulations to Karen Yardley (Sanitation & Safety Manager) on the arrival of her first granddaughter! Eleanor Darlene Petersen was welcomed by parents Trent and Dawn Petersen on 07/05/18 and was 5 lbs 7 oz and 19” long. Nurse Heidi McGlown is happy to announce the birth of her new granddaughter, Avah Ann McGlown! Avah was born 06/17/18 and was 7 lbs 11 oz. She is the daughter of Xavier McGlown and Sierra Conley. Congratulations Congratulations to newlyweds, Olgert (Maintenance B) and Caitlin (Production B) Refatllari! The happy couple was married 07/07/18. Best of wishes to you! Alyssa Larson (Daughter of Susan Larson, Payroll Man- ager and Jeff Larson) and Matthew McHugh were mar- ried on Saturday, June 23rd in Dekalb, IL. It was a beau- tiful sunny day for an outdoor wedding ceremony. They reside in the Ft. Myers, FL area. Thank You I can’t say thank you enough for all the help we have received from Crest Foods and all of our friends at work. I still have a long road to recovery ahead of me and I can’t wait to get back to work. – Keith Smith (Maintenance A) To Crest Foods and all my coworkers a big thank you to all of you for all prayers, gifts, and good wishes everyone has sent to me. I feel so blessed to have so many caring friends and coworkers. Thank you all very much and God bless you all. – Deana Duncan (Production A) Thank you for the plant that was sent to me while I was in the hospital. – Morine Snodgrass (Scheduling)
Congratulations Jim Reindel!
We are excited to announce the promotion of Jim Reindel to the management staff effective August 1st. Jim will serve as the supervisor of the Karlin As- sembly Crew. Jim started with Crest Foods back in 1981 and worked the ma- jority of his time in the warehouse. In 2011 he and his wife Audra decided to try a new adventure and moved to North Dakota for 2 years. They decided to return to the Ashton area and to Crest Foods in 2013. Jim returned to the Production Department and eventually moved to the Karlin assembly crew. The size of the crew and the complexity of the products has warranted the need for a manager. Please join us in congratulating Jim.
Congratulations to the following employees for obtaining new jobs at Crest Foods over the last few months!
Scott Luxton Ingredient Division Whse Weigh Up
Lisa Moscato Ingredient Division Customer Service
Rico VanOosten Level 6 B-Shift Main Plant
Mandi Kersten Ingredient Division QA Lab Tech
Tom Clayton & Ned Tippie Retire Tom Clayton (Technical Services) and Ned Tippie (Sales) have both moved into retirement recently. Tom and Ned have spent decades in the dairy industry. Their knowledge of not only stabilizer systems and how they work but also dairy processing has helped position Crest Foods as a leader in our field. We thank both for their contributions and wish them well in their retirement. For those outside Crest Foods who may want to contact them both have maintained their Crest Foods cell phone numbers as their personal cell numbers.
When Joanne Waters (QA A) announced that she’d be retiring later this year, almost one year short of her 40th employment anniversary, her co-workers decided to celebrate her 39th an- niversary on September 6th with cake. Congratulations, Joanne! (More to come on her Octo- ber retirement in the following issue.) Happy 39 Years, Joanne!
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My career at Crest started for me in May of 1989. I came up to the green river auto salvage to look for a gas tank for a Ford Torino Elite. My wife suggested that I pick up a paper and see what was available for work in the area, as I was in between jobs at the time. I was temporarily working construction as I had for a number of years prior. I picked up the paper as she had suggested and saw an ad for a mechanic at Crest Foods. I was a part of a maintenance department at a mushroom farm for a few years early in the 1980’s, mostly doing fabrication work, so I decided to look into the op- portunity. My first interview was with Kim Gallagher, which led to a second interview with Chuck Pfoutz. On July 5, 1989 I officially became an employee at Crest. I have worn only a few hats compared to some that work here. I started out in the Maintenance Department and worked for about a year in the Production Department as a floor manager. For the last 29+ Years at Crest Foods by Ron Amrein
15 or so years I have worked in the Ingredient Division, and more recently, about 12 years at the Mix Facility as well. I have had a lot of challenges and successes along the way, along with a few failures. All in all, I have had a wonder- ful career at Crest. I started to think about some of the statistics along the way and was surprised when I realized how many miles I have driven since I started working here. When I did the math, here is what I found. About 610,000 miles, to put that in perspective, 25 trips around the world at the equator, and when I figured out the amount of time that I was in my car driving, it equated to right around one and a half years (real time in hours). That led me to think about the number of vehicles I have gone through: on my sixth one right now. It cost me approximately 100,000 dollars in gasoline and maybe more than that. That may seem like a lot of money, but over 29+ years, it only equates to about $3500 a year @ 500 miles per week. I based that number on an average cost of gas at $2.75 a gallon which is prob- ably light. I hit 3 deer in 29 years, a flock of turkeys, and had one speeding ticket. I was entered in the Big Buck con- test every year I worked here, but never won. I got a lot of can cozies though. Also in my time, Crest paid me for 322 holidays and 543 vacation days, which equates to 2.3 years of time off. Not to mention the weekends. No mat- ter how you look at it, that is a lot of time off. At the time I started working here I had 3 children ages 11, 10, and 4. All girls, and all three of them, over the course of time had an opportunity to work at Crest. At this time they are ages 40, 39, and 33. They live scattered across the country from California to North Carolina and in between in Indiana. They have given my wife and I, 10 grandchildren, 9 boys and 1 girl. When we are all together it is a houseful. When I started working at Crest, I had been married for 15 years. The day after I retire, we will have been married for 45 years. I still wonder where did all the time go. I am thankful for the opportunity to have worked at Crest. I have met a lot of great people and had a lot of great experiences. I am grateful to the people who helped me along the way. I appreciate the confidence that Crest had in me to make the right decisions and contribute to the growth and success of the company. I thank the Managers that mentored and guided me along the way, for seeing my strengths and weaknesses. So I take this time to say goodbye to all of you I have had the privilege to work with and wish all a healthy and prosperous life. What I will miss most is YOU.
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Giving Back to Crest Foods by Karen Yardley, Safety & Sanitation Manager Many of our employees get recognized for giving back to our community but we would also like to recognize the employees who volunteer to serve the company – our EMTs and First Responders! The newest member of that team is Matt Downing, B Shift Quality Assurance Super visor. Matt has worked at Crest on and off since 2010. He came to us through the college program and worked full time during the summer. Matt is originally from Dixon, but he and his wife recently bought a house in Davis Junction so the com- mute for each of them would be a bit more manageable. Matt expressed interest in becoming a First Responder earlier this year after witness
ing other First Responders in action during a serious injury here at the Main Plant. Matt has considered pursuing a career in healthcare someday and thinks this is a good starting point. He’s hoping to gain some experience here at Crest as he’s not had any formal training before but we’re hoping his services aren’t needed too often! Matt attended a 52 hour course in April and May of this year at Dixon Direct. He said the material they reviewed was easy but the hands-on-training was a bit more difficult. He was surprised to learn how easy it is to operate an AED unit (Automated External Defibrillator) a portable device that checks the heart rhythm and can send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm. AEDs are used to treat sudden cardiac arrest. We cur rently have 3 AEDs at Crest. Matt feels confident that the skills he learned during the course will enable him to identify life threatening situations and how to handle them. One skill he hopes he never needs to use is delivering a baby, and he hopes he never has to aid someone who is unresponsive with the care he is now certified and so willing to share. Please welcome Matt as our newest First Responder at Crest Foods!
Marshall Pankhurst (Ingredient C) was the winner of the Renegade Sport Fishing Trip during the annual 2017 Crest Benevolence Raffle. He and his family traveled to Port Washington on July 15th to set sail on Lake Michigan. They left port at noon and began traveling three miles out from the harbor. The beginning depth where lines were casted out was at 150 feet; this proved successful and two coho salmon were caught within the first 20 minutes of the trip. After those great catches, Marshall’s daughter caught a 17.5 lb lake trout, which was the largest lake trout that has been caught on any of Captain Tim’s boats for the season. The five-hour trip proved successful as Marshall and his family caught nine coho salmon, two lake trout, and one rainbow trout, totaling over 100 pounds of fish. Captain Tim was an expert and provided all equipment and bait used on the trip. Marshall
and his family will definitely be planning another trip back to Port Washington after such an unforgettable experi- ence like the Renegade Sport Fishing Trip. Marshall says, “We are beyond thankful for the opportunities like this that Crest offers, and we can’t wait to go on another trip!” Marshall & his daughter, Katelyn Pankhurst
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2018 CIP Annual Winners Announced!
The Crest Foods Continuous Improvement Program (CIP) successfully completed its 26th year on July 31, 2018. With 82 suggestions to choose from, the Suggestion Committee had a tough task of choosing this year’s annual winners. Many suggestions have been implemented throughout the year, and some proved to be great suggestions and ideas from our employees. Thank you to everyone who partici- pated in the program this year! At the Year End Celebreation, we were happy to announce that this year’s Grand Prize Winners are Jerry Maronde and John Messenger from B-Shift Maintenance. Jerry & John’s idea was to modify auger hoppers in order to
make product trap points (which are potential allergen problems) in the equipment much easier to clean. It was also a big improvement for employee safety as it made changing tooling significantly safer. This has been implemented on 3 so far, and are in the process of modifying the rest. They received $1000.00 for their suggestion. Congratula- tions, and thank you!
Hannah Derksen, Production B-Shift & Jeremy Hammonds, Maintenance B-Shift Runner Up • $500 split
Hannah & Jeremy worked together on line 24 to make it so that the line stops picking cups when the filler is running low on powder, which means that we won’t have a ton of kickoff at the checkweigher. This might only be a few packages on most of our lines, but on the cup line this is a problem because it could be dozens of cups. When the filler has enough powder in the filler cone, the line starts picking cups again.
Candy Koch, QA A-Shift Runner Up • $500.00
Candy’s idea was to update the current micro hold program in order to avoid inadver- tently releasing product when it shouldn’t be released. This has been implemented and now finished product will stay on micro hold even if it is released from a quality check.
Hannah Derksen, Production B-Shift Runner Up • $250.00
Hannah’s idea was to run line 24 at half speed if we were short on people. By drop- ping cups every other row, it would allow the line to run at half speed with less people.
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Adam Giese, Maintenance B-Shift Runner Up • $250.00
Adam’s idea was to ground all of our flammable cabinets at the West Facility to prevent static electricity or fire. This was a great safety observation that was implemented right away at the West Facility.
CIP 2018 4th 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 23 suggestions from employees for the 4th quarter. Thank you to everyone for participating! Hannah Derksen, Production B-Shift 4th Quarter 1st Place • $250
Hannah’s idea was to run line 24 at half speed if we were short on people. By drop- ping cups every other row, it would allow the line to run at half speed with less people. This has been implemented already and is a great idea!
Hannah Derksen, Production B-Shift & Jeremy Hammonds, Maintenance B-Shift 4th Quarter Runner Up • $150 each
Hannah & Jeremy worked together on line 24 to make it so that the line stops picking cups when the filler is running low on powder, which means that we won’t have a ton of kickoff at the checkweigher. This might only be a few packages on most of our lines, but on the cup line this is a problem because it could be dozens of cups. When the filler has enough powder in the filler cone, the line starts picking cups again. Great idea! Jeremy Hammonds, Maintenance B-Shift & John Messenger, Maintenance B-Shift 4th Quarter Runner Up • $150 each Their idea was to mount the fillers on lines 35 & 36 on the side and put split cones on them. This would make it safer & easier to take tooling down and put back up. This is a great idea that makes changing tooling much faster and safer.
October, November & December 2018 Crest Ink 13
Volunteer Spotlight: Becky Henson The Jack Mabley Center Steve Caudillo, M.Ed.ATC, of The Jack Mabley Center in Dixon, IL, presents Becky Henson (Quality Assurance Coordinator, Ingredient Division) with a Certificate of Appreciation for the time our Crest Foods Ingredient QA Lab employees have spent volunteering there. Steve invited Becky as a representative for Crest Foods to their Volunteer Appreciation reception in May. Crest has done
some nice things for this group in the past year including: Signing Christmas Cards for residents, donating snacks and drinks for parties, donating money for their pancake supper, donated a quality microphone as a Christmas 2017 gift. Becky has taken all the steps necessary to be ‘vetted’ through the Mabley Center in order to become a volunteer leader. This means she can bring others with her to volunteer their time and talents. We thank all those who have shared their time with the clients of The Mabley Center. Any Crest Foods employee who would like to volunteer at the Mabley Center is free to contact Becky at extension 295. She will be happy to coordinate the Crest Foods ef- forts on behalf of The Mabley Center. The Mabley Center serves a broad spectrum of individuals with behavioral and medical needs. The campus is laid out on an interior oval pathway that is defined by trailing rails. It has an exterior roadway circling the campus. Trail- ing rails are designed for use by residents who are blind or visually impaired to promote more independent move ment and navigation around the campus. Walking Club Update
We’ve participated as a group in three more races since the last update, which leaves us with only two more to go this October! The Tough Run at the White Pines Horse Ranch was just as muddy and hot as we expected it to be, and our team ended up defending their Corporate Challenge title at the Reagan Run this year! We also had a good turnout for the Amboy Depot Dash this Au- gust. A full wrap-up will be included in the next issue, but we are on track to be able to give a large donation to Sinnis- sippi Centers this year!
We had 45 employees participate in the Reagan Run 5K this summer. Matt Richardson, Jared Stumpenhorst, Matthias Kemmeren, Chris Mooney and Val Smith ended up winning the Corporate Challenge this year!
14 Crest Ink October, November & December 2018 Natasha Pranga, Stephen Osborne and Matt Downing preparing to walk through a lot of mud at the KB Tough Run 5K in Oregon this summer. We had 30 employees participate this year!
Robot Donation to Kishwaukee College by Erika Meiners
Twelve years ago, in an attempt to reduce labor needs and automate our process, Crest Foods pur- chased our first robot to stack product on the end of three pro- duction lines at the West Produc- tion Facility. It served its purpose well for many years, but due to the change in
products run at that facility, we decided it was time to retire the recently abandoned robot and upgrade our system to meet our current needs. Unfortunately, the going rate for a twelve year old million dollar robot isn’t much these days, which left it destined for the scrap yard. Instead, it was able to serve another purpose as we decided to donate it to Kishwaukee Community College’s Electronics Department. While Kish’s four year search for a robot had come to an end, they quickly had to come up with a creative game- plan because they had nowhere to put a 16 foot tall robot! Electronics Instructor Charles Raimondi, worked out a trade-in deal to obtain a brand new (and much smaller!) Fanuc LRMate 200ID-30iB for their classroom. The new Fanuc robot enables them to develop Industrial Robots courses and expand the skills taught in the Career Technol- ogy Division, which is something students and local businesses ask for frequently. Students will learn to integrate OSHA Robotics Safety requirements, program the robot to perform tasks, and install various inputs and outputs to work in conjunction with the robot. This deal works out great for both parties involved. Kish gets to upgrade their Electronics classrooms, and Crest Foods continues a partnership with them while we continue to look for and employ students with these skillsets. Safety Glasses Policy Late this August Crest Foods officially implemented a safety glasses policy. Safety glasses and side shields were distributed to all employees working in areas requiring hairnets and earplugs. This policy has been implemented because the list of tasks requiring safety glasses continues to grow, and instead of trying to remember when and where they are needed, it made sense to just wear them at all times. The requirement of safety glasses is a common industry standard and just one more way we can provide a safe and healthy work environment at Crest Foods. Thanks to everyone for their cooperation and to Jeff Capes, Cass Askegaard and Dylan Hanabarger for modeling.
October, November & December 2018 Crest Ink 15
New Manpower Onsite Supervisor: Daniel Medina Crest Foods is happy to welcome Danny Medina as our new Onsite Manpower Supervisor! In this role, Danny is responsible for making sure our temporary Manpower employees succeed in their new positions at Crest Foods. As a general resource for all Manpower em- ployees, he can help with such things as any HR or Payroll-related questions, get them
where they need to go on their first day, or be a listening and empathetic ear. Our hope continues to be, as it always has been with this position, that the Onsite Manpower Supervisor helps new employees succeed, embrace the com- pany culture, and ultimately get hired in as a full time employee at Crest Foods. Welcome to the team, Danny! A little about Daniel: I was born in Tampa, Florida and moved to Illinois when I was very young. I grew up in the small town of Lee Center and went to school at Franklin Center High School. This area is very familiar to me and I am happy to be back with many people that watched me grow up here as a young man. I am happily married with 2 kids. My wife, Danielle runs her own cleaning business with her mother. I have a 10 year old daughter, Brooklynn, and a 1-year old son, Chase. My family means the world to me! Knowing how important my family was, a few years back I made the choice to go back to school. I started at Sauk Valley Community College receiving an Associate Degree in Business Management. My fire for school grew past that and I decided after my two years I wanted more. I moved forward in my education at Northern Illinois University College of Business, where I received my Bach- elors in Human Resources. During my time in school I worked in a co-op at BorgWarner in Dixon, Illinois. I was able to gain the experience needed to take on the Manpower Onsite Supervisor role. It is never too late to go back and reach those goals! I am a prime example of this. What is your background? I have worked in the manufacturing setting since I graduated high school. My first real job was here at Crest Foods as a mixer at the mix facility. I worked there for about 3 years. From there I went on to work at a few different factories but was never satisfied. I wanted more and school was the answer. College really taught me about myself in many different areas. I changed over a 4-year span into something better than I once was. I am super proud of this fact. My background is in Human Resources in a manufacturing setting. I am very knowl- edgeable in finding, screening, and recruiting. I also have knowledge in other areas such as benefits, workman’s com- pensation, and training and development. I am pursuing my SHRM-CP certification this coming spring. (Society of Human Resources Management Certified Professional certification.) What interested you about this position? This position was a perfect fit. With my background being HR coming out of college with little experience, I was looking for something to really challenge me and teach me every day. Every day is different and always changing. What makes my job easy is that I get to work with many very wonderful people and the family atmosphere is what brings me to work every day. What are some of your goals in this position? My goal is to reduce the turnover here at Crest Foods for Man- power employees. I want to learn every day and grow into a great leader. My focus in this role is to put the Human in Human Resources. I want to lead by example and be that go to person for anyone. I am here to help and if I can make a difference in just one person’s life, that is what I live for. What are some of your interests? I am very athletic. Growing up every season was a different sport. Baseball, football, and wrestling were my go to. I am a die-hard CUBS and BEARS fan. Today in my older age I love to play golf and slow pitch softball. I love coaching my daughter in her softball as well. She is an amazing little player. My son has already been throwing a baseball since he was old enough to sit up on his own. Now, I can’t get him to stop throwing everything, including his food on the floor. My wife and I enjoy going to dinner, movies, and shopping.
16 Crest Ink October, November & December 2018
Historians who love baseball likely know that until the early 1900’s, what we know as baseball was really two words: Base Ball. And to that end, there are many baseball teams who play by 1867 rules to commemorate the first “World’s Base Ball Tournament” held in Detroit, Michigan, 151 year ago! The Oregon (Illinois) Ganymedes have been routinely playing for the last 12 years with Justin Early, forklift driver at the West Warehouse on A-Shift, playing for the last 6 of those years. Justin’s enthusiasm for the game has rubbed off on his 12 year old son, Kylar, who has spent the last 4 years as the bat boy and has also played as a substitute from time to time. Drawing his son into a game that Justin clearly loves will ensure the future generations love of the game and what better way for the two of them to spend time together. Because the team plays by 1867 rules, no baseball gloves are allowed! Imagine catching a baseball bare-handed! Ev- erything is era specific, right down to the wool blend pants and long sleeve shirts. Cell phones and water bottles, among other things, are not allowed during the game. There was no such thing in 1867! This summer was the 16th Annual World Tournament of Historic Base Ball with 12 teams, from 4 states, participat- ing. The games were held in Dearborn, Michigan. The Ganymedes, who during regular season, play by 1858 rules which does not allow stealing of the bases, had to play by 1867 rules, which did allow stealing and required a fly ball to be caught on the fly to register as an out. Remember, they have to catch the ball with their bare hands! After several games over the course of the two day tournament, the Ganymedes won the Third Class Division, garnering them a return trip next year to the World Tournament of Historic Base Ball. They were also recognized for the Furthest Traveled Award and their team Captain, Mark Herman, won the Finest Captain Award. The Gany- medes, who play from May through August may be done for this season, but are eager to start again in 2019. Justin Early & the Oregon Ganymedes Base Ball by Cheri Kemp
Justin, Kylar & Mikki
photos by Earleen Hinton, Shaw Media
October, November & December 2018 Crest Ink 17
Where are They Now? Featuring: Jim Schultz by Cheri Kemp Catching up with Jim Schultz was not as easy as you would think for someone who is retired and in their late 70’s, but I did manage to catch him between his many ‘hobbies.’ Jim retired from Crest Foods in 2012 after spending 38 years at Crest in our Dairy Ingredient Division developing product and processes for Crest. One of his main interests was in the making of cottage cheese. Making cottage cheese is not just simply adding a lactic culture to milk, letting it set until it coagulates and then cutting the curds to release whey. It is much more complex than that. Since our Ingredient
Division produces the products needed by large manufacturers to produce the delicious cottage cheese you find in the store, Crest, and Jim, spent a lot of time developing these processes to best help our customers. In fact, Jim Schultz wrote, and published, a book in 2012 called “The History of Cottage Cheese”. (Jim blames Max Ballard, Ingredient Division Technical Service Director, for this creative name). This book is primarily used in the industry as a handbook for cottage cheese production facilities. Jim chuckled and said “I am not on a National Book Tour yet!” Jim and his wife, Sharon, divide their time between their home in Oregon, IL, and their home in Castalia, Iowa, where Sharon maintains flower and vegetable gardens. When in Oregon, they volunteer time for church activities through the Oregon United Methodist Church. They also try to squeeze in a little travel along the way. With two daughters who live in Chicago (one lives in downtown Chicago and the other lives virtually a half block away from Wrigley Field) they do get to Chicago on occasion. In Iowa…well that is where his biggest hobby starts. “After a 50 year hiatus from farming, I am back on the fam- ily farm where my father was born in 1913. Sharon and I built a cabin on the farm in 2003. We have acreage in the Conservation Reserve Program and have to maintain the land to certain specifications by mowing, killing any weeds, and then planting prairie grasses (like big blue stem) and numerous native prairie flowers. Every few years we have to burn it off so that the land can be maintained as a prairie. If ever needed, then the land can be turned back into productive crop land.” Then we have the trees. I could tell from the tone in Jim’s voice as he talked about tree farming, that he has found a new passion. In the last several years Jim has planted 15 to 20,000 trees. In fact, he planted 1,000 trees in 2018! “I spend a lot of time tree farming”, said Jim. “People think you just put them in the ground and let them go. That is not the case. You have to spray them, mow around them, and trim the branches. A District Forester came up with a plan on preparing the ground and what kinds of trees to plant. We planted black walnut, sycamore, silver maple, river birch and swamp white oak. When I get the trees, they are about 10 to 12 inches tall. I have attended a lot of forestry seminars and field days to learn about it.” Thinking about the sheer quantity of trees to be put into the ground, I asked Jim how someone goes about planting so many trees (thinking there might be some machine that is used). He said “You use a spade, dig a hole, plant the tree and tamp it down. I had some neighbors and their kids help plant trees and we could plant about 200 trees per - day per person. You can plant about 500 to 600 trees per acre but a mature forest can support only about 50
18 Crest Ink October, November & December 2018
To Own or Not to Own: Home Ownership by Al Duthie To own or not own a home is one of the biggest financial decisions a person will have to make. Like any major financial decision I personally think the best method to use is the pros and cons list. This list could better be named the benefits-advantages and headaches list. And until I wrote this article I had forgotten all the things (responsibili- ties) that come with home ownership. Owning a home provides comfort and joy. Owning a home provides a feeling of security and belonging to a community, which is very rewarding. Owning a home provides a sense of freedom and allows a much better opportunity to entertain family, friends, and guests. Some of the big things not to overlook with home ownership include the search process, the down payment, mortgage, property taxes, home insurance, lawn care and landscaping maintenance, snow to shovel or plow, general upkeep, including clogged plumbing, broken appliances, broken A/C unit, broken furnace, water damage due to leaks or water flooding, or possible bro- ken windows. Not owning a home should not always be considered a bad thing. Sometimes circumstances dictate, or point to- ward not doing so. Other living choices that might be more ideal include renting (leasing) a home, apartment, or condominium. Renting does certainly have its place, especially for younger people who want the flexibility to re- locate quickly due to job changes or career advancement. Also renting has its place in terms of desiring a city down- town location, or for downsizing purposes, or not having to deal with maintenance of a home that is owned. And renting does force less accumulation of personal possessions (often things really not needed) due to much less stor- age space. And renting a place does not lock a person(s) into such a financial obligation as owning. I truly believe that if more thought was given to the commitment of home ownership, including the size of the commitment, and future obligations, there would be fewer foreclosures, fewer moves, less overall debt issue, and greater overall peace and joy. I do realize that sometimes bad things just happen out of the control of people, and these things do cause financial hardship. But societal pressure, unfortunately, many times, makes the home owner- ship decision for people (singles and young couples). Also, owning a home is not a right, it is a blessed privilege! And in this great country a majority of us can experience this blessing! Listening to all this, Jim certainly does not seem to have the ‘tired’ in re-tired! His dedication to preserving our farm land and forests is comforting to hear, and very rewarding to Jim. We wish him well in his continued retirement! mature trees per acre. Some of the trees will die, and some will need to be removed as they mature.” Jim said that these trees are not being grown to sell to people to fill in their lawns; they are being planted to re-forest the land. With a chuckle Jim said “My hobby keeps me out of trouble; Out of the bars and off the streets!”
2018 Sales Meeting The Ingredient Division Sales group (plus a few from Tech Service) got together for their annual meeting in Greens- ville, South Carolina this August. While this group is usu- ally scattered across the country, it’s nice for them to get together on an annual basis. We hope to see some of these faces in Ashton soon!
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