Volume 30 • Number 02 April, May & June 2018 Ashton, IL 61006
GETTING TO KNOW Ingredient Division Sanitation
James Long (right) - 23 Years Interests: Reading economic reports, studying stock markets and commodities, and taking my mom to lunch every Sunday 1 thing most don’t know about me: I like Cheerios and blueberries on my peanut butter sandwiches. Chris Renard (left) - 4 years Interests: Working on cars, trains 1 thing most don’t know about me: I’ve been married for 14 years and have 2 kids. Melissa Urena (middle) - 2 years Interests: Animals, disc golf, traveling 1 thing most don’t know about me: My goal is to leave the country in 20 years.
The trio of James Long, Chris Renard and Melissa Urena form the team that is the B-Shift Sanitation crew that supports the A & C Production shifts for the Dairy Ingredient Division’s blending and bagging operations. Their work revolves around master cleans, wet washes and the general sanitation level of their facility. While their respon- sibilities are pretty straight forward, the complexity in their jobs is dictated by the juggling act that results from balancing sanitation demands resulting from deadlines, rush orders, allergens, incompatible flavors, kosher, grade A, gluten free, organic, rbst free and more. This group gets a workout every day and most weekends. James Long is a fixture in the Ingredient Division…we’re pretty sure he just came along with the building when it was built and we’re not sure if it would stand without him. The additions of Chris and Melissa make this a solid and dependable crew that gets an amazing amount of quality work done every day. Many crews at Crest do great work behind the scenes that get little notice. The Ingredient Division Sanitation crew is one of those and we simply wouldn’t operate without them. Thank you for your dedication to the quality of work you do and to your contribu- tions to the success of Crest.
In This Issue Volunteer Spotlight page 13
RedZone 1 Year Anniversary page 4
Walking Club is Back page 22
Crest Foods Wins Supplier of the Year by Jeff Meiners
Crest’s Dairy Ingredient Division recently received the exciting news that we were named the supplier of the year for Upstate Niagara Co- operative located in Buffalo New York. A group of employees from their West Seneca Plant and corporate headquarters presented Crest with their award as well as testimonials from various staff on how we have impacted their business. It was very gratifying to receive such positive feedback. We have consistently worked with Upstate over the past 40 years and consider them to be a true business partner with a staff of people throughout their organization that are amongst the best we know to work with. Thank you and congratulations to all
GETTING TO KNOW Contract Packaging Production Supervisors It’s an understatement that Production Supervisors in our Contract Packaging Division wear a lot of different hats. They deal with documentation, production rates, good manufacturing practices, safety, efficiencies, and attendance on a daily basis, but at the core of it all, their job really revolves around people. Al Hess, Amy Wilcox, Dan Yates, Gina Smith, Cass Askegaard, Keith Larson and Angie Paul spend about half of their day coaching, staffing lines, matching skill sets and ultimately trying to figure out how to help everyone succeed at their jobs. With about 350 employees in their department, a high turnover rate for entry level positions, and a wide-variety of product SKU’s, it’s really quite a puzzle to figure this out on a daily basis. Everyone in this group of 7 has worked their way up through the Production Department, collectively spending 144 years dedicated to Crest Foods. They’ve all proven to understand the intricacies of their department and the impor- tance of building a skilled and motivated team of employees to work with. Thanks to this group for all they do for Crest. It would be hard to get through a day without you. Here are just a few facts about our production supervisors that might give you an insight into their lives when they aren’t at work. the Crest employees and suppliers that played a role in making our service to Upstate so outstanding that we re- ceived a near perfect score on their rating system. Also, thank you to Upstate for having a program such as this that recognizes the role suppliers play in the success of an organization. Your recognition makes us want to try even harder next year!
Keith Larson – 15 years B-Shift West Facility
Interests: Spending time with my wife and daughter, hunting, fishing, golfing, weightlifting and metal detecting. I also play in a basketball league and on the Crest flag football team. 1 thing most don’t know about me: I can draw. 1st job at Crest: Working on line 14. I believe this was a cookie (Pillsbury?) and I was training with Javier Munoz.
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Al Hess – 18 years A-Shift Main Plant Interests: Golf, pool, watching college basketball 1 thing most don’t know about me: I am pictured on of the cover of a book: I Can Be a Baker 1st job at Crest: Ingredient Division Dumper
Cass Askegaard – 7 years (+9 back in the 1990’s) B-Shift Main Plant
Interests: Spending time with my boyfriend’s 2 daughters, camping, hiking, boating, fish- ing, going to the gym, cooking, fixing up old houses and spending time with my 4 little dogs 1 thing most don’t know about me: I used to teach step aerobics for Crest Foods back in the late 90’s. I was also the first 3rd shift generation to work here at Crest Foods. 1st job at Crest: Line worker when I was age 17 out on what is now known as line 15. My mother, Cindie Ruch, was my supervisor and she told me not to embarrass her.
Gina Smith – 34 years B-Shift Main Plant Interests: Gardening, motorcycles, music and watching flat track races 1 thing most don’t know about me: I collect rocks! 1st job at Crest: Working on the Rice-a-Roni Stuffing line
Dan Yates – 22 years A-Shift West Facility Interests: Real estate, aviation and hunting 1 thing most don’t know about me: I am a student pilot. 1st job at Crest: Stacker on line 5.
Amy Wilcox – 20 years A-Shift Main Plant Interests: I love to cook, craft and crochet 1 thing most don’t know about me: I took piano lessons when I was a kid and I am the junior choir director at my church (no one else wanted the job!). 1st job at Crest: Line worker on the old line 12 (now line 21). Maria Guerrero was one of my first trainers on Hamburger Helper with 3 pouches and a hot glue spot. Angie Paul – 19 years C-Shift West Facility Interests: I love learning about history and going to museums. I also like hiking and spending time with my family. 1 thing most don’t know about me: I go target shooting with my husband and kids. 1st job at Crest: I started as a production worker on the lines.
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RedZone One Year Anniversary by Sue Osborne, Production Manager
It’s hard to believe that just 1 year ago we were kicking off “GO LIVE” week with RedZone coach Eric Jorgun. The west plant meetings were so packed with people we were sitting on the floor and holding the projector on our lap but that did not hold us back! We were now armed with I-Pads and ready to chat! It is difficult to remember what our lives were like pre- RedZone. We now have live production information in our faces at all times as we all carry around our I-Pads. Line operators can reach out and have direct contact with resources to address issues immediately. They can put an action into the Forum or just send out a chat and get their voices heard.
Jared Stumpenhorst, Dean Rhodes, Karen Yardley, Roman Kozak, Dennis Horton, Matthias Kemmeren, Becca Dodd, Jen Lally, Brandon Tate, Tyler Ewens and Ben Fichter at the Changeover Kaizen
Here are just a few of our line operator’s thoughts:
“RedZone allows us to build in data sheets that remind us to perform specific tasks”. In this example, Irene Garza (Production A) has been triggered to conduct her tool audit. She says that having the tools in the same spot on all of the lines and having a shadow board has reduced the number of missing tools. She also believes the verifi- cation process through RedZone has added accountability. Abby Lahman (Production A) is busy logging her downtime. She likes the fact that she does not need to use the grease board to write down every issues but can select a downtime code from the table. She says it has made her more competitive with her self in areas like changing her web since it accurately measures just how much time she is down. She takes it as a challenge to do it as fast as she can and improve the next time. She also likes being able to communicate with her supervisor and mainte- nance. “Pouch and carton code errors have been an issue at Crest Foods for years. Through the use of a data sheet, RedZone “triggers” us to take a photo and send it off for review”. Sara Snow (Production B) is taking a photo of her pouch and carton codes compared to the fabrication sheet. Sara believes that she takes more precautions and is more detailed with the photo approach rather than just signing her initials to a piece of paper.
We have held three Kaizen events to take a deep dive look at three different down time issues: web failures on bartelts, changeover efficiencies and code errors. All three events had multiple department representation that were highly engaged and energized. We are still working on ways to complete the actions generated from these events. The past year has been a learning experience for all involved and we look forward to the improvement we might make in the next year.
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Welcome to the Emergency Response Team by Karen Yardley, Safety & Sanitation Manager We’d like to welcome two new First Responders to our Emergency Response Team – April Cover and Tara Lifka. Both are C Shift Production employees at the West Facility. They fill a much needed role as support for C Shift Production out west, while Ben Nelson will continue to support employees on C Shift at the Main Plant. Tara and April completed the required certification course in December of this past year. The course consists of about 50 hours of classroom training including a final practical and written exam. We asked Tara and April a couple of ques- tions about becoming First Responders and here are their responses:
What prompted you to volunteer? Since Tara is working toward becoming an RN, she already had a basic knowledge of first aid and thought she could apply it here at Crest. Tara would like to become an ER or surgical nurse and is attending Nursing School at Sauk. She has 5 more nursing classes to complete. What did you like most/least about the course? Tara liked the fact that the instructor shared real life experiences and calls he had been on or situations he had been involved in. Was the course easier or harder than you expected? The course was pretty easy since she’s already had so much training. She still didn’t like taking the test! What prompted you to volunteer? April volunteered because she deals with a lot of medical conditions at home with her own family and doesn’t like to see people ill or injured. What did you like most/least about the course? April also liked listening to the instruc- tor’s stories and liked the quizzes the least. (April tends to panic at quiz time!) Was the course easier or harder than you expected? April said the course presented a lot of basic knowledge, with a lot being the key word. They cover everything from the moral, ethical and legal aspects of First Responder care all the way through to childbirth.
When we asked if being a First Responder makes you think about your job and working safely any differently, both ladies answered “Yes!” April is much more conscious of employees sticking their hands into places they don’t be long and Tara is hoping she doesn’t have to respond to any serious injuries! Thank you to April and Tara for vol- unteering and to all of our First Responders and EMTs for being there to support their fellow employees when needed!
Congratulations Holly Gleissner We are happy to announce the promotion of Holly Gleissner to Consumer Products Project & Tech Manager. Holly joined Crest in 2012 in the Consumer Products lab, where she for- mulates and leads development of various projects. Holly will continue her excellent devel- opment work. She will also now supervise three lab technicians in their daily activities. Holly’s past experience in supervisory roles, calm demeanor and pleasant personality are among many qualities that make her a great candidate for this position. We are excited and join Holly in celebrating her new role and growth opportunity.
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Know Your Benefits by Cheri Kemp It never hurts to remind employees about certain aspects of our group health care plan. During meetings in Janu- ary, we announced some enhancements to our coverage to benefit our employees and provided handouts with this information. Handouts are available in each breakroom along with information on a variety of health plan options. After a lot of due diligence, we have been able to identify two preferred provider hospitals that when used, our em- ployees reduce their annual deductible from $750 to only $250. Those Tier 1, or preferred, hospitals are: • KSB Hospital in Dixon and their medical group • OSF St. Anthony in Rockford as well as the medical group We have also identified providers that we have been able to remove the deductible and co-insurance completely when services are received at these facilities. These are: • Forest City Diagnostics in Rockford for MRI, CT, PET Scans, ultrasounds & x-rays • Quest Diagnostics in DeKalb, Sycamore and Rockford for lab work • Rockford Gastroenterology Associates for routine colonoscopies We will continue to look for additional facilities to add to our Tier 1 coverage that will provide great quality and service at a reasonable cost to our employees. Tax Breaks, Politics & the Image Game by Jeff Meiners The tax break that went into effect for 2018 for corporations is real…our tax burden as a corporation has been reduced by about a third. That is a huge deal for us and will help us to be a more aggressive company when pursu- ing new business opportunities. The scramble for corporations to establish and document moral high ground on how they will handle this windfall has been interesting to watch. I’d like to point out that I should be a better student of understanding today’s world. I watch the news for a half hour in the morning, get some information from MSN on my computer and still read a paper daily. However, I find that I am much more content to watch reruns of The Big Bang Theory than to watch the news for long. I grow very tired of newscasters interpreting the news for me and telling me what I should think and most of the stories just make me mad anyway (pretty sure I am officially an old fart). This is a long way of leading into the fact that most of the coverage regarding how American corporations are treating the tax increase just annoys me. Announcements have been made by numerous large corporations with much fanfare through press releases about bonuses being paid to employees from the money gained by the tax reduction. We’ve consistently paid bonuses to employees over the past 30 years and a huge national corporation does it once and it is a major news story. Turns out those bonuses were paid at the same time a major layoff was being done…but the press release looked really nice. Are we doing a bonus based on the tax refund? No, but we do look forward to being able to pay both our profit sharing and annual bonuses at the end of our fiscal year in August based on our collective performances as a com- pany (we’d be dissapointed if we weren’t able to). We hope to be able to pay a bonus at Christmas time as well if business is good. We’ve done all of these for each of the past 30 years – not because of any program from our political leaders, but because we as a group of people working together did our jobs well and produced good results.
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You’ll never see a press release from Crest regarding matters that we consider to be for our employees only. How- ever, when bonuses are paid, those that are involved will know and feel the satisfaction and reward that is the result of their contributions to a successful year for a thriving organization. We will be extra aggressive this year in investing in new equipment that will help to keep our company relevant and acting as a valuable resource for our customers and ultimately our employees. Watch for these additions as the year goes on. Our intent and hope is that these types of investments will prove to be valuable tools in helping Crest pay back our employees for not only this year, but many to come. Recommended Stretches What’s the first thing you’ll do before your Saturday morning run ? I’ll bet it’s the same thing you do after a long car ride. You’ll stretch. You’ll move and loosen up and warm up your muscles. And you’ll feel great after you do it. Warming up your body and stretching are very natural things to do, and there are many benefits to doing them. Just as you benefit from stretching and warm-up exercises in your day-to-day life, you can benefit from stretching before and during work. Stretching reduces the risk of musculoskeletal injuries by reducing fatigue, improving muscular balance and posture, and improving muscle coordination. The WAVE Safety Team asked Personal Trainer Justin Guenther (Ingredient Production Supervisor) to recommend some basic stretches that can be done at any job sta- tion at any time of the day to help reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injuries. You can find these stretches posted throughout the facility as well.
• Neck Roll: Tilt and roll neck from side to side for 5-10 reps in each direction • Slowly stretch down and reach toward the floor. Hold until you feel the stretch, about 5 seconds. • Shoulder Roll: Rotate shoulders up and back for 5-10 reps. Then reverse the direction and rotate shoulders up and forward for 5-10 reps. • Sky Stretch: Stand up straight, feet together, flat on floor. Interlace fingers with palms facing up, reach and look roward the ceiling. Hold about 5 seconds. • Arm Circles: Rotate arms forward in a small circle for 5-10 reps, gradually increasing size of circles. Reverse direction doing the same for 5-10 reps. • Slowly raise up and reach toward the ceiling, stretch to the left, stretch to the right.
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Our Sympathy Our condolences to Susan Larson (Payroll Manager) and her husband, Jeff, on the loss of Jeff ’s father, Ron Larson. Our sympathy to Rod Bunger (Manufacturing Engineer- ing Manager) and family on the death of his father, Eugene Bunger, in December. Our sympathy to Al Duthie (Technical Service), on the December passing of his mother, Beverly, who resided in New Hampshire. Crest Foods would like to express their sadness and sympathy to the families of Lillie Capes and Lyn Strothman. Lillie was a 27 year Crest QA employee before retiring in 2008. Her husband, Pete (Reuben) Capes, also a former Crest Foods employee survives her. She will be remembered for her quiet ways and musical talent that was shared with all in the area through her playing of the Dobro in area blue grass bands. Lyn Strothman, a 17 year employee who retired in 2014 will fondly be remembered for her upbeat per- sonality and persistent smile. She was a small person with a large personality. Our deepest sympathy to each of these families. New Arrivals Kristina McWethy (Ingredient Division Marketing) and husband Ryan, welcomed Carter Ryan McWethy on January 7th. Carter weighed 6 lbs. and was 19 inches long. Congratulations to the McWethy’s! Congratulations to Jessica Manos (Production A) and Keith Smith (Maintenance A) on the birth of their baby girl, Shayley, on 02/12/18. Shayley was 6 lbs. 12 oz. and 20” long and is welcomed by big brothers Jacob and Brayden. Congratulations to Rick Karper (Maintenance A) on the birth of his granddaughter, Ellie Rose. Proud parents are Sean (former Crest employee ) and Colleen Karper. Ellie was born on February 21st, weighing 7 lbs. 14 oz., at 20 inches long.
Jeff Roop (Scheduling) and his wife, Diane, welcomed their SIXTH grandchild on December 19, 2017. Jose- phine Lily was 7 lbs. 13 oz., and she is welcomed home by parents, Cory and Jen. Congratulations to the proud grandparents! Rod Bunger and his wife, Ramona, on the birth of their newest grandson, Matthew Eugene Pascua. Matthew was welcomed by happy parents Tracy and Peter Pascua, and big sister Olivia, 6, and big brother Zachary, 3. Congratulations everyone! Lisa O’Connor (Production A) welcomed a baby boy on March 9th. Colton Timothy O’Conner was 5lbs 14oz and 19 inches long. Congratulations! Thank You A special thank you from my family and me for all the kind words and prayers during the sickness and passing of my father. We really appreciate your thoughtfulness and friendship. – Rod Bunger & Family I would like to give everyone a big thank you for the lovely green plant that was sent to me after having sur- gery. It brightened my day and hopes for a speedy re- covery. – Laura Mares (Production A) Thank you so much for the plant I received after my surgery. Thanks, too, for the prayers and messages. Peggy Messer Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedules every year to shop for our residents. It puts a smile on their faces and gives them Christmas cheer. Just a simple gesture makes their day. We want to let you know how much we appreciate it and hope you all had a Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2018. God bless. – Franklin Grove Living & Rehabilitation Activity Department Thank you Crest Foods for all of your assistance ringing bells for the Salvation Army in December. With your help, we raised over $11,000 for those less fortunate in our area. Thank you! Dixon Kiwanis Club
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Congratulations On January 26th, Don and I – along with Chris and Amy Rockwood and their sons, Ben and Zac, had the honor of being at granddaughter Samantha Rockwood’s graduation from Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. Sa- mantha is now completing her Airman’s training. In May, Airman Rockwood will be stationed at Whiteman Air Force base in Missouri completing her education and train- ing in Military Security. Congratulations Airman Rock- wood and proud grandparents Don and Sandy Stover (Karlin Warehouse Administrative Assistant)! In early February friends of Jessica Manos (Pro- duction A) and her husband, Keith Smith (Mainte- nance A) held a baby shower over the lunch hour to welcome soon to be born baby Shayla. Shayla was born on February 12th and will likely be a well- dressed baby with all the gifts she received! Congratulations! In early March, Abby Lahman (Production A) was treated to a baby shower by her fellow employees. Abby, who’s husband, Justin, is a wrestling coach, was treated to a cake decorated in the style of the Oregon Hawks wrestling team. Congratulations to the Lahman’s on the upcoming birth of their son! Early this year, employees on the A-Shift at the West Facility threw a baby shower for 3 of their fellow employees who were all due around the same time. Congratulations to Jessica Manos, Lisa O’Connor and Briana Stomberg! Baby Showers
Congratulations to Sierra and Elaina Harris, daughters of Anne Harris (Lab Tech)! Sierra will be graduating from AFC High School this May, and will then attend Sauk Val- ley Community College to study agriculture. Elaina will be graduating from 8th grade in May as well! Marin Meiners will graduate from the University of Mis- souri May 12th with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing. Congratulations to Marin!
Jessica Manos & Keith Smith
Jessica Manos, Lisa O’Connor & Briana Stomberg
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Mourning the Loss of Lisa White It was with great sadness that the Crest Foods family learned of the passing of long time employee Lisa White on March 8th. Lisa spent 21 years at Crest Foods in our Production department where her positive and upbeat attitude made friends of all she worked with. This upbeat attitude carried through even during her illness. We all were inspired by her. An avid dog lover, her dogs tended to rule her world, which she relished. Lisa leaves behind a son, Christopher Hansen and longtime boyfriend, Bob Ziankoski (Ingredient Division). She was a small but mighty spitfire who greeted everyone with a smile and will be missed by all. Our deepest sympathy to her family and loved ones.
Saying Goodbye to a Good Friend
The whole crew at Ed’s Retirement “Man-Luck”. Thomas Heath, Sam Giordano, Mike Miller, Ricky Hilleman, Griffin Gabriel, Mike Powers, Jerry Sikkema, Kevin Sanchez, Trevor Ferry, Logan Sutton, Nathan Schubert, Charles Duncan, Ed Weiler, Mike Riffle, Steven Smail, Dave Branscum, Joe Maronde, Brad Furman, Marc Smith, Randy Reuter, Dylan Hanabarger, Ben Lightner, Larry Shipman & Micheal Black
This year Crest Foods bid farewell to a good friend. Ed Weiler came to Crest Foods back in 1996 and started his new career with us as the B shift Mix Facility Shuttle Driver and retired 21 years later as the B Shift Mix Facility Shuttle Driver. It is a rarity these days that someone wants to pursue the same position for a career but Ed enjoyed his job and we enjoyed him doing it. A lot of change has taken place throughout his years here; countless different supervisors, multiple mix facility sites and who knows how many different fork lifts. The one thing that never changed over the years was Ed. He has always been a hardworking, dedicated and a pleasure to be around type of a guy. Ask anyone who has ever had the pleasure of working with him and they would tell you the same. You could always count on Ed for a good story and he had a few. Ed…you will be truly missed and we would like to wish you the best of luck during your retirement. “I would like to thank the second shift Mix Department for the wonderful retirement party. The food was really good and thanks to all the people that prepared it. Also, thanks for the gift you gave me! I enjoy it and so does my grandson. I'll miss all of the guys I worked with, but I'll visit occasionally. Also, I would like to thank the Meiners for letting us be able to work for a family-oriented family. Everyone seemed to like each other and was willing to help one another.” Ed Weiler
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Congratulations to the following employees for obtaining new jobs at Crest over the last few months!
Luke Burnette Ingredient Set Up Mix A-Shift
Elysha Wright QA Line Technician B-Shift
CIP 2018 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 18 suggestions from employees for the 2nd quarter. Thank you to everyone for participating! Larry Shipman, Mix B-Shift 2nd Quarter 1st Place • $250
Currently the liquid shortening tank is sitting idle at the Mix Facility. We should look into cleaning it out and converting it to store canola oil in bulk for GMI. Great idea! A potential cost savings for GMI and space savings at Crest, as we currently store canola oil in drums, which takes up a lot of warehouse space. It would also enable us to make more accurate oil injections. We will look into how to make this happen.
Aaron Meyer, Maintenance B-Shift 2nd Quarter Runner Up • $150
Install a guard on the SKF conveyors on lines 26 & 27 where there is a dangerous pinch point on the top and bottom. Great recognition of changing conditions and responding with safety in mind. This has been implemented and it’s much safer now.
Dusty Koch, Building Maintenance 2nd Quarter Runner Up • $150
We currently don’t have a good access point to the roof at the Main Plant. We will soon be clearing an area and removing a boiler which will give us the room to provide a safe roof access. Great idea to give us a safer option to access the roof instead of a tall ladder.
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Manufacturing Day at Crest Foods
In March, Etnyre & Co. in Oregon, IL, and Crest Foods, hosted students from Rochelle Town- ship High School for tours and a question and answer session. As two family-owned companies in the area, we decided to work together to empha- size jobs in Manufactur-
ing and the types of careers our companies could provide. While our companies are similar, the things that we pro- duce are very different giving students the opportunity to see a broad range in manufacturing. Thanks to Denton Yocum (Machine Shop Manager), Jared Stumpenhorst (Maintenance Manager) and Amy Wilcox (A Shift Production Supervisor) all of who are AFC High School graduates AND past participants in the Crest Foods Junior College Program for touring students through our facilities. Pictured above is Erika Meiners, Denton Yocum and Jared Stumpenhorst with the group of RTHS students after their tour of Crest Foods. Streator High School Food Science Team Visits
Four students from Streator High School spent time at Crest Foods on Thursday, March 8th, speaking with people from R&D, Quality Control, and Packaging as a way to help them prepare for their state competition on Saturday, March 10th. The students were able to tour the plant, ask questions, and gain familiarity with the processes and stages required to move a concept to a final, packaged product on the store shelf. We are excited to report they placed 6th overall in the FFA State Food Science Career Development Event at Joliet! One student placed 5th overall as an individual, as well! We greatly enjoyed their visit and congratulate the Streator High School Food Science Team on a job well done!
Tim Windelborn, Holly Gleissner and Joyce Meiners with students from Streator High School
Stephanie Eich (Production A) & Alfonso Alvarado (Maintenance A) designed and sold t-shirts for Tina Withers, a former Crest & Manpow- er employee who is dealing with a serious illness. Tina visited last fall to see the t-shirts and thank all those who bought one. Tina’s Fight Club
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Going forward, we’d like to highlight employees who are dedicating their time to making a difference in their com- munities. For many, volunteering would fall under the “having some fun” category of our Culture. For others, it can fulfill a part of improving personal wellness as something that boosts their mood, focuses on helping Volunteer Spotlight Sarah Clemons by Erika Meiners
others, and reduces stress. No matter the reason people start volunteering, they typically find that they gain more out of the experience than they thought they would. Such is the case for District Sales Manager, Sarah Clemons. Sarah and her daughter, Shelby, starting volunteering with Healing 4 Heroes about a year ago. Their passion for helping animals led them to this local animal clinic that trains dogs from shelters to be paired up with military veterans. Located in Peachtree City, Georgia, Healing 4 Heroes ultimately does two things for their community: They save unwanted dogs from shelters (some which are abused or malnourished) by training them to be service companions and they help military veterans. While the clinic works on training the dogs to be better behaved and able to comfort people with PTSD, Sarah and Shelby volunteer their time by walking the dogs and giving them a little time for socialization and fun. Every three months, Healing 4 Heroes holds a Veteran’s Event, where they invite veterans from all over the country to come and find a trained service companion dog. Veterans will meet with all of the dogs who have recently been trained and will work with trainers for find the perfect match. Once matched, the veteran and their new dog head over to a nearby pet-friendly hotel where they will spend the next 4 days working with trainers, bonding with their new dog, and are hopefully leaving fully prepared to head home together. Sarah and Shelby love going to Veteran’s Events to see so many of the dogs they’ve bonded with find a forever home. Healing 4 Heroes was started in 2011 by veteran Piper Hill. After returning from multiple tours in Iraq and Afghan- istan, Piper found that having a dog provided the support she needed while suffering from PTSD. Looking for a way to give back to those who gave so much to their country, she decided she would start her non-profit by train- ing companion dogs for veterans, specifically those dealing with PTSD. She currently spends much of her time traveling across the country spreading awareness of this organization and collecting donations to cover the costs of anything they need at the clinic, including kennels and leashes to send home with the newly adopted dogs. You can find more information on www.healing4heroes.org. Giving back to the community and helping animals and veterans may be why Sarah and Shelby started volunteering with Healing 4 Heroes, but Sarah is thrilled that she’s also gained some good, quality (& cell phone free!) time with her daughter every week. Thank you to Sarah and Shelby for dedicating so much time to this wonderful organization and helping to make a difference in your community! The dogs pictured are just some of the dogs that Sarah and Shelby have walked this past year. Sarah is happy to report that they have both been adopted.
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Last summer, I submitted three story proposals to Big Finish Productions. Big Finish is officially licensed by the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) to produce Doc- tor Who adventures, as well as other shows. You can hear cast members performing stories not only from Doctor Who, but other British favorites such as The Prisoner, Blake’s Seven, The Avengers, and even Dark Shadows. I didn’t expect much, but after a long wait I got an email response saying they liked two of the proposals and wanted to record one of my stories for their Doctor Who Short Trips range. Adventures in Time and Space by Stephen Osborne, QA Wetlab B-Shift
The next step was writing up a detailed proposal to be sent to the BBC. The story at that time was called War Zone. After a couple of weeks, I heard back from Ian Atkins, the producer of the Short Trips stories, and he informed me that BBC approved my story with no changes. After making some changes to my first draft, Ian asked me to come up with a different title, as he thought War Zone was too generic. I sent several possible titles to him, and between us we chose The Smallest Battle. Once Ian approved the final draft, a recording date had to be found, and an actor to read the story. Ian chose Ste- phen Critchlow, who does a lot of work for Big Finish. The recording date chosen was December 6th, and Ian invited me to come hear my story being recorded. This gave me very little time to get a passport and arrange a trip to London, but somehow I managed it. Before I knew it I was on a long plane journey across the Atlantic to Great Britain! I had several days before the recording, so I did the usual tourist things. I went to Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, Hyde Park, and other attractions. Being a big Phantom of the Opera fan, I had to see the London pro- duction at Her Majesty’s Theatre, which has been playing there for 26 years! Finally, I took the subway train (which is called the Underground there) to the studio. Not only was it thrilling to hear Mr. Critchlow read the words I’d written, but Ian gave me more good news. He wanted me to do another story for next year’s Doctor Who Short Trips range, and there’s the possibility that the story will be read by a Doctor Who cast member! I haven’t been given a release date for The Smallest Battle yet, but I’m sure I’ll wear out my Samsung tablet listening to it! Editor’s note: Steve gave me a copy of the manuscript to read. It was very good and thoroughly held my attention even though I am not a sci-fi fan so that says a lot about Steve’s story telling ability!
Rob Roath’s 60th
Rob Roath (Warehouse A) turned 60 in Decem- ber. His wife, Candy, decided to hire a bagpipe player to come into the Crest Foods Warehouse and play a few songs to surprise Rob for his birthday. You could hear the strains of Amazing Grace, Oh Danny Boy and Happy Birthday throughout the entire warehouse that morning! Happy belated birthday Rob!
14 Crest Ink April, May & June 2018
Opioid Crisis by TJ Schoonover, M.S.Ed., LPC, NCC, Sinnissippi Centers
There has been a lot of talk about the opioid crisis in America over the last few years. How did we get here? What is causing the increase in the use of heroin and the increase in overdoses? This is a complex question with many different contributing factors. In the past 20 years the number of people who tried opioids has dramatically increased. One reason for this has been the over prescribing of pain medications such as; hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, and codeine. These medications are prescribed for people who have recently had an injury, surgery, or chronic pain. Unfortunately, these medications are highly addictive. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, 80% of heroin users report that they misused pain medication first. The misuse of pain medication is only one contributing factor to people who start using heroin. Another factor that is causing the rise in opioid use and overdoses is the use of Fentanyl. Fentanyl, a chemical that is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine, has been approved to be used by people with severe pain or cancer. Many people have decided to try to make this drug illegally and put it in heroin, making synthetic heroin. Accord- ing to the CDC in 2016 almost 20,000 opioid overdoses deaths were caused by Fentanyl. It is often made and put into heroin without the user knowing. Opioids are one of the most addictive and dangerous drugs. According to the CDC, on average 115 people die every day from an opioid overdose. From 2015 to 2016 Illinois saw a 35% increase in overdose deaths to a total of 2,411 deaths. Opioids are cheap, addictive, and dangerous. So what can you do if you or someone you know is struggling with an opioid addiction? There are many treatment options for them. Sinnissippi Centers offers drug and alcohol counseling, as well as many other agencies in the Northern Illinois area. If you or someone you know is struggling with an opioid addiction, please feel free to contact me. Making the first step is always the hardest, but there are options to feel better that you can do for your self or someone you care about. TJ is the EAP (Employee Assistance Program) Counselor at Crest Foods. This free & confidential service is offered to employees on Tuesdays from 12:00pm - 4:00pm. Please give TJ a call (815-284-6611) to set up an appointment, or stop by during his office hours at the Ashton Clinic on Rte 38. Nurses Corner: Blood Pressure by Nurse Heidi McGlown, RN Do you know what your blood pressure is? High blood pressure is often called the silent killer because it puts you at high risk for heart attack and stroke. People often ask me what the numbers measure. The top number is called the systolic pressure- this is the pumping pressure in your arteries as your heart beats. The bottom number is called the diastolic pressure- this is the resting pressure in your arteries between beats. New guidelines were just released at the end of 2017. Normal blood pressure for adults is still below 120/80. Elevated blood pressure is between 120/80—130/80. High blood pressure is now 130/80—139/89. Readings a bove this is are considered very high and can be very dangerous! Regular exercise, limiting salt, reducing stress, weight loss, and limiting alcohol can all help to lower blood pressure. Your doctor may also prescribe medications. Stop in any time if you would like your blood pressure checked!
April, May & June 2018 Crest Ink 15
Where are They Now? Featuring: Jan Warner by Cheri Kemp Editors Note: Beginning with this issue of the Crest Ink, we will have a story on what some of our former longtime employees are doing since their retirement. Our first is with Jan Warner. The name ‘Warner’ might be recognizable as her son, Brent Warner, who has been with Crest Foods since 1988, is our Production Set- Up Manager.
When I was able to speak to Jan in early March, she and husband Jim, were enjoying the warm air and sunshine of Florida. Having known Jan when she was still working at Crest, I have to say she sounded exactly like she did all those years ago! Jan worked for Crest Foods from 1971 until 2001, so she worked for over 30 years and has now spent 17 years in retirement. Jan said that the first 11 years of her retirement, she and husband Jim volunteered with MAPS – Mission America Placement Services. This is an RV volunteer ministry. Jan said there were around 500 couples all around the U.S. involved in this ministry. Different couples had different skill sets that could be used in building a church or church camp and this group traveled in their RV’s all over the United States. Groups of 5 to 15 couples would spend a winter at the site where the church or camp was being constructed and use their particular talents in completing the construction project. Jan & Jim were drywall finishers. This means when the project got far enough along, they would do all the finish work involved such as mud, tape and sand drywall. In return, the church they were working for would provide them a spot to park their RV and cover all utility costs and the cost of the RV Park. “This saved the church a lot of money because all the labor was volunteer and we got to enjoy meeting many people and spend winters where it was warm.” Jan & Jim were most often stationed in Texas, but also spent time in Arkan- sas, Tennessee and Missouri, being drywall finishers. “One winter we were in charge of 12 horses for a church camp making sure the horses were well cared for and ready for all the campers. That was really fun.” (Jan & Jim are avid horsemen) After 11 years, Jan said they decided it was time to hang up their tool belts and give their bodies a rest so they decid- ed to leave the MAPS volunteer organization. Since then they have enjoyed their family and now spend several months each winter in the Lakeland, Florida, area and then return to the Stillman Valley area for the summer. “Dur- ing the summer we spend a lot of time mowing for our kids who live in the area and take little trips here and there. In 2017 we sold our little farmette and horses because we just weren’t around enough to ride the horses. We still love to ride but it just didn’t make sense anymore. “I will always be indebted to Crest for the opportunities, faith and trust they put in me” said Jan. We at Crest Foods are very happy to hear that Jan, and her husband Jim, are thoroughly enjoying their retirement years and wish them many more. Here is a little background on Jan and her 30+ interesting years at Crest Foods: Jan started her career at Crest Foods in 1971 as the Secretary-Receptionist in what we now call the North Plant. In 1971 that building and the one across the street (formerly the laundromat) were the only 2 Crest properties. “I worked for Jay (Meiners), took his dictation and typed letters and answered the phone. There was only one other office employee then and her name was Ardella Hardesty. We didn’t have an intercom in those days so if I needed to find someone I just had to make a lot of phone calls” said Jan.
16 Crest Ink April, May & June 2018
After many years in the office, Jan was looking for more of a challenge, so Jay talked with her about working with computers. This idea really intrigued Jan and she was ready to jump in. Jan said “I got my college education at the College of Crest.” Crest Foods sent Jan to many computer classes. “I was the dumbest one in the class. I knew zero about computers. The instructor told me that most of the people coming to take the class probably knew 50% about computers and would learn about 10 to 15% more. He told me that I was coming in with zero knowledge and would leave knowing about 50% of what was needed to know, so who was going to learn the most, them or me? That gave me the confidence to continue. Crest was always willing to send us to classes and keep us up to date on technology changes which I was so grateful for.” When Jan retired in 2001, her title was MIS (Manager of Information Systems) Data Processing Manager. In every day lingo, she was our main computer guru. Instrumental in getting Crest Foods up to speed in the technology field, Jan started with what was then called the IBM System 34. This computer system was cutting edge for its day in bringing manufacturing facilities, like Crest Foods, out of the paper world and into the technology world. Over the years, as our number of employees has changed, so has the world of technology. We have to give credit for Jan Warner’s work in bringing us into the 21st century. Memories of Ray Voss Construction by Jeff Meiners made the single name concept popular long before Cher did and I don’t think I ever had a conversation with him when the possibility of rain didn’t come up. We’ve had several contractors that we have relied upon heavily since the days of Ray and his crew, but never any quite as unique. Most of the plans for construction with Ray were drawn up on a pad of paper. Sure, buildings built with pre- stressed slabs of concrete needed to be engineered and blueprints drawn…but Ray didn’t spend much time con- sulting them. The everlasting image of Ray would be him on his bulldozer with a cigar in his mouth moving dirt. He didn’t often stop to chat, unless a pretty girl stopped by and then it would suddenly be break time. All concrete poured would be finished by hand which led to many late nights of finish work since there were many large pours. Never would a bill be itemized in any fashion – just a single number to pay and often we would literally need to chase him down to get us an invoice. With that being said, once an invoice was delivered, he would usually wait for the check to be cut since he was in need of cash. I can’t believe we ever asked if he carried insurance…pretty sure I know what the answer would have been. It was a different time and a different era and business in small town mid-America was done in a far different way. It wasn’t necessarily better or worse…just far different than how it would be done today. None the less, Ray’s work was almost flawless and he did more than twenty years of work for Crest without a competitive bid or making a formal quote. We trusted him and were never disappointed. Ray and Mingo have passed and Jerry has retired, but their work endures at Crest and we will always be grateful. Ray Voss was Crest’s contractor of choice from the 60’s through the early 80’s. Over half of the main production facility on Brown Street and all of the foundation work for our old warehouses in town was built by Ray and his crew led by Jerry Williams and Mingo. Mingo
April, May & June 2018 Crest Ink 17
18 Crest Ink April, May & June 2018 April Day Years TODD DISCH 4 7 TYLER EWENS 4 7 RICHARD DREW 7 4 MARIA GARCIA 7 21 ROBERT ABELL 8 16 WILLIAM KIRK 11 2 SCOTT MOORE 11 13 BLASA BRISENO 13 13 REBECCA DODD 13 9 CODY MATHENY 13 9 WALTER WILLSTEAD 13 9 LAWRENCE EVANS 14 4 RAYMOND O’DELL 14 29 M KATHLEEN PELAYO 14 11 FIDEL RAMOS 16 17 RICHARD ACKERSON 17 1 AUSTIN TORNOW 17 1 SUSAN COLLIER 18 2 KRISTEN FRIEBERG 18 2 SCOTT LUXTON 18 2 GARY MC CLUSKEY 18 2 EMILY SMITH 19 19 NATHAN TIPPIE 20 10 HEATHER THOMASSON21 10 JOSHUA ASBURY 24 1 DAVID BUSHMAN 24 29 GERALD WATERS 24 46 JERRY SIKKEMA 25 24 GUY COVELL 28 15 May Day Years KERRY TUMLESON 1 17 JAMES LYLES 2 24 LARRY SHIPMAN 2 13 HERBERT WYCKOFF 6 16 APRIL COVER 7 16 ARTHUR RUIZ 7 11 KIM GALLAGHER 8 40 RICHARD RICE 11 7 DANNY FULLER 12 4 MARIA GUERRERO 12 21
June Day Years JEFFREY MEINERS 1 38 CHRISTINE PFOUTZ 1 47 THOMAS SAUNDERS 1 29 SARA SNOW 1 9 ASHLEY TALBERT 1 3 YARELI TENORIO 1 3 JESSE MORRIS 3 5 BRIAN SCHAFER 3 22 MIKAYLA COX 4 6 MARK JOHNSON 4 23 ABBY LAHMAN 4 6 ALEXANDER BRECKENFELDER 5 1 AHLLAM KHATTAB 5 1 AUDRA REINDEL 5 5 F MORINE SNODGRASS 5 45 ALANNA THOMAS 5 1 SELENA VALDEZ 5 1 MIGUEL ASTUDILLO 6 2 MIRRNA BARRIENTOS JIMENEZ 6 2 PEGGY BENFORD 6 18 CODY BRILL 6 2 JENNIFER DREW 6 13 SALVADOR IBARRA 6 2 ANNALEE JOOS 6 2 KELSY KUHNLE 6 2 EMILY PLAPP 6 2 TROY TRAVERS 6 13 TARA LIFKA 7 19 ROMAN KOZAK II 8 3 KEITH SMITH 8 12 JESSICA THOMAS 8 3 GARY EVANS 10 9 NED TIPPIE 10 29 DAVID BAILEY 11 1 MATTHEW RICHARDSON 11 17 JENNIFER BRIDGEMAN 12 1 CHRISTOPHER BRYANT 13 2 APRIL FICHTER 13 24 JUSTIN HUELS 13 2 KELLI SHIPMAN 13 2 JUAN TORRES 13 2
12 4 13 5 14 1 14 11 14 1
LOREN BOYD MARISOL LARA LAUREN PRICE JULIE TOMBLIN
14 11 KENNETH BLOMBERG 15 4 AARON SHINABARGER 15 9 SCOTT WEBB 15 29 MICHEAL BLACK 16 2 HARLEY BRANDEL 16 2 DEANA DUNCAN 16 2 JEREMY HITCHCOCK 16 2 JESSICA JENKINS 16 2 NICOLE KIMBRO 16 2 DAVID LANDERS 16 2 MARIO MENDEZ 16 2 VALERIE SERRANO 16 2 SHAWNA SNAPP 16 2 LOGAN SUTTON 16 2 YASMIN FULGENCIO 17 14 GLENN WHITE 17 8 JONATHAN BAKENER 21 6 REGINA SMITH 21 34 WYATT BEROGAN 22 18 DALLAS HODGES 23 2 ANDRA TREMBLE 23 7 JONATHAN LARSON 24 14 LORI SHINABARGER 25 20 JOHN LOOMIS 26 9 GAVEN MEINERS 27 10 MATTHEW DREW 28 21 LOLA PAUL 28 22 BERNARD IWEMA 29 11 BENTON FICHTER 30 33 JUSTIN GUENTHER 30 6 MARK MC WETHY 30 23 JOYCE MEINERS 30 23 RAY SIXAYSANA 30 33 LILJANA REFATLLARI 31 12 BARTLOMIEJ BARDZINSKI 1 6 JAIR GRANADOS-RAMIREZ 1 3Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24
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