Volume 28 • Number 02 April, May & June 2016 Ashton, IL 61006 Getting to Know Building Maintenance
Dusty Koch, Wally Karper, Brian Schafer, Jason Drew, Jeff Brecunier
The Building Maintenance Department is one of the groups being featured in this Crest Ink. Although this depart- ment is small (six people including the managers), they are mighty in the amount of area they cover and how much they accomplish. For starters, they are responsible for maintaining 980,000 square feet of facilities…which means there is an equal amount of roof to maintain as well. Inside the walls of our nearly one million square feet of buildings, there is nearly an endless list of items that need tender loving care on a regular basis. Some of these items include 200 HVAC units, 10 air compressors, 5 vacuum pumps, 10 dust collectors, 12 stretch wrappers, 10 house vacuum systems, 9 elevators, 50 docks, 8 fire protection systems and over 600 lights in the warehouses alone. Throw in all the bathrooms, septic systems, wells, water heaters and parking lots and you can start to get a feel for what their to-do list looks like every morning.
In This Issue 10 Year Trip page 8
New Volume in Packaging page 4
Music to Your Ears page 18
Everybody in this group is an expert at a number of different skills. They are also on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week since the rule seems to be that things rarely have a tendency to break on a convenient schedule. Our thanks go out to the guys who wear the florescent green shirts for keeping our facilities in such great shape so the rest of us can go about doing our jobs in the best conditions possible. Brian Schafer (Facilities Manager) Years at Crest: 20 Jeff Brecunier (Electrician) Years at Crest: 20 Interests: camping, hunting, tattoos
Interests: Camping and sitting around the camp fire with family and friends drinking a cold beverage or two! I’m also a Dallas Cowboy’s fan, so I like to root for them and I also root for anybody that plays and beats the Bears. Most people wouldn’t know: When I was a child growing up my grandparents helped to raise me while my mom worked 2nd and 3rd shift jobs. My grandpa had his own welding shop which I got to spend alot of time in helping him. I was only 5 years old when I was in the shop helping him weld various jobs. Wally Karper (Building Repair) Years at Crest: 33 Interests: woodworking and his grandchildren Most people wouldn’t know: I like to cook. Interests: fishing for catfish, international travel, vegetable farming, my daughter’s high school sports Most people wouldn’t know: I am a commercial bee keeper. Ben Nelson Years at Crest: 1.5 Interests: spending time with/playing with/training my cat, Junkyard Cat, golf, craft beers, volunteering, long walks on the beach Most people wouldn’t know: I am a member of Vestry at St. Luke’s Church in Dixon, where we just celebrated our 175th anniversary as a parish. Sonny Baratta Years at Crest: 6 months Interests: soccer, fantasy football Most people wouldn’t know: I lived in Costa Rica for about 6 months before moving back to Dixon and starting at Crest. Marshall Pankhurst Years at Crest: 3
Most people wouldn’t know: I got married while on my 10 Year Crest Trip on an island in the Caribbean. Dusty Koch (Building Repair) Years at Crest: 9 Interests: hiking, camping, woodworking, metalwork- ing, bowling, soccer Most people wouldn’t know: I have my certification in building construction. Jason Drew (Electrician) Years at Crest: 2 Interests: Sports…specifically golf, basketball and football Most people wouldn’t know: I’m a licensed plumber. Sam McBride Years at Crest: 5.5 Interests: dogs, truck farming (growing products to sell at a farm stand) Most people wouldn’t know: About 10 years ago, I started an Urban Mushing dog sled team, where you are able to dog sled year-round (on paved and off trails instead of just snow). *see page 6 for more info Steve Harrell Years at Crest: 1.5 Interests: cars, billiards, movies Most people wouldn’t know: I lived in International Falls, Minnesota for 6 years. International Falls is well known for being one of the coldest places in the coun- try, reaching low temperatures of -60 degrees. Brandon Dodrill Years at Crest: 3 Interests: golf, bowling Most people wouldn’t know: I’ve bowled 19 300 games.
(C-Shift Ingredient Division Production story on following page)
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Getting to Know C-Shift Ingredient Division Production
Sam McBride, Brandon Dodrill, Marshall Pankhurst, Sonny Baratta, Steve Harrell, Ben Nelson We have a great C-Shift Production Team! Our production process is a relay of many elements. We start the day manufacturing our stabilizer/seasoning/specialty systems on A-Shift then pass the baton of the plant to our Sani- tarians on B-Shift for washing and sanitization of the plant and equipment, then the baton is passed back to manu- facturing on C-Shift. Our C-Shift Production Team is a replica of our A-Shift Teams, but smaller. Smaller, nevertheless impressive. They produce a hefty amount of production a night ~ 40,000 lbs. The C-Shift Team takes staged raw ingredient batches and blends Dairy Stabilizers (buttermilk, cottage cheese, cream cheese, egg nog, sour cream, yogurt and ice cream), Seasoning Blends and Specialty Blends through multiple ribbon blenders, magnet and metal detection systems, then bags the product into 50 lb. bags. They palletize, stretch wrap, and prepare the pallets of finished products with required documentation to be shuttled to our warehouse each morning. Our C-Shift Team is relatively new; only about 3 1/2 years old. As we ever expand with volume we are grateful to have this group that want to work on C-Shift. It’s never dull with our C-Shift Team. They are dedicated, enthusias- tic, and have fun at their work.
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New Volume in Packaging Leads to Many Changes
by Jeff Meiners
The first group of employees to move to the 3rd Shift in Contract Packaging on Sunday, February 28th (they will eventually be joined by about 22 more employees): Cody Matheny, Skyler Foss, Catherine Larson, Jon Larson, Valerie Serrano, Chris Bryant, Becca Dodd, Beckie Talley, April Cover, Ariel Cook, Andrew Wallace, Jim Rhodes, Becky Bearss, Stephanie Kunz, Dustin Crawford, Angie Paul, Stina Kanaras, Vickie Monsarratt, Julie Bergman, Morgan Rains, Rick Hough There is a scene in the original Jaws movie when the folks attempting to catch Jaws get their first look at the beast they have hooked into when Richard Dreyfus turns to the captain and says, “We’re going to need a bigger boat.” Well, the contract packaging division has hooked into their own version of Jaws and we too might be in need of a bigger boat! The ending of the movie Jaws didn’t turn out to be that great for the shark or those trying to catch it….our plan is to write a much happier ending for landing the big fish at Crest. Our big fish comes in the form of a project that will occupy three and sometimes four high speed lines in our West Production Facility. In any given 24 hour period of time, this project will require at least four truckloads of pasta to produce over 520,000 cartons of product that will result in seven truckloads of finished product to be shipped to our customer. This is volume that is expected to be consistent year round, so multiply that by five days a week and 52 weeks a year and we’re talking about some serious volume. This truly is business that we have been working for the past forty years to secure. Is there enough volume to warrant building a bigger building? Crest does like to build buildings, but the key to doing this project well will be to do it without increasing our overhead and making some operational changes to make it all possible. The first change we are making is to go to three production shifts for the West facility. We certainly did not make this decision lightly – we have been on two shifts of production with a third shift for master sanitation and pre- ventative maintenance for a very long time. Three shifts of production means we have to approach how we operate in a very different manner. Additionally, it is very difficult to staff for a third shift when the long term need for that shift is uncertain. In this case, a long term commitment comes with our new business and time for preventative maintenance and master sanitation have been built into our production planning. A number of experienced people in areas such as production, quality control and maintenance have transferred to this shift making the startup pro- cess virtually seamless. Our confidence level for the success of a three shift operation for this area is extremely high.
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The warehouse has also gone through a major transformation in preparing to handle this new volume. The tornado may have started the process, but everything has been rearranged in order to make handling all of the volume as- sociated with this project logistically work. There are few areas in the warehouse that remain unchanged and that is a big deal when you are talking about rearranging the furniture in about 500,000 square feet of space. Despite the additional volume demands, the warehouse has never been more organized and functional. Additionally we have are installing 3 brand new lines. These lines, once completed, will include all new equipment. While some of it will look very familiar, we are also introducing some technology that is new to Crest and plays a key role in setting up these production lines. We are utilizing x-ray technology for metal detection, the pasta is being delivered from ground level to the dump systems through a conveying system, timing gates are being used for plac- ing pouches and vacuum tooling is being utilized for our fillers. Much creative effort from our engineering and maintenance groups have gone into creating some very functional lines that have met expectations from the time we flipped the switch to turn them on. Long term, high volume business such as this new project will prove to be the cornerstone in making contract packaging a strong part of the Crest Foods mix of business for years to come. An incredible amount of effort has gone into preparing our plant and lines to be ready to handle this volume. Many at Crest have met this challenge with the type of determination and ingenuity that have made us a valuable and sustaining resource for our custom- ers. A big thank you to all involved and we are very proud of the collective efforts of so many that define Crest Foods as a company.
New equipment and production lines at the West Facility.
In Observance of Memorial Day, Crest Foods will be closed on Monday, May 30, 2016.
Sunday, May 8th
Sunday, June 19th
April, May & June 2016 Crest Ink 5
Urban Mushing & The Great Wall of Crest
Sam McBride and Team Brave Heart
The Team Brave Heart trailer parked at Crest
When the “Great Wall of Crest” came down on September 26th, 100 Crest Foods employees were able to take home plywood and 2 X 6’s that formed the temporary wall at the Warehouse put in place after the April 9th torna- do. While employees likely used it for various miscellaneous projects around their homes, it wasn’t until we saw Sam McBride’s(Ingredient C-shift) husky trailer in the Crest parking lot this March that we wondered: where did the Great Wall of Crest go? This isn’t just any dog trailer. Made from those 2 X 6’s and old pallets collected over time from Crest Foods, Sam’s wife Jordan (who learned everything she knows about carpentry from her late father, Douglas Golter) drew out the blueprints and got to work constructing a trailer that would hold all 6 of the family Huskies and all the equipment necessary for “Urban Mushing”. Between Jordan working on it almost everyday and Sam helping when needed, the trailer was finished in early November 2015. It all first started back in Wheaton where a young Sam and Jordan were first courting each other, when they decided to take a BIG step in their relationship and adopt their first dog together. They went to the DuPage Animal Control where they both fell in love with an Alaskan Husky named Nina. After tying the knot they moved from Northern IL to Southern IL to a small town called Makanda (population 450) where Sam and Jordan adopted 2 more dogs. One named Nookie who was a dainty Siberian Husky female and the second one a female named Nova who’s a Husky/Black Lab mix. The last Husky that they adopted in Southern IL was a male Husky that was hitch hiking on the side of the road one afternoon while Sam and Jordan were out driving with their three girl Huskies. He was very happy to get into a pickup truck full of Husky girls to fawn over him while Sam and Jordan searched for his owners. They did find his owner (Scott) and returned Buddy (aka Shilo) to him, only to have him call them back a few weeks later asking if they would be willing to adopt Shilo. Scott worked long hours as a forest firefighter and sometimes was gone for months during heavy fire seasons and Shilo was left to be taken care of by a friend until he got back. Scott didn’t think that this was fair to Shilo and he noticed how happy he was with Sam and Jordan’s Huskies, so of course they said yes! Now that they had 4 huskies Sam and Jordan started training their pups to pull a sled, there was only one problem
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facing them down in the south. No snow or not enough! So Sam built his first sled with wheels and took his pups out for their first run. They loved it and so did Sam, but then came the second problem! As soon as the pups saw a squirrel, the dogs would go off the trail to chase it. It was then that Sam’s new hobby was found! Sam has been working on designing a new type of dry-land rig that gives the musher full control over the dogs instead of being at the mercy of their dogs. Urban Mushing is the ability to “dog sled” year-round, on surfaces like pavement, grass or gravel, not being limited to snow. Using a harness, dogs are attached to a wheeled vehicle, typically some type of scooter or bike, leaving the dogs in control of where they went. When Sam took an interest in sledding over ten years ago, there really wasn’t much Urban Mushing going on, but over the years this unique sport has picked up it’s pace and now there are competitions in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana. Sam and Jordan had been meeting up with groups in the Chicago area to learn and to train, and realized there was a need for a safer way to mush, due to the many injuries sustained by mushers and dogs alike. Fortunately for them, Sam had already been working on it! Sam’s new design increases safety and control of the dogs, while still allowing the dogs to run their hearts out. Sam plans to built a racing model, a highly adaptable general purpose model, and specialty models for wheelchairs (yes, there are a growing number of wheelchair-bound dog enthusiasts). The best part of this growing sport is the inclu- sion of all high energy dogs, not just Huskies and Malamutes. Any dog who loves to run and pull can be harnessed and exercised with one of Sam’s designs. Sam is even working to add pedal power for the dog loving bicyclists. While Team Brave Heart may eventually race, it’s all about having fun with the dogs and exercising them enough. Any Husky owner will tell you they can’t exercise their dog enough, as well as many other breeds like Collies and other Shepherding dogs, or the large Terriers and Hounds. To put it in perspective, a 2 hour walk is just a warm-up for a Husky, and dogs who train for the Iditarod Sled Race through Alaska train up to 100 miles/day leading up to the race that covers 1049 miles total. Sadly, Nookie and Nina have passed away, but if anything has been learned by the McBride clan, it’s to always keep your heart open. Buddy (aka Shilo-11), Nova (9), Coco (7), NIU (5), Bella (3), and Timber (turns 1 April 12) now make up Team Brave Heart. You may see Sam and his dogs mushing through the streets of Franklin Grove or Ash- ton, or on trails in Rochelle, Oregon, or Dixon, or maybe his dog trailer at Crest Foods in the morning. Sam is working on improving and marketing his design to this growing sport, improving safety and quality of life for people and their dogs. Be sure to check out Team Brave Heart on Facebook for further information. We are happy that the Great Wall of Crest gets to be a part of Team Brave Heart, and can’t wait for updates on your Urban Mushing dog team, Sam!
Thank you again to Chris Land- strom of Twin City Energy Ser- vices for recognizing our good for- tune in no one being injured in the April 9, 2015 tornado by donating an oak tree to be planted at the west warehouse. While the donated tree was planted in the fall, the pictured plaque was attached to a rock by the tree this March.
April, May & June 2016 Crest Ink 7
My Ten Year Trip to San Francisco by Larry Shipman, B-Shift Mix
Golden Gate Bridge
Sea lions on Pier 39
Kelli & Larry Shipman
For my ten year trip, my wife and I went to San Francisco, California to see a 49ers game. We were there for the Monday night season opener against the Vikings. We went through the 49ers museum before the game and had 5th row seats in the end zone with a perfect view of all the 49er touchdowns. The 49ers won that game 20-3. We spent a day salmon fishing on the ocean. I hit the limit within the first 20 minutes and kept getting bites all day. We both hit the limit with 2 salmon each. On the way back in, we were followed by a few of the famous sea lions of Pier 39 who were hoping for some scraps. We spent a day walking all the way through Golden Gate Park to the ocean. After spending a few minutes wading in the cold ocean, we walked the Land’s End trail along the coast and all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge. On our last day, we rented a go car and drove around looking at all the sights like the Painted Ladies and drove down the crooked Lombard Street. We took a night tour through Alcatraz. We were actually locked in solitary con- finement with a few other people for 60 seconds in complete darkness. We also went to Madam Tussauds; the wax museum, the San Francisco Dungeons, Aquarium of the Bay, California Academy of Sciences, went on a boat tour and took a tour of a submarine. We rode the cable cars which were like a roller coaster with all the San Francisco hills. Thank you to Crest Foods and the Meiners Family for my trip. We had a great time!
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Do I Know You From Somewhere? by Cheri Kemp
A few months ago when a new employee walked past the window of Ken Drew’s office at the Karlin Warehouse, Ken felt a glimer of recognition. The face was familiar but at that time a name escaped him. The same could be said true for Steve Hillman. He recognized Ken’s face but wasn’t sure he was who Steve thought he was. “I knew the name and he looked familiar, but I
Steve Hillman and Ken Drew
was not sure it was the same Ken Drew I had worked with all those years ago. He has a little more gray hair now!” “Steve has not changed. His mannerisms are the same as I remember way back in ’74 when we worked together” said Drew. Being that 1974 is over 40 years ago, it is amazing that these two, who had not crossed paths since 1974, still recognized and remembered each other. Ken, who is older by 6 years, said with a chuckle “I tried to teach Steve while he worked here so he would stay but he left anyway. Now he has come back to daddy!” When they started talking about ‘way back in ’74…(1974) it felt as if it was a history lesson from way back in the day. Back in the day, the production area for Crest Foods was located in the basement of what is now the North Plant. There were only 2 production lines. Ken Drew was the Line Operator for the non-dairy coffee whitener line while another person ran the other. There were only about 12 to 14 employee’s running these two lines at that time. Steve was a dumper and stacker for Ken. The line workers at that time were all women. There was no QC person or maintenance person at that time. The Line Operator had to act as QC, sample taker, monitor weights and do change-overs and be an all-around versatility person. “I used to ride to work from Forreston with Bernie Hillers. I also had a motorcycle that I drove sometimes. I had gotten a ticket for driving a motorcycle without a license so one day I drove it to work anyway. Then after work, Ken drove it to Dixon for me while I followed in his car so I could go get a license. I no longer have a motorcycle. Now I like to tinker with computers.” “Steve has taken some of our hand written status reports and made them computer generated. This has been a big help” added Drew. When asked what Steve had done over the past 40 years he said, tongue in cheek “I have been trying to improve myself enough that Ken would let me back in!” Over the recent Christmas holidays, Becky Henson, Ingredient Division Quality Assurance Coordinator, received a call from Steve Caudillo, the Director at Jack Mabley center. The Jack Mabley center is a state institution for the developmen- tally disabled located in Dixon, IL. Steve had a donation opportunity. Due to tight budget constraints, the center was dire need of supplies for residents to do crafts together in their 7 group homes. The center also needed card stock for their news- letters. Several generous Crest employees pitched in their own money or brought supplies in for the cause. We were able to put together 7 totes of supplies, one for each home, that included construction paper, coloring books, drawing paper, scis- sors, glue sticks, stickers, colored chalk, and different sizes of washable markers. Also a case of copy paper was donated from Karlin to use for the Mabley Center newsletters. The craft supplies were delivered to the Jack Mabley Center in January. The director, Steve Caudillo, was very happy and appreciative of our donation. I am sure the residents will enjoy many happy and creative hours of crafting! Crest Foods wishes to thank Becky and those employees who gave of their time and money to do this! Becky Henson & Steve Caudillo
April, May & June 2016 Crest Ink 9
New Arrivals Congratulations to Matt (Production A) and Samantha Harazin on the birth of their son, Jacob M. Harazin. Jacob was born January 11, 2016 and weighed 7.4 lbs. and was 20 inches in length. He was welcomed home by big brother Robert. Congratulations to Chris (Mix A Supervisor) and Sherry Reynolds on the birth of their granddaughter. Rowan Lee Schott was born February 14 and was 7 lb. 1 oz. and was 22 inches long. Rowan’s parents are Amber McLain (Chris and Sherry’s daughter) and Ben Schott. Congratulations To Rahveon Valentine, son of Dan Brown (Lab QC Manager, Ing. Div.) on finishing 5th in the IHSA State Wrestling Championships. They were held in Cham- paign in February. Congratulations to Wade Lyles, son of Jim (Mix A) and Celeste Lyles, on being selected to swim in the IHSA state swimming and diving competition. He will be swimming in the 400 Free Style relay. He is a sopho- more at AFC High School and swims for the Byron High School swim team. Best Wishes to Roger Wolber (Set Up A) and Tara Lifka (Production A) on their February 22, 2016 marriage. Congratulations to Ben Esgar (Production B) and Mack- enzie Grell on their December 24, 2015 engagement. They will be getting married on August 12, 2016. Thank You Thanks to Crest Foods and Karlin foods for my Retire- ment Party. The flowers are beautiful and the food was delicious. I will miss each and every one of you. Take care and May God bless you! Sincerely, Guyla Pfeiffer Thank you to Crest & Crest Employees for sending flo- wers and thinking of me. Mark Smith (Maintenance A)
Dear Everyone at Crest: We’d like to thank you for your thoughtfulness as we welcomed home our newest ad- dition to our family, Jacob Matthew Harazin, born Jan. 11th at 8:39 am. He was 20 inches long and 7.4 pounds at birth. The plant is beautiful and will hopefully grow with our family for years to come. Thank you all again! Matt (Production A) and Samantha Harazin and family Thank you so much for the emotional support that I received during the many months of my dad’s illness and then his death. Also, thank you for the memorial gift which was given to the Stone Church Cemetery in Houston, MN. They are working on renovations to a part of the cemetery that is almost 100 years old. I am so blessed to have the support of my large family in Houston, MN but also my Crest Foods family. What we have here at Crest is something very special that many people never experience. It is something that I never take for granted. Whether it was a kind word on a down day, helping out with something while I was out of the office, a smile you gave, or a prayer said – all those things are gifts with meaning beyond what can be measured. Thank you for being a blessing at a difficult time. Shirley Reif (Controller) Dear Crest Foods: Thank you for the plant and the thoughts and prayers. The kindness that you showed my family and I is greatly appreciated. Tara (Production A) and Roger (Set Up A) and family A special thank you to Crest Foods for the wonderful gifts and cake – and most of all for everyone showing up for my retirement. Thanks fellow employees for the card. Cindie Ruch (Production B) To Crest Foods: “Never are we more aware of how much our friends and family mean than at the time of our sadness. Your thoughtfulness did so much to ease our sorrow.” Thank you for the beautiful lantern you sent for Mom’s service. The family of Ellen Clark To The Employees of Crest Foods: Thank you for the beautiful plant sent to me while recuperating from surgery. It was very thoughtful of you! Sincerely, Chris Pfoutz (Ing. Div. Administration)
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With Alma just a few short weeks away from the birth of their baby boy, second shift Pro- duction held a baby shower for Alma during the supper break. A potluck of food and des- serts was quickly set up in the breakroom along with many gifts for the soon to arrive baby. Manny & Alma (both of Production B-Shift) sent their sincere thanks to all those who made the baby shower so much fun. Congrats to Alma, Manny and your family! Congratulations Alma & Manny!
Congratulations Kat! Kat Rice (QA Line Tech A-Shift) was treated to a baby shower on Friday, March 11th by her fellow co-workers. Kat is excited to welcome a daughter this spring. Congratulations to Kat and her family!
Making Quite A Splash
by Chris Reynolds, Mix A Supervisor Wade Lyles, son of Jim (Mix A) and Celeste Lyles, is making quite a name for himself as a com- petitive swimmer. The 15 year old Ashton/Franklin Center High School sophomore’s most recent accomplishment was to swim for Byron High School in the 400 freestyle relay at the Illinois High School Association State Finals. Being chosen to swim at the state finals as a sophomore is a great accomplishment. He responded to the challenge by dropping a full second off his previous per- sonal best time. Wade also swims for the Dixon YMCA. That is where he heard from some Dixon swimmers that they were able to compete for Byron since their school didn’t offer swimming as a competitive sport. Wade wanted to compete at the high school level so his Mom, Celeste, went to work to make that an option. She worked with the Athletic Director at Ashton/Franklin Center and the process was started to allow Wade to swim for Byron High School. As you can imagine, traveling to Byron every day for practice makes for a very hectic schedule. Wade’s typical day has him at school by 8:00 a.m., after school he travels to Byron with Jim or Aunt Karen for practice, which usually lasts till around 5:30. After practice Celeste picks him up and they get home around 6:30. After getting something to eat and doing homework he might find some time to relax. His weekends are filled with swim meets or extended practices. Wade competes almost all year round and takes only a couple weeks off in the spring. Wade is an excellent student and has been swimming in competition since he was 8 years old. His future plans in- clude going to college, where he hopes to continue his swimming career, and major in engineering. When talking with Wade you soon find that he is soft spoken, well mannered, and very humble. When asked what is his biggest accomplishment so far, his reply was “contributing to help Byron win a sectional title.” No coincidence that he puts the results of the team ahead of his personal accomplishments. At 5 feet 7 inches tall and 138 pounds Wade’s physical stature is most likely not the reason for his success. It seems like his success comes from a big desire to succeed, a lot of training, and the support of family and friends. We wish him continued success!
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Congratulations! Congratulations to the following employees for obtaining new jobs at Crest over the past few months!
Kristina Stover Shipping/Receiving West Warehouse
Brent Fransen QA Line Technician B-Shift
Stacy Sink QA Line Technician B-Shift
Lori Talley QA Warehouse Receiving Technician
Justin Kaecker Level 6 Production A-Shift West Facility
Jon Bakener Scheduling Account Specialist
Eric Droege Maintenance C-Shift
Amber Olson QA Specialist
Adam Giese Maintenance B-Shift
Audra Reindel Warehouse Expediter A-Shift Main Plant Matt Downing QA #7 A-Shift Congratulations Amy Wilcox!
Ryan Burger Set Up Maintenance A-Shift
Congratulations to Amy Wilcox who has been promoted to the position of Production Supervisor on the first shift in the Contract Packaging Division. She will be working alongside Al Hess in the Main Plant. Amy joined Crest Foods back in 1998 as a junior college student and has spent the majority of her time in the Production Department. Please join us in wishing her well in her new position!
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CIP 2016 2nd Quarter Winners The Continuous Improvement Program (CIP) is a program where employees may submit suggestions on ways they think can improve Crest Foods. These suggestions may help improve overall efficiency, employee safety, sani- tation, record keeping, maintenance and various other areas around Crest Foods. We received 22 suggestions from employees for the 2nd quarter. Thank you to everyone for participating! Jim Reindel, Karlin Production A-Shift 2nd Quarter 1st Place • $250
Jim’s idea was to separate stretch wrap from garbage in the Karlin Warehouse production area so that the stretch wrap could be recycled. We fill about 3-5 totes with stretch wrap per week in this area, so it will save a lot of stretch wrap from going to the land fill. This idea has already been implemented and is working great!
Regina Bonnell, Maintenance C-Shift 2nd Quarter Runner Up • $150
Regina’s idea is about a better and quicker way to replace jaw casting bushings. When re- placing the jaw casting bushing a homemade tool can be used to drive new bushing in at the same time as the old bushings are being driven out. This will work on all Haysesens, and has cut a normally 2 hour task in half since being implemented! Justin Miller, Maintenance A-Shift 2nd Quarter Runner Up • $150 Justin’s idea is to measure all cones for agitator blades. By making the cones match perfect- ly and numbering them according to the fillers they are on, they are never lost and always available.
With the right combination of snow, ice and a warm up in the weather, the ice slid- ing off the side of the Main Plant takes on a look as if someone were shredding paper. And speaking of what weather can do! A tornado in April 2015 coupled with a high wind storm that passed through the area in February 2016, took its toll on a light pole. It appears that this light pole is hitching a ride in the back of Chris Reyn- old’s pickup truck. Imagine your surprise when you leave work and see that!
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Compliance Facilitator Positions by Jeff Meiners Contract Packaging at Crest Foods creates a strange business model. We run up to 30 different production lines that change over continuously – we have limited control over the scheduling of these lines – we have limited control over the vendors who provide supplies for these lines – volume fluctuates significantly from month to month…we would not represent the standard model for a manufacturing facility. None the less, it is the business we are in and have grown very proficient at managing the chaos associated with run- ning an operation with so many moving parts and so little control. One of our ongoing challenges is that we be- come so focused on the production floor to managing the impacts of this always changing schedule that the finesse issues that we feel define who we are as a company often take a back seat to simply surviving another day. We’re uncomfortable with that reality and are making some changes to address it. Two new positions of Compliance Facilitator have been created in contract packaging. The people filling these po- sitions will have zero focus on how many cases we produce. They will however be focused on issues such as safety, housekeeping, documentation, GMP’s and standard operating procedures. They will spend the vast majority of their time on the floor. Their role will not be that of a police officer who points out deficiencies, but to be a facili- tator who recognizes opportunities for improvement and achieves those improvements through those who do the actual work on the floor. No one will report directly to these positions, but everyone should work with and be im- pacted by them. They will work split shifts so employees on all shifts will have access to them. Garett Meiners will be the compliance facilitator for all areas West – Production, Mix, Crest Warehouse, Karlin Warehouse and Ingredient Division Warehouse. He has been with Crest for 12 years and has worked in Production as a supervisor and Mixing as the department manager. Dean Rhodes will be the compliance manager for the Main Plant Production Facility. He was the fire chief in Dixon for 6 years and recently has been in charge of a number of training programs at KSB Hospital. While he lacks specific Crest experience (he will pick that up quickly), his past work experience will serve him very well in his new role at Crest. The addition of these new positions at Crest represents a significant investment on our part to gear our manage- ment style to our unique set of operating circumstances. We want to be at the top of our field and we think these changes will strengthen us in that endeavor. Please welcome Garett and Dean to their new jobs and be open mind- ed to this new direction.
While at the Seattle Airport wait- ing on his departure plane to Chicago after visiting a customer, Steve Starke (Tech. Service) ran into the guys from the TV series “Gold Rush” on the Discovery Channel. As a huge fan, Steve was pretty excited to meet Jack Hoffman, Todd Hoffman, and Andy Spinks and talk with them for about 10 minutes. All three were very friendly and were curi- ous about what Steve did for a living and who he worked for.
Steve Starke & Jack Hoffman
Steve Starke & Todd Hoffman
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Live Long & Prosper Safety Contest Update by Karen Yardley, Safety & Sanitation Manager
December Winner Jason Rudkin (Production A) Safety Team Members: Phyllis Ott, Karen Yardley, Denton Yocum
January Winner Joe Richardson (Ingredient A) Karen Yardley, Denton Yocum, Phyllis Ott, Kevin O’Dell
February Winner Mark Beasley (Sanitation A)
Can you believe we’ve been through another six months of the Live Long and Prosper contest? That means six more lucky employees who choose to participate won wonder-ful prizes including a cool Live Long and Prosper t-shirt and anywhere from $25 to $100 gift certificates to the Crest Store or gift cards to local businesses. In December, Jason Rudkin from A Shift Production correctly identified five safety haz ards from photos we took throughout the plant. In January, Joe Richardson, former Ingredient Division Warehouse employee, correctly completed the word search and because we met that month’s challenge of 85 entries – his prize doubled in $ amount. In February, Mark Beasley, A Shift Sanitation, won our word scramble contest. And we also drew a winner from all of the correct entries from the last six months, a total of 372 and another Sanitation employee, Tom Baeza, C Shift, was the recipient of a $100 Casey’s gift card! As long as employees continue to participate, we’ll keep coming up with fun ways to keep everyone thinking about safety here at home and work! Live Long & Prosper!
BIG Winner $100 Gift Card Tom Baeza (Sanitation C)
Crest’s newest employee? Meet Kenai! Tyler Few and Gabi McCullough (both of B-Shift Pro- duction) had some fun dressing up their dog in a Crest uniform.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Rod Paul of the QA Lab came to work dressed as a ‘Labrechaun’ for St. Patricks Day!
April, May & June 2016 Crest Ink 15
Waste & Sustainability Wave Team Update by Steve Zera, Engineering Manager
Francisco Garcia using the “Repurposed Food Product” container
Lucas Liston recycling ingredient bags at the Mix Facility
Terrance Ross & the “Repurposed Food Product” container
It’s been a while since we’ve updated our progress in trying to eliminate as much sustainable waste as possible. The team of Emily Smith, Scott Storey, Randy Reuter, and I continue to look at ways to minimize the amount of waste we send to the landfill by researching opportunities to reuse, repurpose,recycle, and sometimes eliminate products from our process completely. It’s only been a couple of years since we got serious about taking this program beyond cardboard recycling and started looking at other opportunities. Most know that we’ve been recycling cardboard for almost 30 years. Several things prompt the need to enhance our sustainability program. Sure, there are financial benefits to recycling, some quite significant, but I’d like to think that a good part of why we do it is because it’s simply the right thing to do. Putting materials in the ground that will be there for 50 years before degrading just doesn’t seem right, especially when that material can be reused or repurposed. Also, this isn’t just a Crest thing. Being “green” is a world-wide effort and most of our big customers expect us to have a working sustainability program before they’ll even con- sider us as a partner. In some cases, we must provide documentation to customers on a regular basis proving our commitment. Also, there are county and state requirements that we’re obligated to follow. So, let’s update you as to where we are today. We’ll just skim over the fact that we continue to recycle as much as 200 tons of cardboard a month. We’ve done that for a long time. Most know that we recycle office paper in all loca- tions as well. Stretch film is being contained for recycling in all locations, including the Karlin warehouse. We recycle all of our steel drums and shop fabricating scrap. Plastic drums, broken pallets and totes, and general plastic scrap continue to be a difficult commodity to deal with, but we’re focused on finding a home for that material. What’s new? We’re now recycling all of our ingredient bags from the Ingredient Division and the Mix facility. Believe it or not, we’ll recycle over 600 tons a year that was previously going to the land fill. As a result, we’ve totally converted a 40 yd. trash compactor in the Mix facility (see picture) to a recycle only system! Our latest major effort, and maybe the largest to date, captures our waste food product that would have previously ended up as trash. By now, everyone has seen totes marked “Repurposed Food Product”. We are close to having plant wide coverage with these containers. Specifically, these are used to capture all food waste from checkweigher rejects, product damaged in process, catch tubs, QA testing, floor sweepings, old age stock, etc. This food product is then separated from the pouch and carton material and is repurposed as animal feed, specifically for cattle and hogs. We’ve come a long way in our efforts to manage and minimize our waste. There will always be new opportunities as technology advances, and we’ll continue to work hard to enhance our program.
16 Crest Ink April, May & June 2016
Walking Club is Back! Warmer weather means it’s time to get outside and do some walking and running! The Walking Club will be back in action starting this May, and we are excited to get some exercise and raise money for local charities! Last year, this group raised $7,920.00 for the Serenity Hospice and Home in Oregon – just by participating in local 5K events. This year, we will be raising money for HOPE of Ogle County in Rochelle , which provides support, assistance and resources to those who are or have been affected by domestic abuse. We will be participating in 7 events, starting with the Make-a-Wish 5K in Dixon on May 14th. Events will then take us to the towns of Oregon, Rock Falls, Byron, Ashton, and Dixon, and will support local groups like Make-a-Wish (Dixon), the Ashton Community Fund, Dixon Athletic Boosters, Dixon Main Street, Dixon Park District, YMCA Strong Kids (Dixon), the Whiteside County Food Bank, the Oregon High School Athletic Department, and Oregon Village of Progress. Schedules and Walking Club information will be available soon at Crest. For those who are not familiar with the club, Crest will pay all entry fees, and for every event that you participate in will put $20 into our fund for HOPE of Ogle County! Crest will also be paying a $1000.00 bonus to the fund if our runners win any of the Corporate Chal- lenges at the races this year (last year, they won 1 event)! Contact Erika Meiners (x201) or Jamie Wilcox (x270) if you need anything or have any questions, and we hope that everyone can join us this year! Sherry Joos is Baking for a Cause by Cheri Kemp
In November, A-Shift Production employee Tara Lifka and her son Colten, were hit nearly head-on by an impaired driver. Thankfully her son got by with minor injuries. Tara, however, was not so lucky. She sustained many serious injuries and has had several surgeries. She is slowly recovering and starting physical therapy to rehab her broken neck and ankle. Sherry Joos, of A-Shift QA, decided to do something to help Tara and her fam- ily. Joos, who has been a baking advocate for several years said “My goal was to raise $500 for Tara and I am nearly there. When I finish up with my current
Sherry Joos frosting cupcakes
orders I will hit my goal.” Sherry said she likes trying new recipes and making up her own. “I started making cook- ies for my family and perfected that. Then people started asking to buy them. I think I really got started into baking because I like cake! I never thought I would be doing this but now it has snowballed into cupcakes and decorating cakes, too” said Joos. Recently, Sherry burned up her oven with all the baking she has been doing which resulted in purchasing a brand new oven. In addition, several hand-mixers have bit the dust as well. “My family is really sup- portive and if there is a decoration that I can’t quite figure out, they are there in the 11th hour to help me out. One time I had a cake cooling on my screened in porch and a squirrel broke in and ate it! I had to start all over! I learned a lot on my own by trial and error as well as by watching YouTube videos.” Sherry has often baked for other fundraisers in the local communities and continues to add items to her list of deli- cious baked goods. This fundraiser hit closest to home for her – a fellow employee in need. She has a talent she is willing to share as well as donate her time to shop for all the ingredients, then time in her kitchen to prepare it! This fundraiser started the first week in February and will wrap up the first week in March with all proceeds going to Tara and her family. No doubt Sherry’s goal of $500 will be met.
April, May & June 2016 Crest Ink 17
Music to Your Ears
by Cheri Kemp
Within the halls, walls and warehouses of Crest Foods, you find many employees who can make music. In some in- stances, the music bug has passed down a generation to the children of our employees who are working toward a career in music. In this article, we will introduce you to 5 musicians, 3 of which are Crest employees. Meet Todd Lorenc & Jeff Kagay
When not plucking the strings of his bass guitar, Todd Lorenc, first shift Mix, can also be found playing the lead or rhythm guitar in one of his four bands. Yes, he is in four different bands, each with their own unique sound. In Chameleon, a jazz trio, Todd and his band mates can be found playing at local small venues like coffee houses, book stores and fundrais ers. When Todd changes style of music to early rock and roll, like the Beatles, he can be found playing bass guitar with Jeff Kagay who works in the Karlin Warehouse. Jeff plays lead and rhythm in this 2 piece group, called Flying Fish. These two can be heard belting out Beatles tunes as well as other 60’s and 70’s music, again in small venues in the Sauk Valley area.
Jeff & Todd
Jeff said when he was about 6 years old he saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan TV show and was hooked. “I knew right away I was going to be a guitar player. I would use an old broom stick to pretend I had a guitar!” Jeff also plays a little banjo and bass guitar. The birth of Flying Fish happened as the result of a fireside jam session with Todd Lorenc. “I am 14 years older than Todd so I am like his big brother. Todd was invited to a bachelor party at my house that my son and his friend were having. Todd and I started talking about music and found out that we both loved the Beatles. I told Todd I had a couple of acoustic guitars. We grabbed those and sat by the campfire for three hours and jammed. That was 10 years ago! Our first gig, which was not paid, was at The Next Picture Show Gallery in Dixon. From there word of mouth spread and we started getting paying jobs. Todd began playing music when he was about 15. “My dad was a semi-professional sax player in bands around Chicago and Joliet so I was raised around music. He was my main influence. I did not want to play a horn but I knew I wanted to play music.” So if you are keeping score, that is two bands for Todd. The third band that Todd plays in is called Firefly. Todd’s wife, Shelly, is also in this band where she and her best friend are the vocalists. Shelly plays drums now and then also, so music is in the Lorenc family. Firefly is a five piece band that plays pop covers. “Any of our bands are for hire for weddings, parties, family reunions, fundraisers and other events. When I play at coffee houses or Books on First, I just tell them to give me the dates they have available. Then I can see which of the 3 bands I am in can fit the schedule.” The fourth and final band is the Abiding Word Worship team where Todd and his wife play and sing for their church services and functions along with other talented musicians in their church. Meet Burn N’ Bush
Burn N’ Bush is a 2 man acoustic band, consisting of Rod Burnette (his wife Lynn works in Payroll), and Dave Bushman, Scheduling Expeditor. “We started in late 2009. We basically got together to learn Christmas songs for a Christmas party and we took off from there” said Bushman. Dave plays a 12 string acoustic guitar and sings while Rod also sings and plays a Cajon. For those of you unfamiliar with a Cajon, pronounced Ka-Hon, it is a 2 sided box instrument made of thin plywood. The person playing the Cajon sits on
Rod & Dave
18 Crest Ink April, May & June 2016
the top and uses their hands to keep a beat/rhythm by slapping the different sides and areas on the box to simulate a drum set. Dave had been playing in rock bands since graduating high school, but Rod hadn’t played in a band since his early 20’s, when he played some bass and drums in his dad’s country band. They like to play sing-a-long standards, which hopefully most people recognize. Though they claim they are not the most talented band in the world, they try to make up for it by having fun. Burn N’ Bush will try to get the crowd involved by singing, dancing, laughing, whatever it takes. They can generally be found playing in local bars, festivals and other events. Occasionally they have played a few shows in Chicago or Rockford One exciting event included opening up for Bret Michaels in Rockton last summer. They are also very fortunate to have the local Budweiser distributor sponsor them for their merchandise, which gets the Burn N’ Bush name out there a bit. As a couple of guys in their 50’s , they like to say they are well past worrying about getting rich & famous, but in stead just trying to entertain and have a little fun along the way. You can catch them this summer around the area, or follow them on a few road trips! They will be doing a show or 2 in Wisconsin this summer, and also playing in Nashville over Memorial Day Weekend. Dave has passed this talent and affinity for music to his 3 sons, Tyler, Tristan (Tree) and Griffin. So the tradition continues! Meet Tristan Bushman
Tristan Bushman, nicknamed Tree, (son of Dave Bushman,Scheduling Dept.) is a fresh- man at Sauk Valley College and a local singer/songwriter. He started getting up and sing- ing with his dad’s band when he was 5 years old, and started learning guitar shortly after that. By the time he was 10 years old, he was singing and playing guitar at churches, and school talent shows, and by 12 years old was playing local summer festivals, and to date has performed over 200 shows. Tristan had always enjoyed singing, and playing guitar as a hobby, but in High School de- cided he wanted to make it more than just a hobby! His first break was making it to Los Angeles when he was 15years old, for executive casting for the TV show “the Voice”. Though he didn’t make the final cut to make the show, it motivated him to keep going, knowing that not many people make it even that far. Tristan kept playing locally, and ended up winning an internet singing contest, which enabled him to record and release his first single, and professional music video.
2015 was big year for Tristan, he released his first album of original songs in March. He was also chosen by “The House of Blues” as an emerging youth artist and performed on their stage in April, 2015. He was also chosen to participate in a National Talent Search contest which was held at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles Il., which he went on to win. This then earned him an audition for the final season of “American Idol”. Tristan did a skype audi- tion for Idol, and from that was asked to come to San Francisco for a private audition. The San Francisco audition was a long day. He had to audition that morning in front of casting executives, and they moved him on!!! Next was auditioning in front of Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez, and Harry Connick Jr., so he sat there all day and it was finally Tristan’s turn to audition around 7pm that evening. He auditioned with a song, by NEEDTOBREATHE, and came out with the Golden Ticket, and moved on to Hollywood. Hollywood was a great experience, but unfortunately was cut before group round. This again only motivated Tristan to keep pushing. He is currently playing shows, writing music for his next album, and networking with all the contacts and musicians he has met along the way, all at the tender age of 18! He has opened for numerous nationally touring acts, and one of his big shows this summer will be opening for Kellie Pickler at the Big R Country Jam in Rochelle (8/13/16). His motto is “If your dreams don’t scare you…they’re not big enough”, so he’ll keep chasing his dream. Check him out on Facebook: Tristan Bushman Music, or his website www.tristanbushman.com
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