Crest Ink April, May & June 2021 Ashton, IL 61006
Volume 33 • Number 2
Getting To Know Our Nursing Staff by Savannah Fagan
Nurse Heidi McGlown, Nurse Stephanie McClean & Nurse Practitioner Ann Lee from KSB
We want to send a big “thank you” to our nurses - Heidi, Stephanie and Ann! In addition to helping keep our entire Crest Foods team healthy during (and prior to) the pandemic, they are available on-site to diagnose acute conditions, help manage chronic conditions, & provide health education. The pandemic proved to be a challenge, but these 3 all faced it head-on and their care, compassion, and professionalism truly shined. We are so grateful that they are part of our Crest Foods family. If you haven’t been treated by one of these amazing ladies, you have at least seen their faces in passing, received a check-in phone call or have heard their names many times. They spend countless hours getting to know our em- ployees and we thought it was a good time to relfect on all that they do for us and get to know them a little better. Please continue reading to get to know a little more about our nurses! We enjoyed getting their responses, even if we have different opinions on Sasquatch!
In This Issue Slip, Trip & Fall Prevention page 7
Cheers for 50 Years page 3
Have Some Fun page 15
Nurse Heidi: How long have you been in the medical field? 16 years What’s your favorite way to spend a day off ? Spending time with family or friends, traveling, going to escape rooms and breweries, shopping, swimming or hiking. Where’s the next place on your travel bucket list and why, or if you’ve already been there where was it and what’s one of your favorite moments from the trip? OR just favorite vacation in general? I LOVE to travel and have been many places and on many trips. But I think my favorite one was in 2012 when we took all 7 of my kids and my Mom on the Disney Cruise in the Caribbean. It was the week of Mother’s Day. It is also on my bucket list to take my grandchildren on the Disney Cruise someday. What’s something most people don’t know about you? I have my motorcycle license and my own Harley. But I rarely drive it! Is Sasquatch real? No. But mermaids might be! Lol! What’s your favorite movie? I have several, but to name a few are The Princess Bride, Ever After, and Maid in Manhattan, and Bridesmaids. Nurse Practitioner Ann: How long have you been in the medical field? Including my first nursing home job…34, yikes! What’s your favorite way to spend a day off ? Relaxing, growing flower seedlings, spending time with our 2 kids. Where’s the next place on your travel bucket list and why, or if you’ve already been there where was it and what’s one of your favorite moments from the trip? OR just favorite vacation in general? Bucket list vaca- tion? Cancun Favorite vacation in general? Family vacation: divided into two big teams and played all sorts of games from cards, foosball to foursquare, and plenty of laughs What’s something most people don’t know about you? I hiked down the Grand Canyon twice in middle school with my classmates, thanks to some gutsy teachers. Is Sasquatch real? I read somewhere: “A Sasquatch sighting is always good for the tourist trap”. What’s your favorite movie? Waking Ned Devine, Airplane
Nurse Stephanie: How long have you been in the medical field? 15 years
What’s your favorite way to spend a day off ? Sleeping in, catching up on my TV shows, and shopping Where’s the next place on your travel bucket list and why, or if you’ve already been there where was it and what’s one of your favorite moments from the trip? OR just favorite vacation in general? I would love to visit New Zealand – it’s beautiful, diverse, and one of my favorite movie series (Lord of the Rings) was filmed there. What’s something most people don’t know about you? I initially planned go to college to become a concert pianist when I was 17. Is Sasquatch real? Like Santa Claus, he’s as real as we want him to be and that’s alright by me.
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Cheers for 50 Years! by Steve Meiners
Chris Pfoutz is our first 50 year employee! Her recognition caused me to reflect on the trip she (and Crest) have made together over the last 50 years. And what a trip that has been! Chris started here when she was in high school. The only co-pack production lines we had then were in the basement of the building on Main Street where R&D is located. Production days were mea- sured by cases made (because we only had so much room upstairs until the Dean Foods truck came to pack up product). Female line workers had to wear skirts, and if I remember correctly there were very short ones! We made a few stabilizers back then. Very few. All batches made in the back end of the building where Savory/ Consumers R&D is today. Offices were in the front of that build ing, labs in the basement. Product shipped out the back double door a drum at a time onto a truck parked at a 45 degree angle that blocked the street. I am guessing our daily pre-weighs might be more than we blended on any given day back then! There was no 502 Brown Street Plant. The West Warehouse Com- plex was a cattle farm. Pop was a dime…in glass bottles, no cans. It seemed like everybody smoked, all in a very small breakroom. The Pilot Plant was a bar. Chris clawed her way up from the basement and in time became a clerical person. She, no doubt, used a ribbon type writer with carbon paper (no copiers). She might have even used a mimeograph machine (way of dictating way back when). She has trained 7-8 bosses. Maybe more. She has had interaction with hundreds of people including peers, customers, brokers, and suppliers. And she still likely has hard copy files on important documents from the early 1950’s (she’s a saver!). The Story of Chris Pfoutz helps those of you who are new (25 years or less, right Chris?) appreciate where we are today. What started as an idea in a small Midwest village with one main street and no stop
signs has blossomed into a company that has few peers in their field in terms of product quality and service. Chris should be proud of being part of that process. You should all be proud of being part of that process. Few businesses today are founded with an eye on a long future. Many do not make it. Others build up a business just to sell the assets and move on. Being here for 50 years (+) is cause for celebration. Being here as a thriving company who has never changed its name is…well…amazing. Thank you and congratulations to Chris for being part of the team of people who have taken the trip with us! It’s an impressive milestone and we are lucky you’ve been a part of the Crest family for so many years!
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Industrial Maintenance Bootcamp by Brian Beckman
May 17 – 20th Crest Foods was able to enroll four of our Maintenance Mechanics into the Sauk Valley Community College Industrial Maintnance Boot Camp. We sent mechanics from all 3 shifts to learn from this immer- sion experience. The Course covered multiple topics and disciplines throughout the four day course. The topics included Mechanical Systems, Fundamentals of Electronics, Fluid Power, Industrial Electronics, Motor Controls, PLC’s, Arc Welding, and Mig welding.
After wiring high voltage panels, there was a lecture portion of the class where mechanics learned how to use a multi meter to test voltage, continu- ity, and amperage. Also the mechanics learned about Ohms law, power cal- culation, diodes, transistors, and how to work on electrical components in a safe manner. In the photo below, Chris and Regina are working through the Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) training module. The tasks they were assigned to complete included running relays to ensure that all stop/ start buttons were working properly. Also they tested with a meter to ensure that everything is working properly or to diagnose a faulty relay or connection. Prior to this in the classroom portion all mechanics learned about how computers interact with relays. During this they also learned the basics of the binary coding as well as ladder logic in an effort to better understand how com- ponents interact with each other. This helps with understanding how sensors, eyes, and flags interact with each other. In the fluid power (hydraulics and pneumatics) portion of the course the mechanics learned about the components of a hydraulic or pneumatic system. This includes the power units, conductors, control valves, and fluid mainte- nance groups. During the Mechanical Systems course the mechanics learned some very valuable skills that are ap- plicable to their everyday duties. Among those skills includes installing a V-belt and chain drive system. Also they learned how to adjust and measure for proper belt tension and chain sag. The last day of the class was an entire day of welding. The students had a brief classroom portion to instruct on the different kinds of welding such as Mig, Tig, and Stick. From there, they completed a welding lab using different metals and methods. Regina Bonnell, Cody Elliott, Jon Larson & Chris Bryant
(left) Chris and Regina working through PLC training. (middle) Jon Larson works on wiring a high voltage panel, much like we would have on a Bartelt or Hayssen. (right) Cody tests the tension of a V-belt.
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Local Flavor: Kaleel’s Clothing & Printing by Savannah Fagan Every work day Crest employees are wearing the product of and support- ing a local business that has been around for over 115 years, originating when one man, Nemer Kaleel, ventured from Lebanon to America in 1905 and bought a horse and buggy which was used to peddle merchandise. The first storefront was opened in Earlville, IL, which Nemer’s wife ran while he continued to peddle across the countryside. In 2013, Nemer’s grandson Mark and his wife Renee made the decision to start screen printing. Their first shop was set up in the basement of their home in Amboy but shortly after that bought a storefront in Dixon, until 5 years ago when they bought and remodeled their current location on Galena Ave. Mark, Renee and their daughter Keira clearly take pride in the
Keira, Mark & Renee Kaleel
wonderful service they provide to their customers for the multiple services they offer, which includes screen print- ing, embroidery and custom web stores. Kaleel’s also has retail side of the store that has great products, including tux rentals. We started using Kaleel’s as our uniform supplier last year and immediately gave them some unusual challenges with the Crest Christmas Sweater and Saturday Overtime shirts in addition to our Crest uniform shirts. They didn’t waiv- er and proved to be just the kind of business we wanted to partner with. We can’t thank the Kaleel’s and their staff enough for the quality work and excellent service. (Shout-out to Monica, who has printed every single shirt that Crest has ordered!) We look forward to working with them for many years!
Welcome Village of Progress! This June, Crest Foods and the Village of Progress from Oregon, Illinois started a new partnership! We are happy to have this wonder- ful group working with us as a part of our Production Assembly group at the Karlin Warehouse. Welcome to the team!
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Welcome & Congrats! Tammy Angel, HR Manager. Tammy Angel joined Crest Foods in April as our new Hu- man Resources Manager! From Tammy: It was inevitable for me, once I interviewed I knew that Crest Foods was going to be my new home. Crest is a rare gem, there aren’t many companies that treat employees as their greatest asset. This is the culture that I had been searching for! I’m excited to share my experience (20+ years), knowledge and my passion for employee engagement. There is often a general stigma of Hu- man Resources being a place of fear – I’m looking forward to breaking down any barriers and building relationships with all of you. Outside of work I love to travel, enjoy creating new recipes and being enter- tained by my two fur babies, Marvin & Saki. Welcome, Tammy! We are so happy to have you here as a part of the team! Rod Burnette, Production Manager . Rod Burnette has been hired to take over the Pro- duction Manager role in the Contract Packaging Division with the retirement of Sue Os- borne this August. Rod grew up in Rochelle, earned a degree in Manufacturing Technology from NIU, and brings over 30 years of Manuracturing experience to Crest Foods. He lives in rural Ashton with his wife Lynn (Payroll), and has 2 children (Logan & Lucas). Outside of work he’s been playing music with our co-worker Dave Bushman (Scheduling) in the acoustic band Burn N’ Bush. He also enjoys spending time on his garden and deer hunting in the fall. Rod looks forward to learning the various production lines and all of the team members that support Production. He looks forward to sharing his background and experi- ence to improve plant operations and utilizing Continuous Improvement to implement a Lean Culture and create a Visual Workplace. Welcome, Rod! Jim Lyles, Mix A Supervisor. Jim Lyles has been promoted to the position of A-Shift Mix Supervisor filling the position vacated by Chris Reynold’s retirement. Jim has been with Crest for over 25 years and brings a wealth of mix and Crest experience to his new position. Evan Knack, Corporate Purchasing Agent. This March, Evan was promoted to fill the soon vacant position in Corporate Purchasing. Evan will be taking over the day to day pur- chasing and will be ordering the MRO parts for the production lines, sanitation supplies, lab supplies and more! Evan is a relative newcomer to Crest having previously worked in the Karlin warehouse, but brings much enthusiasm and energy to his new position. Matt Richardson, Corporate Purchasing Manager. Matt will soon be taking over the Corporate Purchasing Manager position with the retirement of Scott Storey this August. Matt has been with Crest Foods for 20 years, and brings 7 years of experience in our Cor- porate Purchasnig Department, and we are confident that he will do a great job in this new position and will make it a seamless transition. Chris Mooney, Ingredient Division Scheduling. Chris has been promoted to fill a Scheduling position in the Ingredient Division this June. He will also be filling in for Justin Guenther when necessary. Chris has spent the last few years managing our 3rd Shift Pro- duction crew for the Ingredient Division, and we are ex-cited for him to have the opportu- nity to grow in the Ingredient Division with this new role.
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Slip, Trip & Fall Prevention by Karen Yardley, Safety & Sanitation Manager
Last year we had a little fun promoting safety when we introduced the penguin (AKA Savannah Fagan) as a friendly reminder to use caution when walking outside in winter weather. We thought the message was well received and that people en- joyed the campaign so we came back again this year with another fun message. This time we started by talking about hazards within our facilities. We kicked off our SLIP, TRIP and FALL prevention campaign back in November by educating em- ployees about the hazards we might encounter during our daily tasks. Topics includ- ed wet floors, cords and hoses, pallets, stools, product and packaging supplies, stairs and uneven surfaces, and ladders. This time around, we had two wonderful co- workers (Thanks to Jon Bakener and Savannah Fagan) who were willing to suit up as bananas and be our “mascots” during our campaign. Each week we discussed one of these topics in the “Weekly Communication” and rotated posters throughout each facility. We kicked off December with free hot beverages from the vending machines as we drew attention to the impending winter weather. We reminded employees to think about proper footwear and using caution on sidewalks and in parking lots. During the months of January, February and March we promoted a safety contest by asking employees to identify a slip, trip or fall hazard. Any employee who identi- fied a slip, trip or fall hazard and reported it through Redzone, voice mail or email, had their name entered into a monthly drawing for cool prizes, which included a
“hot drink” gift set from United Heartland, stocking caps, blankets or insulated tumblers from the Crest Store. Winners were presented their prize by and had a fun photo op with their favorite banana ! We also encouraged employees to take before and after photos with the iPads available out on floor after correcting the hazard. We had active participation all three months of the contest and even had quite a few employees who had multiple entries – and what’s even more encouraging is that we still have employees pointing out hazards even now that the contest is over! Not only were we able to reduce the number of SLIP, TRIP and FALL claims (NOTICE ONLY included) and the cost associated with those claims (2020 compared to 2019) but we were able to have some fun while doing it, which is part of our culture. We’re already talking about next year’s campaign and possible themes – what should we have Jon dress up as next year?
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Our Sympathy Our condolences to Gene (Karlin A) and Hanna (Pro- duction C) Hodges on the loss of Gene’s sister, Brenda Messenger, this January. Our sympathies to Mary (Ing. QA) and Mark (IT) Mc- Wethy on the loss of Mary’s sister. Our condolences to Matt Long (Production B) on the loss of his mother and to Donna Long (Production A) on the loss of her daughter-in-law, Nikki Long, in Janu- ary. Our sympathies to Shawneen Arreguin (Production B) on the loss of her mother, Sharon Castle, in January. Our sympathies to Janet Sutton (Customer Service) on the loss of her father, James Blackburn, in February. Our sympathies to Trina Nelson (Production A) on the loss of her father, Owen Howard, in January. Our sympathy to James Curry (Sanitation C) on the loss of his son, Mykel Curry, in February. Our condolences to Ken Sturgeon (Production B) on the loss of his brother, Terry, in May. Our sympathy to Billie Jo Elder (Production A) on the loss of her grandmother. Our condolences to Nick (Sanitation A) and Salena (Production A) Sterling on the loss of Nick’s father, Tim Sterling. Our condolences to Angelica Torres (Production A), who’s mother passed away in May. Our condolences to Dale Lippens (Maintenance Super- visor B), who’s mother in law passed away in June. Our sympathies to Mark Johnson (Sales), who’s father, Lyle Johnson passed away March 20th. Our sypmathies to Elizabeth Verhulst (Production A) on the loss of her mother this May.
Our condolances to the family of Iva Bousum, who passed away this June. Iva retired from Crest Foods in 2001 after 17 years with the company. May she rest in peace. Thank You Becky and I would like to thank Sue and Crest Foods for all of your unending compassion and generosity during our battle with Covid. It is obvious that Crest Foods cares for their employees. That is so rare and unfound in this day and age. I am so grateful to work for such an awesome company and with amazing people. You really have touched us deeply and we hope you realize you didn’t just help an employee, you helped his family. That speaks vol umes Sue, and we are so grateful for you. With sincerest thanks, Red and Becky Somerville My thanks to you for the generous gift from the benevo- lence fund. I truly come to work for the staff and people (friends) I work with. God bless, Bob Logan Thank you so much for the check - you just don’t know how much we appreciated it. It has helped a lot! I hope to be back to see you all also! Bob Knight Congratulations Congratulations to Travis Day (Warehouse B) on the birth of his
new (and first!) granddaughter, Emelia Renee Day. Emelia is the daughter of Zane Day and Jessica Miniel, and was borh May 11th, was 7 lbs 9 oz and 20 inches long. Congratulations to Samantha Buelvas, who graduated from Dixon High School on June 6th. Also to Gabriel Buelvas, who was inducted into the Order of the Arrow (Scout Honor Society) on June 5th. Samantha and Ga briel are children of Carols Buelvas (Production A).
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Congratulations Benjamin Henrikson, son of David Henrikson, (Mate- rials QA Coordinator), has graduated from Ohio High School, and will be attending Sauk Community College in the fall, pursuing mechanics and robotic technology. David’s son, Jonathan Henrikson, has graduated from Morrison Technical College, in Morrison, IL, and majored in Computer Administration. A Big Congratu- lations on your accomplishments and all the best to you in your pursuits.
Congratulations to Braxton Roop, grandson of Jeff Roop (Scheduling) who graduated from Macintosh High School in Peachtree City, Georgia in May. He will be at- tending Davidson University in North Carolina on a baseball scholarship.
Congratulations to Zygmunt (Ing. Div. Maintenance)and Ela (Lab Tech.) on the birth of their grandson, Krystian Jay! Krystian arrived on March 2nd and was 8 lbs 8 oz and 21 inches long. Congratulations to Ken
Congratulations to Randy (Mix Manager) and Cindy (Lab Tech.) Reuter on the ar- rival of their new grand- daughter! Ava Lea Messer was born February 24, 2021. She was 4lb 14oz and was 18.2”. Ava is ready to go fishing with Grandpa!
Franchino (Production A) on his marriage in October. Congratulations to Besa Ramadani (Production A) on the birth of her granddaughter, Siana Marie. Siana arrived on February 18th and was 6 lbs 2 oz and 19.5 inches long. Congratulations to Nicholas and Zachary Hartman, sons of Traci Hartman (Manpower Supervisor) on their graduation from 8th grade this June!
Congratulations to Jordan, son of Laura Tewnion (New Business Development), who graduated from Fairview High School in Boulder on Sunday, May 23rd! He will be attending the University of Calgary in Calgary, Canada this fall. Congratulations to Roman Kozak III, son of Roman Kozak (Sanitation B), on graduating from Dixon High School this June! Congratulations to Brad Furman (Mix) and Jackie Skrogstad (Production A) on their marriage in June. Congratulations to Carynn (Accounting) and John (Maintenance B) Howell on the birth of their son,
Congrats to Gaven (Consumer Products) & Tracy Meiners on the birth of baby boy Benett Joseph Meiners! Benett was born on February 26, and is welcomed home by big sisters Brileigh and Kaelyn.
Congratulations to Kerry Tumleson (IT) on the arrival of his granddaughter, Elyse Kay! Congratulations to Jim Rhodes (Karlin A) on the birth of his daughter, Rosabell Olivia Rhodes. Rosabell ar- rived January 5th and is welcomed home by big sisters Kenzie and Kaylee and big brother Jameson.
Tucker James! Tucker was born June 11th weighing 6lbs, 13oz, and was 20in.
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Gary Guenther came to Crest Foods fresh out of college in 1983 with a degree in accounting ready to find his place in the business world. Thirty-eight years down the road…he is retiring after having created a position at Crest that is reflective of the incredible amount of change that he has been part of for those many years. First to be noted, it is by far the exception that a person starts and ends their career with the same employer anymore these days…we appreciate Gary’s commitment to Crest. Gary started in a position new to Crest defined as cost accountant working on budgets and various strategies for cost control. As is the Crest way, his position evolved over time to include managing inventory control, payroll, a fledgling data processing department (we didn’t own a computer until 1980) and developing a hu - man resources department at Crest. The Gary Guenther role that most are familiar with today is that of the HR Director with the payroll and benefits groups report - ing to him…probably a position that the fresh-out-of-college person starting with
an accounting degree couldn’t have imagined, but one that he has filled very well for Crest. Gary’s calm and direct approach to handling potentially emotional HR situations has served us well for many years. He has been a champion for consistency and fairness and has been a true champion of Crest culture. Gary has been confronted with and reacted to countless unique and challenging situations and has handled them all with the same calm demeanor. We thank him for his years of commitment to Crest and wish him nothing but the best in retirement. Gary Guenther
Chris Reynolds has held many positions at Crest since joining us some 25 years ago. He started in sanitation as a supervisor and manager and held similar posi- tions in the contract mix department. He helped Crest advance many programs in each area and has made an impact on those he worked with. Recently, he added another well-earned title to his Crest resume…retired. Chris has consistently been known as a soft spoken person who always championed for the best in- terests of those that worked for him. We wish him nothing but the best in retire- ment and hope is able to spend quality time with his family and possibly sleep in past the wee hours of the morning occasionally.
Crest had a few employees quietly retire this March. While we didn’t get to formally say good-bye, we would like to wish them all well in their retirements. Rick Karper and Frank Maslton both retired after spending 33 years with the company - both as a part of our Maintenance Depart- ment. Tim Liston of Production A-Shift
decided to retire after 20 years with the company. Thank you to Rick, Frank, and Tim for their dedication and many years as a part of the Crest family.
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After nearly 16 years in Production on the 1st Shift at Crest Foods, Ruby Aldrich decided it was time to retire and head to the Lone Star state to be closer to family. We want to thank you for your dedication and years as a member of the Crest family. You will be missed and we wish you the best! Kim Kromm decided he was ready to enjoy the peace and quiet of retirement after almost 5 years in Ingredient Division Production on the 1st Shift at Crest. He was
always hard at work and will definitely be missed. Enjoy retirement, Kim! Congratulations to both Ruby and Kim! We appreciate the years that you dedicated to your careers here and we wish you nothing but the best in your retirements. Ruby Aldrich Kim Kromm (middle)
Congratulations to the following employees for obtaining new jobs at Crest Foods over the last few months!
John Leffelman Parts Room B-Shift
Annie Etchison Level 6 QA B-Shift
Kinga Peterson Line Tech QA B-Shift
Julie Bergman Line Tech QA C-Shift Bob Ziankoski Lead Ing. Prod. C-Shift Baby Showers Lots of babies to celebrate this spring! Co-workers of John (Maintenance B) and Carynn (Accounting) Howell, and David Smith (Production B) and Aliyah Stinnett (QA B) threw baby showers to celebrate both couples and their new babies. It’s an exciting time for all 4 of these employees, and we can’t wait to meet the new little ones!
John & Carynn Howell
David Smith & Aliyah Stinnett
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The Continuous Improvement Program (CIP) is a program where employees sub- mit suggestions on ways they think we can improve Crest Foods. These suggestions may help improve overall efficiency, employee safety, sanitation, record keeping, maintenance and various other areas around Crest Foods. Thank you to everyone for participating! 2021 2nd & 3rd Quarter CIP Winners
Tyler Ewens, Sanitation C-Shift • Runner Up • $150.00 Natasha Pretzsch, Production A-Shift • 1st Place • $250.00 Natasha prepared an entire set-up book for the Line 31 dump area, then worked with Marketing to get it made into a laminated binder. Different hoppers are used for different products, and it was easy to make mistakes. With her set-up book, she made it easy to identify what does into each hopper. This was an awesome idea that we are sure will eliminate a lot of confusion and frustration! Tyler’s idea was to mount the mixer CO2 drip pans more securely. The manufacturers way allowed the drip pan fall off of the mounts with the mixer vibration, which is a big safety concern. Tyler suggested a larger tab mount be put on the drip pans and drill a hole through the tabs and pan support. Then pin the pan to the mixer pan support. Our Ma- chine Shop will work on making this and get it installed ASAP. Great safety call-out and solution! June Danekas, Production B-Shift • Runner Up • $150.00 June’s idea was to help organize the cords used for electric handlifts in the elevator area of the Main Plant. She asked to get some kind of drop cord or retractable plug to use when charging handlifts. She wanted something with a spring-like feature in order to keep cords off the floor and prevent them from being run over. Also, cords were being taken for other tasks, leaving June searching for cords when she needed them. This was a great idea! We have worked with June to purchase 10 retractable cords (pictured) that are mounted to the walls in the elevator area so that handlifts can always be plugged in when needed. Now cords are up off the floor and she never has to go searching for them! wanted to recognize both of them. Their idea was about adding a bent bucket eye before the Massman on this line. It didn’t have one before, which is a safety concern. A few times a bent bucket came around and caught on the Massman, dragging it down the line. This is a great safety call-out, and will be worked on ASAP. Becca Dodd, Production A-Shift & John Howell, Maintenance B-Shift • Runners Up • $75.00 Each John and Becca had the same idea at the same time, so we
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by Jeff Meiners Along with what has seemed like a thousand other things...February was the month for SQF audits at Crest. De- spite dealing with being extremely busy and short of staff, we managed our best scores across the board for these audits. A score of 96 in an SQF audit is classified as excellent, which is the highest scoring category for that audit. The three areas that were audited at Crest scored as follows: Packaging – 96, Ingredients – 98 and Karlin Ware house - 99. All excellent! These scores are a reflection of how we operate every day. Some place in our history we used to take time out to prepare for an audit. That simply isn’t a luxury that we have any more and in reality, it is far better to treat every day like an audit could happen at any time. Everyone has done an excellent job embracing and carrying out the practices that put us in a position to get such strong scores in an SQF audit. Thank you to all – this doesn’t happen unless it is embraced at all levels. Let’s continue to operate in such a way that the thought of an audit of our opera- tion is simply an opportunity to shine because we run it right every day. Over the years the Crest Family has taken up saving injured wildlife that finds its way to our West Facility. A while back a screech owl hitched a ride to work in the grill of an employee’s car, two years ago a peregrine falcon unex- pectedly arrived at the warehouse and this year a young American kestrel lost its way! For a few years now we have had a pair of kestrels (America’s littlest falcon…if you were wondering) nest in the trees at the warehouse and this June one of the youngsters lost his way on a flying mission. The bird was found and captured by two members of a B-Shift Warehouse Crew. “Spider” Dan and Josh Saxton were the heroes of the day for this tiny bird. Once the bird was captured they called the local DNR office and reported that have found the injured kestrel. The DNR officer traveled over 2 hours to pick up the little guy and then another hour to an animal rescue center. We just heard back from Woo Haven Wildlife Facility and the young kestrel is doing great and should be released in the next few weeks! Warehouse Crew to the Rescue by Garett Meiners
Spider Dan (kestrel in box)
Josh Saxton, DNR Officer & Spider Dan
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Have Some Fun
Whether it’s Fri-Yay Fundays, Popcorn Fridays, Group Dinner Night, or Fancy Friday, it’s clear that we know how to have some fun!
Zech Wakefield & Val Serano
Jon Bakener & Carmen Reuter
Ela Cichosz, Candy Koch & Cass Askegaard
2nd Shift Main Plant 4th of July Dinner : Gina Smith, Jordan Smith, Cass Askegaard, Rod Paul & Jesse Morris
Jeff Meiners, Carmen Quintana & Jerry Maronde
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Getting to Know: Our Newest First Responders Crest has a well-trained voluntary staff of Licensed EMTS and First Responders. This assistance is vital if medical treatment is needed for an injury or illness that is beyond the abilities of a supervisor.
First Responders will be one of the first persons on the scene of the accident or injury and will coordinate all emergency medical activities including the decision of whether or not off-site assistance and/or advanced life support assistance is required to handle the emergency. Besides the initial certification, First Responders must obtain
continuing education hours each year and apply for recertification every four years. While the classes are offered here at Crest, it is still a time commitment by each of the employees who volunteer to be a member of this team. We’d like to welcome Kim Younge (Production B) and Bobbi Morgan, (Production A Karlin) to the team! Kim is a line operator on B Shift who has been with Crest since March of last year. She started with Manpower and was hired as a full time Crest employee in June. Kim is an EMT with the Ohio Fire Department and says that helping people is her passion. When I asked Kim what her interests were outside of work, she mentioned her other jobs. Besides 40 hours a week here at Crest, Kim also works at a gas station, a tavern and mows lawns for neighbors! Kim said she’d rather be working than not (obviously!). One interesting thing about Kim that most of us wouldn’t know ? She has a moose obsession. Her whole house is full of them! She’s even planned trips around seeing the real thing! Bobbi Morgan works on A Shift Production at the Karlin. She’s been a part of the Assembly Crew for two and half years now. Bobbi volunteered to be on the team after a friend and co-worker had a heart attack while working at the distribution center and had to wait for responders. She realizes that having someone on site could save a life. Bobbi was an EMT for 20 years so her experience and the fact that she enjoys helping people make this a great fit for her! Bobbi’s interests outside of work include spending time with her family and friends, reading, and exploring new places. She also likes doing crafts. Thank you to these two and the rest of our First Responders for their commitment to Crest and their fellow co- workers! And we can’t forget our wonderful staff of nurses who are an important resource – thank you Heidi, Ann and Stephanie!
Aron Gomer, Caleb Henson &, Neli Coronel
April, May & June 2021 Crest Ink 15
Getting to Know: The Meiners Family
(front) Jeff Meiners, Gaven Meiners, Erika Meiners, Andra Tremble (back) Steve Meiners, Brandon Meiners, Mike Meiners & Garett Meiners
According to the Small Business Administration, more than 70 percent of all family businesses do not survive through the second generation, and 8 percent do not make it to a third. Only 3 percent of family businesses are operating at a fourth generation level and beyond! While the Meiners’ fourth generation is still mostly in diapers and the second generation joining them soon, all generations remain committed to keeping Crest Foods in the family. At Crest we are hopeful that someone with the last name Meiners knows you, our size and number of de- partments makes that challenging, but it is a common goal for the family to be involved and accessible. With many new faces at Crest, we thought now would be a good time to highlight and get to know the Meiners family. Steve Meiners , VP Sales Years at Crest Foods: 44. Interests: Fishing, hunting, grandkids. What most people don’t know about me? I was a pitcher on the Rockford College Baseball team for 4 years. Biggest accomplishment - pitching two complete game wins on the same day. First Job at Crest? As a youngster, a painter. Most every inside and outside wall has seen a coat of paint that I put on the wall. Favorite Food? Grilled Fresh Fish (Salmon & Tuna #1). Best Crest Memory? Oddly...the worst events likely are my best memories. The Big Flood and The Tornado come to mind. While these were potentially huge unfortunate events for Crest they illustrated some of the best of what Crest brings to the table. People rolled up their sleeves, worked hard together to minimize the impact of the event and recover as quickly as possible. So many people went above and beyond just to get us back to doing what we do every day. And they did it without really being asked. Amazing and very rewarding. Jeff Meiners, President Years at Crest Foods: 41. Interests: Jeep rides, hunting, photography, working in the yard, family. What most people don’t know about me? I played the banjo at my own wedding reception. First job at Crest? Stacker for the glass line in the North Plant basement/Painter. Favorite Food? Shore lunch in Canada. Best Crest Memory? Putting the tornado file away for good knowing that everybody at Crest had hit it out of the ballpark responding to a very difficult situation. Also, building the first stage of the West Warehouse that became the cornerstone for all of the expansion over the last 30 years.
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Mike Meiners , VP Manufacturing Years at Crest Foods: 37. Interests: Family, golfing, landscaping, outdoors in general, eating good food. What most people don’t know about me? When I was 3, with a babysitter watching us, my brothers convinced me to stick a toy bullet up my nose and it got stuck. They also convinced me that it would go off. Scarred me - and the babysitter for life. First job at Crest? In high school I was painting the outside of the buildings. Favorite Food? Grilled Ahi Tuna. Best Crest Memory? Three of them and they all start with a bad memory. That is, how Crest Foods and its people responded to the great flood of 1987, the tornado of 2015 and continue to respond to the pandemic of 20/21. Tough times bring out the character in people and we certainly passed those challenges thanks to our great people. Garett Meiners, Compliance Years at Crest Foods: 17. Interests: Nature photography and family time. What most people don’t know about me? Brandon, Erika, Gaven & myself were in Time magazine in 1991. First job at Crest? B-Shift Sanita- tion Ingredient Division. Favorite Food? Fish tacos and ribs. Best Crest Memory? Walking into the new ware- house (1991) as a kid and just seeing how big it was. Gaven Meiners, Consumer Products Years at Crest Foods: 13. Interests: LOL Surprise dolls, Smokin’ Meat, hunting, fishing, golf, AND spending time with my amazing wife Tracy. What most people don’t know about me? I was a 7th grade B-Team Basket- ball MVP. First job at Crest? Stacker on Brownie Line, 2001. Favorite food? BBQ Pulled Pork. Best Crest memory? Making my first Sale, Ham Glaze! Gusto Packing. Brandon Meiners, Ingredient Division Operations Years at Crest Foods: 13. Interests: Hunting, fishing, and anything that finds me outside with my kiddos. What most people don’t know about me? I shared a very small part of the spotlight with Jodie Foster in the October 14, 1991 issue of Time Magazine. I would like to think more people were interested in the five year old boy spread- ing prairie seeds on the Nachusa Grasslands instead of Jodie’s directing and acting career! Fist job at Crest? Pull- ing weeds in front of the visitors entrance at the age of 10. Favorite Food? Fish Tacos. Best Crest Memory? The tornado we experienced back in 2015. While this was an extremely stressful situation for all involved, it showed how strong we are as company thanks to all of our dedicated employees and suppliers who had us back no normal op- erations in no time. Andra Tremble, Customer Service Years at Crest Foods: 10. Interests: Hiking, Traveling, Spending time with my Family. What most people don’t know about me? My husband and I are hobby “farmers”; over the past decade we have had cattle, goats, and min- iature donkeys. First job at Crest? 2004 “Lucy Crew” putting together display cases. Favorite Food? Wood Fire Pizza. Best Crest Memory: Best and Worst Memory at Crest was when the tornado hit our West Warehouse in 2015. It was so heartwarming to see everyone at Crest and the community come together to help either clean up cornfields, take inventory or even bring in lunch. It was really special to see. We were so lucky no one was hurt! Erika Meiners, Administrative Operations Years at Crest Foods: 10. Interests: Walking my dog, kayaking, reading, the Cubs. Favorite Foods: Mashed potatoes, chocolate milkshakes, Cheese-Its. First job at Crest: Season salt production line when I was 16. What most people don’t know about me? Jeff and I got to go watch Saturday Night Live LIVE a few years ago by winning tickets after 10 years of entering the lottery. Best Crest Memory? I have a lot of fun memories from new employee orientations over the years. I’ll never forget having to explain that due to GMP’s, someone couldn’t wear their horns in the production area. It took me a while to understand that they had their head pierced, and orientation really got side-tracked..
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Redzone Kaizen: Changeover Obsession by Karen Yardley Our most recent Redzone Kaizen event kicked off the week of January 11th. The theme was “Changeover Obsession – Set The Clock” and during that first week we focused on our current changeover process for a Level 3HA clean on Line70. Eventu- ally we hope to apply what we learn through this exercise to other lines both out west and in town. The “team” consisted of Trish Carter, Karen Yardley, Lisa Roberts, Jared Stumpenhorst, Jon Larson as well as management from each of the departments
TEAM 3HAwesome: Trish Carter, Karen Yardley, Lisa Roberts, Jared Stumpenhorst & Jon Larson
crucial to making these changeovers happen. While this core group put a lot of time and effort into “setting the clock” and finding ways to improve the stan-dards, there were many employees who participated by providing feed- back, suggestions and encouragement. Some key areas for improvement that we identified during the first week were: • Parallel work vs. Series (each department has a specific function that we can each being doing at the same time)
• Checklists for changeover (data sheets/triggers for disassembly, reassembly, in Redzone) • Section cleaning (divide what is a HUGE task into smaller, more manageable tasks) • Ease of disassembly/ Ease of reassembly
So after “setting the clock”, we focused on beating the clock. During the second week of our Kaizen event, the week of January 25th, we continued to refine our changeover process by training on the process as well as adding center lining for the equipment on Line 70. With centerlining in place we will be able to compare our operating con- ditions to make sure we run the best machine settings. This will allow us to not only start running faster with less changes but also simplify our changeover process. Detailed checklists for all departments involved, as well as other process improvements will help us to not only improve our process but also make it easier for everyone to do their job safely and efficiently. During the first week of March we continued our journey to improve our changeover process by “locking it in.” We started by reviewing the most recent Level 3HA changeover on Line 70. We had four high definition cameras lo- cated in the four different “sections” of Line 70 recording during the changeover. The team reviewed almost 49 hours of video and from that we developed 4 fishbone diagrams (these are simple tools that help in brainstorm- ing to identify possible causes of a problem and in sorting ideas into useful categories) and generated 32 new ac- tions in Redzone! We spent time on the floor coming up with solutions and improvements and set a goal to reduce the time of a changeover that can take as long as 6 shifts down to 3. Some of the themes we noted while reviewing our changeover process that we worked on improving: Rework – Keep Moving Forward! Several times we reworked areas that were already cleaned. We have also had to reclean by not following a top down cleaning process all the time. Communication – Trust the process! We recognized that working with scheduling to be better prepared for when the changeover is taking place as well as communication during is vital Tools! Tool location as well as availability to accessibility to tools was found to be a recurring theme. Thank you to our great Redzone coach Juarez Jackson for all of his guidance, insight, encouragement and help throughout this process and to all of the employees who are contributing to this important effort!
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Insurance Insights: Chiropractic Care by Anne Noble New for 2021 is the expansion of network options for chiropractic care. We recognized the limitations plan mem- bers have had that utilize chiropractic care and worked with Auxiant to come up with a way to simplify this type of health care. The Crest health plan will treat In and Out of Network Chiropractic claims the same. Our health plan continues to have a 12 visit per calendar year limit. Also new for 2021 is that chiropractic claims have a $25 co-pay. If you have already had chiropractic visits this calendar year, ask your chiropractor to submit the claims to our insurance. Please stop by the Payroll/Benefits Office to see Savannah or Anne if you have questions. What To Expect for Your First Therapy Session? by Ashley Koza, LCSW, EAP Counselor, Sinnissippi Centers Starting therapy can seem scary and overwhelming. Here is a look into what an initial session will look like. I ask a lot of questions to get to know my clients. Some of these questions may be “What do you do for work?”, “Tell me about your family”, “What do you do for fun or selfcare?” or “Have you been to therapy in the past?”. The most important questions I ask are “What brings you to therapy?” and “What are your goals”. Having an idea of your goals going into the first session will be helpful to get a head start on moving for- ward. Sometimes clients do not have goals and just need extra support and that is okay also. Most import to re- member, therapy is what you make it and your therapist will be there to support you moving forward. If you feel like counseling might benefit you, please call Ashley to set up an appointment: 815-732-3157
COVID Vaccines at Crest by Jeff Meiners To say that we are all weary of dealing the entire Covid pandemic would be a huge understatement. All of our lives, both work and home, have been impacted in a rather dramatic fashion. Crest employees received some good pandemic news when we all had the opportunity to receive vaccines at work in the months on February and March.
The fact that we were early in line as a group was the result of our classification as essential workers…and we cer tainly earned our spot in line for being at work and producing food for America’s grocery shelves throughout the entire process. The opportunity to have vaccines given at work was the result of a combined effort between Crest, KSB hospital and the Lee County Department of Health. Two hundred and seventy-five employees took advantage of this opportunity to very conveniently get vaccinated. Our HR group did a great job getting everything organized and our on-site health care staff of Ann, Heidi and Stephanie was responsive to our needs as they have been throughout the past year of pandemic related issues. As has been the case for the past twelve months, the future pertaining to how we react to this situation remains a little cloudy. We are certainly hopeful that the worst is behind us and are confident that the vaccines will play a large role in making that happen. Please be assured that Crest will be at the fore-front of reacting to whatever the situation may present us in months to come. A big thank you goes out to all who were instrumental in making this happen and to those who stepped up and were vaccinated. We all are looking forward to the day we can put this whole thing behind us!
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After a 2020 hiatus stemming from the COVID pandemic, NCAA March Madness returned and so did Crest’s parallel Charity Madness customer competition. If you’re unfamiliar, Crest randomly assigns 64 customer teams to a bracket slot and then on Selection Sunday it’s re - vealed which team they get to root for. For each final four team, Crest Foods makes a mon - etary donation to the customer’s charity of choice in their honor. A wild card winner is also Charity Madness 2021 by Kristina McWethy
drawn from the remaining teams for a surprise donation. • First Place: $1,500 • Second Place: $1,000 • Third, Fourth and Wild Card: $500 each Here are the 2021 winners! Copper Horse Crusade copperhorsecrusade.com St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital stjude.org Second Harvest Heartland 2harvest.org Wigs 4 Kids of Michigan wigs4kids.org Vancouver Foundation - Community Impact Fund vancouverfoundation.ca
In addition to a chance at the big prize, each member of a customer team received a $10 gift code to Do- norsChoose.org to help fund a meaningful public school project. Team members used their gift codes to fund a wide variety of requests, including technology materials, decodable books for a diverse first grade classroom and supplies for a campus garden for education, responsibility and skill development. Thank you to our customers for helping us donate a total of $6,750 this year to the charities and public school proj ects that mean the most to YOU!
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