Volume 30 • Number 03 July, August & September 2018 Ashton, IL 61006
It’s hard to believe that sixteen employees have called Crest Foods their home for the past forty years. We are fortunate to be able to say that ten of those sixteen employees are still actively working with the company today! While some of these sixteen say that they were only going to work here for a little while, or that they hadn’t intend- ed on staying long, we are humbled and appreciative that they all decided to stay and make their career here. Many things have changed over the past forty years: buildings, uniforms, number of employees, products, pace, jobs...but the one constant that has carried us to the company we are today is the people. While we will never be able to thank this group of people enough for their dedication, we do find it fun to get together as a group and reminisce about all that they have experienced here over the years. At the annual Forty Year Dinner this spring, we had tweleve of these sixteen employees get together for dinner, drinks and some good quality reminiscing. It was great to have those who have since retired join us this year, and we look forward to this celebration for many years to come! Thank you again to this group of employees. We would not be the company we are today without you. Cheers to Forty Years Neil Henert, Jim Spangler, Guyla Pfeiffer, Andy McCannon, Tammy Williams, Pam Kelley, Connie Schumacher, Chris Pfoutz, Kim Gallagher, Carol Milens, Morine Snodgrass & Steve Meiners at the Forty Year Dinner. (Unable to attend: Lila Burhenn, Jerry Waters, Ken Drew & Linda Myers)
In This Issue
Getting to Know Ingredient Division Sales page 2
Walking Club Returns page 5
Give Back Program page 14
GETTING TO KNOW DAIRY INGREDIENT SALES Our feature group this month is the Dairy Ingredient Division Sales Team. Those of us at Crest rarely see these folks since they are road warriors in their own territories that are spread across the United States. While each of them is based out of a home office, the majority of their time is spent traveling to spend time with customers…so they spend far more time on planes, in cars or hotel rooms than they do at home. Their main focus is to grow sales for Crest by finding ways to make Crest a sustaining resource for our customers. In order to offer the services that we do for our customers, our sales staff are different from typical reps in that they all have technical backgrounds that helps them in being problem solvers at the production floor level in many different situations. They help with trial runs, trouble shooting and assist with training. They make a great team, but I think you will agree that they are a rather unique bunch of individuals. Ann Wege , Business Development Manager Years at Crest Foods: 28 Home: Texas Interests: Travel (good thing!), Gardening, Golf, Staying Fit
Most People Don’t Know: Former Wisconsin State Foosball Champion Before Crest? Research & Development Manager for a bio-tech company. Ned Tippie , National Accounts Manager Years at Crest Foods: 28 (recently retired) Home: Ohio Interests: Church Activities, Watching the Grandkids, Fishing, Camping Most People Don’t Know: College member of the Ohio State Symphonic Choir. Before Crest? Floor manager for a Macy’s then sold seed corn and industrial uniforms. Pete Bullock , District Sales Manager Years at Crest Foods: 25 Home: New York Interests: Plays Ice Hockey, Military History Buff, Collects Antique Firearms Most People Don’t Know: Recently went on a mission trip with his wife to Haiti. Before Crest? Dairy production supervisor & food grade chemical sales. Sarah Clemons, District Sales Manager Years at Crest Foods: 3 Home: Georgia Interests: Enjoys gardening, landscaping, yard work Most People Don’t Know: She has a dream of being a drummer in a rock band. Before Crest? Former life guard, more recently R&D work for various companies.
Nathan Tippie , District Sales Manager Years at Crest Foods: 10 Home: Ohio
Interests: Boating, Fishing, Camping, Video Gaming and any Ohio Sports Team Most People Don’t Know: Pitcher at the college level at Wilmington College Before Crest? Territory Manager for a Red Bull distributor, Toys R Us distribution
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John Mont , District Sales Manager Years at Crest Foods: 12 Home: Illinois Interests: Kids Activities…baseball, softball, football, volleyball Most People Don’t Know: Routine Blood Platelet Donor Before Crest? He has always been involved with sales and the dairy industry. Phil Blythe , District Sales Manager Years at Crest Foods: 3 Home: Illinois Interests: Family activities, snowmobiling, charity work, weightlifiting…Cubs, Packers and Illini Most People Don’t Know: Owns some bulls in the professional bull riding circuit. Before Crest? Lifelong involvement with sales except when he was an assistant brewmaster. Mark Johnson , District Sales Manager Years at Crest Foods: 23 Home: South Dakota Interests: Anything outside. Hunting. Fishing. Golf. Most People Don’t Know: Bakes Communion Bread for his church Before Crest? QA Manager at a Dairy Production Plant Joe Gomez , District Sales Manager Years at Crest Foods: 14 Home: New Mexico
Interests: Any Sports. Riding his Harley. Native American Culture. Most People Don’t Know: Very into researching ancient alien theories. Before Crest? Management of a producing dairy plant. Steve Meiners , VP Corporate Sales Years at Crest Foods: 40 Home: Illinois Interests: Hunting. Fishing. Hanging out with the family.
Welcome Nate McKnight We are very pleased to announce that Nate McKnight has joined the Crest Foods team. Nate comes to us with a wide range of dairy experience having worked for nearly 30 years in the industry. He and his wife Tena make their home in Em- mett, Idaho (just outside Boise). They live on a small farmette where they share the chores with their two boys and one daughter. In his spare time Nate enjoys the outdoors – hunting, fishing and riding horses in the mountains. Nate will be spending a couple of months in training and then work with our Technical Services Team in the Dairy Ingredient Division. Welcome, Nate! Most People Don’t Know: Won both ends of a college double header (complete games!) Before Crest? 2 years at Muller Pinehurst Dairy. First half of Crest career in Contract Packaging.
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My Ten Year Trip by Cindy Reuter (Ingredient Division Lab Tech)
For my 10 year trip, my husband, Randy, and I went to Hawaii. We spent 3 days in Honolulu where we toured Pearl Harbor, climbed Diamond Head and enjoyed Waiki- ki Beach. Then it was off to Maui where we spent the remainder of our trip. There we went on a whale watch (we didn’t see any whales), climbed through lava caves, swam in waterfalls and soaked up lots of sun. Of course, there was plenty of shopping and an amazing Luau with delicious foods I would never have tried under any other circumstances! Thanks Crest Foods for giving such a special reward for 10 years of service. It was a welcome and greatly appre- ciated trip! (Pictured left: Randy & Cindy Reuter)
Catching Up with the Accounting Department Accounting is excited to once again be fully staffed! We have worked to re-structure and staff our department to accommodate additional tasks and plan for Deb Harmon’s upcoming retirement. Welcome back Carol Milens! And welcome newcomers Kim, Rachael, Carynn and summer intern Krista! Feel free to stop by our office to say ‘Hi’! Kim previously interned with the Crest Consumer Products Lab while in high school and returned to Crest after working in the financial aid office at Sauk Valley Community College. Rachael is new to the accounting world as she begins her second profession after serving 14 years as a patrol officer. Carynn comes to Crest with previous pur- chasing and mortuary science experience. Oh boy the stories they have to tell! Krista will be here for the summer interning as she continues working towards her Accounting degree at NIU. Shirley Reif - Secretary/Treasurer, Deb Harmon - Financial Manager, Emily Smith - Accountant, Darcy Zera - Accounts Payable Supervisor, Carol Milens - Accounts Payable (Ingredients), Kim McClanahan - Accounts Receivable, Rachael Muszynski - Accountant , Carynn Puentes - Accounts Payable, Krista Heng - Intern
Rachel Muszynski, Kim McClanahan, Carynn Puentes & Krista Heng (left) The newcomers have already figured out how to torment Ed Baylor.
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Walking Club Returns!
Here we go again! With a short off-season, employees were ready to start up the Walking Club this spring. 60 of our 138 employee team ran or walked in the Make-A-Wish 5K in Dixon this May, and 60 employees participated in the Ashton Community Walk this June, which is a great start in our fundraising efforts for Sinnissippi Centers! More to come in the next issue. Hopefully lots of participation and a few Corporate Challenge wins to add to our trophy case.
Erika Meiners, Henry Bunger, Martin Vega, Matt Downing, Gary Evans, Aurora Abarca, Shauna Currier, Stephen Osborne, Carlos Buelvas, Natasha Pranga, Abby Lahman, Paul Simons, Martha Holder, Tina Johnson, Gay Huber, April Cover, Ben Fichter, Arthur Stark, Bob Logan, Becca Dodd, Glen White, Kristina McWethy, Val Smith, Chris Mooney, Jessica Fair, Carol Murphy, Cass Askegaard, Justin Guenther, Nina Sims, Gary Guenther, Lloyd Droege, Steve Meiners, Carynn Puentes, Steve Crook, Deven Sterbenz, Amber Lockrem, June Danekas, Nurse Heidi, Gary McCluskey
18 Crest Foods employees signed up to be on the tug-of-war team for the Tug Across the Rock Competi- tion at the Rockin’ River Fest in Oregon on June 16th. To say it was hot and difficult is an understate- ment, but they were able to hold their own as a team and ultimately place 3rd in the competition. Nicely done and we are looking forward to next year!
Tug Across the Rock
Keith & Catherine Larson, Alfonzo Alvarado, Chad Reed, Jim Smith, Trish & Jason Carter, Justin Guenther, Jessica Fair, Brandon Tate, Ben Lightner, Tim Wittenauer, Joe Neal, Trevor Ferry, Dylan Hanabarger, Mike Miller, Matthias Kemmeren & Tom Jones
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Max & Patty Ballard Crowned as Royalty
Crest employees who attended were Alfonso Alvarado, Stephanie Eich, Heidi McGlown, Max Ballard, Matt Harazin, Patty Ballard, Nathan Schubert, Kerry and Maureen Tumelson, Phyllis Ott, and Jennifer Eich.
King Max & Queen Patty Ballard
Saturday, April 28, 2018, Crest Foods employees attended the Dixon Post House Ballroom’s 7th Annual Spring Prom benefiting the Lee County Council on Aging. This fundraiser is for ages 21 – 212. People dress in jeans, slacks, pants, suits, tuxedos, spring dresses, formal dresses…it’s all up to you! A good time is guaranteed no matter what you wear. Super Red Hot DJ played hits from all the eras and took requests. There was a Grand March fol- lowed by crowning of the 2018 Spring King & Queen. Crowned as 2018’s King is Crest’s own Max Ballard (Ingredi- ent Division Technical Service Director). His Queen was his wife Patty Ballard. Next year, pencil this fun event in your calendar! It is for a great cause and you are guaranteed to have a good time.
Summer Help Elias Lara, Colton Moore, Jorge Mandujano, Madison Williams, Trey Winkler, Marcelo Aguillar, Jesus Aguillar, Ethan Drew, Grace Friday, Roman Saldana, Jessye Davis-Holcomb, Juanita Saldana, Trinity Ingalls, Alyssa Carter & Dominic Blackburn. (Not pictured) Jaqueline Becerra, & Jon Henrikson Crest was able to employ 17 kids, grandkids or siblings of employees this summer in our Production Department. In addition to those 17, we hired four interns to work with us this summer: Krista Heng (Accounting), Marcelo Aguillar (Machine Shop), Cody Rogers (IT), and Tiffany Clevenger (Maintenance).
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Bike to Work Day
Several adventurous employees took the challenge for the Rock River Valley Bicycle Club’s 6th Annual Richard Mardauss Ride to Work Challenge on May 18. Pictured are three of those people who each rode over 15 miles to work from their respective towns of Dixon and Oregon, IL. This ‘Day’ is sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists and celebrated in communities from cost to coast. National Bike Month was established in 1956, be- lieve it or not! It was to showcase the many benefits of bicycling and encourage more people to give biking a try. We ended up having six employees ride their bikes to work that day: (pictured) Matthias Kemmeren, Alfonzo Alvarado, Jessica Fair, (not pictured) Gary Guenther, Al Kvool and Ed Baylor.
Bike Ogle Donation
Recently, Crest Foods and Beesing Welding worked together to donate their time and materials to make a Bike Ogle sign to promote Bike Ogle County. Special thanks to Rob Osborne in our Machine Shop for the welding and paint- ing. In addition to the sign, Bike Ogle has also put up multipte stations around town where bicyclists can stop to fix their bikes or pump up their tires. The pictured sign has been set up outside of the Ogle County Courthouse in Oregon, Illinois and includes one of these bike stations. Based in Oregon, Illinois, Bike Ogle is a website organized by local bike enthusiasits who work to promote biking on our quiet roads with beautiful views Northern Illinois. Routes are based on activity level and are designed to show off Ogle County and include historic sites, river views, rolling fields, lush woods, quaint towns and bison! This group also works to give back to the community through their annual TOSOC event in September, with all proceeds benefiting the Village of Progress in Oregon. To learn more about Bike Ogle, contact Mark McWethy or Ed Baylor or visit their website: www.bikeogle.org
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Our Sympathy Our condolences to John (Maintenance B), Kathy (Production B), and Felicia (Production B) Messenger on the loss of Angie Messenger. Our condolences to Kathy (Production B) and Vaden Lansford on the loss of Vaden’s mother, Vada Lansford.
Congratulations to Anthony Walsh (Ingredient A) and Evening Kennedy (Production A) on the birth of their son, Kalvin Alexander. Kalvin arrived May 3rd and was 9 lbs 4 oz and 23” long. He was welcomed home by big brother Zayden. Congratulations to the happy family! Gaven (Consumer Products Manager) and Tracy Mein- ers are excited to announce the arrival of Kaelyn Jae Meiners! Kaelyn arrived May 25th and was 8 lbs and 20 1/2” long. She is welcomed home by big sister, Brileigh, age 2. Garett Meiners (Compliance Manager) and wife, Can- dace, welcomed a son, Tanner Steven Meiners on June 2nd. Tanner weighed 8 lbs 12 oz and was 21 inches long. He is welcomed by big sister Drew, age 9, and big brother, Ryder, age 7. Congratulations to proud grandparents Steve and Mary Meiners on their TWO new grandbabies, Kaelyn and Tanner! Thank You Thank you so much for the plant that was sent to the hospital. We truly appreciate it. Also thank you to my co-workers for the baby shower you had for me. It was perfect. Abby Lahman (Production A) Thank you for the plant after my surgery. It was very much appreciated. Mark Hussey (Ingredient Warehouse A) Thank you for the wonderful donation. Vern always enjoyed working for you. The family of Vern Lundberg Crest Foods Team: I love you all and thanks for your support. Spider Dan (Warehouse B). Congratulations A big congratulations to our employees Natasha Pranga (Production B) and Kameron Pretzsch (Production B) on their marriage! The couple married on March 31st. Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Pretzsch!
Sexy, Dennis Horton’s (Sanitation C Supervisor) dog, after having made a couple of appearances in the Crest Ink, sadly passed away at the age of 14 years. “We had Sexy 14 years, and if you look at his picture, you will understand why his name is Sexy. He will be greatly missed” said Dennis. New Arrivals
Welcome Grayson Charles Maronde! Grayson was born March 15th and was 5 lbs 8 oz and 17 3/4 “long. He is the son of Jerry (Maintenance B) and Amber Maronde. Congratulations to the happy family! Nancy (QA A) and John Gleissner are happy to an- nounce the arrival of their grandson, Townes Wilder Leusch. Townes was welcomed by parents Jamie and Eric Leusch on March 22nd and was 7 lbs 4 oz and 20” long. Congratulations! Tucker Lewis Lahman was welcomed by proud parents Abby (Production A) and Justin Lahman and grandpar- ents Georgia (Production A) and Gerry (Warehouse A) Temmen. Tucker arrived March 28th at 8 lbs 1 oz and 21” long. Congratulations, everyone! Congratulations to Mark Johnson (District Sales Man- ager) and his wife Leslie on becoming first time grand- parents. Their son, Carl, and wife, Brooke, welcomed baby Rhette Michael Johnson on May 25th. Rhette weighed 9 lbs 15 oz and was 22 inches long. Congratulations to Pam Kelley (Scheduling Manager) & her husband, Russell, on their new grandson, Tanner!
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Congratulations Congratulations to Dusty Koch (Building Maintenance) and Jennifer Hamilton on the May 12th marriage! Congratulations to Victoria Hampton on her 8th grade graduation! Victoria will be attending Rochelle Township High School in the fall and she is the daughter of Julie Tomblin (QA B). Congratulations from Mom, Jeremy, and Madison. Congratulations to Wade Lyles on graduating from high school! Wade will be attending the University of Kentucky to study Mechanical Engineering. He is the son of Jim (Mix A) and Celeste Lyles. Congratulations to Devereaux Davis, who is being pro- moted from the 8th grade at Harmony Middle, Hamilton, Virginia, where he was an honor student. He will be at- tending Woodgrove High School in Purcellville, Virginia. We wish you the best! From Grama Cheri Kemp (Benefits Manager) and Grampa.
Congratulations to Garrett Drew, son of Jason (Building Maintenance) and Jenny (Scheduling) Drew, on his high school graduation! Garrett will be participating in our Col- lege Program and attending SVCC to study education. Congratulations and welcome to Crest Foods! Congratulations to Elijah McGlown and Kyarra McGlown on their graduations! They are the children of our Nurse Heidi and her husband Keith. Elijah graduated from high school and he has been accepted to the University of Wis- consin Platteville where he will play football and major in Mechanical Engineering. Kyarra graduated from 8th grade and will start at Dixon High School in the fall. Congratula- tions to you both!
Congratulations to team Crest Foods for winning the 30 & over basketball league! Pictured employ- ees are Keith Larson, Jerry Sikkema, Joe Neal & Mike Spencer.
Jackie Skrogstad, Mikayla Cox & Marisa Lopez
Ryan, Kristina & baby Carter McWethy
Can you say babies?! Recently it’s been a flurry of cakes, diapers and baby gifts as potluck dinners and baby showers were held for Jackie Skrogstad (Production B), Mikayla Cox (Production B), Marisa Lopez (QA B), Evening Kennedy (Production A) and Kristina McWethy (Marketing). All the mom’s to be will be well stocked with some cute clothes and plenty of diapers (for a while anyway) for their baby. Congratulations to everyone!
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Vern Lundberg passed away March 16, 2018. Vern was the owner and manager of Lundberg Construction who had been our primary contractor at Crest for over 20 years. Vern, his son in law Steve Miley and their crew are responsible for building all of the Crest and Karlin facilities on Route 38 West of Ashton. This area was a corn field when they started and it is currently home to over 1 million square feet of buildings…that translates to more than 23 acres of land under roof. In Memory of Vern Lundberg Thirty years and two months after starting work at Crest Foods in the Mainte- nance Department as a Line Mechanic, Lynn Spangler decided to hang up his tool belt. Fondly known as Spanky by his co-workers, Lynn was a familiar face on second shift as he worked his way through problems that were keeping our production lines from running at their peak. Spanky thought he was going to get away without any fanfare but when he made a quick visit his co-workers were pre- pared with a cake to commemorate his time at Crest Foods. Lynn, thank you for thirty years with the company, and we wish you well with much enjoyment in your retirement. Mornie Snodgrass started her career at Crest Foods on June 5th, 1973 work- ing in our Production Department. She has worked her way through many departments over the years, but finds herself celebrating 45 years with the com- pany as a part of the Scheduling Department, her home for the last 20 years. Co-workers brought in flowers and donuts to celebrate Morine’s 45th anniversary this June. Congratulations and thank you, Morine! Happy 45 Years, Morine!
Vern was a little gruff and never shy to voice his opinion, but his word was as good as gold and we valued him as a true business partner who was very much a part of the Crest family. Vern and Steve have both passed and Lundberg Construction is no longer an entity, but they have made a lasting impression on those at Crest that they have touched and will always be fondly remembered. Our condolences and well wishes go out to his family…Rest in peace Vern.
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Congratulations to the following employees for obtaining new jobs at Crest over the last few months!
Jason Prendergast Ingredient Division Purchasing Assistant
Peggy Dill Consumer Products Lab Administrative Assistant
Olgert Refatllari Maintenance Mechanic B-Shift
CIP 2018 3rd Quarter Winners The Continuous Improvement Program (CIP) is a program where employees submit suggestions on ways they think we can improve Crest Foods. These suggestions may help improve overall efficiency, employee safety, sanita- tion, record keeping, maintenance and various other areas around Crest Foods. We received 24 suggestions from employees for the 3rd quarter. Thank you to everyone for participating! Guy Covell, Truck Driver A-Shift 3rd Quarter 1st Place • $250
Guy came up with the idea to use an extended bar to help open and close truck trailer doors. This would help to have leverage and control of items that are hard to open and close. Great idea to help with safety! We have since had one made for every truck.
Adam Giese, Maintenance B-Shift 3rd Quarter Runner Up • $150
Adam pointed out that all of our flammable cabinets at the West Facility should be grounded in order to prevent static electricity and a fire hazard. Great idea and attention to safety! We are working on a plan to get this implemented as soon as possible.
Dylan Hanabarger, Mix B-Shift 3rd Quarter Runner Up • $150
Dylan’s idea was to lower the mixer dust collector and attach a support rod to the catwalk railing. This would make it much easier to clean out dust collectors during washes. Great idea. A prototype has been made and we will look into modifying all other mixers.
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New EAP Counselor by TJ Schoonover, M.S.Ed., LPC, NCC, Sinnissippi Centers
I started being the EAP counselor for Crest in July 2017 and since then it has been a great experience. It is with a heavy heart that I have to let you all know that I will no longer be the EAP counselor for Crest. At the end of July I will be leaving the area and going back to school. Starting on July 24, 2018 Ashley Koza will become the new EAP counselor for Crest. Ashley is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who works out of the Oregon office for Sinnissip- pi Centers. Ashley has experience working children and adults. If you would like to schedule an appointment to see Ashley, please call the Sinnissippi Centers Oregon office at 815-732-3157 .
Ashley is the new EAP (Employee Assistance Program) Counselor at Crest Foods. This free & confidential service is offered to employees on Tuesdays from 12:00pm - 4:00pm. Please give Ashley a call (815-732-3157) to set up an appointment, or stop by during her office hours at the Ashton Clinic on Rte 38. I have enjoyed my time as the EAP counselor and appreciate getting to know you all! Ashley will be a great fit and I hope that you all will get the chance to get to know her as well.
Nurses Corner: Sun Protection by Nurse Heidi McGlown, RN
The summer sun is finally here! And if you’re like me, you love to be outside enjoying the nice weather. But, we have to remember to protect ourselves when we do. Did you know that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the US? UV rays are believed to damage connective tissue and increase the risk for developing skin cancer. Enjoy the sunshine this summer, but please remember to do it SAFELY! Here are some tips to help protect you from too much sun: •Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun when possible. •Wear sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 15. ◦SPF refers to how long a person will be protected from a burn. (SPF 15 means a person can stay in the sun 15-times longer before burning.) SPF only refers to UVB protection. ◦To protect against UVA, look for products containing: Mexoryl, Parsol 1789, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, or avo- benzone. ◦Sunscreen performance is affected by wind, humidity, perspiration, and proper application. ◦Throw away sunscreens after 1–2 years (they lose potency). ◦Apply liberally (minimum of 1 oz) at least 20 minutes before sun exposure. ◦Don‘t forget to apply to ears, scalp, lips, neck, tops of feet, and backs of hands. ◦Reapply at least every 2 hours and each time a person gets out of the water or perspires heavily. ◦Some sunscreens may lose their effectiveness when applied with insect repellents. You may need to reapply. •Wear clothing with a tight weave or high-SPF clothing. •Wear wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses with UV protection and side panels. •Take breaks in shaded areas.
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Employee Loan Program Turns 25 by Erika Meiners We’ve seen many programs come and go at Crest Foods, but there’s one program that has been consistently popu- lar for the last 25 years – the Employee Loan Program. The reason this program was started back in January of 1993 is the same reason that we have the program today: Crest had a strong concern for the well-being of its em- ployees, and wanted to provide a program that would give them an opportunity to get a loan when they needed it. Another program that was popular in 1993 was The Pop Fund. This was set up to use proceeds from our vending machines to send flowers to employees who were in the hospital or for employees going through hardships. We still use this fund (Benevolence Fund) for the same things today, but 25 years ago they noticed that there were many situations that put people into financial difficulty, but weren’t the type of hardship situation that the fund was set up to help with. Thus, the idea for the Employee Loan Program was born. Crest Foods helped to set up and co-sign on loans of up to $5000.00 for employees through the First State Bank of Shannon. Employees could get a loan for 1 of the 5 reasons: Purchase of primary residence/home improvements; purchase of main form of transportation; education expenses; unreimbursed medical expenses; or a financial dif- ficulty. Everything is still the same today, except they initially put a cap on the available funds. What started as a fund of $150,000, quickly got bumped to $200,000 just 1 year later due to its popularity. Employees were put on waiting lists and had to wait until there was enough money paid off from other employees until they could get their loan processed. In just the first 2 months alone, Crest had processed 32 loans for employees totaling $120,000! Somewhere along the way, the cap was eliminated and we did away with the waiting list. Not much else about the program has changed over the years with exception to the administrative process. Through my research, the origi- nal administrator, Mary Bonnell of the Accounting Department, continually wrote about fax machines and the won- derful world of technology! I’m sure in another 25 years, someone will read this and laugh about how nice it is to transmit loan files through a secure website, but it’s really become a quick and stream-lined process thanks to ditch- ing that once beloved fax machine! To date Crest Foods has co-signed on about 950 loans with employees! It makes it easy to keep a program going when you see how many people it helps, and we look forward to continuing this employee benefit for years to come. Thanks to those who thought to start it up 25 years ago.
The R&D Lab at Crest saved their milk jugs instead of sending them over to the recycle bin for a project over at the Franklin Grove Library this summer. Mandi Kersten (Cus- tomer Service) hauled them all over and helped make this milk jug igloo for one of the themes for their reading program. Their summer reading program is “Reading Takes You Everywhere” so they came up with 4 stations for their magic bus to take the kids: the igloo is located at the Artic Location, and they will also have Under the Sea, Dino Jungle, and the Franklin Grove Reading Rocket.
The ponds at the West Warehouse have long been the home to numerous families of geese. Ben Fichter (Sanitation A) was able to capture this picture of mama and goslings as they enjoyed their time on the waters of Crest Foods.
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2018 Give Back Program
Crest Foods was happy to welcome four local high schools to participate in our Give Back Program this year. Students from Ashton Franklin Center High School, Dixon High School, Oregon High School and Rochelle Township High School spent an afternoon this May presenting their charities of choice to a room of Crest employees and competing for cash prizes to donate. By the time it was all over, students had won $6000 to donate to their charities! With participation growing, and the level of presentations increasing over the years, it was an easy decision to award these students with the most money that we ever have. Dixon High School was awarded $1250 for their presentation about the National Alliance
AFC: Sierra Harris, Nathaniel Ramirez, Ethan Drew, Nathan Page & Garrett Drew. RTHS: Sarena Aballah, DiQuan Ishmon, Erin Bergeson, Ande Madsen & Kanaan Childers. OHS: Bailey Nelson, Isabelle Nelson,
Isabella Tranchina, Cristina Tranchina & Mady Russell. DHS: Kaitlyn Pfeiffer, Emma Johnson & Emily Drew
on Mental Illness (NAMI). Key Club members Kaitlyn Pfeiffer, Emma Johnson, and Emily Drew talked about the education, support and advocacy that NAMI provides for residents in the Sauk Valley area. The Key Club has helped with fundraisers in the past, most notably NAMI’s Annual 5K Run/Walk. Oregon High School was awarded $1250 to donate to Serenity Hospice and Home in Oregon. Key Club members Bailey Nelson, Isabelle Nelson, Isabella Tranchina, Cristina Tranchina and Mady Russell reminded us of the im- portance of having such a wonderful resource and facility in our area. They included many testimonials and talked about their recent Service Day spent at the Serenity Hospice Shed repurposing furniture to be sold as a fundraiser. Any money won during the Give Back Program would be used to improve the facilities at both the Home and Shed. AFC High School was awarded $1500 for their presentation about the Ashton Lions Club. Sierra Harris, Nathaniel Ramirez, Ethan Drew, Nathan Page & Garrett Drew from the FFA were on a mission to win money to help repair the roof of the Lions Club building in Ashton or use it for the Lions Annual Kids Christmas Shopping Trip. With over 1 million members nationally, the small group of 30 Lions Club members in Ashton supports their community by providing eye glasses recycling, monetary assistance for children who need eye glasses and taking children Christ- mas shopping. The AFC FFA helps support this group by using their building for meetings and events. Lastly, Rochelle Township High School was awarded $2000 to donate to the Amazing Grace Organization in DeKalb. Sarena Aballah, DiQuan Ishmon, Erin Bergeson, Ande Madsen, Kanaan Childers all members of the RTHS Student Council, explained the impact that the Amazing Grace Organization has on patients battling cancer in northern Illinois. These students have helped to raise money for the organization by serving food and cleaning at their annual Culvers Night, and by participating in the Mr. Hub competition at RTHS. Funds raised help send care packages that foster hope and encouragement to cancer patients in the area. We want to thank all of the students and schools for participating in the competition this year and for ultimately getting so involved in giving back to organizations in their communities!
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Reminders from the Payroll Office by Susan Larson Fiscal Year End Reviews & Bonuses. By printing time of the Crest Ink all yearly reviews will be on their way to completion or completed. This is a busy time of year for department managers, but also for the Payroll of- fice. I’d like to explain the employee review process, give some stats from last year, and answer some frequently asked questions. In 2017 there were 555 reviews completed for Crest hourly employees. For 2018 that number is about the same, so please be patient while waiting for your supervisor to speak with you on your results, especially for the bigger departments. For 2017 the bonus dollars paid out to Crest Foods hourly employees was over $560,000 . This number included regular bonus dollars (based on your division) and incentive bonuses paid out to employees who were capped in their current salary range and scored between a 4 and 5 on their review. To qualify to receive your bonus, you must be an active employee on July 31st and have enough qualifying worked hours in the fiscal year. These bonuses are paid out in the form of a “check” and are not direct deposited into your normal account. Bonus checks are handed out personally by a member of the Meiners family during your work day on Tuesday, July 31st. How do you know if you qualify for a cap bonus? Upon receiving reviews back from the various departments, I begin entering scores into a master employee sheet which will look at your current rate of pay vs current and new pay scales. This process identifies the employees who were in the capped salary area last year, and also those who met a capped hourly wage last year. Employees do not qualify for this bonus on the year that your hourly wage hits the top of the pay grade that you are in. You must complete a whole year at that pay rate. The next step in the qualification is to determine what each of those employees received for a final review score and whether it meets the current year’s scoring requirement. In prior years this has been a final score equal to 4, 4.5 or 5. For each em- ployee who meets the scoring requirement, we then figure each employee’s yearly base salary (ex. $15.00 x 2080 = $31,200.00) then multiply that number by the percentage assigned to their score. Contract Packaging Division employees should watch the bulletin boards in each building where there is a posting that is updated every 4 to 5 weeks with an estimate of where your gross bonus is during the fiscal year. For the Cor- porate & Ingredient Divisions the bonus dollars are determined by the Crest Foods Board of Directors meeting and is c oordinated with your employee review score and regular hours worked during the fiscal year. Annual Incentive Raises. Traditionally, the first Monday of August Crest Foods gives out incentive raises based on the final review score that you receive on your annual performance review. The raise percentages each year are determined by the Crest Foods Board of Directors. Postings for the August 6th raises will be posted in July. These raises will go into effect on August 6th and you will then see them on the check you receive August 17th. A question that I am asked frequently is how this works if you are close to the top of your pay scale? So the following is an example: Any employee who reaches the top of their pay scale may not see the full percentage amount and only go to the top of their pay scale. An example would be if your current rate of pay is at $14.50 and the top of your pay scale is $15.00 and you receive a score of a 5 which is determined to be a 5% raise this would equal out to a $.73 per hour increase you will be capped out at $15.00 and only receive $.50 for this raise. For those of you who work B or C shift is that the raise is calculated off of your base pay rate not including your shift pre- mium. If you have any questions on this process and how it works please stop by my office or call me (ext 235).
July, August & September 2018 Crest Ink 15
2018 March Madness Charity Competition Our 2018 March Charity Madness competition started out like every other year. 64 customer teams were assigned a seed at random with the goal of making it to the final four. All final four teams, plus one wild card team drawn at random, were rewarded with a donation by Crest to the charity of their choice in their company’s honor. This year, however, we were able to touch more charities than ever! Below are the organizations that benefitted.
Children’s Miracle Network works to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible by providing funds to 170 member children’s hos- pitals. The unrestricted donations are often used to fund critical treatments and healthcare services, pediatric med- ical equipment and charitable care.
DonorsChoose.org is a nationwide nonprofit that supports a wide va- riety of public school classroom projects in need of funding. All March Charity Madness partici- pants were provided with a $10 do- nation code to use in support of a classroom project of their choice!
The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humani- tarian crises and helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, re- cover, and gain control of their future.
Mary’s Place empowers homeless women, children and families to take control of their lives by meeting basic needs such as hygiene, shelter, food, and clothing; and providing access to tools, information, support groups and resources to find employment, hous- ing, medical, and financial services. The Foundation provides financial assistance to Buffalo and Albany, NY area individuals and organiza- tions for post secondary educational services (scholarships), law enforce- ment and emergency responders, and community organizations in- volved in youth sports and fami- lies living with the challenges of a family member with special needs.
The Mission Continues empowers veterans who are adjusting to life at home to find purpose through community impact. By deploying veterans on new missions in their communities, their actions will in- spire future generations to serve. In total, $6,750 was donated to these organizations as part of our March Charity Madness contest. Thank you to all of our participants!
Liberty’s Kitchen provides pathways for New Orleans youth to create and achieve their vision of success through foodservice-based workforce training, leadership development, and support of healthy lifestyles.
The vision of Shining Star Chil- dren’s Advocacy Center is to reduce the trauma of child sexual and se- rious physical abuse through early identification of child victims, hold- ing offenders accountable, provid- ing victims and families with com- petent advocacy and counseling services, and community education.
16 Crest Ink July, August & September 2018
Haiti Mission Trip by Pete Bullock, Senior District Sales Manager, Ingredient Division
This past April my wife, Jan and I, took a 7 day trip to the country of Haiti with 5 members from our church. The purpose of the trip was to provide sup- port to the Upper Room Orphanage and help with the local communities in any way possible. Jan and I were very moved by our trip. Visiting the country and people of Haiti was a truly unique experience that we will never forget. The country is physically a beautiful island with rolling hills and mountain- ous terrain surrounded by gorgeous light blue water, very similar to most Caribbean islands. That being said it didn’t take long as we drove from Port Au Prince airport to the The Mission of Hope (MOH)
Pete & Jan Bullock with the children of Upper Room Orphanage
facility in Titanyen to see the vast level of poverty that has engulfed this nation. We experienced this first hand when we spent time engaging with the people in the villages and orphanages. It’s hard to describe the great need the people have. The need for a better infrastructure in Haiti is very evident. Many areas of the country do not have running water, sewage, or waste disposal – no municipalities to pick up the trash. Receiving medical treatment is not so easy for many Haitians, often they can’t afford to pay the doctors and therefore go untreated. Medical Clinics are located throughout the island, but they are few and far between. The Mission of Hope facility runs a clinic where the locals can pay $1.00 and receive medical care and treatment. The Haitian people are very friendly, polite, courteous, talented, and artistic. They truly have a strong sense of com- munity, and help their neighbors in time of need. Unfortunately in Haiti there just aren’t enough decent job oppor- tunities to fulfill some of the people’s most basic needs. Haiti needs a major infusion of good leadership, something they have not had for some time. For this reason they will continue to need the support of church’s and charitable organizations throughout North America and around the world to help support this nation. While in Haiti we conducted some one on one home visits helping to minster to the people of Labodri, and were able to spend time in a farming community in Turpin which is supported by the Mission of Hope organization. We packaged food (rice and beans) for the Upper Room Orphanage and delivered food supplies to another very needy orphanage in the town of Cabaret. We would definitely have to say our favorite part of the trip was spend- ing time with the children of the Upper Room Orphanage, along with Papa Josy and Mama Kerlin who run the orphanage. These two are truly remarkable people who have opened their home to 33 children now. On top of that they run a school with well over 300 children that’s located adjacent to the Orphanage. We will never forget the look on the children’s faces and getting to know them. Some of the new children at the Upper Room Orphanage were sleeping on dirt floors. While in the town of Corail we were able to help buy some steel frames and hire some weld- ers to help build a couple more bunk bed assemblies that housed 3 beds each. They also repaired some of the exist- ing bunks that were damaged from normal wear and tear. With money from our church and supporters we were able to purchase new mattresses and sheets for all of the children. The children had fun decorating plaques we pur- chased for each bunk as well. We also purchased 3 fruit bearing trees and planted these in their yard (mango, papaya, cherry). We introduced the children to baseball, and gave them a quick lesson about the game. On one of our village trips we were joined by Carson Wentz and Zak Ertz from the Philadelphia Eagles, along with 3 other players from their team and two of their Pastors. These were all great guys with a true heart of compassion for the Haitian people. All in all it was a trip we will not soon forget. The Haitian people have left a lasting impres- sion on our hearts. We plan to go back again and will gladly continue to support this worthy cause.
July, August & September 2018 Crest Ink 17
Where are They Now? Featuring: Ken & Nancy Fischbach by Cheri Kemp Long before tiny home living was a trend, Ken & Nancy Fischbach were already doing it in the form of their RV motorhome. Ken & Nancy lived full time in their RV “for ten years solid” as Ken said, after retiring in January 2000. I was able to
speak with the two of them on the phone recently and could tell they were very content in their retirement and in their now permanent home in Phoenix, Arizona. That new permanent home is still a ‘tiny home’ and is called a Park Model home located in a park with 500+ park model homes in it. “We have a club house and an activity cen- ter. There wasn’t one vacant space in the park this winter” said Ken. Ken began working at Crest Foods in September 1970 and Nancy in January 1973. Many, many years later, Ken said “one night Nancy came to me and said ‘I want to sell everything and go on the road.’ I almost fell on the floor! I then asked her if I was invited to go along! We made the decision (to retire & travel) and haven’t looked back. We had a smaller RV for 3 to 4 years before we retired and enjoyed it so much. We would spend weekends in our RV somewhere close by so when we made the decision to go on the road, we bought a bigger RV and decided we would live in it full time!” Nancy chimed in and said “we sold our house and everything in it at auction after we retired in January 2000. By March 2000 we were on the road. You know what? It is a very small world. I could write a book on people we have met who know of Crest Foods, or Ashton, or where we went to school, or know someone we know. We made so many friends as we traveled and when we were traveling to their area, we had a place to stay and visit these new friends. We never had a bad time in our 10 years spent traveling. It was perfect. Just perfect. We visited every National Park and every Presidential Library. We might have been on our way to some destination and if we changed our minds, we just went with it. We went wherever the wind took us.” “I wouldn’t do anything different” said Ken. “People need to realize how short life is. I see lots of guys working 40 years. They should retire 10 years earlier and have some fun. Don’t forget to put in there (in the article) that I do a lot of golf. I want the guys to be jealous! I even used to Marshal on the golf course for Pro Golf tournaments!” With a lap top computer in tow, Nancy Fischbach found the time to finish a genealogy project she had spent 20 years researching prior to retiring. “I spent the first 10 years of our travels putting it all into the computer. It covers Ken’s and my families and goes back to 1620,” said Nancy. Ken added that there is now a copy of this in the Mor- mon Library and Nancy also sent a copy to her home town library in Morrison, Illinois. Now that Ken & Nancy are stationary they have each found something to occupy their time. Ken, as he mentioned, plays a lot of golf. Nancy has learned how to thwart the Javelina’s (a type of small wild boar) that roam in Arizona by building flower pots that are raised off the ground. “Those little buggers like to eat my flowers! I stack large flower pots together to make tall pots, then get stones from the creek behind our house and cover the pots with the stones. Now people are buying them from me because they like them so much and the Javelina’s can’t reach the flowers!” In the early 1970’s, when Ken & Nancy first started at Crest Foods, as you can imagine, it was a much smaller place than it is now. Ken first started in Mix which was located in the downtown Ashton building (now known as the North Plant) at a time when Crest only had 20 or 25 employees. He then became a production manager for two
18 Crest Ink July, August & September 2018
years after which he transferred to the Warehouse where he moved up the ladder. Nancy started as a line worker on one of the few production lines that Crest had at that time. She eventually went to 2nd shift in Quality Control and finally to 1st shift QC where she worked for Marty Barclay for 2 or 3 years before she retired. As each of their chil- dren grew up, they all took a turn at working at Crest Foods once they were old enough. “We are both in good health and want everyone to know that we truly are proud of our time spent at Crest Foods. Thank you!” We wish the Fischbach’s the best and may the 4 winds continue to bless them in their retirement years. 2018 College Program at Crest Foods
This summer, we welcomed 10 new employees as part of our College Program at Crest Foods. They join the 16 employees who are currently in the program. Through the college program, Crest Foods pays the student’s in-dis- trict tuition to an Illinois community college in exchange for part-time, paid employment. Currently, students are spending three nights a week working on Crest’s second shift in production, while also working toward their degrees at Sauk Valley Community College, Kishwaukee Community College, and Northern Illinois University. While students work part-time during the school year, they are also guaranteed full time employment during the summer months while they are active in the program. New to the program are: Garrett Drew, Cody Ebens, Jasmin Galvan, Alyssa Gascoigne, Hunter Kvool, Jennifer Lopez-Perez, Eric Sanders, Michael Thopmson, Austin Wilson and William Zacarias. Welcome to Crest Foods! Jacob Nelson, brother of Ben Nelson (Ingredient Production C), will soon be heading out on a solo coast-to-coast cycling trip across the United States to raise money and awareness for pancreatic cancer. He’s partnered with The Lustgarten Foundation, which was created to advance the scientific and medical research related to the diagnosis, treatment, cure and prevention of pancreatic cancer, with a goal of raising $10,000 to donate. Anyone can donate through the foundation website (www.lustgarten.org/nelson) or follow along on his blog (https://jnk8705.wixsite.com/mysite).
With a start date of June 16th, he’s planned his route to take him through Dixon, Illinois on Wednesday, July 11th (tentatively) and hopes that the trip will conclude around July 27th. We wish you the best of luck on your journey, Jacob! (pictured: Jacob & Ben Nelson)
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