Volume 29 • Number 04 October, November & December 2017 Ashton, IL 61006
Year End Celebration by Cheri Kemp
On a warm and sunny August 8th, we celebrated a successful fiscal year 2017 as a company under the big tent.
cel•e•bra•tion noun; the action of marking one’s pleasure at an important event or occasion by engaging in enjoy- able, typically social, activity. This is the definition of Celebration when you ‘google’ that word. And on a beautiful day in August, Crest Foods filled the definition of celebration with perfect weather, great food, awesome door prizes and time away from work for all employees. At the end of our fiscal year, which is July 31, we take a moment to reflect on what has come and gone in the prior 12 months. It is all these successes, due to the hard work of each and every employee, which lead up to celebrating a year that is now over, and start working toward another successful 12 months. Thank you to each employee for being the face of Crest Foods and thank you to each of the suppliers, listed on the next page, who took a part in making our celebration a wonderful event. Many employees were treated to some pretty nice door prizes from these suppliers. We even had quite a number of our suppliers present to either wield a long fork to cook steak or chicken; stand in line to serve employees; donate items or just be present to see what our big celebration is all about.
In This Issue
Year End CIP Winners page 3
Getting to Know Sanitation B-Shift page 4 New EAP Counselor page 17
During the dinner, winners of the year end CIP program were announced and presented with their BIG check to represent the sum of money they won. The CIP program is a reward program for employee ideas on making improvements to work processes or safety at Crest Foods. More information on the winners can be found on the next page. Our event would not have been complete without the contributions of each of the companies listed to the right. Again, thank you for your continued generosity!
A & B Freight Accurate Business A-L-L Equipment AmPak Area Mechanical Batory Foods CDW CLM Covington of Illinois Culvers Ice Cream (Dixon) Cream City Scale Dayton Freight Double D Express Englewood Electric Equipment Depot FormStart Grainger Great Lakes Milk Headon’s Catering (Creston) Holland Freight Ingredient Solutions Ingredion (Tom Hanson) JM Swank Lonza Majestic Packaging Manpower Mettler Toledo MIR Mitsubishi-International Motion Industries Orbis Pallet Maxx P.B. Leiner Prairie State Packaging Quality Transport RedZone R.K. Dixon Ryder Transportation R.V. Evans Sheboygan Paperbox Co. Silva St. Charles Trading Steiner Supply Works Team Eagle Twin City Energy XPO Logistics Thank You to our suppliers:
Mike, Jeff, Garett, Gaven, Brandon and Steve Meiners grilling up steaks for employees. (right) Culvers Ice Cream for dessert
(left) Brandon Dodrill, (right) Mavrick McMeekan, (below) Erskine Sturges & Marshall Pankhurst
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2017 CIP Annual Winners Announced!
The Crest Foods Continuous Improvement Program (CIP) successfully completed its 25th year on July 31, 2017. With 82 suggestions to choose from, the Suggestion Committee had a tough task of choosing this year’s annual winners. Many sugges- tions have been implemented throughout the year, and some proved to be great sug- gestions and ideas from our employees. Thank you to everyone who participated in the program this year! At the Year End Celebreation, we were happy to announce that this year’s Grand Prize Winner was Mike Spencer from A-Shift Mix! His suggestion was to come up with a way to prevent defaults such as smize time, shortening extrusion and oil pump time from happening in a power outtage. This prevents smizing, shortening or oil from going into batches when they aren’t supposed to when the power comes back on. This has been implemented and is working great. He received $1000.00 for his suggestion. Congratulations, and thank you!
Ben Esgar, Maintenance B-Shift 1st Runner Up • $500.00
Ben’s idea was to use an Excel spreadsheet as a tool for maintenance and set-up to figure out the ideal size of inserts and cups for our volumetric cup fillers. This proved to be a great and creative idea that has been put into trial. Sam McBride, Ingredient Division Production C-Shift 2nd Runner Up • $250.00 Sam’s idea was to simplify the lockout procedure by installing an electronic automatic dump valve on air supply lines for bagger systems. Connect the valve to the main lockout switch so that when the switch is off, the valve releases system air pressure. This took minimal cost and is a time saver. It’s been implemented and is working great!
2017 Magic Waters Outing On July 15, Crest Foods employees, along with their families and friends made it up to Magic Waters Waterpark for our annual outing. 671 tickets were sold this year, which is a great turnout for us, but still keeps the lines and wait time to a minimum. Thanks to Crest employees, family and friends who came out for a nice night at the waterpark! Pictured to the right is the family of our nurse, Heidi McGlown: Elijah (son), Mekhi (nephew), Dentrell (son), Naomi (grand- daughter), Kyarra (daughter), Darius (nephew), Shakia (daughter) and Kenny (son)
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Getting to Know Sanitation B-Shift Their group may be small, but their impact is mighty. The 10 employees (there were only 9 at the time this printed) who make up the B-Shift Sanitation crew at Crest Foods essentially support all 40 Contract Packaging production lines and complete general housekeeping for many of our buildings. Packaging Sanitation functions on three shifts as a support department for Contract Packaging Operations. They are one of a handful of support departments that enables us to keep our production lines running. Seven of the 10 employees in the B-Shift group are the people that you see out on the production floor. While their day is never the same, it mostly revolves around changeovers, which is making sure equipment is cleaned as quickly and efficient- ly as possible when changing from one product or flavor to another. On average, the Sanitation Department per- forms about 50 changeovers on a weekly basis, with 1/3 of them typically taking place on the B-Shift. When not doing changeovers, you can find this versatile crew working on Master Cleans and miscellaneous odd jobs which could range from recycling to setting up tables and chairs for celebrations and meetings. Container Manage- ment rounds out their list of responsibilities, meaning they help in the task of keeping about 500 “containers” washed and flowing through both the Mix and Production Departments. Three of the 10 employees in this group are then responsible for keeping all of our office and common areas clean. Their large turf includes the West Warehouse, North Plant, Consumer Products Lab, Machine Shop and Main Plant. With a lot of ground to cover and lines to support, this group is an extremely necessary part of the production process. Whether they are keeping our hallways and bathrooms clean or they are washing equipment, we need them in order to function the way we want to at Crest Foods. We appreciate their collective efforts as a group to give us a clean place to work and help us produce the best quality food products that we can.
Abed Alfarraj Time @ Crest Foods: 3 months
Interests? Video games, hanging out with friends, going on trips, and basketball. 1 thing most people don’t know about you? I was born in Jordan and came to the US when I was 9 years old.
Harley Brandel Time @ Crest Foods: 1 year Interests? Hunting, building mud trucks, and racing demo derby cars 1 thing most people don’t know about you? I have a collec- tion of at least 400 white tail deer antler sheds.
Arial Burke Time @ Crest Foods: 2 months Interests? Guitar, skate boarding, cooking and baking 1 thing most people don’t know about you? My girlfriend, Ashley Martinez, also works at Crest Foods.
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Doug Carolus Time @ Crest Foods: 2 years Interests? Comic books & Sci-Fi 1 thing most people don’t know about you? I love to bowl. I’ve been bowling since the age of 14, and even bowled in the military.
Joe Hale Time @ Crest Foods: 7 months Interests? Blackhawks hockey and cooking 1 thing most people don’t know about you? I coach kids hockey.
Ruby Krueger (Janitorial) Time @ Crest Foods: 11 years Interests? Dancing (rock & roll), gardening 1 thing most people don’t know about you? When I was a little kid in Texas, I found a rattle snake under my pillow! (I’m also really good at making piñatas.)
Roman Kozak (Lead) Time @ Crest Foods: 2 years Interests? Fishing, shooting and spending time with my 3 kids 1 thing most people don’t know about you? I love documentaries and am a self-pro- claimed nerd.
Bruce Lake (Janitorial) Time @ Crest Foods: 3 years Interests? Cooking 1 thing most people don’t know about you? I used to be really big into lifting weights.
Bessie White (Janitorial) Time @ Crest Foods: 1 year Interests? Spending time with my family, and taking care of my flowers. 1 thing most people don’t know about you? I’m actually very nice and helpful!
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10 Year Trips Crest Foods thanks employees who reach their 10 Year Anniversary with the company by giving them money to go on a trip! Below are just a few of the employees who have reached this milestone recently.
Leroy Stambaugh (Production A-Shift) For my ten year trip we decided to take the whole family to Branson, Missouri for a week. My family included me, my wife, mother-in-law, daughter, son-in-law and our 3 grandkids. We were lucky enough to book a condo that had enough space for all of us. Besides the kids spending lots of time at the pools and basketball courts, we were able to do some shopping at the
outlet malls and see some of the sights. Of course we went to quite a few shows and we weren’t sure how the kids would like the shows, they are ages from 2 to 16, but everyone enjoyed them and we made sure everyone got to see a show they wanted to see. My wish was to ride the DUCKS at Branson. I also got to do some fishing on the lake. I would like to thank Crest Foods for providing us the opportunity to be able to do this. We have taken a few vaca- tions through the years as a family, but this allowed us to do a few more activities and took some of the stress off of how to pay for it all. We really enjoyed our time together and the memories we made on our trip.
Bernie Iwema (Karlin Warehouse B-Shift) First off I am very grateful to Crest Foods for this program. It allowed me to go on a week end trip to visit my middle child. Yes I have kids, adults really (Nicholas 30, Justine 26, Bailey 18) all doing fine. The funds allowed for a trip to Corinth, Mississippi. Once there I rented a hotel room and went to meet my daughter and go out to eat. The next day we spent the day at a local lake just relaxing. The last day we went to the movies, (I can’t remember the movie, but do remember it was a good time). Just a note, again, to say thank you.
Art Ruiz (Ingredient Division Warehouse) We would like to thank Crest Foods for our ten year trip. We flew out to Mesa, Arizona to visit our daughter, Amanda Brown and her husband and their children. It was such a joy to see how much the grandchildren have grown. We enjoyed board games, swimming, state park and the lake, and good food. It was so much fun to spend quality time with Nathan, Alaina & Liana while their parents went to work. We already miss them. Thank you so much Crest Foods for giving us this memory. Sincerely, Art & Janet Ruiz
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2017 Supplier of the Year Brennan & Stuart by Jeff Meiners
Brennan & Stuart was recognized as the Crest supplier of the year at our supplier recognition event on September 15th. What…you’ve never heard of Brennan & Stuart? They are the name behind the names in that they have been our broker for various insurance products for over thirty years. In other words, they are the people that make the deals with the com- panies that provide insurance for Crest. In our minds, they have become an indispensable resource in helping Crest navigate the literal minefield that has become the insurance industry over the past decades. We spend many millions of dollars every year on insurance – health, workers comp, property, casualty, liability, product recall…heck, you can even buy insurance coverage for terrorist activity. The complexity involved with understanding any of these areas is immense and our ability to comprehend them well enough to be a savvy buyer of these services is fortified by the knowl- edge and level of service that Brennan & Stuart brings to Crest every day. The word business partner is thrown around very easily by companies that have very little commitment to truly being a busi-ness partner, but these people embrace the concept and practice it in a very real way every day with Crest.
Courtney Skoog, Michelle Schmidt, and Mark Stuart of Brennan & Stuart accepting their Supplier of the Year award from Jeff Meiners
We can’t talk about service enough when we talk about their partnership with Crest. We physically survived the tor- nado of 2015 because of the grit and determination of our employees…part of the reason we financially survived
the tornado was due to the same kind of grit and determination on behalf of our insurance broker. We’ve become innovators in health care coverage and wellness with their support as well. Most importantly, they have taken the time to learn Crest culture and to make sure that what is offered to us in the form of insurance programs is sup-portive of who we are as a company. We seem to pride ourselves with presenting them with unusual requests and they seldom fail to accommodate our needs to be different. If the quality of a business can be seen in the relationships it builds with their staff, customers and vendors, then it becomes very obvious that Bren- nan & Stuart runs a superior business and we are more than proud to call them our Supplier of the Year. Congratulations to Mark Stuart, Michelle Schmidt, Courtney Skoog, Joni de Souza, Amy Kiphart, Kaye Hurless and their entire team behind the scenes on earning this honor. Thank you for all you do for Crest Foods.
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A Pink Ambulance Visits Crest Foods by Cheri Kemp
In the Crest Foods parking lot stood a shiny, spotlessly clean and pink ambulance, just waiting for someone to take a perma- nent marker to it. This may sound a little absurd, but the pink ambulance sponsored through the Northern Illinois chapter of Guardians of the Ribbon, paid a visit to Crest Foods in August. The Guardians of The Ribbon and Pink Heals Tour mission is about men supporting women in their fight against any type of cancer. Firefighters will dress in pink gear and participate in parades, at community events, and else- where to raise funds and awareness for women fighting cancer. This particular ambulance, named Anna, was also to honor former Crest Foods employee Anna Richter. Anna was also an EMT for the Ashton Fire Protection District before she lost her battle with melanoma at the tender age of 30 in 2013. The insignia on the side of the ambulance contains Anna’s name along with that of Tammy Bryant, an Amboy firefighter who has battled cancer and won! Anyone is welcomed to write a message on the sides of the ambulance in honor of or support of someone fighting the battle against cancer. The Guardians of the Ribbon and the Pink Heals Tour began in 2007 through the vision of a man named Dave Graybil and began with one pink firetruck. This has now morphed its way in to hundreds of pink firetrucks, police cars & ambulances in two countries under the umbrella of Guardians of the Ribbon! The Northern Illinois Chapter of Guardians of the Ribbon had housed a pink fire truck, Jessica, in McHenry County for many years and scheduled its appearance, so any area organization could request the use of it for fund raisers. Recently the Amboy Fire Protection District became the foster parents to Jessica the pink firetruck and now Anna the pink ambulance. Crest Foods made a generous donation to ‘pinking up’ the ambulance in honor of Anna Richter. It is important to note that the firemen’s association takes on the mission of the Pink Heals tour with no expense to the actual fire district so donations are crucial to their mission. Anyone wishing to donate or schedule an appearance by Jessica the Fire Truck or Anna the Ambulance can contact the Amboy Fire Protection District at 815-857-2325.
A close up of the insignia on both sides of the ambulance with a handful of signatures.
Employees took the time to sign the ambulance in rememberance of Anna or a loved one.
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Redzone Update by Jessica Fair & Matt Downing
It may come as no surprise that RedZone has been a big deal in Contract Packaging lately. Production has incorpo- rated it into all the lines and if you spend any time on the production floor then you’ve at least seen or heard quite a bit by now. With production using RedZone, this allowed the Quality Assurance (QA) department to activate the compliance portion of RedZone and dive into what all RedZone has to offer. Using RedZone the line technicians (techs), as well as other positions, will be able to make better use of time, have improved quality checks that are more efficient and accurate, and free up some time to do other tasks. By switching to RedZone we are able to eventually go paperless. This means techs will no longer be carrying around a small book everywhere they go; forms won’t go missing or be illegible; pulling up product information will be at your disposal as long as there is Wi-Fi; and it saves trees and money spent on paper. Techs have a lot of responsibil- ity riding on their documentation. It takes time to flip through pages trying to find one thing in particular, write down all the codes, and not to mention, trying to go through and trying to read and verify it if the individual’s hand writing is poor. With RedZone all that information is already filled in by the line operator selecting their run within RedZone. This frees up so much time wasted on writing down all the information. RedZone documents the time of checks too, so the tech won’t have to worry about documenting time since it is done automatically. It also allows them to have any document they need to perform their task at their fingertips. We are adding all the standard oper- ating procedures (SOP) to RedZone so if there is ever a question it can be pulled up right then and there. Since all the techs have their own iPads they will have electronic signatures saying they were the one to complete the checks and not just anyone walking by. By going paperless we will free up room used to store records and docu- ments and using that space for other, more profitable means. RedZone will make audits so much easier because you won’t have to go digging for documents since all will be available on the IPad. With that, the techs are used to checking certain items on “their time” documenting on paperwork; whereas now, they have to wait until RedZone triggers the datasheet to their iPad. This is a bit of an adjustment, because being on a “time clock”, the techs do not have to do “continuous” rounds. They go to the designated line when they are prompted by RedZone. The techs have been very patient with us, as we continue to modify the timing of triggers and styles of datasheets. It can be frustrating at times, but overall, it has been a good transition. We really appreciate the techs adapting to the change from paper to using technology. We plan on having carts specially made so that techs will be able to perform their whole round (the checks on the line) at the line, as opposed to having to go back to their weigh station, and make any necessary changes at that moment instead of 15-20 minutes later once they received results in their weigh station. This will make all adjust- ments real time and potentially reduce amount of product pulled if an issue is present. The carts will reduce unnec- essary walking by quite a bit and should free up time for the techs to complete other tasks that will come up. In general, this is a big and exciting step for QA.
(above) Julie Tomblin; (right) Crystal Kessel, Katrina Berogan & Sherry Joos
Stina Kanaras, Marisa Lopez & Jean Armstrong
Kathy Conant, Joanne Waters & Trish Carter
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Our Sympathy To Dave Bushman (Scheduling) on the August 27th death of his father, Ron Bushman. To Cheri Kemp, Benefits Manager, on the death of her
Jessica Frieberg (Production B) is happy to announce the birth of her son, Liam Grayson Frieberg. Liam was born August 5, 2017 and weighed 7 lbs. 2 oz. and was 20.5 inches in length. Sam McBride (Ingredient Division C) and wife Jordan welcomed a baby girl on August 10 named Olivia weigh- ing 9 lbs. 5 oz. and 20 inches long. She is joined by big sister Sierra, and twin brothers Wesley and Benjamin. Congratulations to the McBrides! Juanita Jaimes (Production A) and Manuel Oliva wel- comed a daughter, Natalia Isabella, on August 26. Con- gratulations to Juanita and Manuel! Karla Rivera (Production A) and Saul Chavez welcomed twin babies on September 12th. Kaya weighed 5 lbs. 13 oz. and was 18.25 inches long. Kean weighed 5 lbs. 2 oz. and was 18.5 inches long. Congratulations! Heidi (QA B) and Tristan Topping welcomed a baby girl, Emmaline Katherine Topping on September 12th. She was 8 lbs. 3 oz. and 19 inches long. Congratulations to your family! Thank You Dear Crest Foods: Thank you everyone so much for your extreme kindness in my desperate time of need. This is a very gracious company to work for and it is so very selfless and unnecessary gesture most employees don’t ever get to know. I appreciate everything that the company and employees have done for me. Thank you all so very much for your acts of kindness. Marcie Hardcastle (Production B) Neil Henert (former W. Whse. Manager) said to tell ev- eryone thank you for all your thoughts and prayers while in the hospital and recovering. He thinks a lot of all of us here at Crest. Dear Crest Foods: I want to thank you for the plant while I was off work for a month. It is nice to work for an amazing company who shows their kindness in so many ways. Thank you for being such a great com- pany! Sincerely, Lori Shinabarger (Karlin Whse A)
brother, Steve Kocher. Wedding Bells
Congratulations to Jerry Maronde (Maintenance B) and Amber Gaskins on their July 1, 2017 marriage. Happi ness always to you both! Brittany Cortesi (Production A) and Joshua Pottorff on their June 13, 2017 marriage. Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Pottorff! Congratulations to Jeremy Taylor (Production B) and Holly Vrhel on their July 29, 2017 marriage. Bill Zacharias (Ingredient Division A) and JoCinda Kahly were married on July 8, 2017. Congratulations to Melissa Mandujano (Production B) welcomed a baby boy on July 12, 2017. Lionel Santiago Orozco was 7 lbs. 12 oz. and 20 ½ inches in length. Austin Tornow (Sanitation A) and Ashlynn Pierce are parents to a daughter, Rilynn Jo Dawn Tornow, born on August 1, 2017. She weighed 8 lbs. 5 oz. and was 21 inches in length. Rilynn was welcomed home by Lextin Tornow, age 2. Congratulations to Angelica Torres (Production A) and Ricardo Guijosa (Production C) on the birth of their daughter, Ariane. Ariane was born July 18, 2017 and weighed 8 lbs 3 oz and was 20.5 inches long. Darcy Zera (Accounting) welcomed grandchild number 7 on August 15. Elyse Marie Malcolm weighed 8 lbs. 8 oz. and was born to Seth and Amber Malcolm. Seth is the son of Darcy Zera, Accounting Manager, and step- son to Steve Zera, Engineering Manager. Mr. and Mr. Zacharias! New Arrivals
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To all my Crest Foods family: I wish to thank you for your kind words during the sudden illness and pass- ing of my brother, Steve, and for the donations to the Henry American Legion and Henry VFW which were close to his heart. Thank you so much. Cheri Kemp Congratulations To Charles Friday, son of Jeff Friday (QA Compliance Manager) on his marriage to Morgan Hamner on Sep- tember 2 at Living History Farms in Urbandale, Iowa. Charles worked at Crest Foods on several occasions in the Production and Mix Departments while a student. Congratulations to the family!
peted in the United States Tumbling Association Na- tional Meet in Madison, Wisconsin last June, winning one of the five National Championships on her team, Gymnastics Divine of Dixon. Our family is very proud of her!
Maria (Granados) Alanis (Production A) became a citizen on September 5, 2017. Maria, along with 110 other people from 26 different countries took the oath to become a citizen of the United States. Maria was beaming when she talked about finally become a citizen. She said her daughter had become a citizen some time ago and now she could be a citizen, too. Congratulations to Maria!
Kalob Burger, son of April Cover, (Production C), step-son of Bill Cover (Mix A), and grandson of Doug Carolus (Sanitation B), joined the US Navy and is in VFA 115 Fire Squadron working on F18’s and current ly stationed aboard the ship Ronald Reagan in Japan. We wish him a safe and successful military career.
Congratulations to Fatima Rivera (12), daughter of Kena Rivera (Production C) who recently com-
Baby Showers Over the past few months, co-workers threw baby showers for four employees to celebrate their new bundles of joy. Congratulations to Jessica Springer and Melissa Mandujano of B-Shift Production, Heidi Topping of B-Shift QA, and Juanita Jaimes of A-Shift Production on either their new arrivals!
Jessica Springer & Melissa Mandujano
Heidi Topping & Matt Downing
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Marge Krueger of Production A-Shift retired on August 31st after 13 years with Crest Foods. Her fellow employees gave her a big farewell pot luck party on August 28th for her last day. Marge did come to work that day, but was so excited about her last day of work, that she left after her first break! Marge and her husband Ben will be starting their new adventure in life by moving to Paragould, Arkansas where they will be greeted by their 2 daugh- ters and 8 grandchildren. Good luck Marge, enjoy your new found freedom and live life to the fullest. Watch out for them alligators! Very truly yours, Sally Heather and Crest Foods! Marge Krueger Retires by Sally Heather
Goodbye, Farewell and Amen… by Peggy Messer For those who don’t know, I am retiring January 2, 2018. At that time I will have worked for Crest Foods for 15 ½ years. Cheri asked me to write something, so bear with me if I start to ramble on. (blame it on old age!) I actually worked for Crest Foods as a “fill in” at the switchboard and copy room for a few years prior to coming on full time. I then went to work full time in Rochelle. The job was ok, but I really liked my time here at Crest. I called Gary Guenther one day and told him I wanted to come back and I’d work wherever they needed me. He said he didn’t have anything full time, but come on back! And as they say, the rest is history. A full time job was created for me, dividing my time between working for Gary in HR and Cheri Kemp with Benefits. Over the years I have worn many “hats” here and I learned a great deal wearing each one of them. I am thankful for the opportunity that allowed my son Kurt to work here in the summers. And it also allowed our foster son Doug to work here, too. Again, just another way that we are all treated like family. My 10 year trip gave me memories I will treasure forever! It is hard to think about leaving, but at the same time I can’t wait! Life is so very short and I want to spend it just enjoying what God has given me. I will miss so many of you. I will miss the smiles and “hellos” from the employ- ees that I see each day. Many thanks for the appreciation from the people I was able to help with insurance issues and for just having a listening ear for them to vent to. To Lynn and Susan: I will miss you both and all the laughs and fun we’ve had in our little office. I will be in to see you – I don’t live far! Just think: no more flying paper clips and random things I talk about! To Marianne: I will miss talking to you every day! That was the best part of re- lieving you at the switchboard. To Cheri: I hope your time until retirement goes as fast as mine has. At least I won’t be here bugging you! And to Gary: Who are you going to pick on when I’m gone???? It has been heartwarming to see how our company pulls together when there is a crisis with one of our employees. We have lost so many people in the 15+ years I’ve been here and it has been a privilege to see, and be part of, the love and compassion shown to them and their families. To Steve, Jeff and Mike Meiners: I can’t thank you enough for giving me a chance to work here. I hope you feel that I did my best for your company. It is a great place to work and I’ve always felt like family here. Thanks, everyone, for the memories! Peggy Messer From Cheri: After many years of working with Peggy in the Benefits area, it is going to be very hard to see her walk out the door for the last time as an employee and friend. She has grown to know the employees very well and provided invaluable service to them when they needed her assistance. I tried to convince her that if she waited until 2022 she could get her 20 year ring. She didn’t think she wanted to do that! We will miss her but wish her the best in her retirement and hope she visits us now and then. Did I mention she makes the best chocolate chip cookies? (hint hint!)
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Congratulations to the following employees for obtaining new jobs at Crest over the last few months!
Jim Rhodes Karlin Forklift A-Shift
Mike Finn Staged Ing. Set Up Mix A-Shift
Cliff Karrow Set Up Mechanic C-Shift
Roman Kozak Sanitation B-Shift Lead
CIP 2017 4th Quarter Winners The Continuous Improvement Program (CIP) is a program where employees may submit suggestions on ways they think can improve Crest Foods. These suggestions may help improve overall efficiency, employee safety, sani- tation, record keeping, maintenance and various other areas around Crest Foods. We received 22 suggestions from employees for the 4th quarter. Thank you to everyone for participating! Amy Banister Production A-Shift 4th Quarter 1st Place • $250
Amy’s idea was to attach dry erase tags to the 4 hoppers in the Line 31 dump area. This way we can write the item and product number on them and easily change the information, which will be especially helpful with start-ups. We have ordered dry erase tags and are going to trial them! These will work great for start-ups and will improve communication between A & B shifts. Great idea!
Randy Otten, Sanitation A-Shift 4th Quarter Runner Up • $150
Randy’s idea was to fabricate a waist-high stainless steel cart with wheels to use for change overs that will make it easier on the back. Currently, they have to put dirty (and heavy) screens and magnets on a slipsheet on the floor in order to clean them. Great idea to improve safety! We will trial a plastic tool cart from Production and see if we need to go the stainless steel route. Becca Dodd, Production B-Shift 4th Quarter Runner Up • $150 Becca’s idea is to etch line numbers into all tools at the west facility. As people are account- able for their tools, this will help with tools staying where they are intended to be. This is a great idea that will also help with food safety. This has been implemented.
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Walking Club Mid-Season Update by Jamie Cooper & Erika Meiners
We’ve only participated in one race since the last issue of the Crest Ink came out, but it turned out to be a pretty big deal for our team. As the largest and most competitive event that we run/walk in, we’ve never quite been able to reach that number 1 ranking as a Corporate Challenge Team in the Rea- gan Run 5K in Dixon. I knew we had some fast runners, but I have to admit that we are all a little shocked to learn that our runners had the top time out of all 15 teams competing this year! That’s right, Crest Foods officially holds the title of Reagan Run 5K Corporate Challenge Winner for 2017! Con- gratulations to Mahali Ramirez, Sal Ibarra, Matthias Kemme- ren, Jared Stumpenhorst and Justin Guenther who ran the fastest and won for our team! As a whole, we had 38 employ- ees participate this year on a very mild, and sunny day in July. Unfortunately, the Run to the Castle 5k at Stronghold was cancelled this year, so we are expecting great turnout from
Jared Stumpenhorst, Matthias Kemmeren, Justin Guenther, Sal Ibarra & Mahali Ramirez.
employees to raise funds for Kreider Services with 3 more events to round out the season. Your end-of-the-season recap will be included in the next issue of the Crest Ink! Thanks again to everyone who has participated this year! $1120.00 raised $1280.00 raised 5/20 7/1 9/30 10/8 10/21 6/10 Make-A-Wish 5K Ashton Community Walk Reagan Run Run for the Way 5K Autumn on Parade 5K Haunted Halloween 5K $1760.00 raised
Hope Friday spent 9 weeks as an accounting intern here at Crest. An internship we were sad to see end! While only 2 years into her ac- counting degree, Hope came to us with a good amount of real world experience in both private and public accounting. Throughout her internship Hope was a dedicated team player willing to take on tasks with little direction and kept all assignments on sched- ule. Hope was a big help in both accounts receivable and accounts payable. She was exposed to customer invoices, remote deposits, ven- dor invoices, complex utility bills, payment cycles, payroll taxes, and a hint of corporate assets and small projects. With very little training s- he had no issues handling the volume of work she was asked to tackle. We will miss Hope! We were happy to share our work space, Crest Culture and increase her accounting knowledge that will be helpful to her future goals. We wish Hope the best as she continues her educ- ation at NIU and starts her Accounting career. We would love to see her come back to us some day!
Hope Friday, Accounting Intern
Shirley Reif, Emily Smith, Deb Harmon, Darcy Zera, Hope Friday, Carol Cass & Val Smith
14 Crest Ink October, November & December 2017
Day of Caring by Steve Starke Editors note: Steve Starke is a Technical Service Representative for Crest Foods. He and his wife, Kristy, live in Walton, Kentucky. On Saturday June 24th my wife (Kristy), myself and numerous other employees from Crest Foods, participated in, for the 2nd year, the Day of Caring event put on by United Way of Lee County. With last year being the first time Kristy and I ever doing this sort of charity work, we left at the end of the day feeling a sense of pride that we took just a little bit of our time and helped some of those who are less fortunate and needed a little assistance (physically). We traveled to the town of Amboy in Illinois and went to a local mobile home park where mostly retired folk live. There were homes where the yards needed a little attention (weed eating, trees trimmed, flower gardens attended to, etc). These homes had been pre- arranged for us to assist those who needed it. While in the neighborhood, there were
The Crest Foods Crew: Ben & Caitlin Gleissner, Shirley Reif, Kristy & Steve Starke, June Danekas, Jeff & Erika Meiners, Holly Gleissner, Steve Crook, Dean Rhodes, Mandi Kersten and Tammy Crook
several people who stepped up to us, chatted with us and thanked everyone for their work and assistance. I person- ally could tell that the people who could not do these things for themselves were VERY appreciative of all the work each person participating in the United Way event provided for them. *We hope to participate in this event again next year. Please be sure to sign up when you see the request for volunteers!
Bags for the Brave
Thanks to Tyler Halfacre & Gary Evans from the A-Shift Mix Department for representing Crest Foods in the Bags for the Brave fundraising tournament in Dix- on September 2nd. Proceeds benefit future trips to Washintgon D.C. for the Lee County Honor Flight for Veterans.
Tyler Halfacre & Gary Evans
October, November & December 2017 Crest Ink 15
New Ashton Sewer Project by Steve Zera
Prompted and supported by Crest Foods, the Village of Ashton has recently received a grant through DCEO (De- partment of Commerce and Economic Opportunity) for the construction of a new sewer line that will connect our Mix Facility waste stream to the Ashton waste water treatment plant. Yes, that means a mile and a half of new waste infrastructure along route 38 to include cleanout basins, manholes, lift stations, and a lot of pipe. The project will take nearly a year and a half to complete with the anticipated connection date no later than December 31, 2018. Why is this necessary? When the Mix Facility was built and began operation in 2003, we were allowed to construct an elaborate, in ground, waste system to handle all of the process waste. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) regulates every drop of water and every chemical that we put into the ground, testing it monthly, so as to protect our drinking water from wells and maintain safe volumes of ground and run-off water levels. As a com- mercial waste emitter, we must have a valid operating permit from the EPA to run that facility. Two things have hap- pened over the course of almost fifteen years to prompt the need for this to happen. First, our blending output and subsequent process waste water output has grown substantially, meaning we’re putting more and more water and chemicals into the ground. Secondly, the EPA regulations and guidelines have gotten much more rigid, making it very difficult for us to manage the critical levels of our chemical output. The bottom line is, we just couldn’t do it anymore. So, we have no choice. Everything we do starts at the Mix Facility. If we want to stay in business, we need to do this. One big problem is the cost. This is a multi-million dollar project that wasn’t necessarily planned for. Enter the grant program. We were made aware of the DCEO grant program that offers funds to communities, allowing them to enhance their infrastructure, to help local businesses like us as well as promoting new industry to move to the area. Part of the program also calls on the benefactor (Crest) to make substantial improvements and capital invest- ments to insure stability and continued growth as a result of this project.
The grant application process has taken the good part of a year to com- plete and almost all of the Crest hourly people were involved. We thank all of you for taking the time to answer questions and fill out forms. This could not have happened without your help. We found out in early August that the Ashton grant had been approved. Initial engineering for this project has already been done and we’re hoping to work closely with the village to move this project along. Hopefully, by the time you read this, there’ll be some signs of activity along route 38 between Ashton and the west facilities.
West Facilities >
16 Crest Ink October, November & December 2017
New EAP Counselor at Crest Foods
Back in February, Crest Foods partenered with KSB Hospital and Sinnis- sippi Centers to offer an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for our employees in Ashton. This free , convenient and confidential counseling service is something that we hope can be a positive benefit for employees should they choose to utilize it. This July, Sinnissippi Centers introduced us to our new EAP Counselor, TJ Schoonover. While we were sad to see our old counselor go, we think that TJ is going to be great for our employees and the program. TJ is available for appointments at the Ashton Clinic on Tuesdays from 12:00pm - 4:00pm. Feel free to call and set up an appointment at 815- 284-6611. Here’s a little more info on TJ:
TJ Schoonover EAP Counselor
What is your professional background? I graduated from Northern Illinois University in May 2017 with my Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. While completing my graduate program, I had the opportu- nity to have multiple internships in teaching and counseling. I spent a year and half interning at NIU’s Community Counseling Training Center working with college students with multiple mental health concerns. In addition to that, I spent a year interning at the Kendall County Health Department working with adults, children, and families. I enjoy working with children and adolescents, as well as working with adults. I have experience working with a wide range of mental health issues from anxiety, depression, trauma, grief and loss, and much more. I have a strong pas- sion for counseling and working with clients to work towards their goals. Where are you from? I spent the first 25 years of my life living in Sterling. I graduated from Sterling High School in 2004 and attended Sauk Valley Community College after that. After I left Sterling, I have moved around to a few different places, but I have now settled in Sycamore. I am passionate about working with the people in the Sauk Val- ley area. I know how special this area is. How long have you worked for Sinnissippi Centers Inc? I have been working with SCI for almost two months now! Each day has been better than the last and I can’t wait to see what the future holds with this agency. What do you enjoy about your job? I enjoy being able to see a person come in at their first appointment and then see the progress they make towards their goal. I feel lucky that I am in a position where I get to go on a journey with so many great people. I enjoy being able to hear people’s stories and being able to assist them in setting and reaching their goals. What are some of your interests outside of work? Outside of work I enjoy running and hiking. In addition to this, I like to read and build with Legos. I also enjoy spending time with my wife and binge watching something on Netflix.
If you feel like counseling might benefit you, please give TJ a call: 815-284-6611 Hours: Tuesdays 12:00pm - 4:00pm at the Ashton Clinic.
October, November & December 2017 Crest Ink 17
Thirty Feet of Crest Foods History by Jeff Meiners
It is a little personally disturbing to me that I have reached the point in my Crest Foods life that I am looked upon as one of those people who can recount stories from our distant corporate past. I’m not really sure how it is possible that I’ve achieved this status in what seems like the blink of an eye, but I’m not complaining…far better to be in a position to recount the stories than not. This is the first of a series that will be in the Crest Ink remember- ing some of the personalities that were part of the fabric of Crest in our formative years. It is quite possible that my memory has become a little distorted over the years, but these stories should offer a good look into the Crest Foods of the past. Freddy Sachs worked at Crest in the late 1960’s. At the time, we had just begun doing packaging work at our Main Street facility. We had a large incinerator in the back of this building and it was Freddy’s job to burn anything that was combustible. Freddy was a small guy – probably in his late 60’s at the time. My memory as a twelve year old kid has him as a friendly old guy who was quick to smile, always said Hi, but was not real talkative. Stoking the fires in the incinerator was a hot, dirty job. Freddy did it without complaining. He did have a peculiar way of approach- ing his job which would have earned him early retirement in today’s world, but was evidently acceptable at the time. Since his job was extremely hot, Freddy decided the best way to deal with it was to have a drink each time he loaded the incinerator. Fortunately for him, Grewe’s Tap stood where our pilot plant stands today. His choice of beverage to quench his thirst was a shot and a beer. Since the incinerator was loaded numerous times during the day, it was inevitable that Freddy ended up a little loaded himself by the end of his shift. His walk home was usually a little less of a straight line home than it was on the way to work…but he managed to make it back to work for his next shift every day. I’m not really sure when Freddy stopped stoking the fires at Crest – probably when the incinerator was retired due to EPA regulations – but he was certainly one of the more interesting characters from our past. The time had come to freshen up the reception area at the main plant and the decision was made that a timeline depicting Crest Foods’ journey since 1946 would be the perfect use of the thirty feet of space behind the reception- ist desk. It sounded like such a big area to cover until the task of consolidating 71 years of Crest Foods life was started and then that space suddenly became very small. Years ago Jim Croce sang about capturing time in a bot- tle…our job was to capture it on a wall! The finished product depicting Crest’s history in people, products, events and facilities turned out better than we Crest Culture: A Walk Down Memory Lane… With a Shot and a Beer by Jeff Meiners
18 Crest Ink October, November & December 2017
thought possible. While impossible to put the faces of the thousands of people who have called Crest ‘home’ on the wall, they all are part of the culture of Crest that has evolved over the years and is documented as part of the timeline. We’ve left a little space to add to our timeline for whatever the future may hold for Crest. Stop by and give Mari- anne a visit in the receptionist area to check it out. She is quickly becoming an expert on Crest history and can add to the stories that the pictures tell. Reminders from the Payroll Office by Susan Larson Here are some helpful tips for all beginners and veterans of the Crest Foods family. Direct Deposits: Did you know that Crest employees can have up to four (4) different direct deposits out of their paycheck? Up to two (2) can be flat amounts (example $10.00) Up to two (2) can be a percent based deduction (example is 50%) ***Your net pay counts as one of these Please note that if you are planning on closing an existing account you currently direct deposit into, do not close this account until after you check with someone in the payroll department (Myself or Lynn Burnette). Some examples of why people use multiple direct deposits are: -Car payments -Real estate taxes -Mortgage payments -Vacation funds Address & Phone Number Changes: Please keep the Payroll Department informed of your current address, phone number and marital status changes. This is very important information to keep up to date with our department throughout the year. All areas within our department use this information, whether it’s to mail your Crest Ink issue, W-2’s, contact you during an emer- gency situation and to keep insurance carriers up to date. If you change your phone number, cell phone carrier or change your email address please remember to update your paperless pay (my-estub) account so that you continue to receive your text messages and pay stub notifications. January 1st will be here before you know it. Tax season is a good time to talk to your tax preparer about whether you need to update your Federal and State withholding exemptions. If you need new W-4’s for this purpose please stop by the payroll office. If you have any questions about either of these topics, please give Susan Larson a call x235.
October, November & December 2017 Crest Ink 19
Workplace Stress by TJ Schoonover, M.S.Ed., LPC, NCC
Does your stomach ever hurt before you come into work? Do you ever get headaches while at work? Do you have a hard time separating your work life between your personal life? Do you ever find yourself getting overwhelmed at work and don’t know what to do? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might have too much work place stress. We all get stressed at the work. It’s what we do about the stress that matters. Workplace stress is something that most people deal with on a daily basis. Recently workplace stress has become the leading cause of stress for American workers. People can get workplace stress from issues with their co-workers, job security, workload, and juggling work/personal life. These stressors can lead to mental health exhaustion, which can lead to depression and anxiety. In addition to this, having these workplace stressors can lead to getting physical symptoms like stomach aches, headaches, weight fluctuation, high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. One study showed that employees who have a job that has a high demand, but the employee has no control at their job, has an increased risk for cardiovascular disease. Nearly 80% of workers report that they feel stress on the job, and half of them report that they need help managing their work related stress (American Institute of Stress). What can we do to manage our work related stress? Here are a few tips from the American Psychological Associa- tion to manage the stress: • Make the most of the workday breaks. Even if it is a short break, you should take advantage of this time to do something not work related that helps you relax. • If you find yourself getting angry, walk away from the situation. Try counting to 10 and calming down, and then return to the situation. • Set reasonable standards for yourself and for others. There are many other tools that you can utilize to help you manage your workplace stress. Counseling is one way to help you manage those stressors. If you feel like the stress related to work is too high for you, feel free to contact me. I would be happy to work with you to identify new ways for you to manage your stress.
Steve Starke & Powered Paragliding For most of us, the thought of being over 1000 feet in the air, strapped to a motor and parachute type of wings, might seem a little extreme, or even out of the realm of possibility. For Steve Starke, Technical Service Rep from Kentucky, the sport called Powered Paragliding (PPG), is IN his realm of possibility and something he does as often as possible. Steve said “ I started doing this 3 years ago. I’ve always had a love for aviation and with it being so expensive to do, I found this (PPG) to be the poor man’s way of flying. It’s not cheap but much much cheaper than a plane.” The motor on his PPG is a 200 cc 2 stroke motor that puts out about 160 pounds of thrust. “It feels like you’re in a corvette when you hit the gas” said Starke. The unit weighs about 46 pounds with no gas. Steve is able to fly about 3 hours on a tank of gas. “I did my longest flight this past Saturday (September 9th) of 2 and a half hours and went about 60 miles. The wing is very maneuverable. You can turn on a
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