Crest Ink Volume 27 • Number 03 July, August & September 2015
Ashton, IL 61006
Nobody Was Hurt
by Jeff Meiners
It is a five minute drive from my home to the Crest Warehouse. The thought kept running through my mind, as I tested the limits of how fast my car could actually go, that we had a lot of people in that facility at that time; and what situation would I encounter when I pulled up. The best possible news was received upon arrival that everyone was accounted for; no one was hurt; and, by the way, we managed to get the sprinkler system turned off before the contents of the reservoir were emptied into the already damaged warehouse. The news that no one was hurt kept everything else we had to deal with in perspective. No funerals or hospital visits – we could manage everything else. The damage to the warehouse was pretty extensive. Nearly 100,000 square feet (about one third) of our facility was damaged beyond repair. Close to 3,000 pallets of finished product and raw materials were destroyed. The total estimate of expenses associated with a few seconds of tornado was in the $10,000,000 range. We were shut down. Walker Ashley, Ph.D. Associate Professor in the Meterology Program, Department of Geography at Northern Illinois University was tracking the storm and captured a photo as the tornado was hitting our Warehouse.
In This Issue Walking Club Update page 8
Open Houses page 5
Give Back Program page 22
Now for the good news! We had actually practiced for an event just like this through mock disaster plans – we knew what we had to do. The tornado had picked a good spot to hit – this area housed mostly finished product for contract packaging. The Ingredient Division and Consumer Products Division were not impacted. The tornado had literally bounced over our mix facility and a production area. We had a huge mess, but we could handle this. The tornado hit Thursday evening on April 9. Friday morning brought Crest staff, steel workers, electricians, car- penters, plumbers, engineers, insurance companies, suppliers, customers and the Ashton community to Crest to fix a problem. We made a plan, which we revised often, and started the process of getting back on our feet as quickly as possible. We were very functionally back to work in all parts of the company on the following Monday morning. What happened at Crest between Thursday night and Monday morning was nothing short of stunning. Simple gestures, heroic efforts, tremendous fortitude, ingenuity, preparation, compassion, perseverance and pride all come together to create an improbable response to a very big problem. Crest is a company that has built their existence on the power of mutual respect relationships since 1946 and the power of those relationships were most evident after the tornado. Those that believe the power of a business relationship is buried in a contract someplace should have been with us for those four days and they might feel a little differently. We accomplished a lot in those initial four days. The building was secured; a temporary wall was built between the damaged area and the good area; good and bad product was sorted with bad product being sent to the landfill; a new inventory was established documenting what was now available; computer programs were rewritten to accom- modate our new reality; production schedules were rewritten; what used to be part of our building was picked up over a three mile stretch of farmland; the entire warehouse was rearranged to function with one third less space; insurance plans were made and plans were put into play to continue to meet our customers’ needs. Once all the initial “fires” were put out, we started to get back into a more normal way of doing business. Problems came up that we hadn’t thought about, but those have all been dealt with at this point in time. The warehouse space that was already under construction for the Ingredient Division should be complete by August 1, which will in turn create some needed space for packaging when the Ingredient group moves to their new home. The reconstruction of the damaged portion of the warehouse should be complete before September 1. We are currently attempting to work our way through the maze of red tape associated with multiple contracts and associated insurance policies. We are probably more comfortable dealing with the first four days after the tornado than we are with this part of the process but we are getting smarter everyday on this end as well. What started as one of the darkest moments in our sixty nine year history has turned into one of our best. Mother Nature might have won the battle on April 9, but the collective willpower and spirit of the Crest family has won the war in an overwhelming way. Thank you seems like such a simple thing to say in the face of so much done by so many people – but we offer our heartfelt thanks to all those involved in any way in making this an event that we can all look back at with pride in how we responded in the face of adversity.
In the days after the tornado, many people were lending a hand at the warehouse in any way possible! Thanks to the generosity of many suppliers and community groups, no one went hungry! Throughout the three very long and hard work days of Friday, Saturday & Sunday, we were treated to donuts, pizza, sandwiches, bever- ages and chips. We cannot thank everyone enough for their thoughtfulness in taking care of a need that many were not evening thinking of at that time. The week after the tornado, the Ashton Community Fund came in to serve dinner to all B-Shift West Facility employees. They brought giant sub sandwiches, pasta salad, chips, and homemade ice ccream and brownies. It was such a thoughtful gesture, and we appreciate them thinking of us! This group is pictured serving food to the right.
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Community members and Crest employees walked for 3 miles through cornfields picking up debris from the Warehouse on Saturday morning.
Ariel photo of Warehouse taken on Saturday by Tom Gleissner
Steve Zera & Brian Schafer
Our “remodeled” finished product area.
Damage to the left is where the Warehouse and Mix Facility connect.
The Great Wall of Crest Foods - built in 1 day.
Tom Balch on security duty at 3am.
Elton Turner with the demolition sheer used to cut support posts and steel structures.
Jerry Lawrence in the Warehouse after demo.
There were 114 trips to the landfill total with either product, ingredients or garbage, which totals over 2.4 million pounds.
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Ashton Celebrates It’s 150th! by Cheri Kemp
The group representing Crest Foods as Business of the Year at the Ashton 150th Parade.
A beautiful team of Budweiser Clydesdales complete with a dalmation and wagon were a part of the parade this year.
Ashton, Illinois. A little town in Northern Illinois with a history that can be traced back to 1848, which is 167 years ago, when a few people, mostly in the same family, settled here. Over the years more people settled in what was then called Ogle Station, as homes and buildings sprung up. In 1854 the railroad came to Ogle Station in the form of the Galena & Chicago Union Railroad. The coming of a railroad began the influx of new business and more people. The quarrying of stone for buildings was an impor- tant industry in the early days and the remnants of those quarries can be found in various locations in Ashton (one location is now known as Griffith Park on the North side of Ashton) as well as the outskirts of Ashton. An inter- esting fact that is part of Ashton’s history is in the 1870’s many rail cars full of stone were quarried here to supply stone to Chicago to rebuild after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The town of Ogle Station was incorporated in 1865, which is why we now celebrate its 150th. But it was not until 1867 that the name was officially changed to Ashton. History says that on March 5, 1867, the name of the village was changed to Ashton by a special act of the state legislature. At that time J.B. Williams was president and W.H. Emmerson, clerk of Ogle Station. On the evening of March 5, 1867, the board met to select a new name for the village. The board balloted many times on the different names suggested (a favorite being Prairieview), but they failed to agree on what to name the village. Finally as midnight approached, Mr. Emmerson suggested they name it
Ashton, Illinois in 1915
Walkers from Crest in the parade
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Ashton, and go home. The board took a ballot, and it carried unanimously. No one asked, nor knew, why that name was suggested but it finally ended a long night of discussion. Over the weekend of June 13th, Ashton was full of activities for the big anniversary. Everything from a Walk, Pa- rade, Carnival, Fireworks, and Car Show were on the schedule to help residents celebrate. Crest Foods was re- coginzed as Business of the Year for 2015 and participated in the parade on Sunday afternoon. About 15 employ- ees and their children and grandchildren along with DeLores Meiners and family threw out candy on the parade route. Thank you to everyone who walked in the parade with Crest!
Crest Foods Holds Open Houses
Pam Furman leading a tour at the Consumer Products Lab Open House
Open House at the Ingredient Division Lab
On Saturday June 13th the Consumer Products Division as well as the Dairy Ingredient Division hosted an Open House during the 150th Ashton Celebration. In the Consumer Products Division at 904 Main Street, Ashton, a couple hundred people lined up to take a peek behind the tinted main street windows. Tour Guides Joyce & Mike Meiners, Mark Dempsey, Tom Windelborn, Pam Furman, and Holly Gleissner took turns walking small groups through the new lab space. The lab was staged as if it were a normal working day. On display were also many of the items we currently produce in the Consumer Prod- ucts Division. Our visitors were surprised at how nice the lab looked and at our extensive research and development capabilities. All in Ashton, Illinois. Who knew? Each visitor was sent home with a commemorative Crest Foods Koozie. A big thanks goes out to everyone who made the open house a success. Tour guides at 905 Main Street, where our Dairy Ingredient Division is located, were Dr. Herb Wyckoff, Technical Service Director; Chuck Reynolds and Aaron Baker, Lab Technician’s for Product Development; Jeff Hacaga, Lab Research Technical Manager and Steve Crook, Product Development Manager. Our Dairy Ingredient Division has a full Research & Development staff to formulate systems for dairy manufacturers to produce cost effect solu- tions to run in their plants. Crest Foods custom blends most stabilizing systems for specific dairies to insure our individual customers receive exactly what works best in their facility to reach their finished product standards. Our staff has over 75 years of experience total in dairy formulating and processing. This group of people is well versed in creating stabilizing systems for cultured products; fluid and frozen dairy; as well as other product applications. We have 2,630 sq. ft. of laboratory space, including an evaluation room. Our 1,650 sq. ft. pilot plant has equipment typically found in a dairy so our R&D staff can mimic how products will run through the plant. The visitors to this facility were able to hear detailed descriptions of how our products are formulated and eventually end up on your table in things like sour cream or cottage cheese.
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My Ten Year Trip by Ron Miller, C-Shift Sanitation Supervisor
Since our eldest daughter,Erin, was receiving her Masters Degree in Public Health from Rutgers University in New Jersey, my wife Linda and I decided that this would be a great opportunity to incorporate a family vacation with the event. Erin had actually graduated early and immediately been hired by Rutgers for a study on teenage to- bacco use, but her husband John and the rest of the family encour- aged her to attend the actual ceremony which was later in the year –
Meghan, Anna, Jane, Erin, Linda, Peter and Ron
especially when we found that she was to receive an additional award. The ceremony was long and quite warm but well worth it. Erin admitted that she was glad to have attended and is already thinking about a PhD. She has her family’s full support! Our kids think we are crazy to drive rather than fly to New Jersey on each trip, but Linda and I have always travelled well together and really enjoy the trip and scenery. Our second daughter, Meghan, chose to fly since she was on a tighter time line as well as being pregnant with her first child (grandchild number five for us). Meghan’s hus- band Jim, our son Ryan, his fiancée Kristen and our granddaughter Charlotte (born about a month before the “Royal” Charlotte, so we like to say that one was named for OUR princess!) were unfortunately unable to make the trip.
John and Erin live in Madison, New Jersey. The Madison/Morristown area is rich with Revolutionary War history. We managed to squeeze in a visit to several historic sites, such as the location of George and Martha Washington’s winter quarters during the war, and a few restored buildings from the era. Madison is only about 45 minutes from New York City so boredom is not an option! Erin, John, Meghan and Linda took Anna and Jane for the day and tea at the American Girls Doll store in New York, while I chose to play Grandpa and stay home with Peter. As with all such trips, ours ended far too soon but was a lot of fun. Our thanks go to Crest Foods and their gener- ous 10-year trip policy. My Ten Year Trip by Val Schick, B-Shift Production John, Erin and Peter
Hello Fellow Workers, First, I’d like to thank the Meiners family for allowing me to take my 10 year anniversary vacation, at the company’s’ expense. My fiancé and I had thrown around some ideas of places to go like New York, New Mexico, or even a train ride through the mountains. Ultimately we decided to go to Kentucky and West Virginia. I like seeing scary
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places and my fiancé, Eric, had found a place in Louisville, Kentucky. The place is called Waverly Hills Sanatorium. Eric had reserved a spot for me for a group tour that went from 10pm to midnight. Because of the hour difference, I almost missed the tour. But I did make it. No I didn’t see any creepy stuff, but I did hear something weird but only once. Pictures and flash weren’t allowed except for a small part of the tour. I saw nothing weird in the pic- tures, but they were pretty dark. Next we were on our way to see the Hatfield’s and McCoy sites in numerous towns like Pikeville, Kentucky; Williamson, Matewan, Logan,West Virginia, and many smaller towns in-between them that had some historical sites. For instance we got to see where Perry Cline live; where a lot of the Hatfield’s were put on trial; and where Ellison Hatfield “Cotton Top” Mounts was hung. This was all in Pikeville, Kentucky. Pikeville, Ky is where the McCoy cemetery is located as well. We climbed the 100 stairs to check out the graves. Then we went past Hardy, Ky where Randell McCoy’s house once stood, along with the well he had dug, until the cabin was burned down by the Hat- field Clan January 1, 1888. This location was also on the T.V. show “Diggers” who actually found the outline of the home. We talked with a neighbor nearby who used to give tours. He told us some history about the feud, and sold some items of which we bought a few. Then we moved on to the “Hog Trial” site. There is an old cabin at this site at Blackberry Creek in Pike County, KY. 100 yards away at the same site, is where the famous fight between the three McCoy brothers, and Ellison Hat- field (who was stabbed 27 times and shot). We stopped and took some pic- tures. Then we moved on to Matewan, West Virginia, where the three McCoy brothers, tied to pawpaw bushes next to the Tug River, were shot and killed by the Hatfields on the same day Ellison had died from the 27 stab wounds and the one gun shot. We also saw the 1908 two room local jail/town hall. Then we had to see the house were Aunt Betty McCoy and Roseanne McCoy lived in Stringtown, West Virginia. This is where Roseanne McCoy was sent to live after she got pregnant by Johnse Hatfield. His house can be seen on the T.V. show Hatfield and McCoy’s White Lightning. Roseanne’s baby is buried at the top of the hill cemetery, next to this house. Then we moved on to Logan, West Virgina, but were supposed to stop in Sarah Ann, West Virginia along the way to see the Hatfield cemetery, but had no cell or GPS service and couldn’t find it. Ultimately we had driven past it, up in the hills and didn’t realize it. So we stayed overnight in Logan, West Virgina and the next day we headed back to Illinois. When we were driving up I39 near I80, the clouds were pretty wicked. We were listening to the radio and learned the tornado had just hit Crest Foods and was moving north east. Thank you again for a wonderful vacation. Valerie and Eric
Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville, Kentucky.
Val at the “Hog Trial” site in Pike County, KY
Matewan, West Virginia, where the three McCoy brothers, tied to pawpaw bushes next to the Tug River, were shot and killed by the Hatfields on the same day Ellison had died from the 27 stab wounds and the one gun shot.
July, August & September 2015 Crest Ink 7
2015 Team Yo Walking Club Update We are only 2 races into the 2015 season, and already the Walking Club has raised over $3,300.00 for Serenity Hos- pice and Home in Oregon, Illinois! We had 73 Crest employees participate in our first event which was the Make- A-Wish 5K in Dixon. While it was a rainy morning, it was a great turnout to help raise money for the Make-A-Wish organization. Our second race took place in Ashton at the 4th Annual Ashton Community Walk, which raises money for the Ashton Community Fund. A record turnout for Crest, as we had 102 employees come out to run or walk that day! We were especially happy to participate in this event because part of the proceeds would be going to one of our long-time employees, Jim Lyles of the Mix Department. We have 5 more events to go and are well on our way to raising a lot of money for hospice. Thanks to all of the Crest employees and their family members who have turned this into such a large and worthwhile Walking Club. It’s a great feeling to see so many of our red shirts at each event!
Gaven Meiners, Amanda Stumpenhorst, Bernice Evans, Erika Meiners, Dino Chavez, Tracy Meiners, Jon Bakener, Ben Kinn, Jennifer Ryan, Ty Lebrick, Nicole Talbert, Matthias Kemmeren, Beth Dewey, June Danekas, Savannah Dees, Maria Alanis, Blasa Briseno, Regina Bonnell, Joe Richardson, Tina Talbert, Cass Askegaard, April Cover, Ana Hueramo, Al Kvool, Jenny Loomis, Val Smith, Maria Herrera, Alfonzo Alvarado, Yesina Solis, Tara Lifka, Natasha Pranga, Jackie Ayling, Melissa Chavez, Tina Withers, Maria Jernonimo, Jeff Meiners, Hannah Weiler, Brandon Meiners, Gay Huber, Aurora Abarca, Carmen Quintana, Stephanie Jeter, Kena Rivera, Nikki Tintori, Carol Murphy, Lori Wolfe, Emily Smith, April Fichter, Ben Fichter, Georgia Temmen, Aaron Meyer, Lori Shinabarger, Jackie Skrogstad, Justin Miller, and Rebecca Dodd at the Make-A-Wish 5K in Dixon
Yasmin Fulencio, Ana Hueramo, Maria Herrera, Blasa Briseno, Maria Jeronimo, Yesina Solis and Tina Johnson
Chris and Sherry Reynolds, Jim Lyles, Kyle Hassler, Caleb Hess and Andrea Hassler
Jessica Fair, Ben Fichter, April Fichter, Lori Wolfe and Sherry Joos
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Crest Remembers Recently two former employees of Crest Foods passed away but their memory lingers on within the halls of Crest Foods. In addition, a current employee, Sandy Bennett also left us. Leroy Ewald, at the age of 84 passed away in early May. Leroy had worked at Crest Foods for many years in our Ingredient Division as their maintenance man before retiring in 1997. Here at Crest Foods he was fondly known as MacGyver (after the MacGyver TV show 1985-1992) because he could fix anything. At his
retirement he was given a MacGyver plaque to honor his work at Crest Foods. Leroy also served in the Marines during the Korean Conflict and received a Purple Heart for his service during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. Also in May, we lost Wilma Haenitsch who worked at Crest Foods for 24 years before retiring in 2002. Wilma worked in Production and always had a big grin on her face and loved spending time at work with her friends. Wil- ma, and her sidekick, Gaye McBride, loved garage sales. They loved them so much so that if there happened to be a garage sale in Ashton, Gaye & Wilma would take their lunch hour time to go check it out. Wilma would come to work each day with her hairnet and happy-go-lucky attitude already in place and was a constant source of good cheer on any line in which she was scheduled. She will be missed by many. Although Sandy Bennett had only been with Crest Foods for 4 years, it did not take long for her to make an impres- sion with her quick smile, cheery hello and kind demeanor. Sandy took great pride in doing her job well and will be missed by all her friends here at Crest Foods. Sandy fought a brief but valiant battle with cancer and leaves be- hind many loving family members. Our condolences to the families of each of these people. Joe Gomez Inducted Into Hall of Fame
Joe Gomez, District Sales Manager, Dairy Ingredient Division – South- west Region, was recently honored by the Dairy Products Institute of Texas by being inducted into their Hall of Fame. The DPI of Texas has recognized Joe’s 40+ years of experience, service and dedication to the dairy industry. The DPI of Texas was chartered in 1944. Their mission is to unite Dairy Industry processing, manufacturing and ingredient firms in the mission to advance the wellness of the dairy industry in general but more specifically the dairy industry in Texas. Joe has been a member of this group for several years and has served on their Board of Directors. Joe is also past President of the Longhorns Association. The Longhorns are a supplier support group for the DPI of Texas and helps raise money for student scholarships at both Texas Tech and Texas A&M. Congratulations to Joe on this great honor!
Jim McDaniel of Hilmar Cheese, Joe Gomez and Mark Compere with the Dairy Products Institute of Texas
July, August & September 2015 Crest Ink 9
With Sympathy To Jesse Morris (B Production) on the death of his sis- ter, Felicia Morris and his grandfather, Gary Hunt. Dear Crest Family: We were saddened by the news of Fran Warkins’ passing. It is never easy to lose an em- ployee/co-worker. She had a beautiful spirit. You are all in our prayers. HOME OF HOPE – Joan, Connie and Michelle To Tom Balch (Ing. Div. Warehouse Planner) and LouAnn Balch (Warehouse Secretary) and family on the death of Tom’s mother, Winifred Balch. New Arrivals Angie Paul (B Production Supervisor) and her husband Bill are proud grandparents to Aiden Samuel Michels. Aiden was born April 13th at 7:08 pm and weighed 7 lbs. 15 oz. He was 21 inches in length. He is the son of April Paul and Elijah Michels. Tom (Ing. Division Sales) and Patricia Clayton are proud to announce the birth of their grandson, John Christopher White. John is the first son to Julie Clay- ton White and Christopher White. He is the fourth grandson to Tom and Patricia. John was born April 13th and weighed 6 lbs. 15 oz. and was 21 inches long. Jordan Hamilton (C Shift Set-up) and Christina Marsh announce the birth of their son, Landon Joseph Ham- ilton. He was born April 7th and weighed 8 lbs. 7 oz. and was 21 inches in length. He is welcomed home by big sister Ayla. Congrats to Grandma Tammie Lis- ton (A Production). Stephanie (Ing. Operations Manager) and Jerry Quinton welcomed their first grandchild on April 3, 2015. Taylor and Cory Morris, who live in Virginia, had a baby boy. Houston William Morris weighed 9 lbs. and was 21 ½ inches in length. Nina Sims (A Production) became a grandmother for the 4th time when Evelynn Neveah Sloater was born
on May 25, 2015. The parents are Connie (Nina’s daughter) and Kenneth Sloater. Evelynn is welcomed home by her 4 year old sister, Layla Gibson. Also, Con- nie married Kenneth Sloater on May 15, 2015. Amelia Logan Rice was born March 23, 2015. She weighed 7 lbs. 14 oz. and was 20 inches in length. She is the daughter of Audriana Rice and Shane Williams (B Warehouse) Gaven (Consumer Products) and Tracy Meiners wel- comed a daughter on June 22, 2014. Brileigh Anne weighed 7 lbs. 1 oz. and was 19 inches long. Congratulations Congratulations to A.L. M. Cabinetry for “Retailer of the Year” award from the Rochelle Chamber of Commerce. Michael Arreguin is Owner/Designer; Pete Agnos is a Designer and Laura Thomas is the Office Manager. Michael is the husband of Shawneen Ar- reguin (B Production) To Our Crest Foods Family: we really appreciate all of the love and support you have shown our Mom (Fran War- kins) and family during her illness. To each of you who said prayers, shared smiles, sent cards, made visits, and helped with donations – you made my Mom’s life more sweet and full of love! She truly loved her job and I’m sure all of you had a great deal to do with that! It is not very often that a job and family become one- however, Crest Foods and the people there have made that happen. She was blessed to have you in her life! We were also just as blessed to have you. Thank you is just not enough to express the sincere gratitude for all of the help we have received. We are so proud to share this community with such a great company. “Love is how you stay alive, even after you’re gone” (Mitch Albom) Love, Bridgette, Chris, Mary & the Frances Warkins Family Congratulations to Nate May for obtaining his new job of Forklift Driver at the West Ware- house on the A-shift! Thank You
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Thank You Thank you for your prayers and card, it meant a lot to us. Mrs. Constance Brannock and Laura Mares and Family Dear Crest Family: thank you for the nice plant I received during my time off recuperating from surgery. The plant came at a perfect time. It really made me feel good. Thanks again! Tammy Crook (Lab Tech) Dear Crest Family and Friends: I wanted to let you know how much I appreciated your support and kind and loving expressions of sympathy when my mother passed away. Your kindness and thoughtfulness will never be forgotten. Sincerely, Nancy (A Shift Wet Lab) and John Gleissner and Family Thank You: It’s almost 4 months now since I have retired from Crest Foods. So often I think about all of my friends at Crest. I still miss you all. I truly can’t thank you enough for your kindness and friendship. I was totally blown away on my retirement by all the cards, gifts, and well wishes by not just current employees but people that I had worked with many years ago here at Crest, as well as friends who have recently retired from Crest. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I will remember you all fondly for the rest of my life. Sales and Tech Service, I felt it an honor to be of service to you all. I think that is the part of my job I miss most. Your dedication, knowledge and professionalism spoke volumes to me. I thought the world of each and every one of you. Again, thank you all and God bless. Patti Forrester Dear Crest Foods, I wanted to thank you for supporting me and my trip to Orlando, Florida so I could participate in the DECA Nationals. DECA is a national program geared towards high school and college students who have interest in pursuing a business, finance or marketing career. The top competitors from each state and some countries from around the world compete in Nationals every year. My teammate and I qualified for Nationals by placing 2nd in the State of New Mexico. Thank you for helping us be able to compete at the National level. - Toby Gomez (grandson of Joe Gomez, District Sales Manager, South- west Division.
Congratulations Graduates Ashley Wolfe, daughter of Lori Wolfe (A Production) graduated from Augustana with a BA in Psychology Mitchell Wolfe, son of Lori Wolfe (A Production) graduated from Dixon High School Robert Rhodes, son of Denise Stephan (B Sanitation) graduated the 8th grade at Amboy Jr. High Alan Karas, son of Jeff Karas (Eng. Electrician) gradu- ated Summa Cum Laude from Southern Illinois Univer- sity in May. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Technology with a Specialization in Avionics and a minor in Supply chain Logistics. Pictured is Jeff Karas with his daughter Jamie, son Alan and Jeff ’s wife, Karen.
Elizabeth Henrikson, daughter of David Henrikson (QA Quality Engineer) is graduating from Crossroads High School in Tiskilwa. She will be attending Sauk Community College in the fall and plans to become a certified Kindermusik instructor this summer and start up a program in Princeton. Congratulations on your accomplishments and all the best to you in your pur- suits. Jonathan Henrikson, son of David Henrikson (QA Quality Engineer) has completed 8th grade at Princeton Christian Academy and will be attending Ohio High School in the fall. Congratulations on your accomplish- ments and all the best to you in your pursuits. Brendan Carter, son of Jeannie Carter (B Production) graduated 8th grade from AFC.
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Congratulations Graduates Alyssa Larson, daughter of Jeff and Susan Larson (Pay- roll) received her Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Education from Millikin University in Decatur on May 17th. Also, on April 23rd she was an award winner at Millikin’s Honors Night where she received the Dr. Jerald Hunt and Dr. Darlene Hoffman Award for being the Outstanding Senior Student along with excellence in teaching and learning in the Education Dept. Emily Reif, daughter of Shirley Reif (Crest Controller) graduated from Rochelle Township High School in May 2015. Emily will major in Ag-Business at Western Il- linois University in Macomb, IL this fall. Congratula- tions Emily on your 2nd place finish in Champaign, IL in March 2015 while participating in the Food Science category of the IL FFA State Record book Proficiency competition. As well as being the recipient of 3 schol- arships in May. Congratulations Adam Reif on your new job with CNA in the finance area. You both have worked hard and it has paid off. We are so proud of you both. SET YOUR SIGHTS HIGH AND GO - AFTER YOUR DREAMS! Mom and Dad Brooke Bullock, daughter of Pete Bullock (Sales Man- ager) graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans on May 9th. She received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Sciences. Brooke graduated with Ho- nors and received an Environmental Major Award for Leadership & Service presented to her by the Dean of her University. She is actively interviewing for a couple of Research positions. She has a very proud Dad! Tristen Lee Eugene Hilpert, great-grandson of Linda Myers (QA) graduated May 17th from Scotland County High in Memphis, Missouri. Tristen will be attending Mizzou State in Columbia, MO, studying Agronomics. Grandma Linda wishes him luck in his new adventure. Gage Mares, son of Laura (A Prod) and Jim Mares, graduated from Amboy High School on May 31, 2015. Congratulations from Mom and Dad
Charley Devine, grand-daughter of Linda Myers (QA) graduated from Stanford High School in Stanford, KY on June 4th. Charley will be attending college studying Culinary Arts and Business. Grandma is proud of her! Dakota Shuck, daughter of Trisha and Jim Shuck (A Maint) graduated from Reagan Middle School and will go to Dixon High School in the fall. Mom and Dad wish you the best and Congratulations on making the High School Cheerleading team! Chandler Niel McClain (B Production), son of Angie Paul (B Production Supervisor) graduated from Dixon High School. April Marie Paul, step-daughter of Angie Paul (B Prod. Supervisor) graduated from Independence High in Iowa. Kennidy Summers, daughter of Dave and Dawn (QA Lab Manager) Summers, has graduated with Honors from Dixon High School. Kennidy will be travelling to Europe this summer, visiting our past foreign exchange students. She will be going to Germany, Austria, Italy, France and Belgium. Upon her return, she will be at- tending Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri. She will be majoring in International Relations. Her parents and family are very proud of her and wish her a bright future! Morine Snodgrass, Scheduling, had three grandchildren graduate this spring. Brandon Snodgrass graduated from Kishwaukee College and Skyler Snodgrass from Prophetstown High School. Charles Downey graduated from Oregon High School. Congratulations! Congratulations Tristan Bushman, son of Dave Bush- man in Scheduling, on graduating from AFC High School Class of 2015. Tristan will be attending Sauk Valley College in the fall to start pursuing a degree in the Music Business. Way to go Tristan!
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Happy Retirement, Lila & Paul!
The last few months has seen the retirement of two long time employees. Lila Burhenn retired after making Crest Foods her home for 43 years! Yes, you read that correctly – 43 years! True to Lila’s quiet, no fanfare style, she thought she would just end her tenure here by quietly leaving work on her final day. However, Crest Foods did not want to let this dedicated woman leave without a little bit of a celebration of her time here. When Lila needed to come in to the offices to do a little final paperwork, we were prepared with a small gathering or her co-workers in the lobby. Complete with a beauti- ful bouquet of flowers, everyone was able to give hugs and remi- nisce a little about all the past years. Lila was accompanied by her husband, Dutch, and daughter Sue. Many will know Lila and her partner in crime, Guyla Pfeiffer, as a team who have worked side by side for many, many years. (Guyla has worked at Crest Foods for 47 years). During the bubbly con- versations of her co-workers, Kevin Fish commented that when he was hired he was told he would be working alongside a couple
Shirley Reif, Jeff Meiners, Cheri Kemp Chris Pera- les, Jesse Densmore, Darreon Shuck, Gene Hodges, Kevin Fish, Erika Meiners, Sue Osborne, Kevin Gibson, Mike Meiners Seated: Guyla Pfeiffer and Lila Burhenn
of ladies in the 80’s. He said he thought ‘how hard can the work be if those ladies can do it?’ Kevin’s comment to that was “Boy, did I learn something!” Lila reminisced about starting her job here on the Hill’s Brothers jar line at a time when the ladies had to wear skirts to work! She said she had watched ‘the boys’ (Steve, Jeff & Mike Meiners) grow up and eventually work in the plant alongside her.
This is Paul Harvey, Good Day. Ok, you might have to be over age 40 to know that famous line from famed radio personality Paul Harvey. I am sure ‘our’ Paul Harvey has heard it more times than he cares to remember. After 19 years on a third shift as a Preventive Maintenance Mechanic, Paul Harvey has said good bye. Paul plans to begin the first part of his retirement with a cruise in which he will step in to walk his niece down the aisle for her wedding as her father is too ill to do so. Paul then has another vacation planned later on and following that, his time is his own. He said he would see where that takes him. Paul said he has enough projects at home to keep him busy and is looking forward to a normal day as he is so accustomed to working the night shift. Congratulations to you, Paul, and enjoy your retirement. Good day! When asked if she was ready to retire she said she was ‘half ready’ and maybe now would sleep in a little later than usual. Jeff Meiners reiterated how happy Crest Foods was that she had decided to spend so many years with us and would be missed but wished her the best in her retirement. Congratulations Lila!
July, August & September 2015 Crest Ink 13
by Jared Stumpenhorst
If you have ever bought a cup of microwaveable mac & cheese, oatmeal or soup and wondered how it was packaged, you can stop wondering! That is be- cause in March the Packaging Division added a microwaveable cup pack- aging line to our operation. This is a project that has been in development for well over a year, and we are very excited to finally see all of the effort paying off.
Sally Heather & Felicia Mon
The line consists of equipment that is new to Crest Foods as well as some that is a new take on equipment that we are already familiar with. The “heart” of the line is the two filler systems and the cup sealing equipment. The seal- ing equipment is a series of four lanes of cups that travel underneath two fill stations. One of the fill stations is a volumetric cup filler and the other is a quad auger. Although very similar to many of the auger fillers in our opera- tion the quad auger is unique in that there are four augers contained within a shared hopper which allows us to fill the four cup lanes in a relatively small footprint. The cup sealing equipment itself is a completely new type of equipment for Crest Foods. As mentioned there are four lanes of cups that travel along the sealer. After the cups are filled with product a film membrane is adhered to the cup. The machine makes a die cut the shape the film needs to be and then through a combination of heat and pressure the film is sealed to the cup. This seal ensures a quality product that does not spill out before it gets to the consumer. After that the cups go through standard processes of being check weighed, metal detected and coded. Over the first couple months of running, we have been extremely pleased with how the start-up has gone.
We have cycled through four different families of products and saw success on all of them. When we first started working on this project it looked like we would be taking a bit of a leap of faith that the volume would come later and fill this line up. Fast forward to where we are today, and the line is already booked through the end of the calendar year. We are extremely excited about the future for cups. If you have a chance and have not checked it out, stop by the next time you are in the plant.
Recently, Randy Reuter, Ingredient Division Production Manager, and David Henriksen, Quality Engineer Packaging Division, were honored by the Illinois Department of Public Health for their 20 years of service as First Responders. Each year there is an obser- vance of Emergency Medical Services Week, this year it was May 17 to 23, 2015, and Randy & David were presented with their certifi- cates at that time. Crest Foods also benefits from their years of experience with their participation as part of our Emergency Re sponse Team. We wish to congratulate them on this accomplishment and thank them for their service to our employees! 20 Year First Responders
David Henrikson & Randy Reuter
14 Crest Ink July, August & September 2015
CIP 2015 3rd Quarter Winners The Continuous Improvement Program (CIP) is a program where employees may submit suggestions on ways that they think can improve Crest Foods. These suggestions may help improve overall efficiency, employee safety, sanitation, record keeping, maintenance and various other areas around Crest Foods. In exchange for their sugges- tions, each employee is rewarded with a $5.00 gift certificate to our Crest store. We received 38 suggestions from employees for the 3rd quarter. Thank you to everyone for participating! Zygmunt Cichosz (Ingredient A-Shift) 3rd Quarter 1st Place • $250
Zygmunt’s idea was to make a hopper to fit on the magnet box to dump small batches through the metal detector. We were using a particulate hopper from Mix Room “E”. There was a lot of work and time spent on installing and uninstalling the “E” particulate hopper. This hopper would fit on the magnet box and significantly reduce the amount of time and labor involved in the set up. Clean up would be fast and all equipment would stay in place before and after set- ups.
Martha Holder (Production A-Shift) 3rd Quarter Runner Up • $150 Martha’s idea was to have web carts set up with a grated tray welded to them to hold the tools we need to change web so you wouldn’t have to always go back and forth to the tool box. This would keep the tools off the line and save time on the lines also.
Debbie Noon & Martha Holder
Debby Noon (Production A-Shift) 3rd Quarter Runner Up • $150
Debby’s idea was to help out with a common problem on line #18. She wanted to make a cart with sides, a back, and wheels to hold boxes instead of stacking them on the floor where they get knocked over frequently helping to keep them stacked and clean! Also, they can be easily moved if they get in the way.
Ray Sixaysana (B Shift Production) was so excited about reaching his 30 years of employment in May that he wanted his picture taken with his granite brick to commemorate his tenure here. All employees who make this milestone are honored with a brick on the front of the main office building at Crest Foods. Congratulations Ray! 30 Years Later
July, August & September 2015 Crest Ink 15
by Amy Wilcox Penny Ellis has worked at Crest Foods for 30 years and is currently at the West Facility working in production. Most days you can find her on line 83 packing stuffing, a lot different job from where she was 15 years ago. Back then she was in sanitation, hauling air hoses up ladders, cleaning hayssens and manning change overs. Much like we do today, but without all the ‘red tape’ involved. I have to think she likes it out here a little better. Not a day goes by, when you can’t walk by Penny’s line and you’ll see the warmest of smiles on her face, and be greeted with a cheerful good morning. She always asks how your day is going, how your weekend was, or how you or your family is doing, or in my case, what they were up to the night before. Penny was blessed with four sons, Steven, Mark, Chucky and Tommy to give her three beautiful granddaughters, Tessa, Jayla, or Paisley. Even if she’s having a bad day, she’ll have a funny story about one of them. If you haven’t heard by now, Penny has been receiving treatment for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, another rare form of cancer. She has been doing very well, and finished her last chemo treatment on May 29. She goes for a PET scan on June 15 so we are all praying for good results. Penny sent a letter to Crest back in April thanking everyone for everything her Crest family has done for her. Between the bake sale, sponsored by Sherry Joos, the T-shirt orders, and a 50/50 raffle coordinated by employees of Crest, the employees were able to help raise over $3500 to help Penny with medical expenses, gas to get to treatments and any other expenses along the way.
A Penny for your thoughts. A Penny saved is a penny earned. Don’t be Penny wise and pound foolish. Idiom’s about pennies can go on and on and on. But the one we here at Crest Foods like the best is “Priceless Penny”. As a show of support, Penny Ellis’ co-work- ers designed a t-shirt for employees to purchase and wear to work. Shown above is just a small group of those who proudly wear their t-shirts in their support of their co-worker. Penny will soon celebrate her 31st year here at Crest Foods. We wish her a return to good health and many more years at Crest Foods. Shown above are some of Penny’s co-workers at the West Facility: Carmen Reuter, Amy Wilcox, Jen Brooks, Tania Guzman, Rosa Hernandez, Natasha Armstrong, Peter Krull, Tina Withers, Jamie Lampley, Dino Chavez, Stephanie Jeter, Lori Wolfe, Alfonzo Alvarado, Tammy Liston, Penny Ellis, Dan Yates, Chad Reed, Kena Rivera, Lisa Wilkinson, Ann Prestegaard, Juana Knopp, Hannah Weiler, Briana Stomberg, & Ed Libberton
16 Crest Ink July, August & September 2015
Jen Brooks, Tammy Liston, Penny Ellis, Ann Prestegaard and Irene Garza
The design Jon Larson made for the t-shirts
Penny Ellis & Sherry Joos
To My Crest Family: Thank you everyone for everything you have done for me. I am really moved. Coming to work and being surrounded by all of you really helps me get through all of this. With the hugs, the laughter, and the kind words – it helps me to be strong and positive. I know I will get through this. Thank you for thinking of me, and all the prayers. I appreciate the donations, gas cards and shirts. It really helps out a lot. The chemo is working; it’s breaking up the lymph nodes. I have about 4 chemo treatments left. I truly thank you all from the bot- tom of my heart. Hugs and love to you all. God bless you all. Penny Ellis (A Production)
Pete & Lillie Capes Combined, Pete and Lillie Capes spent nearly 40 years working at Crest with Lillie logging 27 of those years herself. Lillie was a main stay in our packaging QA department and Pete worked in our machine shop. Both left very big impressions at Crest and we have missed them since their retirements about eight years ago. They were sud denly brought back to our memories on April 9th (their 60th wedding anniversary) when the tornado that started its path of destruction at the Crest warehouse took dead aim on their home in rural Rochelle. Fortunately they were not home at the time, because their home was totally demolished with nothing left standing. They are currently in the process of rebuilding, but keep Lillie and Pete in your thoughts and prayers.
The Cedar Wax Wings have again made the trees at Crest Foods their home, or at least their home until they have picked the branches clean of all the berries.
July, August & September 2015 Crest Ink 17
March Madness: SLAM DUNK for Charity!
For a fourth year, we held a customer pool for charity during the NCAA Basketball Tournament this March. This year we were able to help customers donate $4,000 towards their worthy causes. HOW THE CONTEST WORKS: We assign customers or groups of people at a customer location to a bracket spot. When pairings come out on Selection Sunday… they have their team to root for. If the team places in the top four, they get to pick a charity of their choice to donate to. We also throw in a “wild card” winner. THIS YEAR: Our theme was “Slam Dunk for Charity!” Each person participating was sent a Dunkin’ Donuts gift card as a “thank you” for playing in our contest. The winners are…
1st …$1,500 WINNER: Mitch Karlin at Karlin Foods TEAM: Duke CHARITY CHOICE: Ashton area tornado relief for the victims effected by the April 9, 2015 tornado. Money and gift cards were distributed to two local families and a couple who were both former Crest employees whose homes were destroyed by the tornado. 2nd …$1,000 WINNER: Karen Carlson, Dana Leslie and Eugene Jhu at Ventura Foods TEAM: Wisconsin CHARITY CHOICES: JDRF, Habitat for Humanity, and The LA Trust for Children’s Health.
Mitch Karlin & Mike Meiners
This group decided to spread their donation over three charities. A third of the money was donated to JDRF-San Diego chapter. Karen Carlson wanted to donate to her local chapter because her son has been doing a lot of work with them over the past year. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes research. For more information on this charity, visit sd.jdrf.org. Another third of the donation went to the Los Angeles chapter Habitat for Humanity. Dana Leslie wanted to do- nate to this organization that is able to make home ownership possible for lowincome, hardworking families and individuals living in Southern California. For more information, visit: habitatla.org 3rd …$500 WINNER: Ron Diuguid & Scott Wilson at Prairie Farms Carbondale TEAM: Kentucky CHARITY CHOICE: American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society is dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem. For over 100 years they have helped people stay well & get well, find cures, and fight back against cancer.For more information visit www.cancer.org
Terry Anderson (Crest), Ron Diuguid and Scott Wilson
18 Crest Ink July, August & September 2015
4th…$500 WINNER: Daniel & Debbie Hochstatter and Mary Schoch at Cugino’s Gourmet Foods TEAM: Michigan State
CHARITY CHOICE: Ashton area tornado relief for the victims affected by the April 9, 2015 tornado. This group also wanted to donate to local tornado victims in the Ashton area. We were grateful for them to think of Crest Foods employees, along with many others that donated.
5th And-One Wild Card Winner! …$500 WINNER: Lyons Magnus-Denise Kelly CHARITY CHOICE: Dana Farber Cancer Institute
Denise wanted to donate to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. She wanted to do something in memory of her cousin Linda Quimby who passed away almost a year ago from Ovarian Can- cer. She received the best care at Dana Farber and they continue to do a lot of research and clinical trials which she feels is very important, as she has two daughters who are at risk for the same disease. For more information, visit http://www.dana-farber.org/how-to-help.aspx. Pete Bullock (Crest) & Denise Kelly Construction & Reconstruction Updates
Much work to do yet, but the Ingredient Division warehouse should be ready for occupancy by August 1st.
It looks kind of sad now, but preliminary reconstruction will start on the Packaging warehouse in June and the new building will start going up in July. The picture to the right shows the new 82,000 gallon water tank for our fire suppression system (sprinkler) in the new Ingredient Division ware- house. Since we don’t have access to city water, we have to maintain a sup- ply on hand to support a building this size in the event of a fire. At the current warehouse we have a 100,000 gallon underground tank.
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