Volume 30 • Number 01 January, February & March 2018 Ashton, IL 61006 Salute to Ken Drew by Jeff Meiners
Nobody at Crest can honestly say they re- member when Ken Drew started work- ing here, that’s because no other person from Crest was here when he started. That’s right; Ken is the longest tenured employee currently at Crest having devoted forty-seven and a half years to his job at Crest. Feeling that almost half a century is probably enough, Ken is ready to hand that title over to someone else as he is preparing to retire in mid- January. As is often the case, a fortuitous com- bination of circumstances brought Ken to Crest. Ken was working for the lumberyard in Franklin Grove when he was asked to assist a driver on a delivery. The return trip home brought them through Ashton as the driver had a girl- friend who was working at the bar in town. While the driver was visiting his girlfriend, Ken thought he’d walk across the street to visit a couple of people he knew who were working at Crest on Main Street. Ken happened to run into Dick Moeller at Crest and after a bit of conversation was offered a job for $2.20
In This Issue Raffle Winners page 6
30 & 20 Year Employees page 2
Walking Club Wrap Up page 15
by Cheri Kemp There are several milestones an employee can reach during their time with Crest Foods. The first being awarded money for their 10 Year Trip; the next is receiving their Crest Foods 20 Year ring and at 30 years, a “brick” that is mounted on the front of the Main Plant entrance as well as $500 to donate in their name to the charity of their choice. We currently have 274 employees actively at work who have reached the 10 year trip milestone; 128 active employees who sport the Crest Foods ring; 43 active employees with an engraved brick in the front entrance of the Main Plant and 7 active employees who have been at Crest Foods for over 40 years! Congratulations to each of these employees! The following few pages there are a few words from our newest 30 Year and 20 Year employees. an hour replacing Dean Cater who would later become the dentist in Rochelle. Ken couldn’t pass up the wage and his career in the lumber business ended just that quickly. The Crest Foods of the early 1970’s that Ken joined looked dramatically different than it did today. Our entire operations were housed in the north plant. Production lines were in the basement where the exercise room is today. The Ingredient Division was still in Forreston and our warehouse consisted of several random buildings around town that were no more than large garages. An SQF audit would have been out of the question in those days. Ken quickly became a line operator – which meant he ran the line, did QA, did maintenance and stocked the pop ma- chine in the breakroom. Over the years Ken has held many positions at Crest ranging from Inventory Control Manager to his current position of managing the Karlin Warehouse, but most likely nothing brought him the variety of experiences and the cast of characters that those early years at Crest did. When reminiscing about all those years at Crest, Ken’s conversation is almost entirely spent on the people he worked with. The cast of characters is almost endless highlighted by many of the people he first worked with and some of the crazy things that happened. Ken’s early years were associated with people who built the foundation for Crest such as Carmen Quadraro, Lloyd Pretzsch, Gary Meyers, Inez Seal, Gladys Reitz, Fern Greenfield, Florence Naylor, Guyla Pfeiffer, Dick Moeller and Mel Lawson. He has some great stories about each one and no doubt they might have had some about him. Ken has literally built a legacy at Crest. The Drew family could practically hold a family reunion in the breakroom. His sons have worked at Crest with Adam currently at the Crest warehouse and Jacob at Karlin Foods. Extended family is spread throughout the plant. The entire family, including his wife, have pitched in mowing the grounds at the Karlin warehouse. There is no denying the impact that Ken and his family have had on Crest Foods. Ken even holds the record for the longest distance ten year trip traveling to New Zealand to visit friends shortly after the con- cept of the ten year trip was initiated. We can’t thank Ken enough for what he has done for Crest and what he has meant to us over the years. We wish him only the best in retirement and hope he remembers the way back to visit us often. By the way, if you are won- dering who is taking over the crown for the current longest serving employee…ask Chris Pfoutz.
Lona Berkeley (Production A) My cousin, who worked at Crest over 30 years ago for a short time, told me about Crest Foods so I applied for a job. I had been a waitress in Oregon before Crest Foods and my husband and I had an agreement that I would only work 2 years then get to stay home and be a housewife. But, I like shopping too much so here I am 30 years later! I have seen a lot of walls go up and a lot of changes over the years but it has been awesome and a pleasure working here!
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Judy Barrett (Scheduling) After buying a new car, all those years ago, I decided I needed a job to make extra money for a car payment. Even though I was not planning to make this a long term career, here it is 30 years later, I am still here! I have seen a lot of changes over the years, some of them good, some not so good. One vivid memory is after my first or second summer working here, is the flood at the warehouse and all over town. All the stacks of product got wet and collapsed, tipping over like dominoes. The one thing that has remained consistent is all the really nice people that work here. Sam Haight (Mix B) I came to Crest Foods needing a job that had stability and wasn’t going to fold and go to who knows where! When I first started work at Crest Foods I will admit it was totally different. Yet it was similar to other factory work. June 25, 1997 was my first day of work (as a temp employee). Then time went on trying to prove myself how worthy I might be to this company. I was hired by Crest on December 15, 1997. The company must have saw how I wanted to become part of this family! 20 years go by faster than you think. The one memory that will always stay with me is oddly the day I was tired of being pushed and proved myself and to others the respect I deservingly needed to receive. The other workers at the time
gave it to me. I went from a mix helper to lead mixer to doing set ups for batches, to batch stager. I also washed drums, baled cardboard when it was needed. I wanted to get to know every job in the mix facility and become flex- ible to the needs of that job. I’ve seen people come and go in the last 20 years and some of these people have passed away leaving their indelible mark on the company as well as people who worked with them. They will always be with us in our hearts and we feel richer just knowing them, the same way I felt about my dad who passed away May 17, 2017. At this time I want to thank the Meiners’ family for believing in me and my ability to help their company grow. I haven’t taken a 10 year trip yet, but I will work on that when the time is right! Thank you very much to everyone who helped me in many ways to become the person I need to be at Crest Foods. Sincerely, Samuel J. Haight P.S. I’m very honored to have joined the 20 year club.
Felicia Messenger (Production B) I started at Crest Foods back in 1989. I came and went a few times, but something kept bringing me back. I made Crest a permanent home on No- vember 24, 1997. I have watched lots of changes happen over the past 20 years including the Mixing Department moving out of the main plant to the West Facility; our no smoking policy being implemented; our West Facility being built. I have also had the pleasure of meeting and working with hundreds of people and working with lots of different products. Overall I have enjoyed my first 20 years and am going to try to do another 20 to see what else happens at Crest! Matt Drew (Mix A) I was attending Sauk Valley Community College and looking for a sum- mer job to get me through until the next fall. I enjoyed the atmosphere and money coming in and 20 years later – here I am! Honestly I did not plan on making this a long term career but it has been a great place to work. From my ten-year trip to the Magic Waters nights, to the Christmas dinners and bonuses, Crest has been beyond generous and working for the Meiners family has been wonderful.
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Maria Garcia (Production A) First of all, thank you for having me for so long! Why did I come to Crest Foods? Well, my kids just had started school so I was just looking for a job at that time. I never really thought about how long I would be here, but it feels good to work for a good company. That time just flew so fast – 20 years. Oh my goodness, I never thought I
would be this long and it is actually 21 because I worked for almost a year as a temp. One thing that I remember from my first days, is that it was so hard for me to keep up with the line but I would see these little two old ladies that made it look so easy, that I said to my- self, if they can do it, I can do it! The other memory that I can say and be proud of is that I still have the same utility knife that was given to me by my trainer, Sy Phachantry, over 20 years ago! Thank you!
David Henrikson (QA Engineer B) It is difficult to believe that 20 years have gone by so quickly. But when I see the numerous facility additions, improvements in production areas, quality programs and multiple new customers and projects, it is easier to see what we’ve been doing all this time at Crest. We’ve been busy. I also have a few mile markers that will always help me remember how long I’ve worked here. My first (20 year old) daughter was not yet a year old when I began my career at Crest as a line operator, and my 15 year old twins were born the week I began working with Quality Assur- ance. Before some building improvements were made, and working as a line Operator, I recall
making a Continuing Improvement suggestion for a line which was dealing with excessive humidity, due to its loca- tion adjacent to a mixing area. Although appreciated, the suggestion wasn’t needed because the line was going to be de-commissioned. Well, in wonderful Crest fashion to keep up with customer needs, we instead moved the mixing areas into their own state of the art facility down the road, and gave that needed production area an expansion and improvement. One of our greatest niches in the market is our ability to change and be flexible. Be it customer needs and changes, regulatory and just staying ahead in quality food production and efficiency, we specialize and weather the changes, sometimes literally. A tornado hitting our warehouse, massive rains or snows, we’ve come out better through it. But you had better watch your step, there may be a new wall put in or a moved staircase (or build- ing) that wasn’t there yesterday. My experience in supervision and manufacturing drew me to Crest Foods, but it was its culture which kept me here. I am privileged to have been part of this company which not just stays on the game of innovative food production and packaging, but one who sees the high value of investing in families, in communities, and into people. A culture that is open to new things coming, great ideas, serving others, and having fun in the process. Thank You Crest Foods for 20 years and to many more in the future.
Maria Guerrero (Production B) Before coming to Crest Foods I had several jobs in the Dix- on and Sterling area. Eventually I applied for work through a temporary service agency called Burton Placement. I thought I would get sent to work at GE in Morrison but they asked me if I would like to go to Ashton to Crest Foods to work. I had never heard of Crest Foods before but decided I would give it a try. In the beginning I felt like it was the hardest job I ever had and worried that I wasn’t going to make it. But I am still here! I remember working with Angie Messenger who was my line operator. I worked with her for years. Once when I was having a hard time learning to pack a special way, Angie took the time to show me how to do it
and encouraged me until I finally got it! I am so happy with my supervisors and Gina has always been so good to me. I like the people here and am very happy here. I want to thank the entire Meiners family for everything they do.
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Henry Bunger (Ingredient Warehouse A) In 1987 I came to Crest Foods when I was work- ing in construction after it hit a slow time. Jim Lyles told me he might be able to get me on at Crest Foods. I thought I was only going to be there for the winter months until construction picked back up. Well, 20 years later, I’m still at Crest Foods. I have seen a lot of changes at Crest over my time. Some seemed to be not ideal, but things always seemed to work out. I remember the breakroom in the Main Plant when I started was where the Ingredient Division C Side bagger is now. We did all our weighing and staging on the 3rd floor the same day as we were producing the product. Then, they added on to the 3rd floor and moved staging out Lisa White (Production A) I came to Crest Foods after the factory I was working at for 12 years closed and moved out of state. I wanted long term work and after being at Crest for a short period of time, I decided this was the place. Everyone here was so friendly and family oriented. I felt right at home. Crest has grown a lot in just the 20 years I’ve been here and I hope I will be able to be here to see another 20 years! Jamie Bock (Ingredient A) Why did I come to Crest Foods? I had just graduated from high school and was looking for a job. I went to Burton Placement Temp Service to find a place to work. Burton Placement called and said there was a job available at Crest Foods. I worked 3 months at Crest and then was hired full-time. I was not planning to make this a long time career. I thought I would only stay for a few months! A moment that really sticks out in my mind happened 2 years after I started at Crest when there was a huge snowstorm. There were only 2 other workers from the Ingredient Division who made it in to work when I arrived. They both lived in Ashton. I was the only person from out of town who came to work! We
did as much production work as we could, and the company gave us Bulls tickets in return!
to the warehouse. Eventually, they built the first of the two new weighing rooms and receiving warehouses for the Ingredient Division. Over my 20 years there have been changes to some of the people from the plants and ware- houses, though a lot of people have stayed the same, many have come and gone as well. As I look back to 20 year ago, I believe I made the right decision to stay with Crest Foods and the Meiners family. As some of you know, I coach basketball and I am involved in a lot of community sports in Rochelle. Crest has been a great fit for me by allowing me flexibility when it comes to being at my games, practices and tournaments for my 2 basketball teams as well as for the other sports that I coach. I don’t think my body could have handled 20 years of construction or allowed me to be involved in all my other activities as well. I don’t know if I will work at Crest Foods as long as my wife’s Great Aunt Guyla Pfeiffer did (until age 96!) but I will give it a try!
Production A-Shift had a nice surprise this December when Lisa White (who has been off on a leave of absence)stopped by the Christmas Dinners to see everyone and receive her 20 year ring! Many employees wore their Team Lisa t-shirts that Georgia Temmen had sold to employees to generate dona- tions for Lisa. Come back and visit us soon!
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Christmas Dinners & Raffle Winners by Cheri Kemp Editors note: Each year a fund raising event is held during the Christmas season to raise money for the Crest Foods Employee Benevo- lence Fund. The amount of money raised through the raffle of some wonderful donated gifts is matched dollar for dollar by Crest Foods. The money in the Benevolence Fund is used to help those employees who find themselves in difficulty or crisis through unforeseen circum- stances. We thank everyone who purchased raffle tickets to help support this fund! Even if you didn’t win, you supported a great cause! The fun and anticipation of drawing raffle winner names was in abundance as was the food provided during the ca- tered Christmas dinners held on December 13 & 14. Employees were treated to a delicious variety of food as a way to celebrate the upcoming Christmas holiday. During the meals, those employees who reached their 20 year and 30 year milestones at Crest Foods were recognized. Jeff Meiners, President, said a few words about each person to highlight their years at Crest Foods and what it means to Crest for their dedication. After weeks of ticket sales, when the time came to draw a winner from the various raffles, you could almost hear each person mentally saying ‘pick me, pick me’! Throughout the two days of dinner celebrations, fifteen winning names were drawn to the delight of each winner. You can see the winners with their goods on the next page! At this time of year, we like to take a moment to say thank you to each and every employee who makes Crest Foods what it is today. We can’t do it without each of you. So blessings to you, your families and friends as we look into 2018 and what it can bring to each and every one. In total, the raffles and the Christmas Store raised over $14,000! These funds will be matched in kind by Crest Foods so what a tidy sum for the Benevolence Fund! Again, thank you to each person who bought a raffle ticket; helped sell raffle tickets and made or donated something for the Handmade Christmas Store – thank you!
Dinner at the West Facility
Felicia Messenger, David Henrikson, Maria Guerrero, Henry Bunger and Jamie Bock receiving their 20 Year Rings from Jeff Meiners at the Christmas Dinners.
Jamie Cooper, Mandi Kersten, Emily Plapp & Cindy Reuter
Mike Meiners & Al Hess
(left) Alyssa Holden, Abby Lahman and Nina Sims. (right) Sam Haight & Matt Drew receiving their 20 Year Rings. Susah Pohl, Stina Kanaras, Maria Pope, Marissa Lopez, Maria Guerrero, Chris Mooney, Hannah Derksen, David Henrikson & Justin Huels
Maria Garcia & Lisa White receiving their 20 Year Rings
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Winner: Luke Burnette (Production B) $1000 cash Donated By: Anonymous
Winner: Jeff Capes (Production A) Stay @ Lincolnway Inn Donated By: Ing. Div. Operations
Winner: Harley Brandel (Sanitation B) 2010 Mercury Milan Donated By: Crest Foods
Winner: Doug Carolus (Sanitation B) Amazon Fire Tablet Donated By: Scheduling
Winner: Matt Downing (QA B) 55” LG Smart TV Donated By: Ing. Div. Sales
Winner: Candy Koch (QA A) Drone Donated By: Purchasing, Bldg. Maint. & IT
Winner: Brent Warner (Set Up Maint) Cubs & Bulls Tickets Donated By: Crest Foods
Winner: Nicole Kimbro (Production B) $300 Headon’s Gift Cert. Donated By: Mix Department
Winner: Pam Kelley (Scheduling) $500 Casey’s Gas Cards Donated By: Anonymous
Winner: Lynn Burnette (Payroll) Weber Griill Donated By: 3rd Gen. Meiners
Winner: Felicia Messenger (Production B) Amazon Echo Show Donated By: HR & Benefits Winner: Colleen Hunt (Production A) $350 Master Card Gift Card Donated By: Ing. Div. Tech
Winner: Jim Lyles (Mix A) White Pelican Canoe Trip Donated By: Ing. Div. Customer Service
Winner: Marshall Pankhurst (Ing C) Fishing Trip Donated By: Mike & Joyce Meiners Stihl Power Washer Donated By: Steve Meiners
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Holiday Volunteers 2018
by Erika Meiners
For many employees of the Crest Family, the holidays are a time that we are reminded of the joy and importance of giving back to those in our community. When we put out a call for volunteers, the needs were almost immediately met by those who were willing to donate their time this December. Whether they wrapped gifts, shopped, filled out Christmas cards or rang a bell, Crest employees did a lot of good for many people and organizations. We had 15 employees volunteer to purchase, wrap and deliver gifts to 55 local nursing home residents and 29 employees who stood outside and rang the bell for the Salvation Army Red Kettle Drive over four weekends in No- vember and December. Employees rang the bell for 28 hours and helped raise a record $11,100.00 for the Lee County Salvation Army! 16 employees spent time filling out Christmas cards for all Kreider Services residents (350!) so that everyone would receive a card this holiday season. Lastly, we had 13 employees who fulfilled wish- lists for 4 local organizations: HOPE of Ogle County, Serenity Hospice & Home, Home of Hope and Shining Star Children’s Advocacy Center. It was such a nice feeling to be able to stock them up on things that they are al- ways in need of in order to serve our communities. We can’t thank all of the Crest Foods employees enough who volunteered their time this holiday season. We are fortunate that we work with such generous people who recognize the importance of helping others. Thank you to the following employees (and their families!) who volunteered their time: Mandi Kersten, Tom Windelborn, Holly Gleissner, Pam Kelley, Jenny Drew, Kristina McWethy, Phyllis Ott, Janet Sutton, Angie Paul, Savannah Dees, Kena Rivera, Karen Yardley, Pam Kelley, Stephanie Quinton, Cass Askegaard, Emily Plapp, Becky Henson, Susan Larson, Shirley Reif, Kathy Conant, Margaret Cortesi, Steve Meiners, Phil Blythe, Susie Miller, Kim Gallagher, Andra Tremble, Penny Ellis, Ben & April Fichter, Julie Pitchford, Val Smith, Dean Rhodes, Jim Kettley, Scott Storey, Dave & Tristan Bushman, Jon Bakener, Al Duthie, Jeff Meiners, Georgia & Gerry Temmen, Steve Starke, Dean Rhodes, Trisha Carter, Sherry Joos, Cindy & Randy Reuter, Amy Wilcox, Kimberlee McClanahan, Brian Schafer, Sue Osborne, Mary & Mark McWethy and Anne Harris.
Trisha Carter & Sherry Joos
(left) Ben & April Fichter (above) Holly Gleissner & family
Phil Blythe & Susie Miller
(left) Kristina McWethy & mom, (right) Dean & Joan Rhodes
(left) Steve Starke, Kena Rivera & family (right) Savannah Dees
Burn ‘n Bush! (& Santa)
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Kimberlee McClanahan & her son, Ezekiel delivering gifts to the nursing home
Al Duthie & Jeff Meiners
Gerry & Georgia Temmen
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.
Kyle & Kevin O’Dell
Oakland Raiders & Tennessee Titans Kyle O’Dell (Ingredient Division Production A-Shift)
They found an O’Dell’s Grocery Store
In September, my dad, Kevin O’Dell (Ingredient Division Purchasing) and I headed to Tennessee for my 10 year trip. We got to visit Nashville, Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. The highlight of the trip was when my dad and I took in the Oakland Raiders and Tennessee Titans game with seats four rows behind the Raiders sideline on the 40 yard line. It was awesome and my Raiders won! We enjoyed the beautiful sites and scenery while we were in Tennessee. I would like to thank the Meiners family and Crest Foods for this awesome opportunity. I am very grateful to work for such a great company. Peggy Reineke (Production A-Shift) Thanks to the Meiners for making this 10 year trip happen. My husband Carl, my mother Martha, and I left Novem- ber 17th for Texas where we stayed with my aunt. We went on a couple of day trips, had Thanksgiving with my aunt and her family, and just enjoyed visiting with fam- ily. We left Texas November 29th and stopped in Branson, MO where we went to Andy Williams Moon River Theatre and saw Christmas with the Osmond’s/Lennon’s Show.
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Our Sympathy To Ann Wege (Natl Accts Mgr) on the loss of her mother, Rosemary Schneider. To Tim Newell (Production B) on the loss of his grand- mother, Susan Fry. To Kathy Lansford (Production B) on the loss of her mother, Myrtle Eichelberge. To Bob Logan (Production A) on the loss of his father in October. Wedding Bells Congratulations to Angela Zera, daughter of Steve and Darcy, married Anthony Atamian on October 6th. They reside in Algonquin, IL. Congratulations to Alex Herrera (Mix B) and his new bride Krystal Lee! The couple were married November 11th, 2017. Congratulations newlyweds! New Arrivals Congratulations to Stephanie Quinton (Operations Mgr Ingredient Division) and husband Jerry on the birth of their new grandson! Bryant Quinton Morris arrived November 11th, weighing in at 10 lbs. 3 oz. and was 19 and ¾ inches long. He is welcomed by parents Taylor and Cory Morris, and big brother Houston, age 2 ½. Everyone is doing very well! Congratulations to Susie Miller (Ing Div Customer Service) on the birth of her first grandchild, Delainey Rae Miller! Delainey was born October 30th and was 4 lbs. and 16 inches long. She is welcomed by parents Ja- son and April Miller. Congratulations Miller family! Deven Sterbenz (Ingredient A) is happy to announce the birth of her daughter, Luna. Luna E. Wagner arrived October 17th at 7 lbs. 7 oz. and 20 ½ inches long. Con- gratulations Deven!
Al Duthie (Tech Service) and wife Holli on the birth of their first grandchild! Claire Hollister David was welcomed to the world October 3rd at 11:51 AM. She is the first child for parents’ Emily and Michael David. Congratulations all! Congratulations Congratulations to Ben Yates (Mix A) who recently graduated from his paramedic class. Congratulations to Brandon Coggin and Billy Cog- gin, both the grandsons of Tom Clayton (Technical Ser- vice Manager). Brandon is graduating from Georgia Southern University and Billy is graduating from Geor- gia State University and will also we commissioned as first lieutenant. Congratulations to the Clayton family on these accomplishments!
Zack Hawkins, nephew of Kelly Stevens (QA Engineer A) gradu- ated basic training on Noveme- ber 9th, 2017 at Fort Jackson SC. He is currently at Fort Gordon, GA. He will be there for 20 weeks. He is training to be a microwave radio operator and troubleshooter. His parents are John and Angie Hawkins of Chana IL. (pictured) Thank You
A big thank- you to everyone for the plant that I got after I had surgery. It really brightened my day. Peggy Reineke (Production A) I would like to give a big thank-you for the plant that was sent to me while I was off for my foot surgery. Audra Reindel (Production A) Thank you to everyone who bought t-shirts and made donations in honor of Lisa White. We made over $800.00 in her honor. Also, thank you to Peggy Messer for all of her help! – Georgia Temmen (Production A)
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Thank You I want to thank everyone who came out to watch us race this year, especially those who helped us out the night of my wreck. Don Cole (Ingredient A), Donny (son), and Brant (grandson)
parents and students participated in the event and raised approximately $2300 that will be used for outdated equipment for the wrestling, baseball and track teams at AFC. Items being considered are wrestling mats, baseball bats and starting blocks for the track team. As always, Crest Foods was very generous with their contribution to the Boosters Club. They sponsored a very fun team of Football Moms, with their life size cutouts of their son’s, and took the prize for best team motto for use of the cutouts! Thanks to Crest Foods and all they do for our schools and community!
Crest Foods Walking Club: On behalf of Kreider Services we would like to thank you for your recent do- nation of $8300. What a wonderful gift and we are SO appreciative of you selecting Kreider to receive t- hese funds as the result of your employee running ef- forts. Thanks for the support - what a great team of healthy people! Jeff Stauter & Becky Reilly of Kreider Services. The AFC Athletic Boosters Club held a Bowl-A-Thon Fund raiser at Plum Hollow in Dixon. Several AFC
Jodi Thompson, Jennifer Drew, Jennifer Kaecker Jenny Drew (Scheduling), Kim Penick
Thank You First Responders! Thank you to all of our First Responders who put in some extra time to renew their CPR certifica- tions in October! Every other year each First Re- sponder must take four hours of CPR training to be recertified. Shown to the left are Christina Kanaris, Jesse Morris and Justin Guenther assisting some “dummies” in respiratory distress!
Karla Rivera (Production A) and her husband welcomed twins in September. Karla brought Kaya and Kean in for a visit to show them where they would soon be going to work! Sporting hair bonnets like any employee, Kaya and Kean did not seem too in- terested in going through the new employee orientation program just yet. Maybe in a few years! Congratulations to Karla and her husband on their newest son and daughter!
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It seems the last four months of this year saw several retirements of long time employees. Among them are Ken Drew (Karlin Warehouse Manager) after over 47 years of service; Bob Stone (Maintenance Mechanic) with 26; Mark Leigh (Production B) at 15; Dana Breuer (Production B) with 12 years; Peggy Messer (Benefits Assistant) with 15 years, Leroy Stambaugh (Production A) with 10 years; and Jeff Brecunier (Building Maintenance) with 21 years. We wish them all the best in their retirement and hope the stop in to visit on occasion. (There is a separate article on Ken Drew.)
The Building Maintenance Crew: Brian Schafer, Dusty Koch, Jeff Brecunier, Steve Zera, Wally Karper & Jason Drew at Jeff ’s Retirement Pizza Party.
Dana Breuer & Mark Leigh
Congratulations to the following employees for obtaining new jobs at Crest over the last few months!
Savannah Dees HR Administrative Assistant
Erik Morales QA Line Technician B-Shift
Kristen Frieberg Warehouse Secretary
Jamie Bock Scheduling Prod. Lead Ingredient Division
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Congratulations Adam Drew & Craig Friday Adam Drew was promoted in September, from Ingredient Division Warehouse Product Coordinator for Ingredient and Consumer Products, to Ingredient Divi- sion Warehouse Floor Manager. Adam supervises all warehouse staff, and coordi- nates the activities of staging, weigh-up, repack room, shuttling, shipping and receiving, and Consumer Products. Adam started with Crest in 1994. During his twenty three years at Crest, he’s worked in both Ingredient and Packaging Produc- tion and Warehousing gaining much experience in the operational flow of all divi- sions. Please join us in wishing Adam well in his new position!
With Ken Drew retiring at the beginning of the year, we are happy to announce that Craig Friday will replace him as the Karlin Warehouse Manager effective January 2, 2018. Craig brings over 25 years of Crest warehousing experience to the job and is eager to get started. Please join us in wishing Craig well in his new position!
A Perfect Season by Dan Brown, QA Ing. Div. Manager
In high school football, there can only be one undefeated team from each class in a season. This year, it happened to be the 14-0 Class 1A state champions Lena-Winslow Panthers. What made this year so special to our family is that we had three sons on the team, including Rahveon (senior), Bobby (junior), and Ronny (sophomore). A tremendous amount of hard work went into this great season, especially the senior class. We are very proud of all the guys and our kids but Rahveon had a rather spectacular high school career! For his senior year, he set very lofty personal goals of 2,000 yards for the season and 4,000 career yards. He, the coaches, and the entire team set a goal of, not surprisingly, a state championship. He finished the season with conference leading 2,100+ yard effort, distancing himself from the runner-up by over 900 yards and named conference MVP. He went over the 4,100 yard career mark, setting a conference career mark. He was named to the Coach’s All-State Team for the second consecutive year. As for the state championship, he was named Player of the Game. What a great season but he would be the first to tell you he had a lot of help from a great team. We’re on to wrestling season, where Le-Win is defending our IHSA Team Championship from last year. Rahveon is trying to be the first wrestler from Le-Win to be a 4-time state place finisher. Currently ranked #2, we’ll see in a few months!
(above) Rahv with Dan Hampton, being recognized at Soldier Field. (below) Flying high over Forreston!
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CIP 2018 1st 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, sanita-
tion, record keeping, maintenance and various other areas around Crest Foods. We received 29 suggestions from employees for the 1st quarter. Thank you to everyone for participating!
Jerry Maronde & John Messenger, Maintenance B-Shift 1st Quarter 1st Place • $250 each Make a removable bearing seal made out of HMW. This will allow Sanitation to clean out the bearing area which is a trap point of product. It can be removed, cleaned, washed, and inspected for powder. Excellent idea! We have already done a trial on an auger hopper and it worked extremely well. The shop is in the process of making 20 more inserts to modify additional auger hoppers.
Candy Koch, QA 1st Quarter Runner Up • $150
Update the program for Micro Hold in order to avoid inadvertently releasing product when it shouldn’t be released. With the revision, finished product will stay on a micro hold even if it is released for a quality issue. This is an excellent suggestion, and we are currently working on re-writing the program and implementing it soon. It’s a necessary safeguard with the increase in testing that is required. Larry Shipman, Mix B-Shift 1st Quarter Runner Up • $150 We should move the oil system from its current location in the back of the Sweco rooms to the right side of the room. This change would mean that employees would no longer have to take forklifts & handlifts into the back of the room – which is difficult to maneuver, and we end up accidentally hitting the walls and breaking tiles. This is a great idea that will improve functionality in those rooms!
Jim Smith, Maintenance B-Shift 1st Quarter Runner Up • $150
Instead of throwing away Matrix Pull Belts, try resurfacing them in order to get more use out of something that is expensive to replace ($64.80 each). This is an excellent idea, and we are going to get the Machine Shop involved with figuring out a design for Jim’s idea.
It’s the end of the year! Please make sure Payroll has your current address and phone number. W-2’s will be sent out in January!
14 Crest Ink January, February & March 2018
Walking Club Wrap Up by Jamie Cooper & Erika Meiners
We participated in 6 local 5K’s and were able to support many charities and organizations throughout this season: Make-A-Wish Dixon, Ashton Community Fund, Dixon Athletic Boosters, Dixon Main Street, YMCA Strong Kids, United Way of Lee County, OHS Athletic Department, Oregon Village of Progress and the Dixon Park District. As a team, we donated $7,230 in registrations! Our runners officially won 2 Corporate Challenges (Reagan Run & Run for the Way 5K), earning an extra $2000 for our fund! In addition, they were so close to winning at our last event that we threw in an extra $1000. Thanks to our runners for an extra $3000! The last race of the season was the Haunted Halloween 5K in Dixon, which was a night-time race through Lowell Park complete with Halloween costumes, zombies throughout, and chili afterwards. A first for our group, but I’m sure we’ll participate again! That being said, the grand total raised by our group for Kreider Services is $8,300.00! (Yes, that’s $15,530 donated to local charities & organizations just by running or walking with Crest Foods!) A big thank you to everyone for participating this season. It’s nice to see the participation numbers grow every year and we look forward to running, walking and raising money for charity next year!
Arthur Stark, Chris Mooney, Cheri Kemp, Trish Carter, Al Kvool, Kelly Stevens, Susan Larson, Martha Holder & Jeff Friday
Kena Rivera, Cass Askegaard, Kristina McWethy, Justin Guenther & Jessica Fair at the Haunted Halloween 5K
Mark & Lindsay Beasley, Jeff & Erika Meiners, Matthias Kemmeren, Jeff Friday, Steve & Tammy Crook
The large group picture is just a portion of our 137 member team giving a check to Jeff Stauter & Greg Gates of Kreider Services. Jeff Friday, Bob Logan, Jared Stumpenhorst, Jim Kettley, Danielle Reinhart, Susie Miller, Nick Litts, Georgia Temmen, Martha Holder, Nurse Heidi, Kristina McWethy, Kelly Stevens, Jeff Meiners, Cass Askegaard, Tammie Crook, Ela Cichosz & Phyllis Ott
Autumn on Parade 5K
Haunted Halloween 5K
Run for the Way 5K
Ashton Community Walk
January, February & March 2018 Crest Ink 15
Loomis and Logan Appear in New American Legion Book by Bob Logan, Production A-Shift
Delbert Schafer, Bob Logan, Mariah Karson & Joe Loomis
Crest Foods employees Joe Loomis and Bob Logan are members of the Altenberg American Legion Post #497 of Franklin Grove, one of four small town American Legion posts featured in photojournalist Mariah Karson’s re- cently released American Legion . Karson’s book sheds light on the impact that U. S. Military veterans, who are mem- bers of American Legion posts in Franklin Grove, Illinois; Cody, Nebraska; Cheriton, Virginia; and Bombay Beach, California - all towns of 1000 or less people, have while continuing to serve in their home communities after stints in the U.S. military. Joe Loomis, a stock picker and stager in the Crest Foods Ingredient Division Warehouse, began his career with Crest Foods in 1993 after returning from Germany. Joe entered the U.S. Army in 1984 and was released from active duty in 1992. He served in Germany during the first Gulf War, after being trained as a combat engineer. Joe began his involvement with the Dixon American Legion Post 8 or 9 years ago and has been with the Franklin Grove American Legion post three years now. He is currently serving in his second term as the Franklin Grove Post Com- mander and has served as a Scout Master in the Boys Scouts of America. Bob Logan, first came to work as a dumper/stacker in the Production section of Crest Foods as a Manpower em- ployee in the summer of 2015. He was hired on at Crest in 2016. Bob served in the U.S. Army, Defense Intelligence Agency, Washington, D.C. from 1972 to 1975 after training as an administrative and personnel specialist at Fort Polk, Louisiana. He is a thirty year member of the American Legion and has been active in the Franklin Grove com- munity for thirty years, most notably having served five terms as Franklin Grove Village President. He is a Past Commander of the Franklin Grove American Legion Post #497 and has served a number of years as Senior Vice Commander. Karson’s American Legion was featured in a two-page article in the October 2017 American Legion Magazine, the national information arm of the American Legion. The book is available for purchase through Mariah Karson’s website: http://www.mariahkarson.com/americanlegion/
Both Bob Logan and Joe Loomis are pictured multiple times in the book. (left) Bob & Joe are featured with a short biography. (middle) Delbert Schafer made the cover of the book. (right) Bob & Joe before the Franklin Grove Memorial Day Parade in 2015. All pictures belong to the photojournalist Mariah Karson.
16 Crest Ink January, February & March 2018
Oasis Acres Farm
Dan Stumpenhorst has a green thumb. Not only does he mow the lawn at the Crest Foods Main Plant, but he’s the owner and operator of Oasis Acres Farm, an organic Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) vegetable farm located just a few miles west of Ashton. After attending a small farming seminar at the University of Illinois recently, Dan realized that it would be possible to turn his long-time hobby into a way to support the community. Community Supported Agriculture or Co-Op’s originated in the 1980’s as a way for urban areas to turn empty lots into gardens that the community would support by paying money upfront for a weekly share in the produce. For the last 15 years, Dan was just giving away veg- etables from his backyard garden, but now he had a chance to expand, support his hobby, and create a sense of community. Farming using Organic Practices means that there are no chemicals used to fertilize or control pests. Only organi- cally approved methods are used in the process. For Dan, it also means that he wants people to have a better under- standing of how their food is grown and where it comes from. The combination of convenience, cost, support- ing a local business, and having an abundance of fresh vegetables meant that Dan’s farm had generated a lot of interest in its infancy. 2016 was a trial year for Oasis Acres Farms, but Dan was still able to manage a Co-Op and support 11 families for 9 weeks initially, extending this to 13 families and 12 weeks to round out the season. While there were many things he learned along the way (soil mix, spacing, growing herbs, bugs), probably the toughest thing for Dan to figure out was how much to produce. Even though he overproduced, this meant he was able to make donations of veggies to the Kitchen Table, a local soup kitchen in Rochelle, and started up U-Pick Days on the Farm, where the community was invited to come and pick their own veggies. With a successful trial year under his belt, Dan is looking forward to the 2018 season. He will plant at least 52 varieties of vegetables again and should be able to expand his Co-Op to about 20 families for 12 weeks. Look for Oasis Acres Farms on Instagram or Facebook, where Dan provides information to his followers about his journey, his process, vegetable recipes, and what’s growing at the farm. If you’d like to join Dan’s Co-Op, feel free to contact him by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or through social media (Oasis Acres Farm). The next season of veggie deliveries will start in late-May! Just another great thing to support in the small town of Ashton, Illinois! Veggies of 2017 included: Arugula, wax beans (green & yellow), beets, broccoli, brussel sprouts, basil, cabbage (red & white), carrots, chives, cucumber (pickling & slicing), cilantro, dill, eggplant, garlic, green onions, horseradish, kale, leeks, lettuce (butter crunch, romaine, green cross, mesculin), onions, oregano, peppers (green bell, Hungarian wax, jalapeno, pablano/ancho), red potato, pumpkin (cooking & for display), radishes (red & white), sage, spinach, squash (zucchini, patty pan, spaghetti, butternut, acorn, swiss chard, tomato (cherry & sauce/slicing).
January, February & March 2018 Crest Ink 17
Charity Gingerbread Competition Once again, we decided to “bake” a difference this holiday season and invite Crest Foods employees and customers to participate in a charity gingerbread house competition. 19 customers received a gingerbread kit donated by Wil ton, along with a simple set of rules to abide by if they decided to accept the gingerbread challenge: • The kit provided must be used for the home’s structure. • Any additional embellishments used must be edible. Completed house photos were submitted to Crest Foods Marketing on November 30, then judged by Wilton. The top three winners in each division were able to select a charity and Crest Foods made a donation in their honor to be used for the holiday season. Check out winners and their charities below and make sure you look at all of the gingerbread house submissions online at www.CrestFoods.com/news-room/gingerbread-contest/ Customer Competition Results
1st Place: $1,000 donation to Hospice of Crawford Co. (Titusville, PA) Hospice of Crawford Co., provides individualized end-of-life care to patients in their home environ ment. Their mission is to enable patients nearing life’s end to live free of pain, symptoms and anxieties
and empower them and their families to experience an optimum quality of life. 2nd Place: $500 donation to Channel One Food Shelf (Rochester, MN)
Crest Foods Employee Competition Results Channel One Regional Food Bank is the largest hunger relief organization in Southeast MN. They pro vide food assistance to low-income individuals and families through the Channel One Food Shelf Pro gram and rescue surplus donated food product from the food industry to distribute to area food shelves, meal programs, group homes, and shelters throughout Southeast MN and Western WI. 3rd Place: $250 donation to American Red Cross Disaster Relief (Boone, IA) From small house fires to multi-state natural disasters, the American Red Cross goes wherever they are needed, so people can have clean water, safe shelter and hot meals in their time of need. Services in clude overnight shelter stays, distribution of emergency supplies, health & mental health contacts, meals and snacks, volunteer workers and emergency response vehicles. 1st Place: $1,000 donation to Teen Turf (Amboy, IL) Teen Turf, Inc. assists the youth of local communities by providing an activity center for them to gather in a safe and wholesome environment with parental supervision. They supply mentoring, counseling, positive role models and after-school tutoring. 2nd Place: $500 donation to CASA of Lee & Carroll Counties (Dixon, IL) CASA volunteers serve as Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) for children in court due to abuse, neglect or private guardianship. Volunteers spend time with the children, families, teachers, thera pists, and medical professionals to collect information that helps the judge make the best interest deci sion for a safe, caring and permanent home for each child. 3rd Place: $250 donation to Granny Rose Animal Shelter (Dixon, IL) Granny Rose Animal Shelter promotes the humane care and treatment of all animals in Lee, Ogle, and Whiteside counties and to find homes for abandoned and homeless animals within this area.
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In thanks for their partnership in the contest, Crest also made a $250 donation to Wilton’s own Helping Hands charity (http://www.wilton.com/helping-hands/CMS-06.html). Wilton Helping Hands is an associate led and funded charitable organization that is dedicated to delivering financial and volunteer assistance to 501(c)(3) non- profit organizations that impact the communities where Wilton associates live and work. The fund provides grants to qualified charitable organizations that focus their efforts on providing basic needs and creative enrichment for families. Thank you to all of our 2017 participants, including 6 department from Crest Foods!
Stackers Meeting by Karen Yardley, Safety & Sanitation Manager
On November 29th, the WAVE Safety Team met with a group of stackers from both A and B Shift to dicuss ergo- nomics. Ergonomics can be defined simply as the study of work. More specifically, ergonomics is the science of design- ing the job to fit the worker, rather than physically forcing the worker’s body to fit the job. Adapting tasks, work stations, tools, and equipment to fit the worker can help reduce physi- cal stress on a worker’s body and eliminate many potentially serious, disabling work related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). MSDs are one of the most frequent workplace injuries or complaints. And we’re not just talking repetitive motion injuries (like carpal tunnel and trigger finger) but also
muscle/tendon strains, ruptured or herniated discs, etc. There are many factors that contribute to MSDs. There are the ergonomic risk factors such as repetitive motion, awk ward postures and excessive force as well as individual risk factors or poor work practices like improper body mechanics or lifting techniques and lack of work readiness. Because stacking is such a physical task and automation (letting a machine do the work!) isn’t always a possibility, we asked this group of stackers to help us work on some solutions. Some of the topics we discussed: - Recognizing when line equipment could be adjusted, i.e., the height of the skate track - Because most stackers don’t rotate, we discussed how beneficial stretching during the shift could be - Recognizing that when working on a line that requires manually rotating every case, it might be done mechani- cally by installing a “bump turn” - Awareness of weight and size of finished case – don’t lift four or five cases if they are heavy or large - Less chance of injury if you take a few extra steps instead of stretching across the pallet - Using an electric handlift to raise the pallet when stacking the first few layers to reduce bending or reaching below the knees. We’d also like to trial a “Big Joe” and possibly an “electric lift.” - Longer handles for the hand stretch wrapper - Length of the skate track and the tripods Other issues were discussed as well, including safety while working on the printing systems on line. Absorbents (mats, cardboard, paper towels) should always be used to contain these fluids on line. Thank you to all of these employees who participated and we welcome any comments, suggestions and questions from other employees about ergonomics or other safety related issues. Contact Karen Yardley at ext.219, Denton Yocum at ext. 333, Phyllis Ott at ext. 279 or Kevin O’Dell at ext. 340. Virginia Sanchez, Manny Quintana, Anthony Escatel, Justin Huels, Juan Fernandez, Louis Shinabarger, Jim Kettley & Carmen Lopez
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