Crest Ink Volume 29 • Number 01 January, February & March 2017
Ashton, IL 61006
Making it a Career by Jeff Meiners
Cheri Kemp & Ed Baylor celebrated their 30th anniversary with Crest Foods this year.
Not many walk through the doors of Crest Foods as an employee for the first day and think to themselves that this is the place that I will work at until I retire…and understandably so. It is simply not the way it works in today’s society – people just don’t stay at one place for a long time. Besides, nobody really knows what they are getting into in a work situation until they have put some time in and developed a feel for the company and the people they are working with. We’re probably not the place that creates the impression that employees would describe as love at first sight. The truth of the matter is that many new employees don’t last very long. The work is physical, it can be hard to find one’s niche as a new employee and expectations from the employee and Crest aren’t always a match. However, for those that get past the getting started hurdles…Crest has become a long term home for a very large number of people. Much thought and effort has been put into creating a culture at Crest that is unique and different than what most have to offer in today’s business world. The employees who have chosen to make Crest their work home have be-
In This Issue
20 Year Club page 3
Benevolence Fundraising page 8
Getting to Know Outside Contractors page 18
Another Brick in the Wall by Cheri Kemp & Ed Baylor Editor’s note: If you are old enough to remember an album by Pink Floyd called ‘Another Brick in the Wall’ then you have probably been around for over 30 years. For those employees who hit the 30 year mark, they are given an engraved brick with their name and year they were hired that is permanently displayed on the front of the main reception area of Crest Foods. In addition to the brick, Crest Foods donates $500 to the charity of their choice, in that employee’s name. In 2016, we have two employees who have gained their brick and their charitable donation. They are Cheri Kemp and Ed Baylor. Just like those gaining entry into the 20 Year Club, those who reach 30 years have persevered in their jobs and helped bring Crest along the path to the thriving company it is today. If I, (Cheri Kemp) had to describe in one word my 30 years at Crest Foods, that one word would be GROW. I have grown older; my kids have grown older, too; the company has grown; my job duties have grown; and I have grown in innumerable ways with knowledge, friendships, experiences, and memories. I can remember very clearly the day I applied for a job at Crest Foods. My prior experience at different employers uniquely fit a job that was just in the beginning stages at Crest Foods way back in ’86 when Crest had about 225 employees. Previously I had worked in two different hospitals in Human Resources handling insurance benefits and workers compensation for about 7 years. After that for about 7 ½ years I worked for an insurance agency and earned my insurance and real estate brokers licenses. Then came the day I applied for work at Crest Foods. They needed someone to learn about and handle insurance benefits. I had the experience. I will never regret making the decision to walk through the door that day to start a new job. When I started at Crest, my children were 9, 11 and 13. Now they are all married, and between them have given me 8 grandchildren. Thirty years can sure seem like a very long time when you speak of it. But in ‘real time’ it is just a flash in the pan. So for you youngsters out there, remember to slow down and enjoy the many moments – don’t rush through life because 30 years will be over in a blink. From those 30 years I have so many memories that I could write on and on about but will keep it short instead. Over the years, as the company has grown, my job has also, as I mentioned before. In those 30 years we have grown to about 700 employees so over triple the size from when I first started, and if you count the temp service employees we are over 800! The one thing I truly never get tired of is helping all the employees with their needs. I am a people person so my daily work is filled with something I enjoy. Ed Baylor, my fellow 30 year statesman, actually did start a few weeks before me, and he is much younger than me, but I told him I was the Valedictorian of the Class of 1986 and he was the Salutatorian. He was a true gentleman about it. This will be the first time I made it to the top of the class and it is a great feeling! come a part of that culture and truly are the folks who define who we are as a company. We simply don’t exist with out them. The list of long-term employees who are actively working at Crest is impressive and continues to grow at a rapid pace: 10 year plus employees – 262 30 year plus employees – 40 20 year plus employees – 125 40 year plus employees – 6 We appreciate all of the people that are part of the Crest family and we do our best to earn their dedication as em- ployees, but we are especially thankful to those who have made a career of Crest. Eighteen people celebrated their 10th anniversary at Crest this year – twelve their 20th – two their 30th and one their 40th. Congratulations to each one of them on reaching this milestone and we hope they stick around for many years to come.
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For the $500 that Crest Foods donates in my name to a charitable organization, I have picked The American Cancer Society. This is something that is close to my heart because I lost my younger sister many years ago to cancer. I can’t thank Crest Foods enough for their generous donation. And I can’t thank Crest Foods enough for taking a chance back in 1986 on a young(ish) mother by offering me a job that has grown up with me. Who would have thought that 30 years could actually be lived so quickly! Thank you again!! - Cheri Wow, what a quick 30 years! Fortunately what really makes the time fly is when you enjoy working with the people you work with. I (Ed Baylor) think back to when I first began working at Crest, I was a whopping 130 pounds and I actually had a little hair on my head. Hmm, what the heck happened there? I have spent my 30 years working in the Ingredient Division. I actually began in the production area of the Ingredient Division working for Tom Balch under Stephanie (Quinton) and Jeff (Meiners). After two or three years an opportunity to start purchasing the ingredients we had been blending with came up and this is where I have worked for the last 27 years. As Jeff mentioned at our Christmas dinner, we have many stories that could be told. Most cannot be written in the Crest Ink, as Cheri Kemp would have to edit for questionable content! There have been a lot wonderful people I have been fortunate to have met over the years both working at Crest as employees, and for Crest as suppliers. It has been a fun ride; we work hard, we play hard, and enjoy it. I really believe your job is what you make of it. If you have a positive attitude and treat people the way you want to be treated, then your 30 years of fun working at Crest will fly by. Go Cards. - Ed An Even Dozen Join the 20 Year Club Congratulations to Shane Stover, Rob Roath, Ed Weiler, Brian Schafer, Jeff Brecunier, Al Duthie, Tom Clayton, Dan Yates, Jim Shuck, Nancy Gleissner, Lola Paul and Chris Reynolds!
Editor’s note: If you get the chance, stop by the breakroom in the Main Plant and take a look at the pictures that rim the room. There are dozens and dozens of pictures of people who have gained entry into the Twenty Year Club. During the annual Christmas dinners, each of these people received a ring that signifies their accomplishment. It is no small feat to have reached this milestone and Crest Foods recognizes the amount of time and effort each of these people have put into keeping our company running. We asked those who were willing to write a little something about their time here. Their thoughts are on the following pages:
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Nancy Gleissner (QA Wetlab A) Twenty years ago, I answered an ad in the Rochelle News- leader. Crest Foods was searching for people willing to participate in job sharing. At the time I thought it was quite progressive. (I still do!) The concept was perfect for me, as I was already employed at two area K-8 buildings as an art consultant. I worked Tuesdays and Wednesdays at one building and Fridays at the second building. My children were in school full time, and to be able to fill my week was perfect. Mondays and Thursdays became my Crest Foods days! The other three days an employee participating in the College Program was responsible for the position. At the time, I did not give it much thought as to how long I
would work at Crest Foods. The great people and the opportunities are why I am still here! I will be forever grateful to the kind and patient women on line #3 who gave me tips on packing! (Don’t try to count! Measure, you will get the feel for it!) Also to Harold Harmon, who taught me everything I needed to know about stacking. To all of you in production, who make the job look effortless, I still appreciate your time. Your job is not easy! When business got slow, I was temporarily laid off. Gary Guenther was kind enough to keep me posted on a regu- lar basis. My husband took another job and I left my art positions after 10 years as insurance was not affordable for our family. Being able to work at Crest full time was HUGE! Opportunities opened up for me here at Crest. I have spent time working on the Wileys Displays at the warehouse and currently work under the direction of Dawn Summers in the QA Department. So many changes over the years! (I am 20 years older!) I did not have to wear a skirt, but have been here long enough to hear about it. I am so grateful Crest and Ashton survived the tornado! Thank you Crest for the great opportunities and the wonderful people.
Jim Shuck (Maintenance Supervisor A) Well, where to start? I came here right after High School because my parents told me to get a job. I was never planning on being here when I first came. I was also going to night classes at Sauk Valley Community College to learn to work with my dad as an auto mechanic in the family’s Auto Repair Shop. I was working here at Crest Foods and also helping my father out in the shop. I ended up quitting work at Crest. I soon realized that working with family is way harder than most think. So the opportunity came around and I could come back to work here at Crest Foods. I took the job but was working on 3rd shift before coming to the day shift.
In the 20 years there are a lot of moments that you could say stick out in my mind with all of the changes that have happened here. But most of all I am surprised I am still here with all of the headaches and problems I stirred up over the years. I am sure all the managers and the Meiners could say the same. I always said you only have to smack me once and I learn and then moved to something else so there was never a dull moment for them over the years. In the beginning, because I was fresh out of high school, I did not much care about other’s thoughts except mine and I did not express my opinion in a very politically correct way. So after saying that, I probably wouldn’t change much else. I have to say a big thanks to all who stuck with me and guided me through some of it so I that I am where I am now. And I can definitely say to the ones who have helped out – you all know who you are without me going into too much detail! Thanks again.
Lola Paul (Shuttle Driver A) When Lola started work at Crest Foods in 1996, it was her second stint here. For the first several years after her return to Crest Foods, Lola worked at the West Warehouse then transferred into the main plant to work as a shuttle driver. As Jeff Meiners said during the presentation of her 20 year ring, there is not much that gets past Lola in the warehouse. She is right on top of the comings and goings of products and keeps things running like clockwork. We thank her for her 20 years of service to Crest Foods!
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Chris Reynolds (Mix Floor Manager A) I came to Crest Foods at the recommendation of Paul Harmon who knew the place I was working (Caron Spinning) was closing down. It was always my intent to stay at Crest for as long as they would have me. My first position was as Sanitation Supervisor on C-shift. I had no experience in the food industry so I relied on some great people to learn what I could on the fly. Kyle Hassler was the Lead Sanitarian and was a great teacher. We had a great crew who made it fun to come to work. Many of the people who helped me learn the sanitation duties still work here. Dawn Summers, who got stuck UNDER a bartelt she was cleaning when she was VERY pregnant, Ray Van Drew, who hit his head so
hard while climbing out from behind mixer 2 east (twice) that it would have knocked a normal man out, and Karen Yardley also started her sanitation career on C-shift Sanitation. Jerry Sikkema, Iva Bousam, Dan Yates, and James Long were part of the B-shift crew and Bill Zacharias, George Reif, and Penny Ellis were on A-shift. I also enjoyed working with Connie Cater who was one of the most generous people I ever met; Bob Stehl was Kyle Hasslers’ euchre partner and seldom lost a game; Ed Libberton who was our Mr. Fix It; Jeff Kolb who told amazing baseball stories and Dennis Fulrath the author. I know I have forgotten to mention some great people and I apologize to them but, at my age, the memories can be fleeting. The people I have met and worked with are the best thing about working here for these 20 years, they really have gone by quickly. Thank you to the Meiners family for the opportunity.
Ed Weiler (Mix Shuttle Driver B) I came to Crest Foods in September of 1996. The com- pany that I worked at closed so I started to look around and ended up at Crest. I didn’t know at the time if it was going to be a long time career, but it has. It’s been a joy to work and watch the company grow. Everyone is a joy to work with and we have some good times. I remember the first day I worked here and Dave was showing me what to do. I went to set a pallet of flour on the stand and a bag fell off on the fork lift and split open and spilled all over the floor. All I could do was say to Dave “now what do I do”? He said “clean it up”.
Brian Schafer (Facilities Manager) Oh my, how fast 20 years goes by!! I had previously worked for Pfoutz Electric before being hired at Crest Foods. The 3 years that I worked for Pfoutz Electric I spent my time doing work at Crest Foods for most of those 3 years. Once hired on full time at Crest I received a lot of good hands on training for the next 18 years, thanks to good instructors, mainly Pat Hilliker (the old guy) and Jim Spangler, just to mention a few. Through many good times and some bad times, the tornado of course being one of those bad times, I have been fortunate to climb the ladder at Crest and work my way up to my current position as Facilities Manager. I would like to thank Crest Foods for the past 20 years and unless I win the lottery I’ll probably be here for another 20 years. Thanks again to everyone who has helped in any way!! One last thing: HOW BOUT THEM COWBOYS??
Shane Stover (West Warehouse Receiving Clerk) Shane started working for Crest when he was in High School on a part time basis sorting and repairing pallets. Shane was later hired on full time as a Lift Truck operator and was in that position for 16 years. Shane is now our receiving clerk and is the back up for our secretary. Shane has been here long enough to see 3 warehouse expansions, a new mix facility, a new production area and the tornado in 2015. Outside of Crest Foods, Shane enjoys hunting and training his 6 dogs (Chesapeake Bay Re- trievers) for dock jumping and shed hunting. Shane has a son, Dillon, who is 14 years old and attends Rochelle high school.
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Rob Roath (Warehouse Forklift A) My wife and I had relocated our family to Dixon in August of 1995. With that came the need for me to find a job. I came to Crest 6 days later through Burton Placement as a temp. I started in the Mix Dept. at the main plant (when the Mix Department was still in the Main Plant) and really enjoyed the job and people I worked with. Around Christmas 1995 I got laid off. Then on January 21st, the day before my daugh- ter’s birthday, Jeff Friday called to offer me a permanent position. Best day of my Crest career. I still look forward to coming to work every day. I have never been prouder to work for a company. Crest Foods has a “family” in all of its employees. We are there for each other
through the good and bad times. It is a comfort to know when things in our lives don’t go as we planned that someone is there for us, supporting our “family” when they suffer from an illness, a death, birth, marriage, or any other event. To be a part of this family is an honor. There are many that come to mind when I think of the ones who made me feel especially appreciated. From Ben Fichter, who was my first boss, to the Meiners Family who helped our family take root here. And many more in between. Being part of the opening of the West Mix Facility was one of the things that was special to me. The compassion from Jerry Lawrence, Neil Henert and the warehouse crew when I was ill in 2011 was above and beyond any em- ployer had ever been. That was an especially tough time for me. It is hard to pin just one moment that is most special to me as there have been many over the years. I look forward to many more memories and years in the Crest Foods family. Thank you for giving me a place to spend my days.
Al Duthie (Technical Service Manager) I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to work this long at such a great company. And I feel doubly blessed because this is actually a return, “second” employment with Crest Foods. Previously I had worked for Crest Foods from 1987-1992 in Sales. After being gone for about 4 years I received a phone call in Portsmouth, NH (where my family and I were living) asking me if we might move to Illinois so I could work in the R&D lab at Crest Foods. By saying yes I made the best career move I ever could make! That was in 1996. I worked about 7 years in R&D and now have been in Crest Tech Service for more than 13 years.
Probably the biggest difference in comparing now with the “old” days is the progression of technology and im- provement of communication tools. We take it for granted, but it truly is amazing how quickly we can now access information to learn things so rapidly. And this leads to better service and quicker decisions. Looking back over the years no single moment stands out for me. The best part of working at Crest Foods has been a collection of memories in successfully working as part of a department team, by assisting customers with good, solid suggestions to issues, and by assisting co-workers in certain situations. And I hope to continue these memories until I retire from Crest Foods, whenever that may be.
Dan Yates (Production Floor Supervisor A West) When I started here I was a runner on line 15 and thought that I would be here for about a year and then move on to something bet- ter. In those 20 years I have worked as a Stacker, Dumper, Line Operator, Lead Mixer, Shuttle Driver, Parts Room Attendant, Sanitation Worker, Lead Sanitarian, and Ingredient Lead Mixer. There is really not much here I haven’t done. In 2006, I became a Production Floor Supervi- sor on first shift, which I still am. Looking back it, I can’t imagine working 20 years anywhere else. While I enjoy what we do here, the best part of working here are people that I work with.
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Tom Clayton (Technical Service Manager) Max Ballard contacted me about this time of year in 1995 to ask if I wanted to discuss working for Crest Foods. I already had met many Crest Food employees during my travels in the dairy industry and was interested enough to get a tour of the facilities and an opportunity to meet the Meiners Brothers. The facilities were impressive but the idea of working for a family owned company who cared a lot about the people that worked for them sealed to deal with me. I knew this was going to be my last job before retirement. I still feel that way today. The first day on the job at Crest Foods just hap- pened to have a Manager Meeting scheduled. It was just an hour meeting Crest had every so
often. At the opening of the meeting Jeff Meiners introduced me to the group. He said you can tell Tom is new here because he is the only one wearing a tie. That might have been almost the last time I wore a tie for work. It has been almost twenty one years now but I still see Crest Foods as a family owned company that cares a lot about their people. The deal is still sealed for me.
Jeff Brecunier (Electrician A) When I first started working at Crest Foods, I was employed by Pfoutz Electric. We did a lot of work here. We remodeled, installed new equipment, etc. I actually did a lot of the wiring on the main stretch wrapper when it was installed. The more I was here, the more people I got to know and the more I liked working here. Two job openings were posted and Brian Schafer and I applied, and as they say, “the rest is history”. I figured I’d be here until they got sick of me or I retired. Surprise! I’m still here! There have been a lot of things happen over the 20 years, but I think the tornado sticks out in my mind the most because of the damage and how everyone pulled together and kept things
running somewhat smoothly. Our Benefits Package here at Crest is pretty darn good – from the paid time off, the celebrations, the insurance, 10 year trips, the ring, etc. My ten year trip was awesome. We went to the Island of St. Lucia in the Caribbean and got married on the beach. Thank you again Crest Family. These past 20 years have been very good and I’m glad I made the switch.
It’s not exactly the time of year to be spending quality break time in the great out of doors, but we will be ready when spring rolls around next year. Two new outdoor shelters have been erected – one adjacent to the employee entry doors in town and one near the break room at the west production facility. These will be furnished with pic- nic tables as things start to warm up again and will be available for use as soon as the weather permits.
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Christmas Celebrations & Benevolence Fundraising by Cheri Kemp The help celebrate the Christmas season at Crest Foods, catered dinners were held over the course of two days. It took nine different catered meals in two locations to cover all three shifts. For two days, anyone in the vicinity could smell the wonderful aroma of this mouthwatering turkey, ham, stuffing and all the accompaniments coming from the breakrooms. For a bonus to the meal, Christmas bonuses were handed out at the same time! What a great way to begin the Christmas season! And thanks to Headon’s Catering from Creston for the wonderful food! The dinner time was also devoted to recognizing the 12 employees who gained their entry into the 20 year club in 2016. (See separate article on these 12 employees). As Jeff Meiners introduced each of these employees he gave a little review of their years with Crest Foods. Jeff reflected on what that meant to Crest as a whole, to have that person devote 20 years to Crest. If you look around the perimeter of the various breakrooms, you will see dozens and dozens of employees who have celebrated their 20 years with Crest, with many of them still actively at work here at Crest Foods! To cap off the celebration, after weeks of ticket sales for the Benevolence Fund, raffles were drawn while employ- ees anxiously waited to hear their name called. “And the winner is….” was heard 14 times, once for each of the wonderful gifts donated by various people, departments and companies. In past years, it was rare to have an em- ployee’s name drawn for a gift and actually have that employee present at that specific dinner for that specific gift. This year, on three separate occasions, the employee was present to hear their name read! There was great cheering when someone was able to claim their prize at that very moment. Brandon Tate nearly jumped out of his chair when his name was called for the skydive package; Olgert Refatllari was present when his name was read for the weekend at Wisconsin Dells and Cheri Kemp was present when her name was drawn for the Cubs tickets!
Mike Meiners & Cass Askegaard passing out bonuses
Felecia Messenger, Caitlin Quarton, Alyssa Holden, Kyle & Shawneen Arreguin
Servers getting ready to dish out lunch
Benevolence Fundraising - What a Success! We would like to thank each of those named for their generous do- nation to the raffles that support the Crest Foods Benevolence Fund. Without these individuals or departments, our annual fundraiser would not have been the success it was. In all, Crest Foods employees bought $12,400 in tickets! Crest Foods matches this amount so $24,800 will be deposited into the Benevolence Fund. These funds are used when someone in the Crest family experiences unforeseen circumstances throughout the year. They are also used to buy Christmas gifts for local nursing home resi- dents, and area agencies that support people and families in crisis.
Winner: Tania Guzman Amazon Echo Donated By: Ingredient Div.
Winner: Jason Rowl $1000 Cash Donated By: Anonymous
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Winner: Maria Pedroza $500 Casey’s Gas Cards Donated By: Anonymous
Winner: Brandon Tate 14,000ft. Tandem Skydive Donated By: Mix Department
Winner: John VanDyke 2004 Chevy Astro Minivan Donated By: Crest Foods
Winner: Brent Warner 10’ Kayak Donated By: Anoymous
Winner: Sarah Kendall KitchenAid Mixer Donated By: Accounting & HR Departments
Winner: Mike Spencer 4 Chicago Bulls Tickets Donated By: Scheduling Department & Karlin Foods
Winner: Davane Hines 2 Chicago Bulls Tickets Donated By: Production Department
Winner: Dave Bushman Bose Headphones Donated By: Mike & Joyce Meiners
Winner: Peggy Messer Lincolnway Inn Stay Donated By: Customer Service
Winner: Olgert Refatllari Wisconsin Dells Weekend Donated By: Gen 3 Meiners
Winner: Cheri Kemp 4 Chicago Cubs Tickets
Winner: Red Somerville Laptop Computer Donated By: Bldg Maintenance, IT & Corporate Purchasing Departments
Not pictured: Scott Storey who won a $500 Gift Certificate to Headon’s Meat donated by the Ingredi- ent Division Sales and Tech Service groups. Also, Tom Clayton who won a stay at the Lincolnway Inn, which was donated by the Lincolnway Inn.
Donated By: Crest Foods
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Our Sympathy To Silvia Magana (Production A) and Maria Maga- na (Production B) on the death of their grandfather this October. To the family of Michael French – Doug, Vanessa and his brother Roger. Michael worked at Crest in B Production and passed away November 12, 2016. To Ann Prestegaard (Production A) on the death of her husband Henry this November. To Al Hess (Prod. A Supervisor) on the passing of his mother-in-law, Mary Lou Gaffey. To Jamie Cooper (Cons. Products Supply Mgr.) on the death of her grandmother, Elsie Webb. To Deb Harmon (Fin. Acctg. Mgr.) and family on the death of her father, George Perkins this De- cember. To Bob Pittman and his family on the death of Dale Rains, his brother-in-law. Dale was also a former Crest Foods employee. To Randy (Mix Manager) and Cindy (Ing Div. Lab Tech) Reuter on the death of his father, Ambrose Bernard Reuter Sr. this December. Congratulations! Jen Brooks (Production A) married Lawrence Lally on October 29, 2016. Congratulations to you both! Joe Loquasto (Ing. Div. Lab Mgr.) and Meriel Harwood were married on September 19, 2016. Congratulations! Congratulations to Jared (Maintenance Mgr.) and Aman- da Stumpenhorst on the birth of their daughter Madilyn Rose on October 16, 2016. She weighed 7 lbs. 11 oz and was 21 inches in length. Madilyn was welcomed home by big brother Andrew, age 2. Matthew Broderick (Production C) and Elizabeth Wright are proud parents to daughter Ruby Broderick. She was born October 4, 2016 at 5:44 pm. She weighed 7 lbs. and was 20 inches in length.
Brandon (Ing. Div. QA Mgr.) and Carly Meiners are proud parents of their son Wallace B. Meiners. He was born November 14, 2016. He weighed 7 lbs. 15 oz. and was 20 inches in length. He was welcomed home by brother Warren, age 3. Ty (Production B) and Jen (QA Line Supervisor B) Lebrick are thrilled to announce the birth of their daughter, Harper Rae Lebrick. She was born on No- vember 28th and weighed 6 lbs. 6 oz. and was 19 ½ inches in length. Mark (MIS Director) and Mary (Micro Lab Tech) are happy to announce the birth of their first grandchild. Logan Thomas Speer was born November 29, 2016. He was 8 lbs. 2 oz. and 21 ½ inches in length. Logan is the son of Mark and Mary’s daughter Amber and her husband Thomas Speer. Ron Amrein (Ing. Maint. Mgr.) is happy to announce the birth of his 9th grandchild. Eleanor Sophia Bes- chorner was born September 29, 2016. She weighed 8 lbs. 8 oz. and was 21 inches in length. She was wel- comed home by her parents, John and Debbie, and brothers Andrew (7), Mitchell (5), and Vincent (2). Carmen Quintana and her husband, Jorge Mandu- jano welcomed a baby boy on December 15th. Jofiel Luis Mandujano weighed 8lbs 11oz, and was 21 inches in length. Kristen Frieberg and Chaz Richard (both Produc- tion B) welcomed a son on 12/20/16. Chaz Bryson Richard Jr. was 6 pounds 8 ounces 20 inches long! Thank You Thank you for the plant while I was off work. Angie Paul (Production C Supervisor)
HOPE of Ogle County sent this Thank You to the Walking Club for their recent donation.
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Congratulations! Congratulations to the following employees for obtaining new jobs at Crest over the past few months!
Jen Lally Level 6 Production A-Shift West
Janis Payne QA Line Tech B-Shift
Randy Otten Sanitation A-Shift
Michael Vanderveen Karlin Forklift A-Shift
Rachel Saltz Documentation Specialist
Remembering Michael French Crest Foods employees where saddened with the swift, unexpected passing of Michael French. Although Michael had only been at Crest for a little over 3 years, he had already made quite an impression on his second shift work co- horts. He was always there with a kind word and shared his wit to the delight of those he worked with. We give our condolences to his children and the rest of his extended family.
Baby Showers for Jen & Ty Employees threw a few baby showers for Jen and Ty Lebrick this November complete with gifts and plenty of food. Congratulations to you both on the birth of your daughter!
There were many sad faces when Sheri Tefiku decided to leave Crest Foods so she could stay home. Her co-workers threw her a going away pot-luck dinner for her last day at work. Sheri is anxious to be available to help with her first granddaughter who is only a few weeks old. We all wish Sheri the best and we will miss her! (Pictured are Armando Macias, Besa Ramadani, Alma Hernandez and Maria Alanis with Sheri on her last day at Crest.)
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Saying Good-bye and Wishing you the Best! by Dawn Summers
Goodbyes are never easy and when the one you are saying goodbye to is someone who has been a loyal employee and trusted friend, it is even more difficult. But, when someone has given so much, you want them to have the best! So it is with joy for her future that we give this fare- well. Linda Myers was born in Kentucky and relocated to Illi- nois in 1966. She has been a valued member of the Crest
Family for 42 years! She came to Crest in 1974 and worked on the line until 1978 when she became a line weigher. Linda spent many years in this role before be- coming the QA Specialist, making sure everything we pro- duced was correct and that only quality products left our facility. She most recently holds the title of QA Systems Auditor, supporting both A & B Shifts. Linda’s attention to detail is beyond any expectations and her knowledge and memory are incredible! She has been our go-to person for codes and requirements, from samples to tray infor mation! And we will miss this valuable resource. Linda has 2 brothers and 2 sisters. She is the mother to 2 sons, and has 7 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren with one on the way! Her family is dear to her heart and although they live in Missouri and Kentucky this does not stop her from frequent visits and close communications. In her spare time she enjoys craft shows and time with her family and friends. Linda’s heart is big and her hugs are second to none! She welcomed me with open arms into QA twenty years ago and has become my “mom”. We have laughed, celebrated, cried, consoled, and hugged a lot! Linda has built many lasting friendships and also has many fond memories here at Crest that she will miss, although she will not miss getting up at 4 AM and the cold winter mornings. Linda would like to thank the Meiners’ and her co-workers for making Crest Foods her second home for the last 4 decades! Linda has been a wonderful employee and she is a true friend in every sense of the word. All of us will miss her, but are very excited for her to enjoy her life! We wish her well and we are sure the best is yet to come! Alyssa Holden, Crystal Kessel, Nancy Gleissner, Candy Koch, Matt Downing Linda Myers, Dawn Summers, Jeff Meiners, Jessica Fair & Kelly Stevens on Linda’s last day at Crest Money Matters from the Payroll Office I will be offering helpful tips in each Crest Ink for all Crest Foods employees, beginners and veterans of the Crest Foods family. The topic for this issue is Direct Deposits . Did you know that Crest employees can have up to 4 different direct deposits out of their paychecks? Up to two can be flat amounts (example $10.00) Up to two can be a percent based deduction (example is 50%). ***Your net pay counts as one of these*** Please note that if you are planning on closing an existing account that you currently direct deposit into, do not close this account until after you check with someone in the payroll department (Myself or Lynn Burnette). Some examples of why people use multiple direct deposits are: Car payments, real estate taxes, mortgage payments, and vacation funds. Any questions please stop by the Payroll Office or call Susan Larson x235.
12 Crest Ink January, February & March 2017
CIP 2017 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, sani- tation, record keeping, maintenance and various other areas around Crest Foods. We received 25 suggestions from employees for the 1st quarter. Thank you to everyone for participating! Ben Esgar, Maintenance B-Shift 1st Quarter 1st Place • $250
Ben’s idea was to create an Excel spreadsheet that would be used as a tool by Maintenance & Set Up to help determine the ideal size of inserts and cups for volumetric cup fillers. This is a very creative idea that is currently being trialed on the B-shift.
Sam McBride, Ingredient Division C-Shift 1st Quarter Runner Up • $150
Install an electronic automatic dump valve on the air supply lines for bagger systems. By connecting the valve to the main lock -out switch, when it’s switched off, the valve releases air pressure. This has been implemented and is working great as a way to simplify the lockout procedure. Minimal cost and time saver. Sara Snow, Production B-Shift 1st Quarter Runner Up • $150 Require the Line operator to fill out a form for multi-fill products. This makes it less likely to have pallets pulled on finished products for missing components. This is a good idea that has been implemented and will save a lot of time if there is a hold order.
Jesse Morris, Production B-Shift 1st Quarter Runner Up • $150
To have a mock EMR Drill to explain the major functions and rolls of EMR & Maintenance in the event of an emergency. Great idea! In the near future we will involve Maintenance, Sanitation and First Responders in a drill/round table discussion where we walk through everyone’s roles during an emergency.
Getting to Know Matt Decker by Denton Yocum There is a new face in the Machine Shop. Matt Decker started late October as a Mechanical Design Engineer and is currently working through several high priority projects. You may have seen him on the floor taking measurements or checking out equipment. He will be making the rounds over the next several months working with many of the shop’s internal customers to
better understand how each department operates and become familiar with each department’s staff. Matt’s responsi- bilities include the design and fabrication management of internally ordered parts. He analyzes failed parts and rede- signs them to improve efficiency, functionality and safety. He designs new parts and assemblies from customer’s requirements. Matt manages these design projects from start to finish. Matt is an Aerospace Engineer with previous experience designing and supporting new sanitary conveyor projects. We welcome Matt to the team and look forward to utilizing his knowledge and skill to further progress our continu- ous improvement effort.
January, February & March 2017 Crest Ink 13
Holiday Cheer at Crest Foods by Erika Meiners The holidays were made a little bit brighter for numerous local organizations by the collective efforts of Crest em- ployees this holiday season. For many, the holidays remind us of the joy of giving and lending a hand to those in need. While the need for help is great in our communities, we are fortunate to work among so many people who are willing to volunteer their time toward making an impact in the lives of others. Whether it was wrapping gifts, filling out Christmas cards, or ringing a bell, the amount of goodwill this season was heartwarming! Numerous employees volunteered to purchase, wrap and deliver gifts to 48 local nursing home residents who didn’t have anyone to celebrate the holidays with. We also worked hard to put a smile on the faces of Kreider Services residents by sending Christmas cards and delivering gifts to be distributed throughout the holiday season. The Contract Packaging QA Department not only held their annual Hat, Sock and Mitten Tree campaign, but they also volunteered to purchase and wrap wish list gifts for 4 families from HOPE of Ogle County! The West Facil- ity put together another successful food drive for food pantries in Ashton, Dixon and Sterling which benefited many people in the local communities. Crest Foods also partnered with the Salvation Army again for their Red Kettle Drive, where money is raised over 4 Saturdays throughout Dixon to benefit those supported by the Lee County Salvation Army. This year we had em- ployees ring the bell for 26 hours and helped to raise a record $8,210.00 for Lee County! Thank you to all of the Crest employees who volunteered their time this holiday season. Whether the gesture was large or small, it’s safe to say you spread the cheer this holiday season.
Val, Hailey & Max Smith
The entire QA department adopted families at HOPE of Ogle County! Pictured are Candy Koch, Amber Olson, Kelly Stevens, Jes- sica Fair, Alyssa Holden & Linda Myers (far left) Many employ- ees purchased gifts for Kerider Services. (left) Julie Pitchford
(left) Rod Burnette & Dave Bushman of Burn ‘n Bush, Griff Bushman, Grace & Natalie Tremble, and Jon “Santa” Bakener. (right) West Facility food drive.
14 Crest Ink January, February & March 2017
The Handmade Christmas Store
by Marianne Cox
The True Spirit of Christmas is still alive and thriving. I’ve witnessed it myself first hand- like a child peering over the banister and seeing Santa placing presents under the well-lit tree. Or hearing a crowd of Christmas carolers crooning at your door step. It’s like a Christmas miracle- watching the generosity of folks. Those who have donated and those who have pur- chased the donations have truly experienced this. The sheer effort and thought of those who have donated items shows the true Crest spirit, and it –well, it warms the heart…Some of the items donated—jams, jellies, hats, scarves, paintings, trees, bird feeders, deer antler utensils, gift baskets, baked goods, ornaments, mazes and much, much more! Everything from small items to feed our fine-feathered friends to large decorations for your front yard…We had it covered…something for everyone. If you made a donation to the Handmade Christmas Store know that proceeds from items sold will go the Crest Foods Benevolence Fund and Crest in turn, will be matching those funds! A Special Thanks to everyone who donated items…also, a Very Special Thanks to everyone who purchased them!! Truly, this was a huge success! It will be a Very Merry Christmas for All… Live Long & Prosper Safety Contest Winners by WAVE Safety Team Congratulations to all contest winners for the 1st Quarter and thank you to all employees who participated!
November Winner Martha Holder (Production A) Karen Yardley, Kevin O’Dell, Phyllis Ott & Denton Yocum
December Winner Linda Myers (QA A) Denton Yocum, Kevin O’Dell, Karen Yardley & Dawn Summers
October Winner Tom Windelborn (CP Lab)
January, February & March 2017 Crest Ink 15
Our Crest Ink Editor asked me to recap our summer trek across Iowa as a follow up to my article written six months ago, when it was still quite warm outside. Readers may recall that my wife Lisa, a cancer survivor, and I were planning to ride our bicycles across Iowa from Glenwood to Muscatine during the month of July. The 420 mile journey was the third shortest over the 44 year history of the event and at 18,488 feet of total climb, was the 24th flattest. The beginning of our route toured the relatively rugged terrain of southern Iowa, devoid of the endless acres of cornfields, characteristic within the majority of the state.
Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa July 23-29, 2017 http://www.ragbrai.org/
by Jeff Friday
Downtown on Main Street in Ashton has occupied the same two blocks for well over a hundred years. That doesn’t mean that these two blocks haven’t seen a lot of changes though. The recent upgrade of the road and sidewalks lead us to thinking about what Main Street has looked like since horse and buggy days until A long time ago... 1923 We are now looking forward to the 2017 ride. This will be, hopefully, my eleventh and Lisa’s sixth trip. We are again planning for heat, humidity, hills and headwinds, not to mention rain and maybe severe thunderstorms or the threat of a tornado. As we stare out the window onto the winter ice and snow, we know that July is coming and RAGBRAI is what we do. As always, it’s great to be alive, healthy, strong enough to ride, and enjoying everything that God gives! Beyond those hills, the heat, humidity and headwinds (the 4-Hs of RAGBRAI), were less of a problem than other years with storms staying away as well. Sometimes people ask about bicycle repairs and flat tires along the way. While we carry gear to deal with simple repairs, including tires, this year we were fortunate enough to have abso- lutely no problems along the way, until the moment that I dipped my tire in the Mississippi River. I picked up a shard of glass at the dock and ended on a flat tire. At that point, I was able to rack my bike and fix it at home. We both completed every mile and dipped our tires into the Mississippi River on Saturday, July 30th after a brisk 50 mile morning ride into Muscatine.
16 Crest Ink January, February & March 2017
The Great Wall of Crest Trebuchet by Denton Yocum Editors Note: The ‘Great Wall of Crest’ is what we called the temporary emergency wall that was constructed at the West Warehouse following the tornado that hit the warehouse in April 2015.
When I heard the Great Wall of Crest in the warehouse was coming down and the wood was being given away, my first thought was ‘TREBUCHET’! For those who don’t know, a trebuchet is a type of siege weapon that was used in Europe from about 1200 A.D. to the early 1300’s to destroy castles. The ones they built were huge and could throw massive rocks at castle walls. A more modern use is to throw pump- kins very far. I’ve always wanted to build one and the wall wood was a good start. I didn’t want to build something small, so mine is about 9 feet tall with an 8 foot arm. I chose the floating arm style, for its efficiency, out of about 16 cur- rent designs. Last year for version 1 (picture shown) I used a 290 pound counter weight and threw a basketball size pump- kin 320 feet. That one almost hit my brother’s grain dryer. This year for version 2 I used a 600 pound counter weight with similar distance results. I did manage to barely miss the curious cows in the pasture. I learned my new arm, although strong enough to hold the weight, was too heavy to move quickly and throw the pumpkin a greater distance. I have a plan for next year! Thank you Crest Foods for assisting me with my crazy hobby.
today. A little research has produced some great insight into Main Street life in Ashton, Illinois....all pictures are taken from the east end of Main Street where are labs and offices are looking west.
January, February & March 2017 Crest Ink 17
Getting to Know Outside Contractors (who are frequently at Crest Foods) In addition to the 650 employees who work at Crest Foods, we have a handful of outside vendors who are here so often that we consider them part of the Crest family. Whether they are here on a daily or monthly basis, these are just some of the long list of people that work behind the scenes to make sure that we work like a well-oiled ma- chine. Keeping people fed, forklifts operating, lines staffed, parking lots plowed, buildings pest free, and machinery functioning properly are just some of the things that these people do for us. Their skills and capabilities are beyond our scope or internal resources, yet they are necessary in order for us to function. We are thankful that they have dedicated much of their careers to working here, and are appreciative for all that they do for Crest Foods.
Dave Contreras, Arch Vending/Sauk Valley Vendors -He fills all of the vending machines in all of our facilities on a daily basis Years with company: 30 Years coming to Crest: 8 Interests: Boating, fishing, golfing and playing with my new grandchild. Most people don’t know: I am a part time bartender at the Knights of Columbus in Dixon. Tom White, Painting & Snow Plowing Extraordinaire -Painter by trade, does all of our interior/exterior painting as well as sand blasting and painting of equipment. He plows snow at all Crest locations. Years coming to Crest: 45+ Any memories from when you first started? I remember Jay Meiners once told me: “I need you to paint the main building. I don’t care what color you paint it, just don’t paint it yellow.” So I painted it yellow! He just laughed when he saw it... Most people don’t know: I helped carry the blocks used to build the current North Plant building and Main Plant building when they were first being built! Heidi McGlown (aka Nurse Heidi), KSB Hospital -She provides services to employees on-site at Crest Foods. Services include: checking blood pressure, cholesterol or glucose, soft tissue therapy, first aid or any health/well- ness questions. Years with company: 2 Years coming to Crest: 2 Interests: Reading, hiking, walking, playing board games, motorcycle riding and spending time with my 7 kids and 2 grand-daughters Most people don’t know: I love riding motorcycles with my husband! Troy Ewens, ECOLAB -He does all exterior rodent control at Crest on a monthly basis. Years with company: 26 Years coming to Crest: 10+ Interests: Motorcycling Most people don’t know: My little brother is Tyler Ewens, who works on 3rd Shift in Sani- tation at the West Facility.
18 Crest Ink January, February & March 2017
January, February & March 2017 Crest Ink 19 Bill Ross, Area Mechanical -He does major installs of heating and cooling equipment as well as service and repairs. Years with company: 25 Years coming to Crest: 20+ (The first big project he worked on here was adding upstairs offices at the Main Plant.) Interests: He has a body shop on the side, so he spends a lot of time restoring old cars. Most people don’t know: I just finished up restoring a 1963 NOVA SS (lime green). Mark Hoffman, ALL Equipment -He services and sells all of our air compressors and vacuum pumps. Years with company: 20 Years coming to Crest: 20 Interests: Hunting & skydiving Most people don’t know: He’s been skydiving at least 1400+ times! (He’s even gotten Brian Schafer and his wife to go skydiving with him!) Erland Knudson, Equipment Depot -He handles all forklift repair for Crest Foods, which is for about 100 forklifts! Years with company: 25 Years coming to Crest: 24 Interests: Motorcycling, four-wheeling and snowmobiling. Most people don’t know: I am originally from Black River Falls, Wisconsin. Lisa Moscato, Manpower Onsite Supervisor -She helps staff and manage all temporary labor for Crest Foods, which can be up to 200 people at a time! Years with company: 2 Years coming to Crest: 2 Interests: Reading, writing & music Most people don’t know: I enjoy singing and have performed in choral groups throughout the country including a performance at Carnegie Hall. Tim Kelly, G&K Services -He cleans and replaces all of the rugs in all of our buildings on a weekly basis. Years with company: 20 Years coming to Crest: 14 Interests: Golf & football Most people don’t know: I enjoy NASCAR. Perry Altensey, Quality Electric -Electrician hired for large projects that we’re either not qualified to do or are beyond our ability because of limited staffing. Years with company: 26 Years coming to Crest: About 16 Interests: Traveling & playing in Texas Hold ‘Em Poker tournaments, spending time with his 2 grandkids, and collecting coins (mostly silver). Most people don’t know: I love hot rod cars and just finished up restoring a 1972 Chevelle SS 454.Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32
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