Volume 28 • Number 03 July, August & September 2016 Ashton, IL 61006
Ashton, Illinois in 1952. Circled is the original location of Crest Foods on Main Street.
Crest Foods started from very humble beginnings as most businesses do – not from someone’s garage in the back yard, but close…a tiny little building on Main Street of Ashton Illinois in the fall of 1946. Crest actually was found- ed as M&S Dairy Specialties – named after the two food scientist, George McDonald and EC Scott who along with their accountant Tom Gaskins were the ones responsible for laying the very first stones in the foundation of our thriving business today. So much has happened in our little corner of town since those early days seventy years ago. Numerous local fami- lies have seen multiple generations call Crest their work home. In fact, for many we have evolved into our Crest work family. Looking back, we celebrate and cherish all of the events that have brought us to this point in time. More than anything – we celebrate the people…all of those that have played a role in making us uniquely who we are today. Thousands of people have drawn a paycheck over the years…the better part of a thousand currently do now. The guys who started things back in 1946 had no idea about the story that would follow the very first lines they were writing 70 years ago. Our first products were protein based dry shake mixes sold to the federal government to help fortify the diets of returning malnourished POW’s from World War 2. Another early customer for milk proteins was Anheuser Busch.
In This Issue
Getting to Know C-Shift Maintenance page 4
Chris Pfoutz Celebrates 45 Years page 7 West Warehouse Update page 14
We also made candies to flavor ice cream with the most popular ones being black walnut crisp and chocolate ting-a- ling. Our first stabilizers were for ice cream, ice milk and sherbet. A couple young guys out of college named Jay Meiners and Dick Moeller were added to the payroll in 1952 to handle sales and run production. Things went rea- sonably well until some real drama started to happen in 1957. The accountant, Tom Gaskins was appointed president much to the dismay of Mr. Scott. Following a legal battle, Mr. Scott was bought out and left the company. Crest was promptly renamed Gaskins Foods (I think he was mad because they left his initial out of the original name). Evidently the name didn’t work so well and we were once again Crest Foods three years later. In the mid 60’s Tom Gaskins had a stroke and while physically well, permanent- ly lost his ability to speak. His wife Blanche took over and Crest had their first female President for the next several years until 1967. Employees Jay Meiners, Dick Moeller, Ray Sailer and then technical director for Dean Foods, Bert Kemp, pooled together their money and bought Crest Foods in 1967 for $182,000. This partnership brought new energy and passion to Crest that brought the contract packaging business into existence in 1969 packaging coffee whitener for Dean Foods. This was the beginning of a big growth time for Crest, but we would still struggle financially for at least the next decade – enough so that the discussion of could we keep the doors open was a common one. Obvi- ously, we did and the foundations for many of the things that we still do today started to be put in place. The early seventies saw the packaging business grow with our relationships beginning with General Mills and Karlin Foods. Our facility on Brown Street was built in 1977 and has been added to dozens of times since then. Profit sharing, health insurance and the ten year trips were added as part of the employee benefits package. The 80’s were a time of great growth and change for Crest. Our Consumers Products Division was started with our first sales being Chex Party Mix Seasoning (that we still sell today). The partnership from the 60’s changed dramatically as Ray Sailer had passed earlier and Dick Moeller and Bert Kemp sold their stock leaving Crest a com- pany run by the Meiners family. Jay Meiners lost his struggle with cancer in 1988 leaving his rather young and somewhat unprepared three sons to run the business. Devine intervention smiled on Crest and we not only sur- vived…we thrived. The 90’s and on has once again seen a time of great growth for Crest. Our new warehouses were built west of town in 1991 and we’ve been adding on to them ever since. In 2001 the Ingedient Division lab and pilot plant was expanded onto the space formally occupied by Grewe’s Tap. The mix facility was built in 2003, the west production area was added to the warehouse in 2006, the Ingredient Division warehouse was built in 2015 and to come full circle…the consumer products lab was built in the refurbished building that housed M&S Dairy Specialties (Crest Foods) way back in 1946. The Crest Foods of 2016 shows little resemblance to the one of 1946. We occupy in excess of one million square feet of warehouse, production and office facility. More than 800 people currently cash a paycheck that has a Crest Foods logo on it. Well over a million pounds of some type of food goes out our doors to the consuming public every work day. There are lots of Meiners around – nine of us are on the payroll and Delores (Jay’s wife) stops by every now and then just to make sure we are hard at it. Despite all the growth, we remain very loyal to our roots. The Crest Culture is the most important aspect of who we are and we are vigilant about making sure we are true to that. We are still a small town company in the middle of the Midwest with small town values. Making a profit is important because it allows us to exist and grow, but we exist to create a way of life for our Crest family - not to make a profit. Crest is built on the shoulders of those who show up to work every day and for those who did the same for the 70 years previous to this. Oh my – the people we have known – all ends of the spectrum from hard workers to char- acters and everything in between. We celebrate those that are here today and cherish the memory of those that went before us and can’t begin to imagine what stories might unfold in our next 70 years.
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1986 – Machine Shop building purchased & refurbished
M & S Dairy Specialties founded by George Mc Donald, E. C. Scott & Tom Gaskins M & S Dairy Specialties renamed Crest Foods Jay Meiners and Dick Moeller hired
This picture was taken for Jay Meiners’ birthday, just a few months before he passed away . Jay Meiners passed away
1957 – E. C. Scott resigns after legal battle 1957 – Crest Foods renamed to Gaskins Foods 1960 – Gaskins foods renamed Crest Foods Crest Foods purchased by Jay Meiners, Dick Moeller, Bert Kemp and Ray Sailer for $182,000 Jay Meiners & Dick Moeller to the left and the original owners, George McDonald & Tom Gaskins are pictured to the right.
Jim Spangler, Jeff Meiners, Steve Meiners, Gary Guenther & Mike Meiners at the Crest Foods Chili Cook-off shortly after Jay passed.
Initial construction on West Warehouse Facility The original West Warehouse on IL Rte. 38, 3 miles west of Ashton. Ingredient Division lab expanded to include pilot plant
Contract Packaging Division started by packaging coffee whitener for Dean Foods Not the actual coffee whitener for Dean Foods, but it was packaged in bottles just like these that we used for Borden shortly after.
1969 – Profit sharing fund started 1977 – First construction on Brown Street production facility Crest Foods became Meiners family owned business
Grewe’s Tap was taken down in order to build next to the existing Ingredient Division Lab Mix Facility constructed West Production area added to warehouse facility
Consumer Products Division started with first product being Chex Party Mix Seasoning This is the oldest Chex Mix packet we can find, which was from 2-3 years after it originated.
Consumer Products lab built in refurbished building that was original home to Crest Foods
Officially back to our roots on Main Street in Ashton.
Ingredient Warehouse facility constructed
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Some of the Crest Foods employees in 1956.
The warehouse flood August 14, 1987.
Crest employees (including George McDonald, Tom Gaskins & Jay Meiners) at a trade show in the 1950’s.
Getting to Know C-Shift Maintenance
Regina Bonnell, Dennis Horton, Eric Droege, Bill Kirk, Mark Fichter, Frank Malston, John VanDyke & Jordan Hamilton (not pictured: Jeremy Hammonds)
Justin Miller & Jon Larson
The members of the third shift maintenance crew at Crest cover a wide area of responsibilities. The biggest por- tion of this group works on preventative maintenance or project work that is most effectively done when produc- tion isn’t scheduled. When we are at our best, preventing problems before they happen is the most effective type of maintenance we can do. We also have staff devoted to doing changeovers on the third shift. While it would be nice if we simply ran the same thing all the time, the reality of our world is that we have a lot of changeovers and some of them are very involved. The same idea applies to changeovers as preventative maintenance…the more we can do while lines are not scheduled to run, the better off we are. Our third area of maintenance involvement for third shift is very new, but since we are now running on three shifts at the west production facility, we have an obvious need for line mechanics for this area. Production life would be great if these guys had nothing to do, but they al- ways seem to be very busy. Thanks to this group of employees who work behind the scenes, but are absolutely es- sential to keeping us running every day.
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The North Plant in downtown Ashton with Grewe’s Tap next door in the early 1970’s.
The Main Plant of Crest Foods in the 1990’s before the upstairs offices were built.
Jay Meiners in the early 1950’s.
Regina Bonnell (Preventative Maintenance) Years at Crest: 2 Interests: Outdoor activities like hiking and biking Most people wouldn’t know: I played every position in softball except for 1st base throughout high school and college. Eric Droege (Preventative Maintenance) Years at Crest: 9 Interests: Frisbee golf and ping pong Most people wouldn’t know: I used to do silk-screen- ing on t-shirts. Mark Fichter (Preventative Maintenance) Most people wouldn’t know: I walk a lot. Jordan Hamilton (Set Up Maintenance) Years at Crest: 3 Interests: Spending time with my 2 children, and work- ing on my drag racing truck Most people wouldn’t know: I bought a home this year. Dennis Horton (C-Shift Sanitation & Maintenance Supervisor) Years at Crest: 5 Interests: Cutting wood, gardening, my dogs Most people wouldn’t know: I used to play guitar in a band called “Dirt Road”. Years at Crest: 28 Interests: Walking
Bill Kirk (Preventative Maintenance) Years at Crest: 3 months Interests: Golf, antiquing Most people wouldn’t know: I lived in Colorado for 25 years. Jon Larson (Maintenance Mechanic West Facility) Years at Crest: 12 Interests: Camping, fishing, photography, fitness Most people wouldn’t know: I am an avid painter. Frank Malston (Preventative Maintenance) Years at Crest: 28 Interests: Lifting weights, biking Most people wouldn’t know: On July 1st, my wife and I will celebrate our 36 year wedding anniversary. Justin Miller (Maintenance Mechanic West Facility) Years at Crest: 4 Interests: Cooking, eating, chasing around my 2 year old. Most people wouldn’t know: I like to go camping. John VanDyke (Preventative Maintenance) Years at Crest: 2 Interests: Bowling, motorcycle riding, antiquing and going to auctions Most people wouldn’t know: Frank Malston is my neighbor.
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Crest Foods Give Back Program 2016 by Cheri Kemp
As I walked into the classroom at Crest Foods, I was met with the sound of shuffling feet and the low hum of ner- vous chatter. Students from three area high schools, representing 4 different clubs, took up the challenge given by Crest Foods to prepare presentations on local charities that are close to their hearts. For several years Crest Foods has offered this challenge to the area schools. The hope is to foster a desire in these young individuals to get in- volved in their communities and feel for themselves the satisfaction of volunteering or participating in giving back to others. In return for their research and preparation of an informative presentation, each group would then earn a sum of money from Crest Foods to donate to their chosen organizations. The Dixon High School Student Council and Key Club shared personal stories of how Home of Hope Cancer Wellness Center has been present in their lives. The Home of Hope Wellness Center offers support for people and families as they deal with cancer. A few members of the DHS Student Council and DHS Key Club have direct knowledge of the services offered as a member of their own families dealt with cancer. One service offered by Home of Hope is particularly close to their hearts. That is the Campus Care group sponsored by Home of Hope. Campus Care provides a resource at the local schools to allow students time to talk about their anxieties and con- cerns when family members are going through cancer treatment. The Hope of Hope serves four counties: Lee, Ogle, Carroll & Whiteside, and serves over 1000 clients. The Ashton-Franklin Center FFA group explained how state budget cuts have impacted needed repairs at the lo- cal Lee County 4-H Center and their wish to keep the facility from falling into further disrepair. They shared memories of showing cattle, pigs or sheep at the 4-H center and their desire for future generations to be able to do the same and make those life long memories as they have. The Lee County 4-H center is not just used for 4-H events. It is used throughout the year for events such as the Fall Fest, Summer Camps, County Winter Fest and Pictured back row: Levi Meurer, Geoffrey Baker, Joshua Payne, Katie Dummer Front Row: Addison Wetzel, Laci Meurer, Lexi Meurer, Isabelle Lindenmeyer, Cristen Rozek, Anthony Chavez, Mark Pearson, Eric Sanders
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Barn Bash. The wish list of repairs to be made was very long and the funds provided by the Give Back Program would be put to good use. The Rochelle Township High School group representing the Rochelle Township High School and classes for the visually impaired presented their unique brand of humor and ideas on raising funds for the local Rochelle VFW roof project. Over 550 flags are stored at the VFW for use on special occasions and a dry building is very important to preserve these flags. Mark Pearson and Anthony Chavez call themselves the Ben & Jerry of gourmet chocolate. They were joined by Katie Dummer and Eric Sanders in this joint venture. Mark & Anthony spearheaded the Braille Bar’s concept a couple of years ago. They decided to raise funds for the local VFW by taking orders for, and mak- ing, large candy bars with braille messages on the bars. The chocolate bars can be made to say “Thank You”; “Have a Nice Day”; “I Love You”; and “Happy Birthday”. There is also a variety of flavors so your favorite white choco- late Oreo candy bar could say “Happy Birthday!” Ben & Jerry, or Mark & Anthony, are learning braille and the chocolate bars allow their peers to see and feel what braille is like. It takes a small army of students and staff to help make the candy bars for this fundraiser. The students are allowed to use the kitchen and a classroom at RTHS to put their skills to the test. After all this work is completed and the sales finalized, 50% of the profit will go to the Rochelle VFW roof repair fund and 50% to Independent Living Field Trips as will the funds received from the Give Back Program. The group of Crest Foods managers who were fortunate enough to see each of these presentations was tasked with the difficult decision of declaring first, ($2,500) second ($1,500) and third ($1,000) place. The consensus was that a very fine line existed between each of these places so a quick decision by management to add an additional $1,000 to the total to be awarded was made. Each school was then the recipient of $2,000 for each of their chosen orga- nizations. Everyone walked away a winner and with a new appreciation of the process of preparing, presenting and engaging in this process. It was very rewarding to see each of these students, as nervous as they were, show their passions for giving back within their communities. We wish to thank the schools and their sponsors who worked together with the students to take their time and energy to come to Crest Foods.
Happy 45th Anniversary! Over the past 45 years Chris Pfoutz has worked for many wonderful people like Jay Meiners, Bert Kemp, Charlie Nash, Jim Schultz and Max Ballard to name a few. When she started at Crest Foods she worked on the production line with high school friends while attend- ing school. Once she graduated high school, she came to work full- time and has worked in the Ingredient Division QC department, was a Sales Secretary for many years and is now Administrative Assistant to the Ingredient Division R&D department. Chris says the best part about working at Crest Foods is, “working with the 1st. 2nd. and now the 3rd. generation of Meiners’.” I would like to thank the entire Crest family for the beautiful bouquet of flowers and card given to me for my 45th anniversary with Crest Foods. It was very thoughtful of you. Sincerely, Chris Pfoutz.
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Walking Club Update The 2016 Walking Club season is officially underway, and we’ve raised $2380.00 for HOPE of Ogle County in Ro- chelle! We had 67 Crest employees participate in our first event which was the Make-A-Wish 5K in Dixon. While it was a cold morning, it was nice to see so many employees and their family members walking or running for a great cause. Our second race took place in Ashton at the 5th Annual Ashton Community Walk, which raises money for the Ashton Community Fund. Thanks to the 52 employees who showed up on that hot morning! We have 5 more events to go and are well on our way to raising a lot of money for HOPE of Ogle County. We know that summers are very busy, and we appreciate Crest employees and their family members taking the time to come out and walk or run! Every time you participate, you are supporting many deserving organizations in the local area. Thank you!
Gerry Temmen, Abby Lahman & Savannah Dees
Eric Francis, Joy Haar, Natasha Pranga, Aaron Meyer & Steven Osborne
Angie Martin, Jon Bakener, Justin Miller, Becca Dodd, Steve Meienrs, Pam & Al Hess
Kena, Fatima & Santiago Rivera, Jamie & Adalynn Cooper
Alfonzo Alvarado & Cass Askegaard
Justin Guenther, Jessica Fair, Al Kvool & Kelly Stevens
Maria Herrera, Aurora Abarca & Maria Jeronimo
Pictured right: Amanda, Jared and Andrew Stumpenhorst, Justin Guenther, Randy & Cindy Reuter, Mary McWethy, Phyllis Ott, Marianne Cox, Nurse Heidi, Aaron Meyer, Romeo Ata- nasio, Shauna Currier, Lacy Lewis, Jason Rudkin & Dino Chavez
Mike Finn & Matt Gendusa
Start of the Ashton Community Walk 5K
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Happy Retirement, Larry Engelkes!
Many people stopped by the parts room on Larry’s last day at Crest: Jeff Meiners, Matt Richardson, Aurora Gonzalez, Carl Reineke, Craig Newman, Larry Engelkes, Jim Reindel, Jesse Densmore, Amy Orsted, Deven Sterbenz, Marcia Breeden, Kevin Fish, Scott Storey & Kevin Gibson to name a few.
After 33 years, Larry Engelkes is hanging up his tool belt. When Larry first started here he worked in Maintenance then moved into the Set Up arm of Maintenance. Larry said he worked second shift for one month before moving to first shift where he has spent the last 33 years. For the last few of those years he has worked from 4:30 AM to 12:30 PM. I asked Larry if he thought he was going to be able to sleep in after so many years of getting up so early. He said “I do sleep in on weekends. I sleep in until 5:00 AM!” When Larry decided to retire he and his wife made the decision to sell their home on the Rock River and move to Attica, Indiana, where they have family. “We put or home on the market and the realtors had a group showing for realtors at our home. It sold in 24 hours before we even had it officially listed for sale!” “When we get to Indiana I have a couple of projects at our new house. We have a big back yard and I like to garden and another hobby I like is to do woodworking. We are going to add a fam- ily room and 2 ½ car garage for my wood working equipment so I can go play in there. When that is done I will be able to do woodworking into the evening and not worry about going to bed early because I have to get up at 3 AM for work. I look forward to taking it easy for a while. I have enjoyed working here and the people. I am going to miss a lot of friends.” We all wish Larry and his wife, Cindy, the best in their new adventure. You will be missed.
Victor Allen Raines 11-16-1960 - 5-1-2016
Vic worked in Ingredient Division Production for 23 years before retiring in 2014. As you can imagine, after 23 years in the same department, Vic had a wealth of knowledge about our products, our company culture and our customers. He was vital to our team,
and he was missed when he retired in 2014. We are saddened by Vic’s passing and he will be forever a part of our Crest Family. Vic’s passion was to hunt and fish. He and the guys would swap a lot of stories about hunting and fishing trials, tribulations and victories. He was involved in many sports and he loved the Chicago Bears. He en- joyed being with his family, especially his grandchildren. When we think of Vic, it will be with fond memories.
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Our Sympathy To Peggy Messer (Benefits Department) and her family on the passing of her sister, Connie Cater. Connie was an employee of Crest Foods for 9 years before retiring in 2008. You all are in our thoughts and prayers. To Susie Miller (Customer Service) and Daniel Miller (Production B) on the passing of Neil Miller, Susie’s husband and Daniel’s father. Our thoughts are with your family. To Emmanuel Quintana (Production B), Alma Hernan- dez (Production B), and Carmen Quintana (Production A) on the passing of Pancho, Emmanuel & Carmen’s brother. Our thoughts are with the Quintana family. New Arrivals Congratulations to Marianne (Switchboard Operator) and Dave Cox on the birth of their first grandchild. Tyla Jo was born March 20th and weighed in at 8 lb. 6 oz. and was 22 inches in length. Her proud parents are Mike and Melissa Cox of Erie, Illinois. Congratulations to Kyle (Sanitation B) and Heather Ar- reguin on the birth of their son, Lucas Rodger. He was born June 3, 2016 at 8 a.m. He weighed in at 9 lbs. 15 oz. and was 21 inches in length. Welcoming him home is brother William. Also, Congrats to Grandma Shaw- neen Arreguin (Production B). Thank You Crest Employees: Thank you for the plant that was sent to me during my recent surgery. It certainly helped cheer me up. Every time I walk past it, it reminds me of the GREAT people who work for Crest Foods. Thank you again. Max Ballard (Tech Serv. Ing. Div.) Thanks for the flowers! Walter Willstead (Ing. Prod. A) Thank you for the plant I received from all the Crest Foods employees after I had my eye surgery. I will be back to work soon – hopefully with two good eyes. Thank you again. Ann Prestegaard (Production A West) Thank you for the plaque. It will look nice in Vic’s Memory Garden. The family of Vic Raines
I wish to thank all the employees of Crest Foods for the lovely plant while I was recovering from my surgery. Larry Engelkes (Production A & Parts Room) Thank you very much to Crest Foods and employees for sending me the beautiful plant during my recent surgery, hospital stay and recovery. It was very thought- ful of you. Chuck Reynolds (Ing. Div. Lab Tech) Crest Foods Employees: Thank you so much for the plant that you sent me after my surgery. Working hard on rehab to get back to work asap. Thanks again! Ken Drew (Karlin Whse. Manager) Dear Crest Employees: Thank you for the beautiful plant you sent me after having surgery. It was very thoughtful and my family is enjoying it. Thank you! Aaron Baker (Ing. Div. Lab Tech) Crest Foods Employees: Thank you so much for your continued support and love during this difficult time. Garnie and I cannot express how much it is appreciated! Also thank you to the benevolence committee for the gift! And thank you for the beautiful plant during my hospital stay. Garnie & Kelly Stevens (Garnie – Machine Shop, Kelly QA Line Supervisor) Dear Crest Foods: On June 7, 2016 my wife and I re- ceived a beautiful plant and card from Crest Foods, say- ing Congrats on the Baby. On behalf of myself, my wife, and baby Lucas I would like to say Thank You so much for your thoughts and very kind present. It was a beautiful gift, and I am so happy to be a part of a company/family that would put in the extra effort for something like that. We love it, and I’m sure Lucas would love it too, in between crying and filling his diaper. He can already lift his head and roll over. We
are so very happy and proud to have him. His big brother Wil- liams is ecstatic as well. Any- one else that had a hand in sending Congrats to us – thank you so much from the Arreguin Family. Kyle Ar-reguin (Sani- tation B)
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Congratulations! Katherine Henrikson, daughter of David Henrikson (QA Quality Engineer) has graduated the 8th grade at Princeton Christian Academy and will be attending Ohio High School in the fall. Congratulations on your accomplishments and all the best to you in your pur- suits. Fay Prestegaard, daughter of Ann (Production A West) and Henry Prestegaard, graduated from Elmhurst Col- lege on May 28, 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a minor in Business Administration. Congratulations! Garrett Adamson, grandson of Darcy Zera (Account- ing) and Steve Zera (Eng. Mgr.) graduated from Al- Wood High School on May 15, 2016. He will be attend- ing the University of Illinois in the fall, majoring in Business Administration.
Madison Tomblin, daughter of Julie Tomblin (QA B) graduated May 28th from Rochelle Township High School. Madison is planning to get her C.N.A.
Congratulations Frida Gonzalez, daughter of Kena Rivera (Pro- duction A West)! We are so proud of you for every accom- plishment you made thus far. We wish you the best of luck at the University of Wisconsin Plat- teville as you become a Forensic Pathologist.
Congratulations to Emily Hilpert for receiving awards in Algebra, Honor Roll and National Honor Society. Emily is a sophomore at Scaltonel County in Memphis, Mo. She is the great-granddaughter of Linda Meyers. (QA A)
Congratulations Jackie & Peter Ayling After creating a special savings account and waiting nearly a year, Jackie and Peter Ayling can now say they are United States citizens! Jackie said the pro- cess is quite costly and somewhat lengthy so there was a bit of pre-plan- ning involved. After saving for a year, Jackie requested their citizenship appli- cation last October and sent it in to start the process. This came with a book- let and a CD of the type of questions the Ayling’s would need to know about the United States. The CD contained 100 questions and answers that the Ayling’s had to study. The actual test consists only of 10 questions, but you
do not know which 10 questions out of the 100 will be on your particular test. Jackie said she would listen to the CD every day coming to work and then going home. When she and Pete were in the car together, they would quiz each other. “We had to answer the questions on the test exactly as they were in the booklet and on the CD” said Pete. “For example, ‘what is Ben Franklin known for?’” “You can’t answer ‘eyeglasses’ because the correct answer in the booklet is he was a diplomat.” “We then got notice that we had to go to Naperville to be fingerprinted. We quizzed each other all the way in and back” said Jackie. Jackie and Pete took the test in January then received notice that they could be sworn in. This took place on April 22, 2016, at the Rockford Courthouse. “There were 89 people from 15 different countries who were sworn in. It was very exciting” said Jackie. We wish to congratulate the Aylings on now being citizens of the United States! (Jackie works A-Shift Production and has been at Crest Foods for 18 years.)
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Congratulations! Congratulations to the following employees for obtaining new jobs at Crest over the past few months!
Alyssa Holden QA Line Technician B-Shift
June Danekas Ing. Div. Production A-Shift
Mark Hussey Sanitation Ing. Div. Warehouse
Stina Kanaras QA Line Technician B-Shift
Mandi Kersten Customer Service Account Specialist Deven Sterbenz Lab Technician Ingredient Division Congratulations to Andra Meiners for being named Customer Service Coordinator! Her duties will include managing day to day Ingredient Division order fulfillment activity. All account specialists will report directly to her although the overall department will remain the responsibility of Janet Sutton. Departmental changes took place July 1st. Ben Yates Mix Batch Stager A-Shift
The personal training program is wonderful. I recommend it to anyone who is serious about losing weight and gaining strength. I don’t think I could have picked a better trainer than Keith Larson. He has really helped me cut weight by giving me nutritional guidance. I lost 28 pounds in eight weeks. My strength has also drastically changed. My maximum bench press weight has increased 65% by following the strength training charts he provided. Keith has helped me stay focused on being healthy, eating right, keeping at my goals, and staying away from nicotine, liquor and high fructose drinks. I just want to say thank you to Keith Larson for helping me be and stay healthy and strong, and thank you for the personal training program. -Aaron Meyer (Maintenance B) Pictured Left: Keith Larson & Aaron Meyer
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CIP 2016 3rd 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 16 suggestions from employees for the 3rd quarter. Thank you to everyone for participating! Kenny Blomberg, Machine Shop 3rd Quarter 1st Place • $250
Use 1/2” (plastic) sheets under the totes on the new NBE tipper conveyors to release drag when pushing totes into the tipper. This would keep the hood in place so no adjustments need to be made for various tote sizes. This was a great idea as a temporary solution, and it turns out that even with the newly installed permanent solution in place, the plastic sheets are still needed.
Brad Furman, Mix B-Shift 3rd Quarter Runner Up • $150
Install a crank to move the discharge up and down for drums and totes under the mixer. This would make it safer to move the discharge up and down. This is a real potential for injury on 6 of the 7 mixers, and we are working on a plan to proceed. Jackie Ayling, Production A-Shift 3rd Quarter Runner Up • $150 On the new Waste Food Product totes, put a list of things that cannot go into the totes. We’ve created One Point Lesson Plans for this and plan to use pictures that show what can and cannot go into the totes to avoid confusion.
Mike Piper, Maintenance B-Shift 3rd Quarter Runner Up • $150
Put an eye behind the wiper on cartoners with a time delay to shut the cartoner down if product sits on the flight chains for too long. This idea should cut down on downtime when pouches build up and will keep pouches from getting pulled up into sprockets and throwing cartoners out of time.
The local AFC Cheerleaders held a fundraiser by grilling pork chops for delicious sand- wiches that Crest Foods employees could purchase during their lunch hour. The smell coming from the parking lot made it difficult to wait until lunch for the sandwich. “I just wanted to take a minute to thank all of you at Crest for your continued support with our pork chop fundraisers! We always have such a wonderful turn out and we enjoy seeing everyone. We raised $600 to help pay for camp. We will be sure to share with you pictures from camp! The cheerleaders are going to have an amazing time and I cannot wait to see how much they learn and how much fun they are going to have spending 3 days on the campus of ISU. Thank you all so much once again.” Ashton-Franklin Center high school cheerleaders and their coach Kristi Henry
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What’s New at the West Warehouse
by Erika Meiners
Walking through the West Warehouse right now, you’d never guess that we are the busiest we’ve ever been in Con- tract Packaging. In anticipation of new business at the West Facility last year, we knew we had to start thinking about how to maximize floor space in an already very full warehouse. To truly understand the 344,813 square feet of space that that makes up the warehouse, Mark McWethy, Jerry Law- rence and Rick Rice worked to come up with a detailed map of the entire space. For weeks, warehouse employees were able to study the jumbo map that was printed and hung and were ultimately able to better adjust the flow of traffic and maximize floor space. And it wasn’t just a little rearranging – they completely flip-flopped the entire warehouse (except for Mix ingredients). Finished product is now at the east end, Karlin moved to the west end and they were able to make room for ¼ of the warehouse to be dedicated to the new Project Periscope. A big thank you to everyone on A & B shifts at the Warehouse for their efforts! In addition to rearranging, we knew that coming up with a way to record data about the contents of the Warehouse would help with becoming proactive instead of just saying “The Warehouse is FULL!”. Now we have data that tells us information including how much was picked, pallets received, trucks in, total finished product picked, partial pal- lets, and total Periscope pallets. Ben Kinn and Kerry Tumleson are continuing to work on data so that eventually we will even be able to calculate the percentage full for all three sections of the warehouse. Thank you to everyone who helped with all of these changes! Much discussion, input, extra work and staring at the jumbo map in Jerry’s office went into making all of this happen. Also, now that the Warehouse is re-arranged, we thought it was time that they got some new wheels. 19 shiny new forklifts and 1 push pull unit complete with a new gantry system and battery charging/changing area arrived in June! A-Shift Warehouse: Andrew O’Brien, Craig Friday, Gerry Temmen, John Loomis, Josh Saxton, Kyle Lawrence, Austin Young, Bill Henry, Rob Roath, Jerry Lawrence, Rance Bardo, Shane Stover & Ben Kinn
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SQF & Gluten-Free Annual Audits by Jeff Friday Crest Foods’ annual SQF Audit was conducted April 4th through 8th with Crest Foods assisting with the SQF Audit at the Karlin Foods Distribution Center on March 31st. Our auditor spent all week inspecting our equip- ment and facilities, while assessing food safety and prerequisite programs. Programs include document control, record keeping, product specifications, verification, validation of our system, product identification, traceability, allergen management, and our training program. Other prerequisite programs include personnel practices, process ing practices, equipment calibration, pest control, facility and equipment maintenance, master sanitation, water qual- ity, methods for controlling contaminants, supplier approval, warehouse receiving and shuttling, and waste manage- ment. This is a lot of material to cover, along with a million square feet and countless pieces of equipment. Concurrent with Crest Foods’ annual SQF Audit, our SQF certifying body (SGS) sent an auditor capable of per- forming a gluten-free audit. This audit was overseen by the Allergen Control Group, Inc. from Milton, Ontario, Canada. Crest Foods received gluten-free certification for the first time in 2014 and recertifies annually. In the end, our efforts paid off with improved audit scores, for all, and each audit resulted in another year of recer- tification for Karlin Foods Distribution Center, Crest’s Ingredient Division and Packaging Division (both SQF and Gluten-Free Audits). Special thanks to all who helped make this possible!
Welcome Emily Plapp by Joe Loquasto
Emily Plapp has recently joined Crest Foods, Ingredient Division R&D, as a R&D Project Manager following her graduation from Kansas State University with her B.S. in Food Science. Emily was born and raised in Malta, Illinois, on her fam- ily farm where they raise organic crops (corn, beans, oats etc…) and livestock (dairy cows, beef cattle, sheep, chicken and pigs). After graduating from Rochelle Township High School in 2012, Emily took her talents to Kansas State University. While at Kansas State, Emily was a member of the Dairy Products Judging and Dairy Cattle Judging Teams. Also while at Kansas State, as part of her Honors
Programs, Emily conducted her own research project titled “The Textural Effects of Dried Vinegar in Raw Milk Cheeses” and presented her findings at the Kansas State Undergraduate Research Showcase. For the past four sum- mers Emily has been an intern in the Ingredient R&D Lab and has worked on developing Direct Acid Sour Cream and Panna Cotta, as well as fine tuning her laboratory skills. In her spare time Emily enjoys reading, running, and milking her dairy cows. We all look forward to the great things Emily will bring to Crest! Crest Foods Community Bulletin Board on Facebook! Crest Foods has a Facebook group named Crest Foods Community Bulletin Board, Ashton, Illinois. To join the private group, search Facebook for Crest Foods Community Bulletin Board, Ashton, Illinois. Membership to the group is available to all current Crest and Man- power employees. Admission to the group will be approved by the administrator. The Bulletin Board will be used to communicate job openings, walking club events, holidays, pictures, and any news worthy posts. Get immediate post notifications to your smart phone. JOIN today!
July, August & September 2016 Crest Ink 15
Compliance Facilitators by Jeff Friday
Over the last few months, Crest Foods has been developing the new position of Compliance Facilitator. In fact, not one, but two Compliance Facilita- tors have been named. Their objective is to drive down the incident rate for events, namely accidents, food safety problems and quality issues, through the effective and creative management of resources, such as personnel, plant and programs. These positions are focused on personnel, not production. The Compliance Facilitator touches all departments and staff as they relate to the overall operation of the plant floor, with Garett Meiners overseeing resources at the: • West Production Facility • Mix Facility • Warehouse (Packaging & Ingredient Divisions) • Karlin Foods Distribution Center (Warehouse & Assembly Areas) Garett has been at Crest Foods for a number of years and has a great deal of experience in the Warehouse, Produc- tion and Mix Departments. Likewise, Dean Rhodes will cover resources at the Main Plant. Though Dean has only been at Crest for a few months, he brings a wealth of knowledge, as the retired Dixon Fire Chief, along with a great deal of hands-on train- ing experience. They will both have cross-over responsibilities, covering for each other as needed. The Compliance Facilitator will work to reduce the incident rate for events (a.k.a. “problems”) by facilitating or personally performing various duties such as routine training of personnel, ad hoc refresher training and coach- ing, development of training materials and SOPs (standard operating procedures) to facilitate program and em- ployee development. They will be involved in the investigation of root causes for various identified events, partici- pate in the Corrective and Preventative Action (CAPA) process, developing substantive and sustained solutions to reduce future events. They will perform verification activities to confirm that programs are aligned with SOPs and do inspections to identify plant and program deficiencies to reduce future events. They will also participate on the Internal Audit and Safety Teams. Since Crest Foods is SQF certified, the ability to correlate the SQF Code, Crest Foods’ SOPs, actual plant activity, and resolve discrepancies between the three is a foundational activity. Documentation and communication, by means of strong written and verbal skills, and a willingness to work creative schedules, since the company operates nearly 24/7, is also important. Approximately 90% of the Compliance Facilitators’ time will be spent on the floor interacting with, motivating, mentoring and coaching employees. Garett Meiners & Dean Rhodes
Head to www.crestfoods.com to check out the new Crest Foods website!
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Live Long & Prosper Safety Contest Update by Karen Yardley, Safety & Sanitation Manager In March we did a scavenger hunt and Mandi Kersten of the Consumer Products group was the lucky winner! Can you find these five items in the area you work ? Fire Extinguisher, First Aid Kit, Eye Wash Station, Severe Weather Shelter, Safety Data Sheet Binder. In April we quizzed employees on the pictograms found on chemical labels and Safety Data Sheets used to identify the hazards we work with everyday and Tom Saunders, who works at the Ingredient Division Warehouse was cho- sen from the correct entries. May was a safety mad lib - no right or wrong answers - you just had to participate to be eligible for the $25 gift cer- tificate and t-shirt! We had some funny stories to share and Tammy Crook of the North Lab was the winner! You’ll have at least three more chances to get your name in the drawing for the $100 gift card in September. So be sure to participate in the monthly contest in June, July or August !
March Winner Mandi Kersten (Con. Prod. Lab) Kevin O’Dell, Phyllis Ott
April Winner Tammy Crook (Ing. Div. Lab) Karen Yardley, Phyllis Ott, Kevin O’Dell
May Winner Tom Saunders (Ing. Div. Whse) Karen Yardley, Kevin O’Dell
Many people had a hand in the successful Project Periscope launch over the last year. Pictured are many of the employees at the West Facility on the B-Shift who have either helped with the start up or currently work on those production lines. Keith Larson, Ty Leb- rick, Andrew Wilks, Trevor Winkler, Chaz Richard, Kristen Frieberg, Robert Collins, Victor Fernandez, Scott Moore, Susan Collier, Jeremy Taylor, Aaron Meyer, Tristen Dickey, Melinda Heaton, Kyle Kutzke, Eric Wear, Jim Smith, Jessica Springer, Jesse Morris, Katie Kresanek, Maria Rodriguez, Kathy Messenger, Kathy Dwyer, Dominique Evans, Jesus Castillo & Heather Thomasson
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In March, we held our annual Charity Madness contest to give customers a chance to win some green for their char- ity of choice. They followed along on the bracket with their randomly drawn team in the NCAA March Madness tournament and the top four winning teams were award ed with a check. Below are some of the charities that were helped out this year, along with some details on how they help people, and their contact information.
$1,500 towards the BOYS & GIRLS CLUB in Massillon, OH www.massillonkids.org • 330.833.4395 • 730 Duncan St. SW, Massillon, OH 44647 They are a community-based organization that provides a safe, affordable place for young people ages 6 to 18 to go during non-school hours and during the summer, as an alterna- tive to spending time on the streets or being home alone. 49% of the children they serve
are 6-10 years old. Their programs include Character & Leadership Development; Health and Life Skills; The Arts; Sports, Fitness & Recreation; and Education & Career Development. They help over 1200 children a year with their programs and services. $1,000 towards the HOSPICE OF CRAWFORD COUNTY in Titusville, PA
http://hospice.mmchs.org • 814.827.0330 • 406 West Oak Street, Titusville PA 16354 This is a non-profit hospice, that gives care to patients in their home environment which could include the patient’s or family’s home, an assisted living facility, a group home, a long
term care facility, or the Hospice House. They enable patients nearing life’s end to live free of pain, symptoms and anxieties and empowers them and their families to experience an optimum quality of life. Their services include: Bereavement Counseling, Hospice House, Palliative Care, and Volunteer Services.
$500 towards the SHALOM CENTER in Kenosha, WI www.shalomcenter.org • 262.658.1713 • 1713 62nd Street, Kenosha WI 53143 The Shalom Center provides food, shelter and guidance. Their programs include: Inter- faith Network Nightly Shelter, an Emergency Family Shelter, a Food Pantry, and a Daily
Soup Kitchen. The food pantry provides families in need with emergency food once a month. They are able to serve an average of 1,100 households per month. They are able to distribute an average of 130,000 lbs. monthly. In 2015, their INNS program sheltered 436 households, consisting of 435 adults and 186 children for a total of 7,339 shelter nights. $500 towards GIRLS INC. www.girlsinc.org • 212.509.2000 • 120 Wall Street, 18th Floor; New York, NY 10005-3902 Girls Inc.’s mission is to inspire all girls to be strong, smart and bold by providing life-chang ing experiences and solutions to the unique challenges girls face. They help over 140,000 girls across the U.S. and Canada with a program and environment to empower them to succeed. They have programs such as: Leadership and Community Action; Operation SMART (Science, Math and Relevant Technology); and Project BOLD where girls learn skills to lead safer lives in their homes, relationships and in their communities.
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$500 towards the HOSPICE OF ROCK RIVER VALLEY in Sterling, IL. www.hospicerockriver.org • 815.625.3858 • 2600 N. Locust St, Suite B, Sterling IL 61081
We had a very generous customer win $500, and they wanted to donate it to a local charity close to Crest Foods’ employees. We have been holding a “water bottle fund” this past year to raise money to go towards building a new hospice facility in the area…so we knew exactly where the funds could be used! The Hospice of the Rock River Valley services are focused on patient and family care and includes symptom man- agement, emotional support, spiritual support and psychosocial services. They plan on building a 14,000 square foot hospice home with six patient suites to provide end of life care. Grilling with Jeff: Personal Sized Smoked Bacon Wrapped Fatty by Jeff Karas, Engineering Electrician Time to start up the smoker! What’s better than sausage stuffed with cheese and veggies? Wrapping it in bacon! Ingredients: - 1 lb of ground sausage
- 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese - 2Tbs pickled jalapenos, chopped - 2 pieces bacon, crumbled - 5 pieces bacon (for wrapping) - BBQ sauce - Bradley Rack How to put it together:
-Cut the pound of sausage in half. Place ½ lb of sausage in a 7x8 ziploc bag (quart size) and flatten out with your hand. (TIP: snip the 2 bottom corners of the ziploc to help release air while you flatten out the sausage.) (TIP: Instead of wasting ziploc bags, I wipe out cereal bags once they are empty and save them for this recipe.) -Cut the 2 sides and bottom of the bag along the seam and peel back the plastic to reveal the flattened sausage. -Put 3-4 Tbs of BBQ sauce on sausage, then top with shredded cheese, chopped pickled jalapenos, and bacon. Then roll it up as tight as you can. -Lay 5 pieces of bacon on the cutting board side by side, then place the sausage roll on top and wrap the bacon around it. Once the sausage is covered with bacon, place the bacon wrapped roll on a Bradley rack or a plank of wood and sprinkle it with some of your favorite rub. -Place on the smoker grate and smoke for 2 hours or until it reaches 160 degrees in the center. About 20 minutes before it’s finished, top with your favorite glaze. -If you don’t have a smoker, you can also use a charcoal or gas grill. Once the bacon is crispy and the internal tem-
perature is 160 degree (check with internal temperature gauge just to make sure), it’s done! I like to slice this up (reheat in a frying pan) and eat it for breakfast with eggs. Enjoy!
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Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa July 24-30, 2016 http://www.ragbrai.org/ Long-time, loyal Crest Ink readers may recall that I previously wrote an arti- cle regarding my RAGBRAI experience. Hard to believe, I wrote that article nine years ago! My 2007 Crest Ink article recounted my week long 500 mile journey across Iowa, via bicycle with 10,000 other riders. We start at, or near, the Missouri River on Sunday and end by dipping our front tire into the Mis- sissippi River on Saturday. For reasons that are hard to explain, I have continued that trans-Iowa trek every year since, logging over 4,600 miles on RAGBRAI alone. Starting in 2011, my wife, Lisa joined me in this endeavor. I had given her a road bike for Christmas and she was eager to go, but concerned about the rigors of the trip. She logged 1,000 training miles that year, before our de- parture, and did a fantastic job completing the challenge that year and in the two years to follow. In 2014, everything changed. The New Year began with Lisa’s diagnosis of breast cancer. If you think riding hundreds of mile on a bicycle is tough, try dealing with cancer (many of you know, all too well). While treatments are never easy, we certainly realize that good physical fitness is always helpful when going through any health challenge.
by Jeff Friday
Certainly riding a few thousand miles in the three years, leading up to this crisis, had significant value. While life has no on-going guarantees, we credit cycling, strong support from Crest Foods, excellent medical care and especially the hand of God, for her recovery. Her physician reports that her cancer is in complete remission. Lisa was unable to ride in 2014, although she did drive our support vehicle during the week of RAGBRAI. Normally, we have taken a tent and camped along the way. During the 2014 trip, Lisa and I received invitations into the homes of several gracious Iowans, offering overnight accommodations. With the dawning of 2015, I challenged Lisa to a “RAGBRAI Comeback Tour”. She agreed and again met the challenge to ride 1,000 training miles a few days before departing for RAGBRAI in July 2015. While the tough- est part of chemotherapy had wrapped up the year before, full recovery takes much longer. Additionally, there were on-going treatments and surgery during the first half of 2015. It was a tough but fulfilling trip. Once again, cycling helped in the recovery process. We are now looking forward, and training, for the 2016 ride. This will be my tenth and Lisa’s fifth trip. We are still at loss to explain why… It is hot. It is humid. There are hills (those who think Iowa is flat have never biked across the state). There are headwinds. (Those are the “4-Hs of RAGBRAI”, by the way.) Not to mention, it will likely rain, with severe thunderstorms and sometimes with the threat of a tornado. However, this I know: It’s great to be alive, healthy, strong enough to ride, and enjoy everything that God gives!
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