The Crest Ink is a quarterly newsletter that celebrates the success of Crest Foods and our employees.
Crest Ink April, May & June 2022 Ashton, IL 61006 Volume 34 • Number 2
Getting To Know The Machine Shop
Steve Zellers, Alfonzo Alvarado, Greg Noble, Bob Pittman & Jeff Tompkins
Our machine shop staffed by five talented folks, creates a dynamic that makes Crest just a little unique in our field. This group churns out an amazing number of parts and pieces on a daily basis that are used to build and update new and existing equipment. Their work also helps to facilitate many repairs and make modifications that improve the efficiency and safety of our operation. Just imagine the time, cost and frustration that is saved by having this group of people available to react to situations as they arise with a first-hand knowledge of our specifications and needs. Short lead times – direct communication – low costs…there is only one place we can get that kind of ser- vice and that is from our very own machine shop! Some of the assets available to the machine shop staff to turn out their work with such efficiency are a computer directed water jet table and laser that can produce parts at a great speed, a 50 ton press brake that bend steel up to
¼ in thick as well as bend poly carbonate for guarding, a shear that can cut up to 10 gauge steel, 2 lathes for turning parts, CNC machines to remove materials to meet specs and a surface grinder for repairing seal bars and knives. They are a full service operation that designs, cuts, welds, drills, taps, mills, sharpens, repairs or assembles almost anything they can get their hands on that applies to running the Crest operation. We are fortunate to have them as part of the Crest team and are proud they are part of the Crest family. Greg Noble Machine Shop Manager 2 Years at Crest Interests: side-by-sides, camping, family time. Most Don’t Know: I was an EMT and firefighter for 7 years. Bob Pittman Machinest 40 Years at Crest Interests: traveling and camping. Most Don’t Know: I have 12 grandkids! Steve Zellers Machinest 20 Years at Crest Interests: bicycling and kayaking. Most Don’t Know: I produced, wrote and hosted a TV show in the 8o’s in Rockford. It was called Martial Arts Today, and it only ran for 1 season. Alfonzo Alvarado Machinest 1 2 Years at Crest Interests: sports, dancing and traveling. Most Don’t Know: I met my fiance, Stephanie at Crest! It took her 6 months to go on a date with me! Jeff Tompkins Welder 1 Years at Crest Interests: baseball and softball. Most Don’t Know: I’m a Cubs fan!
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Welcome Summer Help! Crest was happy to welcome about 30 kids to come work with us this summer! Even better, many of them are kids of current employees!
Carlos & Gabrial Buelvas
Jennifer & Ashley Pittman
Jen Lally & Caden Brooks
Tara Lifka, Thalia & Roger Wolber
Emma & Jerry Maronde
Thomas Beauchamp & Kelsie White
Amy & Haleigh Wilcox
Ethan & Stacie Vogeler
Amy Williams & Summer Miller
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Investing in Intelligence by Brian Beckman, Maintenance Manager
From May 16th until May 19th Crest Foods invested in a few more mechanics gaining skills and knowledge in their craft. The course was “Maintenance Bootcamp” and it was again hosted by Sauk Valley Community College. We were able to send Catherine Larson, Rico VanOosten, Devon Canada, and Adam Giese to the four day class. The coursework for the sessions included the following topics: Mechanical Systems, Fundamentals of Electricity, Fluid Power, Industrial Electronics, Motor Controls, PLC’s, Electrical Troubleshooting, PLC Trouble Shooting. In the fluid power (hydraulics and pneumatics) portion of the course the mechanics learned about the components of a hydraulic or pneumatic system. This includes the power units, conductors, control valves, and fluid mainte- nance groups. Comments from the attendees were all very positive and as a spectacular result from this training is that two of the attendees have signed up for more formal training at SVCC. This is another fantastic resource here at Crest Foods, because we are paying for them to go to college and gain more skills and intelligence.
(left) Rico VanOosten attached hydraulic lines to cylinders to compress or decompress the cylinder. This was accomplished by following a provided schematic and then testing the cylinders to ensure that all connections are correct and complete. (middle) Devon Canada and Rico VanOosten are shown here while they are wiring and troubleshooting a motor controls system. The training aid has the ability to mimic multiple common failures in the real world. Mechanics must then use their trouble shooting knowledge to diagnose and repair the issues. (right) Devon Canada and Catherine Larson are shown here while they are being instructed by Sauk Valley Community Colleges instructor Jeff Johnson.
SQF Shirts Congratulations again to both the Ingredient and Contract Packag- ing Divisions for excellent SQF audits this year! Both groups celebrated with special shirts: “Ea- gle Eye” and “Back to Back”.
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Let’s LEARN Together! by Jared Stumpenhorst, Operations Manager
In case you have not heard, we have launched a new module in Redzone called the Learning module. This is a new capability within the app that will allow us to better track training activity as well as share knowledge out on the plant floor. Our new Redzone coach Karl Morris got us started on the path of building and launching the new capabilities back in April and since then we have been slowly rolling out the new features. To start out every employ- ee at Crest Foods now has their own profile in Redzone. This will be utilized as we roll out corporate and individual employee training over the next year and into the future. The new employee orientation process has also seen an upgrade via Redzone. New employees now go through a Redzone 101 session, get assigned a pro- file in Redzone and complete their first Learning Pack by the end of their first week at Crest Foods! This includes a check in from supervisors and a
Annual Employee Safety Training...With a Twist! by Karen Yardley, Safety & Sanitation Manager As part of the implementation of the latest module of Redzone (see previous article by Jared Stumpenhorst), we kicked off Employee Safety Training in mid-May using the iPads and Redzone. While the training itself was pre- sented as a PowerPoint presentation, the documentation of the training is tracked in the Redzone program. Benefits of this style of training are quite obvious. It’s much more effective to present these topics in shorter seg- ments with short quizzes after each section instead of just talking for 45 minutes straight about employee safety. It probably doesn’t matter what the subject is - it’s hard to keep anyone’s attention for that long! As the presenter, I believe the interaction this allows for is a much better way to learn and retain this information. The biggest hurdle we encountered was getting everyone set up in Redzone and familiar with the program but everyone caught on pretty quickly as it is a fairly simple process. And while it took almost 40 sessions to get the majority of the employees trained (since we were limited to 12 people at a time because of the availability of iPads), we were able to wrap up this year’s training with Production and Ingredient Division employees by the end of June! Up next – Employee Safety Training with office and lab personnel, Food Safety Training this fall and department specific training for the many tasks we require to keep this incredible process we call Crest going each and every day. “week 1” retention quiz. We have also been piloting the use of Redzone for new employees that are training as line workers, stackers and dumpers. A big thank you to Michelle Kemmerer, Amy Williams (pictured above) and Domingo Mancilla for being our first 3 trainers to use the new module! Lastly, this new module has introduced a new feature called Plays. It is basically the YouTube of Redzone! This is an area of the app where team members can upload tips and tricks via video that they have learned over their years at Crest Foods. This is a phenomenal way for people to share knowledge across lines, departments and shifts. We look for Plays to be a key part of how we train and increase skills now and into the future. Thank you to Irene Rob- erts, Hannah Derksen and Rico VanOosten for being some of the early playmakers and for keeping the momentum going! While we are still in the early stages of this rollout we are excited about the potential that it brings to the plant floor to share knowledge in new and exciting ways!
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Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto by Brian Beckman, Maintenance Manager
The Styx may have said it first, but I think we can all relate to “Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto”. Translated form Japa- nese it means “Thank You, Mr Roboto”. And we have a lot of robots around here now to thank. While some people would maybe coin a different term other than thank you, the automation we have implemented has been saving us. Some of the implementations have been down right terrible, but overall we are on pace to do some won- derful things here at Crest Foods when it comes to our automation. When I sat back and thought about my short tenure here at Crest, and the amount of automation we have complet- ed, I really had to think about how much we have actually accomplished. Here is a list for those that may not be fully aware: Line 01 – Massman timing gate – reduces 1 person per shift Line 02 – Massman timing gate – reduces 1 person per shift Line 03 – Massman timing gate – reduces 1 person per shift Line 14 – Robotic Palletizer – reduces 1 person per shift Line 22 – Robotic Palletizer - reduces 1 person per shift Line 27 – Robotic Palletizer - reduces 1 person per shift Line 70 – Case packer and palletizer – reduces 3 people per shift Line 72 – Robotic pouch placer, robotic case packer, robotic palletizer – reduces 5 people per shift That is a staggering 13 people per shift that we have reduced in our plant in two years, but we need more! We are woefully short staffed in the production department and the automation we have completed is the tip of the spear. As we continue to add more and more, our demand for highly skilled technicians increases as well. We are lucky to have people like Cody Brill, Matthias Kemmeren, and Rick Rice on staff that can work on these pieces of equip- ment with computers instead of wrenches. We have invested heavily in automation and robots in the past few years. This is to help us to be able to run more products, while we are short staffed, and to reduce the amount of physically taxing or repetitive injury prone posi- tions. We will continue to invest in automation and try to make the daily lives of those on the floor better. If you have any questions or comments please do not hesitate to reach out! Robotic Palletizer Line 83 – Case packer – reduces 2 people per shift Line 85 – Case packer – reduces 2 people per shift Line 89 – Robotic Palletizer – reduces 1 person per shift
Pictured to the left is a robotic palletizer on line 14. These are very versatile and small foot print units. We have multiple throughout both plants and they usually work pretty well after getting them setup properly. This unit is a collaborative robot, meaning the speed it travels is slow enough that if it were to run into a person, it would stop without causing serious injury. We also have non- collaborative versions that are able to run at faster speeds with guarding around them. If you get to close to one of the non-col- laborative units, it will slow down or stop depending on how close you get.
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Line 70 Palletizer In the photos to the left, the palletizer for line 70 is shown. This machine will stack the large cereal cases into a pallet formation, put a WIMS tag on the pallet, and shrink wrap it. This unit is among the largest ones we have and
starts in the production room, and extends into the warehouse. Also pictured is the casepacker for line 70. This unit vertically stacks the cartons of ceral then pushes them into a case, glues them shut, and puts a code date on the case. This is also a larger footprint item.
Massman Timing Gate Pictured to the left is a Massman Timing Gate or a pouch placer. The concept is fairly simple in that pouched product enters on the top and there are three gates that open and close. They open based on the signal from the cartoner and will drop a single pouch into the bucket to be cartooned.
Line 72 Pouch Placer Pictured to the right is the pouch placer on line 72. The concept is very unique and there are no other machines like it in the world. It is truly a one off a kind. The concept here is that cheese pouches are delivered to the unit via conveyor belt. The red glow seen inside of the machine is a vision camera
that sees the pouch location and orientation. The unit then tells the two robots where to go and how to pick up the cheese pouch. Then it inserts the cheese pouch into the cup. This is an example of a very small footprint piece of automation.
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Our Sympathy Our sympathy to Jacob Wise (Ingredient Production A), on the loss of his mother, Therese, in April. Our condolences to Joe (Ingredient Warehouse) and Jenny (Production A) Loomis on the passing of their nephew. Our sympathy to Pam Kelley (Scheduling Manager) on the loss of her grandson, Calvin Messer. Our condolences to Maria Pedroza (Production B) on the loss of her mother and brother in April. Our sympathy to Michelle Gries (Production A) on the loss of her father, Charles Murray. Thank You I want to thank Crest Foods for their generous gift of a plant in honor of our grandson Calvin Messer. I would also like to thank all my Crest Foods Family for your thoughts and prayers, cards, gifts of food, dona- tions etc. Just know that we greatly appreciate all of you as we try to take one day at a time to deal with our loss. Keep your loved one’s close and share joy, peace and friendship with all that you meet. That is the way our grandson lived his life. A special thanks to my Crest Foods office family as they all did a great job in making sure everything was taken care of while I was out of the office. Couldn’t do it without you. Sincerely Pam, Rus- sell and all of our family. Thank you for your gift to Ashton Rescue in honor of Lori Talley’s 30 years of service with Crest Foods. Ash- ton Rescue shares your love of Ashton and your con- tribution to our service demonstrates that commitment. Thank you! Ashton Rescue The CEO class wants to thank you for allowing us to tour your facilities. We enjoyed seeing the food packag- ing and mixing process. All of the food also made us very hungry. Sincerely, the CEO Class Thank you for your generous donation in honor of Jeff Capes who is celebrating his 30 year anniversary with
Crest Foods. Thank you for thinking of the library. We appreate your thoughtfulness and generosity. Flagg- Rochelle Public Library Staff & Board Congratulations Congratulations to Hailey Bunger, daughter of Henry Bunger (Ingredient Warehouse), on being the 8th grade class Valedictorian at St. Paul! Congratulations to Natalee, daughter of Jaime (Sched- uling) and Brian (Building Maintenance Manager) Scha- fer, for graduating from 8th grade this year! Also, con- gratulations to their son, Nicholas, who graduated from ISU with a degree in Agronomy Management. Congratulations to Emily Mairs (QA A) and Zachary Lessman on their June 12th marriage! Congratulations to Kelly Kramer (Production A) and Paul Schreiber on their June 4th marriage! Congratulations to Karla Rivera (Production A) and Saul Chavez on their May 28th marriage! (below)
Congratulations to Caleb (Production B) and Amanda Henson on their marriage this past October! Congratulations to Jacob Donald, son of Anne Noble (Benefits Manager), for graduating from Newman Cen- tral Catholic High School. Jacob also competed in the 1A IHSA State Track Meet and placed 4th in the for the 4x800m relay. Congratulations to Tracy Turk (Manpower Supervisor) on the birth of her granddaughter, Avyn, in June!
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Congratulations Congratulations to Marey Robey, son of Dan Brown (Ing QA) and brother of Peyton Brown (Building Main- tenance), for graduating from Lena-Winslow High School. Congratulations to Susan Wilcox (Production A Karlin) on her marriage on July!
Congratulations to Marla Shaner, who moved into a Lab Technician position in the Ingredient Division R&D Lab.
If you think I’m blessed as a father, I would be the first to agree with you. What a great post-Covid year it’s been in my family. While I’m very proud of all my kids, here are just a few highlights. My youngest son, Marey, wrapped up his high school career in grand fashion, winning another 1A football cham- pionship (player of the game), a 1A State wrestling champion (160#), and a 3rd place finish in the 800 Relay at State track. He was also selected to play in the All-Star Shiner Football Game this past weekend. All this after breaking his leg a year ago! He graduated with honors and will be going to North Central College to play football.
Older brother Rahveon gradu- ated from NIU and is engaged to be married in a few weeks. He is pursuing a vocation as a pastor and loves to evangelize! I’ve got a lot more about the other guys as well but that’s enough for now! (Dan Brown, Ing QA)
Welcome Michelle Lowe-Sterba! Michelle joins the HR Department as the new Hiring Manager for Crest Foods! Hiring has been a challenge over the past few years, so we decided it was time to try something new and have 100% of someone’s time dedicated to hiring for open hourly positions at Crest. She may be new to this position, but she is not new to Crest! She actually worked in the QA department as a line weigher in 2002! Michelle brings many years of experience in operations, recruitment, hiring and employee relations. She is truly passionate about this line of work, as she loves
talking with new people and has a genuine interest in their stories, enjoys the challenge (especially in today’s climate), and it always keeps her thinking of new and creative ways to find the right people. Michelle grew up in Ashton, and currently lives in Peru with her husband, their blended family of 6 girls, and 2 crazy dogs. In her spare time she loves cooking, spending time with family and friends, taking a good nap, and watching reality TV. Michelle is up for the challenge and is working diligently to get us fully staffed as quickly as she can! Please welcome Michelle to the team – we are thrilled to have her!
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A View of the Future: My 10 Year Trip by Rick Rice, Controls Engineer One of the many positives of working for Crest Foods is the opportunity to celebrate 10 years of employment at the destination of your choice. I have worked for more than a few companies over the course of my 35 year career and this was the first time a company offered a reward for 10 years of employment. My wife (Anne) and I started planning that trip pretty much from the beginning of my employment. We bounced back and forth between Hawaii and Europe before settling on Florida. This might seem a little odd when compared to London or Paris or somewhere else in the “old country” but for us, it was the perfect destination. Anne and I met in 2008 and one of our first discoveries was a mutual desire to live and work in the United States. My father was born here and I have worked most of my career somewhere here in the mid-west. Anne used to go to Florida every year as a child and carried that dream forward with multiple trips there with her own children as a single mother. We realized our dream when, with the help of Crest Foods, we moved here in the spring of 2011. Over the ensuing years, we have been down to Florida a few times and started thinking about where we would like to be when we retire. Well, the easy decision was to relocate to Florida, specifically central Florida. Our 10 year trip became a combination of paid for vacation and an opportunity to take a good look at our intended home one day. There was even an added reason to celebrate as it was also 1 year after my frightening encounter with CoViD-19. What better place to celebrate than Disney World in Orlando, Florida? This trip was a little different than our previous adventures as we decided to drive down. I’ve always enjoyed the side trips of life and making the long trip down by car was an opportunity to stop and smell the roses. Unlike other vacation periods, I decided to take a full two weeks off rather than the usual 5 days. This meant taking our time and splitting the drive up into comfortable day trips with lots of rest time in between. On the way down we stopped overnight in Clarksville, Tennessee. For those who don’t know, Clarksville is on I-24, right beside the Fort Campbell military base. We had a great hotel and very enjoyable dinner, made even more so by the sights and sounds of families visiting their service members. The second night was stayed in a hotel just over the border between Georgia and Florida. Our goal was to see palm trees and while we satisfied that desire, we were less than happy with the choice of hotels. Lesson learned as one shouldn’t just pick a hotel off a website because it has a little pond with a couple of palm trees. It turns out that was the best part of the hotel. Happily, our next desti- nation was Caribbean Beach Resort at Disney World Resorts. One of our favorite things to do when travelling is to go for long drives and see the “country”. This particular trip found us in the Tampa/Sarasota area one day and passing through Daytona Beach and Cape Canaveral the next day, only to go again to the Gulf coast and visit our favorite part of Florida, John’s Pass and St. Pete’s Beach. Our trip to the Atlantic side was to take in a passion of mine, airplane museums. I have been in love with warbirds (in particu- lar) since I was 13 years old and I volunteered at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum near my home in On tario, Canada. Our trip that day was to visit Valiant Air Command Museum in Titusville, FL. Titusville is right across the Indian River from Kennedy Space Center. My wife was kind enough to follow me as I wandered around the museum and drank in the smell of old airplanes, machine oil and high-octane fuel. A day in the park (Magic Kingdom) and lots of time around the pool were key features of our Disney stay. We make sure to take the monorail and, this year, the Skyliner that joins the various resorts to the parks. We spent some time driving the area between Orlando and the gulf coast, stopping in small towns to see what sort of living situations we might find ourselves in when we decide to leave Illinois for the sunny south. Unfortunately, time passes all too fast and way too soon our time in Florida was done. Learning from our hotel experience on the way down, we can- celled our return stays and “upgraded” our hotel choices to Best Western for our trip home. A night in Macon,
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Georgia and a second in Marion, IL brought us within a days trip of home sweet home. On the way home, we stopped at a new favorite destination, Buc-ee’s. Self-described as a chain of country stores and gas stations, this stop, not far from the Georgia border with Tennessee, was the biggest gas station we have ever seen. Fuel pumps as far as the eye can see and a “country store” with pretty much every type of food one can imagine. Toilet stalls the size of storage sheds and did I mention they have food? One final stop at Lodge Cast Iron (the factory) in South Pittsburg, Tennessee and our spending money was spent and we were looking forward to being at home. We would like to thank Crest Foods and the Meiners’ family for their generosity in making this trip happen. It was everything we hoped for and more.
What is a Crest Champion? It’s our new employee recognition program intended to acknowledge employees that perform above and beyond their normal job duties and those that identify and prevent mistakes from happening. It is replacing Quality Hero and CARE’s. It’s a combination of the two previous programs built into one. The Program is designed to be a quick reinforcement to employees, letting them know that our employees do make the difference to our success and that their efforts are appreciated. Peers can recognize each other, or Managers/Supervisors can recognize employees. We want employees to know they make the difference to our success and that their efforts are recognized.
How do I become a Crest Champion? Eligibility is based on the following criteria: • Going Above & Beyond – Anything outside of the normal job duties
• Preventing or Minimizing problems - Recognizes problems and prevents or minimizes them • Demonstrates Creativity - Exhibits creativity when problem solving or improving procedures How do I get nominated? Peer-to-peer recognition; meaning any employee can nominate another employee, as well as Managers/Supervisors showing recognition to employees. ALL employees can be nominated. Nomination forms and boxes are located at employee entrances. Simply complete the form and drop it in. The Crest Champion Committee will evaluate the nominations on a monthly basis. Each eligible Crest Champion nominee will receive $10 Crest Bucks to the Crest Store. All names will be entered into a randomizer and one name will be selected each month for $50.00.
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Local Spotlight: Nora Kate Paints
Bob & Nora Balayti
If you’ve driven past our Main Plant lately, odds are high that you’ve seen some new artwork adorning the wall by the railroad tracks. It’s bold, it’s fun and it literally screams, “Welcome to Crest Foods!” The mural was painted by local artist Nora Balayti. Nora, who began painting murals in 2011, has completed over 300 murals to date through- out Chicago and Northern Illinois. While the job can be dangerous and labor intensive at times, Nora loves working with clients to bring their visions to life. Being an entrepreneur gives her the freedom to take on jobs that allow her to travel, challenge herself and grow in her craft. Nora’s first murals were painted in 2011 at her friend’s Chicago restaurant, Cheesies Pub and Grub. Customers loved the renderings of famous works of art with a grilled cheese twist (think Mona Lisa with a mouth full of grilled cheese), and more jobs in the Chicago area followed. Soon she was connecting with local beer companies like Goose Island, Lagunitas and Revolution and her side hustle became a career. As it turns out, painting runs in the family. As a teenager, Nora would help her father, Bob, with his painting busi- ness. She got an early education on paints, primers, etc. without realizing how much all that knowledge was going to pay off someday. The tables have turned and now Bob has retired from his own painting business and often spends his time helping Nora with her mural business. It’s quite the role reversal, but the two have a lot of fun entertaining (and educating) each other. Anyone that has seen them in action can plainly see that they make a great team! When she’s not painting murals, Nora fills her time playing disc golf, substitute teaching and creating a wide variety of artwork. She even won a national art competition in 2016 for the Paulaner Brewery, celebrating 500 year anniver- sary of Reinheitsgebot (the first ever food mandate safety law). Not only did she win an all-expense paid trip to Oktoberfest in Munich, but Paulaner’s CEO purchased her painting to display in his office! What’s next for Nora? She is hoping to expand her travel and get more work in other states. And who knows, maybe there will be more Crest Foods murals in her future too! Check out more of Nora’s work on Facebook and Instagram @NoraKatePaints. If you’re interested in a mural, feel free to reach out to her at NoraKatePaints@gmail. com – we highly recommend her!
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Bob and Nora brought our vision to life in about a week. Despite the rain and heat, they always had fun together and were a joy to work with. Check out some of Nora’s other murals below!
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Sweets & Snacks Show by Kristina McWethy & Ryan Crouch
During the week of May 23rd, the 815Eats crew hosted a booth at the Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago. The Expo is the largest confectionary and snack event in North America. The event takes up over 4 ½ acres of floor space at the McCormick Place, has 700+ exhibitors and over 16,000 attendees during the 3 days. We had a great time seeing a variety of new products; pork rinds, meat sticks, chicken skin chips, moonshine cakes, ice cream sandwiches and even the Slime Licker. The selection of US and International products was a bit overwhelming. We handed out over 1,000 cups of 815Eats dips for sampling and were very encouraged to see the excitement around them. Even with the wide selection of products at the show, we had several people refer to our dips as the most innovative product in the building. By days 2 and 3 we had both other exhibitors and attendees stopping by our booth saying “these are the dips so and so was talking about”. More importantly, the show has seemed to open doors with a
Gaven Meiners, Kristina McWethy & Ryan Crouch
few larger retailers and brokerage networks. We will be adding a new flavor later this summer and it is expected to become one of the top sellers. These continue to be exciting times for 815Eats and Crest Foods. The initial sales of 815Eats snack dips have been a slower start than hoped, but momentum is building. Our snack dips are starting to get recognized and inroads to store shelves are forming. Be sure to watch for demo days at a variety of stores in the area. Traffic Light Trivia continues! Jon, Becca, Karen and Amy have been out an about awarding lots of Crest Cash Cab Bucks to those quizzed about safety and GMP’s. While it’s especially helpful to prepare for audits, it’s a good re- minder of things that we practice every day. Thanks to those who have played along! Traffic Light Trivia
Amy Wilcox, Heidi Topping, Karen Yardley, Bob Logan & Becca Dodd
Becca Dodd, Gay Huber, Amy Wilcox, Karen Yardley & Jon Bakener
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There is no shortage of madness in our lives right now, and thankfully in March the madness is a bit more fun and definitely less alarming! As always, Crest Foods was thrilled to infuse some of our culture into NCAA March Madness, pitting our custom- ers against each other in a blind bracket competition. Our traditional rules applied - 64 customer teams were randomly assigned to a bracket slot, learning which team to cheer for on Selection Sunday. For each Final Four team, we made a monetary donation to the customer’s charity of choice in their honor. A wild card winner was also drawn from the remaining teams for a surprise donation. First Place: $1,500 Second Place: $1,000 Third, Fourth & Wild Card: $500 each
The winning 2022 charities were: Second Harvest Heartland www.2harvest.org Nonprofit committed to hunger relief
National Kidney Foundation www.kidney.org Lifeline for all people affected by kidney disease. Cuba Cultural Center www.cubaculturalcenter.org
Abundant Living For All www.alfafoundation.info Organization providing meaningful opportunities to adults with int ellectual abilities so they can achieve full and abundant lives. Catholic Charities www.ccrcda.org Agency responding to the psychosocial needs of families and indi- viduals in New York
New York organization encouraging families by providing for basic survival needs, offering assistance to those who have long - term or permanent needs, and by advocating through policy and justice work. In addition to a chance at the big prize, each member of a customer team received a $10 gift code to Do norsChoose.org to help fund a meaningful public school project. A total of 276 team members used their gift codes to fund a wide variety of requests.
In addition to a chance at the big prize, each member of a customer team received a $10 gift code to Do norsChoose.org to help fund a meaningful public school project. A total of 276 team members used their gift codes to fund a wide variety of requests. To our customers: Thank you for helping us donate a total of $6,760 this year to the charities and public school projects that mean the most to YOU!
Our Village of Progress, Inc. employees celebrated their one year anniversary with Crest Foods in June! VOP brought in delicious cakes to celebrate with all of their co-workers. Happy Anniversary to our VOP teams - we are so happy you are part of our Crest family! Happy Anniversary Village of Progress!
April, May & June 2022 Crest Ink 15
Basic Questions About Credit Scores
What is a credit score? A credit score is a number that represents a person’s relative creditworthiness. Typically a three-digit number from 300 – 850. It is the product of a mathematical model that evaluates an individual’s credit report information and, based on the analysis of millions of credit transactions used to build the model, produces the score. A higher credit score correlates to a higher probability of the consumer’s ability to repay their loans on time. How are credit scores used? Some landlords use credit scores when talking to prospective tenants. Insurance companies use them in underwrit- ing insurance applicants. Banks, insurers and investors use them to determine whether, and at what price, they are Yes. Three companies serve as the main repositories of the borrower credit data, and there are several credit score vendors that use that data. On top of that, there are many companies who sell reports containing credit data and scores, sourced from those repositories and score vendors. Each credit score vendor has a different approach, and some have several different models designed for a particular purpose, such as auto lending or mortgage lending. Additionally a mortgage credit report will provide three credit scores, one from each repository, while an auto credit report will have a single score from only one repository. Why is the score I pulled on line different from my lenders score? willing to make loans or provide insurance. Is there more than one credit score? Many reasons this can happen. First, creditors may submit their payment data to the repositories at different times. Thus a report pulled one day may be different the next if one of your creditors submitted information. Secondly, there are multiple credit score providers, each with different scoring models. Depending on the credit score provider and the models they are using the score you pull may be some different from what your bank pulls. Finally, not all creditors report to all credit repositories, some do not report to any of the repositories. If your information is not reported to all three and a mortgage report the three scores will more than likely be different. What can I do to improve my credit score? Many things will affect your score. If you apply with multiple lenders for one or more loans in a short time period that will bring your score down. Only time will help this. Late payments on loans are a big factor, pay your bills on time. Collections, repossessions, foreclosures and other major negative credit will obviously bring your score down. Surprisingly, having a new loan will lower your credit score for a few months. There are obviously many factors in the scoring process. Each person and their credit is different. Talk to your lender about your credit score. If needed, they should be able to help you with a plan that will help you get on track with a credit score that will allow you to buy a new home or car with confidence. www.fsbshannon-polo.com Member FDIC & Equal Housing Lender
16 Crest Ink April, May & June 2022
Insurance Insights by Anne Noble, Benefits Manager
On-Site Health Services: In the last Crest Ink issue, we shared that Nurse Practitioner Ann Lee had taken a full- time position within KSB Hospital. She tried also working at Crest 2 days per month, but has found it difficult to keep up both responsibilities. We had to say goodbye to NP Ann on Tuesday, June 21st. At this time, we do not have a nurse practitioner that is available to be on-site, but are continuing to evaluate the possibility of having this service available. We also said our goodbyes to Nurse Stephanie McLean. She took a position with a local Hospice organization. Nurse Heidi (left) and Nurse Billie (right) are the faces you will see staffing our Nurse
offfices. The schedule is changing a little to adjust for the staffing changes. As always, if you need to see a nurse outside of their regular schedule (due to your shift start/end time), please schedule an ap- pointment and either Heidi or Billie will accommo- date your request. Lab services are available one day each week. Talk to Heidi or Billie about your lab needs and they will schedule your appointment and make sure the necessary approvals are in place for the lab order.
Health Plan Changes: A few changes have been approved for our employee health plan. While the approval just occurred, the changes took effect on January 1, 2022. If you have had any of the services that are now covered since 1/1/22, and your claim was denied, please let Anne or Savannah know. A new Summary Plan Description is available on the Crest Foods website, by going to www.crestfoods.com, select Employee Portal, Benefit Informa- tion, and enter the password: CFa_61006. Some of the changes include: • Charges for attention deficit disorders for diagnostic testing for diagnosis and medication • Preventative Colonoscopies starting at age 45 • Charges for diagnostic testing to determine infertility
• Nutritional Counseling up to 5 visits per year, as long as medically necessary • Well Child Routine Visit and School/Sports Physicals. One of the two will be covered per calendar year. If your child does not complete a well child visit but does have a school/sports physical, the school/sports physical will be covered. If both occur in a calendar year, the covered service will be based on whichever claim is received first within the calendar year. The Chiropractic benefit changed last year, but we had a few challenges with claims processing. The issue is now fixed. If you have had a chiropractic visit and you want to make sure our insurance paid the claim correctly, please ask Anne Noble or Savannah Fagan to review your claim.
April, May & June 2022 Crest Ink 17
ASHLEY CADENAS MARISOL LARA JOHN HOWELL JR JOSEPH JOHNSON
RYAN PHILLIPS MARK JOHNSON ABBY LAHMAN AUDRA REINDEL ALANNA THOMAS WILLIAM BAEZ JENNIFER DREW PEGGY BENFORD TROY TRAVERS EMILY PLAPP KELSY KUHNLE CODY BRILL TARA LIFKA KEITH SMITH ROMAN KOZAK II MILES VAN RADEN DANIELLE PRICE CAMERON THOMAS GABRIEL ZELLERS MATT RICHARDSON
3 4 4 5 5 5 6 6 6 6 6 6 7 8 8 9
TYLER EWENS TODD DISCH GREG HUNT MARIA GARCIA RICHARD DREW WILLIAM KIRK TAMMY ANGEL
4 4 5 7 7
4 AARON SHINABARGER 15 13 VALERIE SERRANO 16 6 MARIO MENDEZ 16 6 YASMIN FULGENCIO 17 18 GLENN WHITE 17 12 FREDRICK LEWIS 17 2 SAMANTHA ELSHOFF 17 1 JAMES HOUGHTALING 17 1 RODERICK BURNETTE 17 1 MATTHEW LONG 18 2 JARREN HEITTER 19 1 REGINA SMITH 21 38 JONATHAN BAKENER 21 10 WYATT BEROGAN 22 22 LARRY STEVENS 22 3 ANDRA TREMBLE 23 11 DALLAS HODGES 23 6 RACHEL HUTCHESON 24 1 LORI SHINABARGER 25 24 JOHN LOOMIS 26 13 GAVEN MEINERS 27 14 LOLA PAUL 28 26 MATTHEW DREW 28 25 BERNARD IWEMA 29 15 BENTON FICHTER 30 37 JOYCE MEINERS 30 27 MARK MC WETHY 30 27 JUSTIN GUENTHER 30 10 June Day Years LILY REFATLLARI 31 16 CHRISTINE PFOUTZ 1 51 JEFFREY MEINERS 1 42 BART BARDZINSKI 1 10 NATHAN MC KNIGHT 1 4 GREGORY NOBLE 1 2 BRIAN SCHAFER 3 26 JESSE MORRIS 3 9
9 5 3
8 6 1 1 2
17 22 17
RAHKEEM VALENTINE 12 DOMINGO MANCILLA 13
6 6 6
REBECCA DODD WALTER WILLSTEAD CODY MATHENY WHITNEY MARSH BRYAN KOCANDA RAYMOND O’DELL
13 13 13 13 13 13
7 1 3 2 2 6 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 8 8 8 9 9 9 3 3 3 3
14 33 M KATHLEEN PELAYO 14 15 LARRY COMPTON 16 4 JOHN DAVIS 16 4 KEVIN SANCHEZ 16 4 JASON SMITH 16 4 RANDALE WILKINSON 16 4 MAUREEN KELLEY 16 4 KRISTEN FRIEBERG 18 6 EMILY SMITH 19 23 NATHAN TIPPIE 20 14 HEATHER THOMASSON 21 14 DAVID BUSHMAN 24 33 JOSHUA ASBURY 24 5 JERRY SIKKEMA 25 28 May Day Years KERRY TUMLESON 1 21 JAMES LYLES 2 28 LARRY SHIPMAN 2 17 HERBERT WYCKOFF 6 20 APRIL COVER 7 20 KIM GALLAGHER 8 44 RICHARD RICE 11 11 ROBERT VANRADEN 11 2 JACOB WISE 12 8 MICHAEL HURD 13 3
10 10 10
11 21 13 28
CHRISTOPHER BRYANT 13
14 14 14 15 15 15 15 16 16 16 17 17 17 17 17 17
ROBERT CARON JOSEPH RAINES
FRANCISCO GARCIA DESIREE BRICKLE KEN FRANCHINO ROBERT MLEJNEK MARTIN VAN BEEK TREVOR FERRY STEPHANIE EICH TINA JOHNSON BRANDON DODRILL NIKKI TINTORI RICO VAN OOSTEN NICHOLAS DALES MICHAEL POWERS NOAH LAFLEUR ANA HUERAMO LISA MOSCATO
CHRISTIAN PETERSON 17
18 Crest Ink April, May & June 2022
JOSE HERNANDEZ BEN HENRIKSON MICHAEL MOLS
21 12 21 1
LLOYD DROEGE MARIA TORRES TAMMY CROOK
27 28 27 11 29 16
DANIEL ESTRELLA CRYSTAL KESSEL
19 16 20 28 21 23 21 12
23 12 OLGERT REFATLLARI 23 11 ANNIE ETCHISON 24 2
JOHN DERR RICHARD COX
In March of this year, Emily Plapp and Holly Gleissner ventured to Dixon High School to meet with the school’s Food Science class. They talked with the students about the wide variety of job opportunities that are available in the food industry and explained how the five different senses are used in Food Science. Next, they demonstrated what they just explained by set Dixon High School Food Science Class Visits Crest Foods
ting up a lab that focused on each of the senses. For sight, they looked at different colored beverages and how the appearance influences a person’s perception of flavor. For touch, they evaluated different yogurts to see how fat level and fat source influences the mouthfeel. Taste involved evaluating unknown flavored cookies and describing the flavors. During the part of the lab for smell, the students tasted root beer and described the flavors. They then smelled a wintergreen candy and re-tasted the root beer to see if they could pick up on the wintergreen flavor in the root beer. This was to help demonstrate how a person’s sense of smell assists with taste and a way that’s used in a lab setting to accurately describe a flavor. It’s hard to demonstrate the sense of hearing in relation to food in a lab setting, so they talked about examples like a can of Coca Cola opening and fizzing, the sound of a steak sizzling on the grill and the crunch of crackers or chips and if those sounds were different or completely missing, what might it tell you about the food? In April, the students traveled to Crest for a tour. They group went to the Mix Facility to see the big blenders and watch how they dispense mixed ingredients into drums or totes. Following the completed drums and totes, they moved on to production to see how the mixed ingredients are used in different product. In the R&D building, the students learned about writing the formulas, weighing ingredients, running prjects and the testing involved. Jeff Hacaga gave them an overview of the HTST equipment and they then met with Dan Brown to learn about the importance of testing incoming ingredients and how to look for differences in lots of product. For the CP Lab tour, they talked through how that division takes on and works through a project and a little about how finished retail products over shelf life. Kristina McWethy gave the students a brief overview about using social media to help promote brands and about developing the 815Eats brand. She showed early graphics, prototypes and some of the discussions that led to where they landed on the final version. We were grateful for this opportunity to meet with those who may be interested in pursuing a career in Food Sci- ence and hope they’ll consider Crest Foods as a future employer!
April, May & June 2022 Crest Ink 19
KRISTEN FRIEBERG SUSAN MILLER JEFFREY HACAGA MICHAEL SPENCER JASON SMITH LISA WINKLER SAMUEL HAIGHT ALLAN EASON SHAD HEWITT PAYTON SIPES SAVANNAH FAGAN KELSY KUHNLE KAREN YARDLEY PHILIP BLYTHE ANNIE ETCHISON ZYGMUNT CICHOSZ IMELDA GONZALEZ DARRELL MERRIMAN MAURICE MILLAN STEVEN ZELLERS ANDRA TREMBLE SHAYNE SMITH JOHN VAN DYKE HANNAH DERKSEN JOSHUA GODMAN CHRISTIAN PETERSON KATHLEEN CONANT CODY BRILL
2 4 4 4 4 5 5 7 8 9
JEFFREY ROOP RYAN CROUCH JONATHAN MOYE TYLER CROWELL JESSICA GUENTHER WILLIAM HENRY KEITH LARSON RODNEY PAUL REGINA SMITH DENNIS HURD ADAM GIESE DELNORA MARTINEZ GERRY TEMMEN J PETER BULLOCK CAROL RICHARDSON DANIEL STUMPENHORST June
26 26 26 2 6 27 28 29 29 29 30 31 31
1 2 3 3 4 5 5 5
TERESA BUNGER JON HARRISON
JARED STUMPENHORST OLGERT REFATLLARI DESIREE BRICKLE JULIE PITCHFORD TODD LORENC CANDY KOCH WILLIAM HAND III DANIELLE PRICE ROBERT LOGAN REBECCA HENSON PATRICK RIENSTRA MICHELLE GRIES WILLIAM KIRK MICHAEL MEINERS WILLIAM BAEZ EMILY MAIRS DANIEL BROWN CATHERINE LARSON ELZBIETA CICHOSZ ALEXANDER DUTHIE
10 11 12 13 13 14 15 15 17 17 18 18 18 19 20 20 21 22 24 24 24 24 26 26 27 28 29 29 30
10 10 12 12 12 13 13 13 13 13 14 14 14 14 14 14 15
1 1 2 2 2 2 4 4 5 5
BRIAN BECKMAN JARREN HEITTER KYLE HASSLER MATTHEW LONG DAVID HENRIKSON JERRY LAWRENCE JAMES LYLES
6 NELI CORONEL-QUINTANA 6 TRAVIS DAY 7 KARLA RIVERA 8 DONNA LONG 9 JENNIFER PITTMAN 9 RANCE BARDO 10 ERIC DROEGE 13 KATHERINE LANSFORD 13 JEANNA HARVEY 14 MICHAEL HURD 15 SILVIA MAGANA 16 ROBERT MLEJNEK 16 MARIA JERONIMO 17 ANTHONY ESCATEL 17 IRENE ROBERTS 18 JOSHUA PETERSON 18 BRANDON DODRILL 18 ALONZO HALL III 18
RYAN SMITH BEN IGNASZAK ALLAN KVOOL CODY MATHENY
16 JOSE HERNANDEZ PEREZ 16 JOE NEAL 16 KATHRYN DWYER 17 STEPHANIE ROE QUINTON 19 BRANDON MEINERS 20 JOSEPH MARONDE 21 JERRY MARONDE 21 WYATT BEROGAN 21 CONNIE KARPER 21 BENTON FICHTER 22 JESUS GARCIA 22 TANIA GUZMAN 23 MARK BEASLEY 24 LAURA TEWNION 24 RANDALL REUTER 25
BRIANA STOMBERG JAMES RHODES MICHAEL POWERS KIM GALLAGHER JOSEPH LOOMIS JAMIE TAYLOR
NIKKI TINTORI JACKIE AYLING
20 Crest Ink April, May & June 2022
THOMAS WINDELBORN KINGA PETERSON GUADALUPE CADENAS KRISTINA MC WETHY JASON ROWL
24 24 25 26 26 26 27
STEPHANIE EICH DALE LIPPENS ALICIA NELSON TIM WITTENAUER JR YOLANDA FUENTES RANDALE WILKINSON
27 28 28 28 28 29
RAYMOND VAN DREW MARIO MENDEZ CORY MORRIS ROSA HERNANDEZ RICO VAN OOSTEN
20 20 20 21 23 24
MILTON WILCOX DANIEL WHIPPLE
Janet & Todd Sutton Wyatt & Shawna Berogan Adam & Amy Drew Sherry & Todd Joos Randy & Cindy Reuter Dawn & Dave Summers Candy & Doug Koch Bob & Dawn Pittman Garett & Candace Meiners Nina & Charles Sims Ken & Maureen Kelley Georgia & Gerry Temmen Mark & Leslie Johnson Jeff & Shirley Reif Ben & April Fichter
3 8 8 9
33 20 20 28 44 28 40 41 36 49 33 34 36 36 8
Todd & Shelley Lorenc Andy & Marie McCannon
10 11 12 13 13 13 16 17 18 21 27
Jim & Celeste Lyles Jeff & Joan Meiners Rod & Mona Bunger Jackie & Peter Ayling Tom & Penny Ellis Jim & Lori Nalley Rick & Anne Rice
1 2 4 6
29 41 37 44 42
16 21 24
Jeff & Remona Capes Gene & Hannah Hodges
Crest Welcomes the WACC CEO Class! The Whiteside Area Career Center CEO class visited Crest Foods this March to learn about about our manufactur- ing processes. Special thanks to Jim Lyles and Jon Bakener for leading the tours and teaching the group about blending and packaging. We appreciate the group taking the time to learn about Crest!
(left) WACC CEO Class (middle) Jim Lyles explains the blending process. (right) Jon Bakener explains the production process.
April, May & June 2022 Crest Ink 21
Crest Culture: Have Some Fun
22 Crest Ink April, May & June 2022
Why Are Dairy Products Important? by Al Duthie Family means something different to different people. Some people have close relationships to immediate family members, other people not so much. The definition (literary) of family is: A group of 2 or more people related by birth, marriage, or adoption, who live together. But, of course, family goes way beyond that! Certainly family members are still family regardless of where they live. Certainly family members go beyond imme- diate family (mother, father, siblings, spouse, children), whether extended family blood-related like uncles, aunts, or cousins, or extended family relatives like in-laws. Family households usually “shrink” in size as time passes, however, the actual total of family members usually increase due to the addition of daughter in-laws, son in-laws, and those special grandchildren we are blessed to receive. Depending on living distance, often not even due to that travel distance, we have more contact with our church “family”, or work “family”, of friends “family”. We tend to select or be drawn to these “family” members due to reasons like sharing beliefs, sharing values, having deep bonding connections, or just having plain common interests like sports or hobbies. No matter what type of “family” we belong to strengths of that “family” includes good communication, under- standing, and forgiveness. How does a “family” remain strong? One of the strongest ties for “family” is the cre- ation of memories together. And these special memories (life- long) occur during common bonds and sharing common interests. We can all think of examples of certain family vacations, or “road trips” with co-workers, or “road trips” with friends, or concerts, or ball games that hold a special place in our memory bank. Why is “family” so important to us? Besides faith as #1 in our lives, family is a close #2 for most of us. Family gives us a sense of belonging. Family provides support, encouragement, and assistance in times of need. Family provides understanding and forgiveness when we make mistakes. Family gives praise to us when we deserve it. Fam- ily can simply be present with us to do nothing except just be there, quietly “hang out”. It keeps us from being alone in the world. Family keeps us from facing life all by ourselves. Family means everything is going to be O.K., no mat- ter what.
A publication of Crest Foods Co., Inc. PO Box 371 • Ashton, IL 61006 • Phone: (815) 453-7411 • Fax: (815) 453-2646 Jeff Meiners, President • Steve Meiners, V.P. Corporate Sales Mike Meiners, V.P. General Mgr Contract Mfg. Savannah Fagan, Erika Meiners, Jeff Meiners, Kristina McWethy, Gaven Meiners: Editors “Crest sells quality products and service – at a profit when we can, at a loss if we must – but always quality.” Copyright 2022
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