Volume 28 • Number 01 January, February & March 2016 Ashton, IL 61006 Benevolence Fundraising a Success! by Cheri Kemp
Winner: Marshall Pankhurst 2004 Chrysler 300 Car Donated By: Crest Foods He also won: Leaf Blower & Grass Trimmer Donated By: Mix Department
Winner: Jim Smith Vegas Trip (Airfare & Hotel) Donated By: Ingredient Division Sales & Technical Service
Winner: Aaron Meyer 2003 Chrysler Town & Country Mini Van Donated By: Crest Foods
Beginning with a great mixture of raffle items, and the enthusiasm of our employees as well as Manpower employ- ees we can call this year’s Crest Foods Employee Benevolence Fund fundraiser a rousing success! In total we raised over $11,000 of which Crest Foods will match dollar for dollar! For those new to Crest Foods and the Benevolence Fund, the money in this fund is used to help those employees who find themselves in difficult and unusual circum- stances not of their making. So even if you didn’t win any of the raffles you entered, please know that just by par- ticipating, you will help many employees over the course of the year. We thank each and every employee for their enthusiasm during this time of year. Your participation spreads good will far beyond the walls of Crest Foods. Our sincere wish is that we would never have to dip into these funds for someone, but we all know life can throw unusual and unpredicted circumstances our way. And now we are well prepared! Thank you all! And we cannot forget to thank all the individuals or groups who donated the wonderful raffle items to make all this possible. You can find a run-down of the raffle items and who donated them and the winners on the next page! AND in a SURPRISE additional drawing, a 2003 Chrysler Town & Country mini van was given away by drawing an additional ticket from all the tickets purchased for the car drawing. The winner of this was Aaron Meyer! Congratulations to all our winners!
In This Issue Retirements page 8
Twenty Year Club page 4
New First Responders page 16
Winner: Cheryl Sanderson $500 Casey’s Gas Cards Donated By: Anonymous
Winner: Maria Magana $1000.00 Cash Donated By: Anonymous
Winner: Chuck McKenna 55” TV Donated By: Ingredient Division Customer Service/R&D/QA, Consumer Products Division
Winner: Al Kvool Cordless Combo Tool Kit Donated By: Purchasing, Parts Room & Building Maintenance Departments
Winner: Peggy Reineke Chicago Cubs Tickets Donated By: Crest Foods
Winner: Carol Murphy Chicago Bulls Tickets Donated By: Scheduling Department
Winner: Stephanie Quinton Snow Blower Donated By: Mike & Joyce Meiners
Winner: Jeff Capes GoPro Donated By: Accounting & HR/ Benefits Departments
Winner: Tammie Liston YETI Cooler Donated By: Generation 3 Meiners
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Thirty Years and Counting
by Jeff Meiners
Seven employees celebrated their thirty year anniversary with Crest over the past year. These folks join others to form a group of 64 people that have called Crest their work home for at least 3 decades – 48 of which are still active at work today. We are so grateful for all they have done…we thank them for their loyalty, dedica- tion, perseverance and patience in helping Crest grow to the company that we are today.
In honor of their achievement, a brick in the wall celebrating our thirty year employ- ees will be added for each with their names on it. Each will pick out a charity that Crest will donate $500 to in their names. If you happen to see them around the plant, gently pat them on the back (because 30 years of work often comes with weary shoulders) and thank them for all they have done for the rest of us. Members of this year’s 30 year class are Ben Fichter, Ray Sixaysana, Max Ballard, Lisa Winkler, Kathy Dwyer, Col- leen Hunt and Stephanie Quinton. Pictured below are employees who reached their 30 & 20 Year Anniversaries with Crest Foods this year. Congratu- lations to everyone and thank you for making Crest Foods your home for all these years! Kathy Dwyer (30 Year)
Mark McWethy (20 Year), Ben Fichter (30 Year), Lisa Winkler (30 Year), Colleen Hunt (30 Year), Dawn Summers (20 Year) and Susan Larson (20 Years)
Gay Huber (20 Year)
Ray Sixaysana (30 Year)
Max Ballard (30 Year), Stephanie Quinton (30 Year), Joyce Meiners (20 Year)
Mark Johnson (20 Year)
Jim Nalley (20 Year)
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Twenty Year Club
by Cheri Kemp
A milestone was reached by seven Crest Foods employees at some point during 2015. That milestone was celebrating their 20th year at Crest Foods. Each of these employees received their 20 year ring during the plant-wide catered dinners held on December 16 and 17. This group will join an impressive 164 others who have previously celebrated 20 years with Crest Foods bringing our total to 171! That is a lot of years, collectively, spent in building Crest Foods into the com- pany it is today. It has been said many times that it takes the foundation of our dedicated employees to make us who we are in the industry and these seven employees helped in reaching that pinnacle, or ‘Crest’! Thank you all for your dedica- tion to Crest Foods! Jim Nalley, Warehouse Fork Lift Operator joined us on January 3, 1995 as did Susan Larson, Payroll Manager. Joyce Meiners, Consumer Products Lab Project Manager and Mark McWethy, MIS Director, both followed on May 30, 1995. Mark Johnson, District Sales Manager for the North West Ingredient Division was hired on June 4, 1995; Gay Huber, first shift Production was hired on October 29, 1995 and Dawn Summers, QA Lab Systems Manager joined Crest Foods on November 12, 1995. We asked each of these new inductee’s to share a few thoughts of their 20 years with our readers. Here are their stories: From Gay Huber: “When I started at Crest Foods I worked on the break crew 8:30 AM to 2:30 PM which worked out perfect for me. I was able to put my kids on the bus and be home before them. I did that for two years. The funny thing is when they hired me for this job, they had no idea how long it would last. They said it could be two weeks or two months and look! I’m still here!” Gay Huber From Dawn Summers: “I came to Crest Foods in 1995 with the plan of working for 6 months…now, 240 months lat- er…Here I am! It’s funny how your plans are not always THE plan. I started working on 3rd shift in Sanitation, and that job, (although I am sure it took 3 years off my life), still holds some of my fondest memories and formed some very strong relationships. A funny thing that happened back then was when I was 9 months pregnant with my last child, yes, 9 months. I climbed under a Hayssen machine to clean it, and the baby shifted, and I was STUCK! I had visions of hav- ing to be extricated, but luckily the baby shifted again, and I crawled out. Not long after that, I moved to A shift as the Master Sanitation Coordinator, a job that I loved. So in December of 1999, I was not overly joyful when I was moved to Quality Assurance and was told that would be my new home, that it was a “good fit”. It is amazing the insight of our leadership, as QA is truly my home and my passion. I love the interaction with our customers and my co-workers, and being in a position to practice and portray our Crest Culture. I love the challenges and satisfaction my job brings. It is fast paced and ever changing. I have been blessed to work for such a wonderful company that has given me opportunity to grow and has helped me do so. I love this place, and all of the people it has brought into my life, which includes some of my closest friends. I have enjoyed almost every minute and can’t wait to see what the future has in store. Thank you Crest foods for the last 20 years and here’s to a few more!” Dawn Summers Quality Assurance Lab/Systems Manager From Mark Johnson: “In 1995 I was working for a company that was a customer of Crest Foods (Sinton Dairy). I saw how Crest Foods treated their customers, their employees, and it appeared to be a same values type company. Also work- ing with Crest Foods employees Jim Schultz, Max Ballard, Teri Wolber, and Chris Pfoutz as a customer of my other employer, made the decision easy. At times, I didn’t think I would make it 20 years. Especially with the travel issues we (In Sales and Technical Service) deal with. But here I am 20+ years later. One of the most memorable moments was September 11, 2001 (9/11). I was in Denver that week. With my large territory, it was the closest drive home of all the places I fly to for work. “ (Mark lives in South Dakota as the NW Territory Manager) From Mark McWethy: “Working for twenty years at Crest Foods seems more like one year to me. I remember it like yesterday when I interviewed for the job, back in 1995. The interview consisted of a round table of individuals, includ- ing Jim Schultz, Jan Warner, Shirley Reif, Mary Gehant(Bonnell), Jeff Friday, Gary Guenther and Janet Sutton. Crest
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Foods was looking to hire someone to replace Jan Warner when she retired. They also wanted someone to help with their ERP software selection. They asked me several questions but the one I remember the most was from Janet Sutton. She looked at me and said “Why would you want to come here and work?” At the time, I was working for Morton Thiokol in downtown Chicago. I told her I wanted my family closer to home, which was Dixon. That question did scare me a little bit because I had never worked for a small company before and I felt that if the owners didn’t like me, I would be fired. I had only worked for large corporations which meant I dealt with a lot of politics. It took me a little while before I started to feel comfortable at Crest Foods, which was my issue not Crest’s. Crest Foods is the first company I worked for that didn’t have any politics to deal with, which was an eye opener for me. Over my past twenty years, I’ve enjoyed the challenges that Crest has provided me and I really enjoy all the people I work with at Crest. It was the best decision I ever made.” Mark McWethy From Jim Nalley: “ They way I ended up working at Crest Foods is interesting. I was doing drywall work for Tom Balch in his home. At that time Tom was a supervisor in the Ingredient Division. Tom talked to me about coming to work at Crest Foods. I worked for about six years under Tom and Tracy Whipple as a Lead Mixer in the Ingredient Division. From there I went to the West Warehouse as a fork lift driver, which I still do to this day. I can’t say that my intent was to stay for 20 years but I liked what I was doing. Crest Foods had good insurance and took good care of their employees. So I decided to stay. Over the years I have always coordinated a softball team that Crest Foods has spon- sored. Even during the years when Crest had some rough times, they still sponsored the softball team. I have had about 85 employees play for this team over the 20 years. This was my last year coordinating a softball team and I really appre- ciate Crest Foods doing this for me for all these years. I am very appreciative for Crest Foods and very grateful for all the years here. Thank you Crest Foods for 20 years!” From Susan Larson: “I knew about Crest Foods from living here all of my life. My parents both worked here when Crest was just the building on Main Street. My sister also worked here during high school and after graduation for several years. I had left my previous job and was looking for something close to home since I had two small children at the time. I also knew that Crest was a family oriented place having grown up knowing the Meiners family through High School. I saw Pam Furman (a Crest Foods employee) one day and asked her if she would let me know if an opening came up in the office area at Crest Foods. About a week later she told me that there was an opening in the Payroll De- partment I contacted Jeff Friday, who was in charge of payroll at the time, (and I had gone to school with him). A few days later, after my interview, he hired me. At that point in my life I was not planning on being at Crest for 20 + years but here I am. There have been many things that stand out during my years here. I tell new people all the time that when I first started here I was scared to go out into the warehouse because I thought I would never find my way back to my office! The Payroll office I believe has moved four times since I have been here. I have met so many wonderful people. Other memories that stand out are the tornado of course. Life in the Payroll office is just never dull (a little stressful) but never dull. I just thank everyone for 20 interesting years of my life here at Crest and I have enjoyed being a part of this company as it has grown and changed over this time.” From Joyce Meiners: “This is a milestone I have been looking forward to reaching. It might not be much to some but during our life walk each of us picks goals and milestones to mark our path for our own reasons. I appreciate the op- portunity to work at Crest and the expressed faith in my capabilities to do my job. Thank you to so many of you that have helped me along the way! I started at Crest Foods working for the Product Development Lab. I was hired to develop seasonings for our customers for use in chip dip applications. At the time, the seasoning development was under the same management as stabilizers. Before coming to Crest, I was working for a spice-blending manufacturer. I met Millie (Ludwig) Richards at a Food Executive Meeting where she spoke about the opening. Obtaining a job in this area in product development was a high priority and the motivation for coming to Crest. I really liked the people I met at Crest and the overall culture. I very much wanted to make a career at Crest Foods.
January, February & March 2016 Crest Ink 5
I absolutely love my job as a product developer. I am constantly learning and expanding my knowledge of foods, ingre- dients, and ethnic dishes. I enjoy exploring new dishes at restaurants and through recipes. I feel extremely fortunate to have found a large company in the middle of a rural environment and to make my career here. I never really thought when choosing my path what environment or location the majority of jobs would be located. I really do not think of myself as a city type girl, so to be able to do this type of work and work in a small town is very fortunate. As more projects came along, I moved into the Basic Research Department and then fully under the Consumer Products umbrella. The department continued to grow and gain momentum. Watching the department grow and customer base increase is incredibly fulfilling. I am so proud of the people I have worked with and am working with, and of the tremen- dous hard work they have put into the growth of the Consumer Products Division. A few years ago, an amazing man accepted and befriended me. Five years ago when I married Mike Meiners, my outlook on my life and job changed and took on a different perspective. Working alongside family members can be a delicate walk but a rewarding one. Being involved in the growth of Crest Foods in general over the past 20 years is quite amaz- ing. There have been many growing pains and challenges over the years. In the end though, the continual growth makes each week worth the effort to move forward.”
My Ten Year Trip by Maria Pedroza, B-Shift Production
To celebrate her 10 years with Crest Foods, Maria Pe- droza and her sister, Marcella, went to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to visit their other sister, Velial. Maria said she had so much fun with her sisters and family and wishes to thank Crest Foods for the Ten Year Trip!
I would like to thank the Meiner’s for my ten year trip. It was greatly ap- preciated. I went to Warren’s, Wisconsin, on September 25 & 26, 2015, to their annual Cranberry Festival, accompanied by a good friend and co-worker, Jean Armstrong. The population in this tiny town is 360 but at the time of the Cranberry Festival, there are 100,000 people who walk through the town each day. There is twelve miles of crafters. Jean and I walked six hours taking one short sit down break. There is so much to see, so many nice things. We bought some really nice things and en- joyed our trip. Dana
My Ten Year Trip by Dana Breuer, B-Shift Production
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My Ten Year Trip by Sal Moreno, B-Shift Production
I had always heard about Wisconsin Dells about how nice it is to go on vaca- tion there but never had the opportunity to go until this year for my 10 year trip. It was all I had heard about and more and I can’t wait to go there for my next vacation. Thanks Crest Foods!
2015 Holiday Dinners Plenty of food and hoilday cheer this year at the company-wide Holiday Dinners! Meals were served to all employ- ees throughout 9 dinners. Thank you to Headon’s in Creston for cooking delicious meals of turkey, ham, stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, gravy and pumpkin bars to feed all 750 of us!
West Facility Dinner
Jennifer Lebrick, David Henrikson, Cass Askegaard & Gina Smith serving dinner to the Main Plant B-Shift
Felicia Messenger, Sara Snow, Abby Lahman, Jackie Skrogstad & Breanna Messenger
Main Plant Dinner
The C-Shift Ingredient Crew: Sam McBride, Steve Harrell, Santino Baratta, Marshall Pankhurst & Ben Nelson
Sue Osborne, Tammie Liston, Penny Ellis, Kena & Santiago Rivera at the West Facility A-Shift dinner
January, February & March 2016 Crest Ink 7
One Incredible Lady by Jeff Meiners Guyla Pfeiffer, a local farm wife, started working at Crest a little later in life at the age of 49 – a mere forty-seven years later she has decided it might be time to start slowing it down just a little bit. I know you’re trying to do the arithmetic in your head…that’s right, she is retiring at the age of 96!
She is without a doubt the most unique person who has ever walked through the doors at Crest and that is really saying something. Just imagine still working the production floor of a manufacturing facility at the age of 96 without ever a word of complaint. She has undoubtedly taught generations of workers the concept of a good day’s work. Many employees recall their first few days of work and an encounter with this sweet elderly lady who just effortlessly worked them under the table. She is indeed universally loved at Crest and has an uncanny knack of simply bringing out the best of all the people she comes in contact with. Picture a sweet, feisty, driven lady – factor in some good old mid- western sense of values and ethics – imagine an incredibly spry and healthy lady enjoying her ninth decade of life and you start to have a picture of the person who has captured the hearts of all she works with. Guyla is indeed the absolute authority on Crest history. When she started in 1968 the entry level wage was $1.66, they worked when work was available, a skirt was part of the work uniform for women, there were no maintenance or QA departments and production was done in the basement of the building on the South side of Main Street. The changes that Guyla has seen in her 47 years at Crest are too many to try to count. She is and always will be one of the best parts of Crest history and certainly an inspiration to all of us. We hope that Guyla grows her best garden ever next Spring and that she comes back and visits us often. We will forever be grateful for all she has done for Crest. Guyla & Sue Osborne
Guyla & Kevin Gibson
Jeff Meiners & Guyla
Don’t forget your Valentine on Sunday, February 14th!
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Lou Ann Balch Retires
by Cheri Kemp
A few days shy of hitting the 29 year mark, Lou Ann Balch has left the warehouse! In December 1986 Lou Ann Balch decided to call Crest Foods her home away from home by becoming the Warehouse Secretary for Neil Henert. At that time, the Crest Foods Warehouse was located on Cartwright Street which now houses the Blue Freedom Warehouse. In 1991 our new West Warehouse was built and Lou Ann began her duties there as the Warehouse secretary and greeter for all the truckers making deliv- eries or taking loads from our central warehouse. Over 29 years, Lou Ann has seen many additions and changes to the Warehouse at Crest, and can even say she worked there through the major flood in the 80’s and the 2015 tornado. Lou Ann could not say enough about the friendships she devel- oped over the years and how wonderful all the ‘guys’ who worked
Jerry Lawrence, Lou Ann Balch & Neil Henert
at the warehouse were to her. “I have to thank all the guys for their friendships over the years. They have always supported me. They were a great group of guys to work with and I am going to miss them.” Jerry Lawrence, cur- rent Warehouse Manager, and Neil Henert, previous Warehouse Manager are pictured with Lou Ann above. They’ve all worked together for Lou Ann’s (& Jerry’s) entire career here at Crest Foods! Jerry made sure to mention that they’ve become such great friends over the years, and will be sure to continue the friendship now that Lou Ann and Neil have retired. Lou Ann’s plans for the future are to spend more time with her daughters and grandchildren. “I want to be at home to get things in order so when Tom decides to retire, we are ready to travel. I have to thank Crest Foods for all the years I spent there. ” Congratulations on your retirement Lou Ann! We wish you all the best in the years to come.
Cindie Ruch Retires by Gina Smith
(right) Cass Askegaard & Cindie Ruch
January, February & March 2016 Crest Ink 9 Cindie Ruch and I came to Crest together in May of 1984. We really wanted to work at Crest Foods because they always got summers off, which sounded great to us. We both were hired at the local Aston bar by the then plant manager, Larry Warkins and we both started on the same day. We were laid off for 2 weeks in April that first year, and never were again – we never did get summers off. Cindie was a Production Manager, then Mix Manager, then Production Manager again, when I came to B-shift in 2002 as second shift Production Manager. Cindie is one rea- son why B-Shift is successful! It will be the first time I will work at Crest without Cindie! Good luck and enjoy retirement! We will miss you!
New Arrivals Kena Rivera (Production A), and her husband Carlos, welcomed a son on October 4, 2015. Santiago Rivera weighed 8 pounds 2 ounces and was 20.5 inches long. He is joined by big sisters Frida and Fatima and brother Cesar. Congratulations to the Rivera’s! Christin Lindenmeyer (Accounting) had a baby boy on December 3, 2015. Fletcher Patrick was 9 pounds 4 ounces and is welcomed by sister Isabelle and brother William. Tyler Halfacre (Mix A) and his wife, Kayla welcomed a baby girl on December 7th. Parker Jo weighed 7 pounds 9 ounces and was 20.5 inches long. Parker is joined big brother Brady. Our Sympathies To Marianne Cox (Switchboard Operator) and family on the death of her mother, Catherine Knapp. Shirley Reif (Controller) and family on the death of her father, Ronald D. Nelson. Jeff & Joan Meiners and family, on the death of Joan’s mother, Bernice Evans. Joe Loomis (Ingredient Division Warehouse) and Jenny Loomis (Production A) and John Loomis (Warehouse B) on the death of Joe’s mom, Norma Yingling and stepfather, Donald Yingling, who passed away shortly after Norma. Chris Reynolds (Mix A Supervisor) and family on the death of his father, Duane Reynolds. To Al Hess (Floor Manager, A Shift), Caleb Hess (Mix A) & Family on the death of Al’s father, Roy Hess. Thank You I would like to thank Crest employee’s for the plant. Thanks to everybody who thought of me while I was gone for my hand surgery. Lisa Winkler (Production A) This comes to let you know just how much I appreciate your kindness (while I was recuperating) and your spe- cial thoughtfulness. Erskine Sturges (Sanitation C)
Thank you to all at Crest Foods who had kind words, a gift or a hug on the passing of my mom, Catherine Knapp. All of these gestures made this difficult time easier to get through. Also a very special thanks on an anonymous gift – you know who you are. It was very much appreciated. Marianne Cox (Switchboard) To everyone at Crest: I do not know how to begin thanking all of you for all your thoughts, prayers and support you are showing me thru this difficult time in my life. I am very grateful and appreciate each and everyone of you all. Sincerely from the bottom of my heart, Lisa White (Production A) and Bob Ziankoski (Ingredient Division A). Thank you for the lovely plant. I put it on the hearth of my fireplace to enjoy looking at during my recov- ery. The surgery went well and I am doing pretty good. Toni Schuler (QA B) To all at Crest Foods: I would like to thank everyone for the beautiful potted plant delivered to my home while I am recuperating from surgery. It really bright- ened my day and continues to do so every time I look at it. Also a big thank you to all who have called, emailed or sent cards with well wishes or brought food. I am doing well and hope to be 100% soon! It is all ap- preciated more than you know! Cheri Kemp (Benefits Manager) Joe and Jenny Loomis would like to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers through this very difficult time. Crest Foods is a true family. God bless you all. Love, Jenny & Joe Loomis To the employees of Crest Foods: Thank you for the beautiful poinsettia. It made my day! Merry Christmas to ALL...June Danekas (Production A) Words can’t express enough gratitude for all the kind thoughts, words, and prayers that were given to me this past summer during my dad’s illness and then following his death in late September. I am truly blessed to have my “extended Crest Foods” family and friends. Please know what you did made a huge difference during the “down days”. Thank you for your kindness. It is truly appreciated. Shirley Reif (Controller)
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Congratulations Jamie Bock (Ingredient Division A) and Treasure Burns were married on October 10, 2015. Congratulations to the Bocks! Domenica Moscato (Production B) and Lisa Gronlund (Manpower Onsite Supervisor at Crest Foods) were married on October 10, 2015. Congratulations!
Congratulations to Don Cole (Ingre- dient Division A), his son, Donny, and his grandson, Brant, on a great racing season! Thanks to everyone for coming out to the races, especially one of our biggest fans, Wyatt.
Eric Duthie (son of Al Duthie, Ingredient Division Technical Service Rep) ended his college football career for North Central College (Naperville, IL) in a game on November 14th against Elmhurst College. As a fresh- man he played J.V., as a sophomore dressed for varsity home games, and as a junior and senior saw playing time as a kick-off specialist, holder, and place kicker. North Central College finished this season 7-3 and ranked 15th in the nation for Division 3 college football teams. Eric is a Communications Major in the school of business and is scheduled to graduate in June of 2016. His par- ents, Al & Holli, are proud of all his time and efforts to be part of the football team. Steve Miley by Jeff Meiners
To Sean Karper, son of Rick Karper (Maintenance A) on his recent marriage to Colleen Gatley. Rick’s son, Chris was the best man and Rick’s daughter, Vanessa, was a bridesmaid. Con- gratulations to the Karpers.
To Brittany Sanderson, daughter of Cheryl Sanderson (Production A) on her engagement to Kole Smart. Cheryl will be busy with wedding planning soon!
The Crest family was saddened by the sudden passing of Steve Miley of Lundberg Construction on November 18th. Steve has been the planner, coordinator of activity and man on the scene for all of Crest’s construction projects over the past twenty-five years. That means he was responsible for putting over ten acres of land under a roof in some fashion or another over that period of time. He was most recently the person who was asked to pull a rabbit out of his construction hat and get us back into business again after the tornado in a stunningly short period of time. He also was presented the Crest Culture Award at our supplier appreciation event recognizing his role in getting Crest back on our feet again after the tornado with a level of determination and inge- nuity that left us all in awe.
More significant than what he did for us through Lundberg Construction was how he did it. Steve was a genuinely nice guy that took all the pressures associated with a rush construction project in stride and was always a pleasure to be around and work with. He was one of those people that you always knew cared as much about you as a person as he did for you as a customer. We were honored and fortunate to work side by side with Steve for so many years. For those who worked with him he was a fixture at Crest and will be genuinely missed. Although his truck said Lundberg Construction on the side, we considered him to be just as much a part of the Crest family as any of the rest of us. Our sympathies go out to his family and co-workers. May you rest in peace Steve Miley.
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Congratulations! In the past few months, we’ve had a number of employees interview for different job openings at Crest. Congratulations to the following people for obtaining new jobs at Crest!
Jeannie Carter B-Shift QA Line Technician
Ella Cichosz Ingredient Division Lab Technician
Mike Mols Ingredient Division Truck Driver
Dusty Koch Building Maintenance
Savannah Dees Warehouse Secretary
Shane Williams Forklift Driver A-Shift
John Loomis Forklift Driver B-Shift
Catherine Larson Level 6 Production B-Shift
Jim Nalley Mix Weigher A-Shift
Peter Krull Mix Weigher A-Shift
Congratulations Justin & Randy! In October, Justin Guenther moved from Ingredient Division C-Shift Produc- tion Supervisor to Ingredient Division A-Shift Production Manager. This al- lowed the current A-Shift Manager, Randy Reuter, move to the Mix Department as the Mix Manager. The employees who have worked alongside Randy Reuter had a cake made and planned a celebration to bid him farewell as he moved to the Mix Facility and to welcome their new supervisor, Justin Guenther to the A-shift.
Justin Guenther & Randy Reuter
Congratulations Cass Askegaard! She was recently promoted to a Production Supervisor on the B Shift. Cass will be replacing Keith Larson who will be moving to the west facility when it goes to three shifts. Cass originally started with Crest Foods back in 1990 in the production department. She has worked as a line operator, a line worker as well as in the QA department in several positions. Cass brings with her a diverse set of skills and knowledge of Crest Foods. Please congratulate her as she begins her new journey at Crest Foods.
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CIP 2016 1st Quarter Winners The Continuous Improvement Program (CIP) is a program where employees may submit suggestions on ways they think can improve Crest Foods. These suggestions may help improve overall efficiency, employee safety, sani- tation, record keeping, maintenance and various other areas around Crest Foods. In exchange for their suggestions, each employee is rewarded with a $5.00 gift certificate to our Crest store. We received 47 suggestions from employ- ees for the 1st quarter. Thank you to everyone for participating!
Julie Tomblin (QA B-Shift) 1st Quarter 1st Place • $250
If we could make the barcode scanners “key operated” to eliminate the possibility of disabling them. For example: If Maintenance needs to work on a problem they could put their key into the barcode scanner and disable it. When they are finished, they remove their key only when it’s then enabled, almost like a lock out, tag out.
Keith Smith (Maintenance A-Shift) 1st Quarter Runner Up • $150
On the Thermo Ramsey vs. checkweigher cut the drive shafts in half and use a split collar to hold in place, making changing the belts a 5 or 10 minute job instead of 30- 45 minutes. Regina Bonnell (Maintenance C-Shift) 1st Quarter Runner Up • $150 For the Spee-Dee cup fillers, make and use plastic guards. Use 3 separate guards that go on each side instead of the 1 piece of bent sheet metal. The sheet metal does not hold it’s shape when taken on and off for inspections and repairs. The guard eventu- ally will not line up with the tapped screw holes.
The Crest Family Mourns by Teri Wolber Recently, we lost a longtime friend of Crest, Bob Chermak. Bob, his wife Laura along with their daughter Joyce Daniels, have managed a warehouse in CA that held Crest product for the Ingredi- ent Division for the past 36 years. Needless to say they are part of the Crest family. Bob and Laura had retirement in sight when Bob passed away unexpectedly. Whatever needed to be done to keep our customers happy, they did. If that was staying late to load a truck, or (years ago) putting product in their own vehicle and delivering to the customer to keep them from shutting down production, the Chermak’s did it AND did it with pride and enthusiasm. Bob served proudly in the Marine Corp and was still very active in the VFW. In fact some of his friends referred to him as “Mr. VFW”. Bob and Laura have 4 children, 8 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. Bob served his country, family, the Crest family and friends well. May he rest in Peace. He will be greatly missed!
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Holiday Cheer at Crest Foods
Employees at Crest Foods certainly spread the holiday cheer this year. From shopping for nursing home residents, to filling out Christmas cards, there were plenty of opportunities for employees to give back to the community! This year employees purchased, wrapped and delivered gifts to local nursing home residents, decorated Florissa (Kreider Services’ new pediatric center) for Dixon’s Christmas Walk, filled out 400 Christmas cards for Kreider Services and Jack Mabley residents, and took shifts ringing the bell and collecting money for the Salvation Army Red Kettle Drive. This year we had 19 employees help out with the Red Kettle Drive over 4 Sat- urdays at 4 different locations in Dixon. The money raised goes to those in our local community in need of prescriptions, various health costs, electrical and heating bills, food, clothing and transportation. Hal Weaver, director for Lee County, let us know that the total raised for the Lee County Salvation Army was $6,647.16 this year! Thanks to those who helped this year: Scott & Jan Storey, Kyle O’Dell, Steve Starke, Al Hess, Teri Wolber, Julie Pitchford, Pam Furman, Susie Miller, Mary McWethy, Val & Hailey Smith, Stephanie Quinton, Jeff, Brandon, Joyce & Erika Meiners, and our group organizer, Becky Henson. We had a number of employees who donated their time to shop for local nurs-
Val & Hailey Smith
ing home residents who no longer have someone to celebrate the season with. The shoppers are given a list of nursing home residents and the funds to buy them gifts from the ‘wish list’ that the local nursing home Activity Directors has supplied. Our hope is to brighten the day of these residents by being remembered and having a gift to open. In addition many residents get a visit from a Crest Foods employee. This year we shopped for over 50 nursing home residents! Thanks to our shoppers this year: Marianne Cox, Mandi Kersten, Scott Storey, Shirley Reif, Angie Paul, Sue Osborne, Julie Pitchford, Steve Meiners, Mary McWethy, Cindy Reuter, Joyce Meiners, Nurse Heidi (McGlown) and Brian Schafer. Thank you to everyone who volunteered their time this holiday season!
A thank you from Kreider’s Early Intervention Progarm
400 Christmas Cards filled out for Kreider Services & Jack Mabley residents
Scott & Jan Storey
Hal Weaver & Steve Starke
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Some Christmas Holiday Fun! by Mandi Kersten
On November 30th Tom Windelborn, Joyce Meiners, Holly Glei- ssner and Mandi Kersten from Consumer Products Division, participated in the 1st annual Gingerbread House competition in the Post House Ballroom in Dixon, Il. This was also to help raise money for The Lee County Council on Aging. All entries were judged on: originality, overall appearance, choice and use of materials and difficulty of design. Also the people’s choice award - which was voted on by the community by using money to vote. The winner of this award split the proceeds with Lee County Council on Aging, much like a 50/50 raffle. Our Naughty & Nice gingerbread house consisted of 4 walls, middle support wall, roof, chimney and porch all created out of gingerbread. Melted candy was used to create yellow tinted “glass” windows (to give the appearance of lights being on) and also used to create the red brick appearance on the chimney. Ev- erything is held together with Royal frosting. Shredded coconut was used for the visual of snow, the Grinch was made out of Me- ringue, Santa’s list was created with gum paste and frosting pens. Rice Chex vanilla cereal was used on the roof for the appearance of shingles, Cotton Candy was used for the smoke coming out of the chimney and some decoration on the Christmas trees. Our Christmas trees were created by using waffle cones upside down and green buttercream frosting. The list could go on and on. Everything on this house is 100% edible. The community had December 1st through noon on December 5th to cast their votes. To our excitement we won the People’s Choice award! The money we received was donated back to the Lee County Council on Aging. What a great time we had designing this and putting it all together piece by piece! Who doesn’t like to have some fun while giving back all at the same time? We hope to see some more groups in next year’s competition! Merry Christmas!
The gingerbread house had both a “Naughty” and “Nice” side
Patty Ballard, Joyce Meiners and a representative from The Lee County Council on Aging
Happy Easter! Crest Foods will be closed on Friday, March 25th for Good Friday. Enjoy the long weekend!
January, February & March 2016 Crest Ink 15
New First Responders
by Karen Yardley
Ben Nelson Ingredient C Main Plant
Alfonzo Alvarado Production A West Facility
Stephanie Eich Production A West Facility
Rick Hough Sanitation C West Facility
Please help us welcome the four newest members of our Emergency Response Team here at Crest: Alfonzo Alvara- do (Production A, West Facility), Stephanie Eich (Production A, West Facility), Ben Nelson (C-Shift Ingredient, Main Plant) and Rick Hough (C-Shift Sanitation, West Facility). When I asked Alfonzo why he volunteered to become a Certified First Responder for Crest he said he thought the training would be helpful elsewhere, like at his other job. (He and Stephanie both also work at a local restaurant.) Stephanie wanted to be able to help others. Both employees were encouraged by their Supervisor, Dan Yates, to participate. I asked them what they thought about the training course – what was the easiest, hardest or what surprises were there? Alfonzo found CPR easy to do and was very surprised how graphic the training was when it came to child birth. Stephanie was worried that the training course would be too hard – there is a lot of information to cover in a six week course – but she did great! She also was surprised at how graphic some of the training was but she was more shocked at some of the wounds they were exposed to as part of the course. Ben Nelson volunteered to be a part of our team to supplement some training he already had through the National Guard. He wants to help keep his co-workers safe and to be an asset to his department and C-Shift. Ben agreed with Alfonzo about the obstetrics portion of the course (very graphic!) and he hopes he never has to use these skills! He would be more than willing to transport someone in labor but hopes he never has to deliver a little one! Also joining our group of First Responders is Rick Hough. He trained through the Mt. Morris Fire Department, and has decided to join our team at Crest as well. As always, we hope that we don’t need to call on Alfonzo, Stephanie, Ben or Rick to use their new skills but it’s great to know that we have employees who care enough about their fellow employees and are willing to give of their time to fill this role for us! Thanks to all of our First Responders and EMTs!
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Live Long & Prosper Safety Contest Update by Karen Yardley Here’s a New Year’s resolution you can easily keep! Take part in the Live Long and Prosper contest each and every month! It’s a great way to learn about safety at work and at home and to win great prizes! Here are a few of the lucky winners from the past few months!
September Winner Michelle Kemmerer Safety Team Members: Denton Yocum & Phyllis Ott
October Winner Justin Miller
November Winner Garnie Stevens Phyllis Ott, Karen Yardley, Kevin O’Dell & Denton Yocum
Kevin O’Dell, Denton Yocum, Karen Yardley & Phyllis Ott
2015 AIMFES Conference
Jeff Friday, Karen Yardley, Dan Brown, Alan Lundin (retired IDPH and member of AIMFES), Stephanie Quinton & Becky Henson
Stephanie Quinton & Dan Brown
Stephanie Quinton, Ingredient Division Operations Manager, was recognized for her many years of service during the most recent AIMFES (Associated Illinois Milk, Food & Environmental Sanitarians) conference held this past October in Champaign, Illinois. Stephanie served as President of the organization in 2011 and provided leadership for many years prior to that. The P.E. Reilly Award is in “recognition for her outstanding dedication to food safety, her devotion to educating the sanitarian and her loyalty to the AIMFES association.” (taken from the plaque Stepha- nie is pictured holding.) Dan Brown, Ingredient Division QA Manager and current AIMFES President were hon- ored to present the award to Stephanie. Jeff Friday was also a speaker at this year’s fall conference.
January, February & March 2016 Crest Ink 17
Mississippi Hippy is an elite bucking bull on the Profes- sional Bull Riders (PBR) tour. This tour is comprised of the top bull riders in the world, mainly from the United States, Brazil and Canada and the best bulls in the world. The riders are the best of the best. Cowboys have to stay in the top 35 in points on the tour or they have to drop to a lower level and work their way back to the top PBR rider level again. Meet the Mississippi Hippy! by Phil Blythe, National Accounts Manager, Ing. Div.
Much the same with the bulls. They (the bulls) are elite athletes also and must retain a high level of performance or they simply are not asked to go to events and they too have to go to lower level events. The difference is when they are asked to leave the PBR tour, they generally don’t get to come back to the highest level on competition again. Some of the very best bulls include, Bushwacker, Astroid, Grasshopper, Little Yellow Jacket, Bones and Chicken on a Chain. There have been many more. What you have then are the best bull riding cowboys in the world riding the best bucking bulls in the world. There are approximately 35-40 events per year in the PBR. This tour goes coast to coast. Mississippi Hippy is one of the top bulls on the tour for many reasons. He is a fan favorite for many reasons: • He is the biggest bull on the tour weighing in at over 2400 pounds. So big he barely fits in the bucking chute. • He has one of the recognizable names, The Mississippi Hippy. He is one of the crowd favorites. • Hippy has an excellent record of buck offs. He has only been ridden twice in his career. • The Hippy is usually a ‘finals’ bull. This means he ranks among the best and is used on the final day of an event. This is when the best scoring cowboys of the week have to ride the best bulls entered that week. • The Mississippi Hippy has his own Facebook page with many followers. Hippy is eight years old and some bulls buck until they are 10 years old or more. Of course, many of the bulls are retired or lose their ability before that. Hippy has performed at an elite level all of his career and has been a top 20 ranked bull for most of his time in the PBR. We hope to have “baby Hippies” in the near future. Hippy recently had to have a horn removed and had further surgery done at Texas A&M University. He quickly became a “pet” to the veterinary school there and they did not want to give him back. But now he is back home with his family and on the mend. We have been fortunate to own Mississippi Hippy with Kenny & Christie McElroy of K-C Bucking Bulls based in the Cincinnati, Ohio area. We have owned several bulls together but the Hippy has been our family’s best bull to date. K-C Bucking Bulls has many top level bulls currently on tour with the PBR. Their daughter Josie, who is a stock contractor herself, and currently in college, and I own a young three year old who shows promise. His name is Outlaw Shakedown and we hope he earns his way to the PBR in 2016. We have had a good time with our hobby and were lucky to find a good partner and a great bull in the Mississippi Hippy. Our whole family follows how he does every time he goes out in an event. Hippy and the other bulls are well
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taken care of with a quality feeding program, great living conditions and transported to events in air ride comfort and get a chiropractor to visit after every event. We hope Hippy has a few more good years of doing what he likes to do and we hope he leaves a legacy of young “hippies” to follow in his hoof prints.
Pictured are: Jerry Lawrence, Ray VanDrew, Shane Williams, Danny Fuller, Andrew O’Brien, Ben Kinn and Chris Landstrom & the donated tree
After listening to a presentation at our annual supplier event, Chris Landstrom of Twin City Energy Services had an idea that he would like to recognize our good fortune in no one being injured in the tornado by donating an oak tree to be planted at the west warehouse. The pictured plaque will be attached to a rock by the tree this spring The B-Shift warehouse crew that experienced the building going down around them is pictured with Chris. Thank you Chris for thinking of Crest in this way.
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Halloween 2015 at Crest Foods
Jesse Morris & Jeannie Carter
B-Shift Main Plant
Dan Shipyor & Danny Fuller
Jackie Ayling, Aurora Abarca & Laura Mares
B-Shift West Facility
Joyce Meiners, Mark Dempsey, Tom Windelborn, Pam Furman, Mandi Kersten & Holly Gleissner
Trick-or-Treaters at the Consumer Products Lab
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Holiday Ham Day
On November 10th & 11th, Crest Foods passed out around 750 hams to employees! Thank you to Mitch Karlin for not only volunteering to come and help us pass out hams, but also for providing the stuffing, mashed potatoes, rice and gravy to round out the meal. We hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving with their family and friends!
New Machine Shop Signs
The Crest Foods Machine Shop made and hung new signs on the outside of their building this fall. The signs were designed by Den- ton Yocum and were a couple years in the making. They are 3ft by 6ft and are made with stain- less steel and a blue plastic back- ing. The stainless steel was cut from the Water Jet Machine in the Machine Shop. Steven Zellers, Rob Osborne and Bob Pittman are seen handing the signs on the curved frames that they made as well.
New signs at the Machine Shop
Steven Zellers, Rob Osborne & Bob Pittmnn
New Warehouse Break Room
The break room at the West Warehouse is officially up and running again after the tornado. What was once before many rooms with a tiny break room, has been turned into one large break room for the warehouse employees and visit- ing truck drivers. With this complete, we just have a good portion of the roof at the West Warehouse and Mix Facility to replace next spring, and then we should be all finished with tornado damage.
January, February & March 2016 Crest Ink 21
January Day Years PAMELA KELLEY 1 39 ROBERT EALEY 2 3 SUSAN LARSON 3 21 JAMES NALLEY 3 21 RUMALDA KRUEGER 4 10 JOSEPH MARONDE 4 17 ROBERT OSBORNE 5 1 JARED STUMPENHORST5 12 BENJAMIN YATES 5 1 JEFFREY KARAS 6 2 CELIA ARREDONDO 8 15 HOLLY GLEISSNER 9 4 CHAZ JOSEPHSEN 10 5 JAMIE BOCK 13 19 WILLIAM HUSSEY 14 8 DELNORA MARTINEZ 14 8 PAUL SIMONS 14 3 LORI TALLEY 14 25 AARON THIEBAUD 14 3 CASEY WARD 16 4 JUNE DANEKAS 17 11 JAMES HODDER 17 5 JUANA KNOPP 17 5 RICARDO GUIJOSA 19 7 CATHERINE LARSON 19 1 BENJAMIN NELSON 19 1 HONIE NEWCOMER 19 7 ROGER WOLBER 20 24 ROBERT ROATH 21 20 HOLLY ADAMS 22 9 JAMES SHUCK 22 20 JUAN GONZALEZ 23 10 MARIA HERRERA 23 10 LISA MUNOZ 23 10 MARIA RODRIGUEZ 23 10 ERSKINE STURGES 23 10 JOHN MONT 24 11
ERIC DROEGE FRANK MALSTON NATHAN SCHUBERT MARIA MAGANA
25 9 25 28 25 6 27 1
BRIAN HAMM RICHART HOUGH LAURA MARES STEPHEN OSBORNE
20 4 21 5 21 22 22 6 24 24
MARK LEIGH 28 14 CARMEN QUINTANA 28 14 JAMIE COOPER 29 9 THOMAS CLAYTON 31 20 JOSEPH GOMEZ 31 12 February Day Years ZYGMUNT CICHOSZ 1 9 CRAIG FRIDAY 3 24 VALERIE SCHICK 7 11 PHILIP BLYTHE 9 1 LONNY BRIGGS 11 3 MARSHALL PANKHURST 11 3 DOUGLAS DAVIS 12 9 JESUS GARCIA 12 9 WALTER HARRIS 12 9 KYLE O’DELL 12 9 CHRIS REYNOLDS 13 20 MARIA SANCHEZ 13 4 JACQUELINE SKROGSTAD 13 4 KAYLIN YARBROUGH 13 4 MICHELLE GRIES 14 11 LYNN SPANGLER 14 28 HOWARD KARPER 15 28 KYLE LAWRENCE 15 16 SARAH CLEMONS 16 1 CLIFF KARROW 16 1 STEVEN SMAIL 16 1 BRIANA STOMBERG 16 1 MELISSA CHAVEZ 17 2 AMBER KING 17 2 BRUCE LAKE 17 2 CHRISTOPHER RENARD17 2 BECKIE TALLEY 17 2
KYLE HASSLER MARTIN VEGA 25 8 CONNIE SCHUMACHER 28 39 March Day Years JAMES SMITH 1 6 DAVID BRANSCUM 6 27 LISA O’CONNOR 7 11 MORGAN RAINS 8 17 ROBERT SCHWABENLAND 9 7 SHERRY JOOS 12 9 JOSHUA PETERSON 12 9 LEE BRANSCUM 13 2 LINDA YOUNG 13 10 JOSEPH LOOMIS 15 23 GARETT MEINERS 15 12 MARTHA HOLDER 16 7 ADRIANA PARRA 16 7 RYAN BURGER 17 2 DUSTIN CRAWFORD 17 2 MARK DEMPSEY 17 2 BENNETT MORRIS 17 2 ARMANDO MACIAS 18 14 TONI SCHULER 18 14 ROMEO ATANASIO MARTINEZ 19 4 DANIEL MILLER 19 4 BRIAN DVORAK 23 28 GERALD GIBSON 23 24 RICKY HILLEMAN 25 14 SHAD HEWITT 26 15 KELLY STEVENS 26 32 DELORA WOLFE 26 32 MICHAEL BOATWRIGHT 28 5 SERVANDO CADENAS 28 8
St. Patrick’s Day is Thursday, March 17, 2016. May the Leprechaun be with you!
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