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Employee eNewsletter, Summer 2016

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Things are Heating up This Summer With
Kroeschell’s Quarterly Employee eNewsletter

Welcome to the next installment of our quarterly employee e-newsletter, your source for all things happening in and around Kroeschell. From important information coming out of the executive meetings to photos from recent events, we have it all for you right here!

Newsletter Content

Click on the section below to quickly navigate to your desired content.

Editorial: Interview with Bill Chambers, President of Operations

By Margie Musary

Git ‘er Done, The Operations Way of Life

No words better describe Kroeschell Operations then “Git ‘er Done!” During my recent interview with Bill Chambers, President of Operations, it was clear that these three little words wholeheartedly represent how things are accomplished at our Peoria location. I’m excited to share this interview with you and hope you learn a little more about Operations and their plans for the future.

When I asked Bill what he attributes to the success of Operations over the years, he didn’t hesitate to say that he owes everything to his team. Every individual on his management team has started on the factory floor. It’s Operations’ philosophy to ensure that the team members managing the work have done the work before and know the work well. Bill said, “The team has really stepped up in the last few years. It’s their hands-on experience that has helped them get where they are today. They are also extremely dedicated. The most dedicated people I know. We are all working very hard on current projects at the moment because that is what it’s taking to get the job done. Our customers tell us time and time again that Kroeschell is a Git ‘er Done type of company. They have faith in us that their work is going to get done on time, done right and done cost effectively.”

Bill’s leadership, coupled with his team’s expertise and dedication, has led to Operations’ success over the years. And it’s not just success which keeps him motivated. Bill leads by demonstrating a personal commitment to a high standard of performance. “My goal is to be as good as I can be. Failure is not an option. If I have that attitude, history says we will be successful.” It’s evident that customers trust Bill and his team, and the fact that if they give their word, the job will get done. Having a group of highly satisfied customers receiving quality products and services drives Bill forward and keeps him wanting more.

Staying motivated is important for the future of Operations. When asked what his goals are for the remainder of 2016 moving into 2017, Bill has a few things in mind. For 2016, he wants to be successful in delivering their current backlog of work, which is significant. When they succeed, the word will spread within his customer base, where there is a lot of opportunity for exposure. Bill wants that exposure to help them grow in 2017. “By maintaining the same philosophy of ‘Git ‘er Done!’, we have established a good network of customers and must continue to be successful with them. Then, allow that success to build our exposure within our customers’ organization. The more exposure we have, the more opportunities we have to grow. New opportunities will come when we are successful.”

Being successful does have its challenges. Bill is faced with one of the biggest challenges a ‘division in a growth period’ knows… manpower. “We’ve had massive growth this year, so we must get new people with the right skill set and motivation. We have already made significant staffing changes in the beginning of 2016 and it will continue through the year.” Bill commented that when 2016 peaks, there will be nearly 75 new staff onboard! But he has a plan in place to meet this challenge. His team plans to promote from within, utilize successful external recruiting resources and add a full-time recruiter to their Peoria office. All these pieces working together will allow them to successfully manage their manpower moving forward and will support innovative methods in training and retaining great workers.

“Kroeschell has to be innovative in their approach to retaining employees.” Bill believes that regular training is the single most innovative thing that Operations is doing in its industry. “We’ve always provided training, but we’ve ramped it up. We are faced with an aging workforce and fewer people are coming into the skilled trades. It makes it very important for us to invest in people, train them and find ways to retain them so we have the best workforce out there.” Operations began to increase training activities in 2015 and has already seen a positive impact on quality, morale and productivity.

When you have the best people, it makes it easier to stay ahead of the competition. “Our reputation is established. We hit the mark every time for the highest quality at the most competitive price. We might not be the cheapest out there, but you won’t find our level of quality at a lower price.”

It’s clear that Operations has a reputation among its customers that will only help the division grow. When asked where he sees Operations in five years, Bill said, “We will continue to have stable growth and will be significantly larger. We will continue to do the same things as we are now. There are plenty of opportunities available in what we do best.”

Bill feels he has the team to meet his goals, and he’s thankful every day to have them. “They are awesome, and I enjoy working with them. I give them my heart and soul and they give me theirs in return.” Bill also said Operations wouldn’t be where it is today without the support of the company and the executive committee. “I am thankful for the backing Kroeschell has given me.”

Operations is growing fast and ready to take on the challenges that come with it. Bill certainly has the right team and a great support system from all of Kroeschell to Git ‘er Done!

Spotlight on Bill:

  1. When you’re not at Kroeschell, where would we find you?
    In the woods, hunting or doing something with my 13-year-old son, Alex. We go hunting for birds and deer, we fish, and play baseball together. I help coach his baseball team. To sum it up, if I’m not at Kroeschell, I’m with my family.
  2. What was the last book you read? Was it good?
    The last physical book was The Dodge City Trail by Ralph Compton. I loved it, but I like all books. All books are good, but some are just better than others.
  3. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? Why?
    New Zealand to hunt Red Stag. They are similar to North American Elk here.
  4. If you could have one superpower, what would it be? Why?
    I would want to be as fast as Flash because then I would have more time since I never seem to have quite enough.
  5. What was the last movie you saw? Did you like it?
    Batman v. Superman. My wife and I took Alex and friends for his birthday. I really liked it.
  6. If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be? What would you ask him/her?
    My Dad. He has passed away. I’d like to have one more conversation with him.
  7. What is one thing about you that would surprise people?
    Those that get to know me find out I’m a pretty compassionate person, especially with kids and animals. I actually have an English Setter named Codi and a Golden Doodle named Gracie. We plan to breed Gracie one time since Alex really wants to experience it. I grew up on a farm and have seen lots of births, but Alex hasn’t and I think it will be a good experience for him to take care of puppies. I’m really excited about it because Gracie is such an awesome dog.
  8. What are your hobbies?
    Hunting, fishing, and I used to golf a lot, but then I had some back issues a few years ago and it’s hard to find the time. I’m ready to get back into it, though, and would like to go golfing at least 10 times this year and take Alex with me too. He enjoys it as well.

^

Upcoming Events

  • Mark your calendars. Kroeschell will be holding a BBQ on Thursday, July 14th to celebrate the summer! Lunch will be served at 12pm, outside at headquarters (weather permitting). Look for more information as we get closer.
  • Our partner, the American Cancer Society, is hosting numerous Relay for Life events throughout the US. Relay for Life is the world’s largest fundraising event to fight cancer in every community. Want to get involved? You can find Relay for Life events in your area by visiting www.RelayForLife.org. Below is a list of Relay for Life events near our Arlington Heights Office.
  • Do you have the volunteer bug? Here are some great volunteer opportunities with the American Cancer Society.

Around the Office

Employee Milestones and Achievements

  • Tony Swietek has been promoted to President of Service.
  • Ed Swietek, CEO and former President of Service, and Rich Pruchniak, President of Engineering, have both transitioned to a four-day work week, with Fridays off.
  • After 13 years of service, Annette Sobus from the accounting department is retiring. Her last day is Thursday, June 30th. Please take a moment to send her best wishes for a happy and healthy retirement.

Do you have any achievements to share with us? Please submit them to Margie at marjorie.musary@kroeshell.com.

Past Events

  • Kroeschell held its annual St. Paddy’s Day luncheon at headquarters on March 17th. Employees, along with many of our customers and vendors, got together and enjoyed delicious food catered by Harrington’s. Check out some of the photos on our Facebook page.

Seasonal Report

Recall Affects 42 Brands

Recently, CRF Frozen Foods in Pasco, Washington expanded a voluntary recall to include more than 350 frozen fruit and vegetable products sold by 42 different brands at major grocers in the U.S. and Canada. The listeria contamination was discovered during random testing by the Ohio Department of Agriculture. For more information including a list of recalled items can be found on the FDA website.

The Top 7 Summer Health Hazards!

Beach days and BBQ dinners are right around the corner, so here’s what you need to know to stay safe this summer. Read the full article on WebMD.

  • Mower Injuries. Every homeowner loves the sight of a pristine, neatly mowed yard, but in their haste to get that lawn in shape, some people forget to take precautions. To be safe: wear closed-toed shoes, keep kids away and learn how to use your mower properly or get a professional service to mow for you.
  • Boating Accidents. People’s biggest mistake by far is drinking and boating. People get out there and drink alcohol all day, and end up with the same accidents you have with driving — with the added risks of falling out of boats, getting hit by propellers and drowning. It’s also easy to get lax about life jackets. Kids need to have them on all the times.
  • Dehydration Disasters. People can get dehydrated any time of year, but it’s much more common in the summer months. Preventing dehydration couldn’t be easier: Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, take regular breaks in the shade and try to schedule your most vigorous outdoor activities for times when the heat isn’t so strong.
  • Sunburn Snafus. In addition to practicing “safe sun” — wearing sunscreen, long-sleeved shirts, and wide-brimmed hats and staying out of blistering midday rays — there are things you can do to treat a severe sunburn: drink water or juice to replace fluids you lost, soak the burn in cool water for a few minutes, take an over-the-counter pain reliever, treat itching with an OTC antihistamine cream or a spray, and apply an antibiotic ointment or an aloe cream with emollients that soothe the skin.
  • Picnic Poisoning. Anything that has mayonnaise, dairy or eggs in it and any meat products can develop some pretty nasty bacteria after only a couple of hours unrefrigerated. To prevent food poisoning, follow the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s advice: wash your hands as well as the surfaces where you’ll be preparing foods, wrap raw meat securely and keep it stored away from other food items, bring along a meat thermometer (steaks should be cooked to 145 degrees, ground beef and pork to 160 degrees, and poultry to 165 degrees), keep everything refrigerated as long as possible.
  • Fireworks Safety. The safest way to watch fireworks is at a professionally sponsored display, but if you can buy fireworks legally and want to set off a few at home, take these precautions: keep a hose or fire extinguisher handy, and keep children away from fireworks — everybody loves to give sparklers to kids, but they burn very hot (up to 2,000 degrees) and can cause significant eye injuries. To care for a fireworks burn, wrap it in a clean cloth saturated with cool water and get to an emergency room.
  • Summertime Stings. To stay free of bees (and other stinging insects, including mosquitoes) when outdoors, avoid heavy perfumes and scents, wear light-colored clothing with no floral patterns, and guard food and sugary drinks. Most people who get stung will just have pain, tenderness, itchiness and swelling at the sting site. But see a doctor or go to the ER immediately when you have hives, itchiness, and swelling over large areas of your body; tightness in the chest or trouble breathing; swelling of the tongue or face; and dizziness or feeling you will pass out.

Take a Break

We are all busy but occasionally we need a diversion from our day-to-day activities and simply take a break. We created this section, well, just to help you take that much-needed break. This collection of information includes amusing, challenging, helpful, or just plain interesting things. Feel free to submit items for this section of our next issue. For now, kick back and enjoy!

  • Are you thinking about catching a movie? Here are some upcoming releases you don’t want to miss:
    • X-Men: Apocalypse hits theaters Friday, May 27.
    • The much anticipated Disney movie, Finding Dory, premieres Friday, June 17th.
    • It’s bound to be hilarious, Ghostbusters, comes out Friday, July 15th.
  • New brain game to see just how fast you can type. If you want a challenge (or to just work on your typing speed), this one is for you.

Do you have something to share?

Do you have news to share with your co-workers? Feel free to submit completed projects, company awards, personal and professional milestones or achievements or anything else that you’d like to share with us. Just email marketing at marjorie.musary@kroeschell.com.

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