Frontline MVP Spotlight Series: Hannah Derkson & Rico Van Oosten

Video Playmakers Sharing Knowledge

Hannah Derkson, production lead, and Rico Van Oosten, line mechanic, work at Crest Foods Co., Inc., a family-owned dry foods contract manufacturer in Ashton, Illinois. Hannah and Rico are the two workers we chose for our June Frontline MVP Spotlight — a monthly series highlighting frontline workers who demonstrate excellence in the workplace. These two demonstrated incredible initiative at Crest Foods by creating video plays in QAD Redzone.  These videos share valuable knowledge and inspiration, leading to more department collaboration while decreasing changeovers.

What Makes Hannah & Rico QAD Redzone Frontline MVPs

Hannah and Rico have been leading the charge and making plays at Crest … they’re making it happen; they’re impacting the culture out there on the floor with folks and changing how they think about shared knowledge.

Jared Stumpenhorst | Operations Manager, Crest Foods

When Hannah and Rico saw the opportunity to use QAD Redzone to create video plays during their shift, they ran with it. Their efforts began as a way to help new second-shift operators learn tips and tricks to do their job better. The videos have grown into a company-wide phenomenon, with other employees looking forward to new plays, making their own plays, and sharing line operator skills, processes, and techniques throughout the company.

Hannah and Rico from Crest Foods
There’s something to be said about the first people who want to step up in a new program and put themselves out there, company-wide, on video, with the knowledge that they have. I think it shows a real leadership quality.
Erika Whalen HR Manager, Crest Foods

Hannah and Rico’s initiative and leadership in creating instructional plays for the workforce also led them to win the 2022 QAD Redzone Frontline MVP of the Year award. Here are some of the Crest Foods values they embody.


Initially, management provided videography equipment and asked employees on both shifts to experiment with plays when they had time. Hannah and Rico jumped in with the first videos. Neither had a background in acting or video production. They taught themselves to shoot and edit using an iPad, tripod, and microphone. They add finishing touches like title pages, still photos, and subtitles. Hannah is the primary editor, while Rico usually stars in the videos.

Creative Problem Solving

I’m motivated because I enjoy teaching … It makes me happy to be able to share with as many people as I can.

Rico Van Oosten | Line Mechanic, Crest Foods

Hannah and Rico immediately recognized that video plays would benefit most employees. Visual learners, like Rico, prefer to watch a video instead of reading instructions. Employees in the middle of a task can easily view a play and even pause or rewind it.

Working on the second shift with a higher turnover than the first shift, they realized plays offered a way to help prevent or reduce downtime during new hire training. New operators could watch instructional videos and learn little tricks that help them do their job better from day one.

Hannah and Rico soon saw they could bypass years of the learning curve by creating plays that sped up the time it took to learn certain operations.


After publishing the first few videos, Hannah and Rico’s team gave them positive feedback and requests for additional topics. They now have a list of play topics crowdsourced from operators. In addition, they’ve inspired others to make their own plays.

Hannah and Rico are happy they’ve encouraged others to identify worker skill gaps and create plays that address them. Video plays allow everyone to use the technology available to share knowledge and information.

Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is part of the broader culture at Crest Foods. The company trusts those who do a job to be a resource for anyone who needs guidance. If a worker wants to know how to operate a machine, the company encourages them to ask the person who runs it every day. Hannah and Rico recognize this and ask experienced employees to share their tips.

For example, a supervisor watched a mechanic complete a pull belt change on a vertical bagger in one area of the plant. The mechanic completed the task in a new, faster way. The supervisor created a play, and when the team watched the video, they realized this mechanic was taking advantage of a spring-loaded portion of the machine. After watching, operators on both shifts changed belts for fun because the task was much easier. Just a tiny change in the process saved several minutes per belt change.


Hannah and Rico’s playmaking enthusiasm has spread throughout the Crest Foods facility. They inspired an employee who celebrates good production days by making popcorn in the break room. He started making popcorn-popping plays so that someone else can make the popcorn when he’s not there.

Commitment to Excellence

While Hannah and Rico do their best to capture the moment’s spontaneity, they also take the time to ensure they capture all the essential information for an operation. That can mean multiple takes, incorporating feedback from teammates, and editing still photos into the video to show which button to push on a control panel.

Sharing Knowledge with Everyone at Crest Foods

Crest Foods - Hannah Derksen
Knowledge is power. We both operated at the very beginning, and we remember what it was like to go, ‘oh, man, I don’t want to have to call maintenance for that.’ Because it’s something simple.
Hannah Derkson Production Lead, Crest Foods

The video plays Hannah and Rico create on the second shift also impact the first shift. At morning meetings, everyone is eager to watch the new plays together. This shared activity energizes the group and ignites interaction. Everyone at Crest Foods can watch these plays and learn something new, whether they are operators, mechanics, or work in another department.

Video plays enable the distribution of information from one employee to another throughout the organization. The plays are stored and available for everyone to view at any time.

Collaboration Between Departments and Shifts

These plays have encouraged more cooperation between operations and maintenance teams. With operators able to fix small issues independently without waiting for maintenance, they can get back up and running faster. Now mechanics can focus more of their time on more complex issues.

They have a really good dynamic, they show that maintenance and production can work together. Since they really started getting after plays, the way that the folks are interacting is in a different fashion. Maintenance and production are collaborating more in a true way.

Jared Stumpenhorst | Operations Manager, Crest Foods

Congratulations to Hannah and Rico for their recognition as Crest Foods Playmakers and star performers. To read more about their story and other highlighted frontline workers, visit our Frontline MVP Spotlight Zone.  

Redzone Frontline MVPs: Rico Van Oosten & Hannah Derksen, Crest Foods

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