The Faces Behind The Milk No Longer Will They Toil In Obscurity. You'll See . . .

Posted: August 13, 1992

Judy Wolfinger doesn't have much contact with the public in her job as laboratory technician on the top floor of Johanna Farms Dairy Center in Fort Washington.

But in the next few weeks, the Horsham woman will be at the breakfast tables of hundreds of milk customers.

Beginning this week, milk cartons featuring individual sketches of Wolfinger and nine other employees are being sold in area supermarkets. Each worker will appear on half a million cartons of regular, skim and 2 percent milk for the next 20 weeks. The employee recognition program will use five million special side panels. It will appear on Johanna Farms and Abbotts milk cartons

Today, at a 1 p.m. reception, the 10 workers will receive from company president Donald Herr, 100 flat cartons, "suitable for autographing," according to Kay Schmal, total quality management coordinator. The program is part of an overall emphasis on quality management that is customer-, instead of production-, oriented, she explained.

Said Herr, "Potentially everyone in the entire organization will be included. These are the unsung heroes of the operation."

Milk carton side panels, a valuable merchandising tool, have been used for everything from product endorsements to photos of missing or abducted children, but not for employee recognition, says Schmal. The program is being kicked off in Fort Washington. It will eventually include other Fort Washington center employees and extend to other locations.

The task of drawing the employees went to Jon Byrd, 35, of Cheltenham, a free-lance commercial artist when he is not working in Johanna's refrigerated storage room. Byrd, who sketched at home from photographs, said the company knew of his talents because he draws pictures on his time cards in order to find them more quickly.

The panels include a portrait of the employee and a sketch on the job.

Wolfinger, a state certified dairy worker who monitors milk received from farms until it is pasteurized, packaged and loaded on delivery trucks, has worked at Johanna Farms for 3 1/2 years. Her work as a Horsham ambulance corps volunteer has been noted in a local newspaper, but this is the first time she will be recognized by her employer.

"I was apprehensive, but I liked the drawing," she said. "I haven't seen it in the store yet, but everyone in my family and my fiance's family is excited about it. They'll look for it."

Kitty Carr of Glenside, a telephone receptionist, is also featured. A 13- year Johanna employee, she said that although her 16-year-old daughter ''hopes none of her friends see it," she thinks the program offers an excellent incentive.

"I would imagine my neighbors will be totally amazed," she added.

Others featured, along with Wolfinger and Carr, are Edward Kallatch of Horsham, a tractor-trailer driver; Sidney Knapp of Hatboro, a fleet mechanic; Bob Dugan of Roslyn, production supervisor; Linda Daubert of Lansdale, a call order clerk; James Holeman of Philadelphia, a milk receiver; Frank Gerace, Springfield, a sales representative; Linda Winters of Blooming Glen, a billing clerk, and Glenn Gilbert of Quakertown, a forklift operator.

In addition to Fort Washington, the parent company, Lehigh Valley Dairies, also has facilities on Allentown Road in Lansdale and in Schuylkill Haven. The milk is marketed under the names Johanna Farms, Abbotts and Lehigh Valley.

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