MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

April 8, 2010

PepsiCo honors Whitlock Packaging Corp.

FORT GIBSON — It was a sea of blue and white outside Whitlock Packaging Corp. here Thursday as employees celebrated being named PepsiCo’s co-packager of the year.

Wearing bright blue T-shirts with a Pepsi logo and the award title on the back, employees gathered beneath a blue and white tent as Bob Maller, PepsiCo senior contract manufacturing manager, presented a tall, diamond-shaped acrylic trophy to Eddie Burch, Whitlock’s general manager.

“(The award) is the result of everyone in Fort Gibson (Whitlock Plant) working together in problem solving,” he said.

The Fort Gibson plant is one of three in the Whitlock operation and earned the award by meeting quality standards and producing products in a timely fashion, Maller said.

The Fort Gibson operation has come close to winning the co-packager award for the past couple of years, but this past year went over the top to make it happen, Maller said.

Burch said the Whitlock plant in Lakeland, Fla., attempted packaging Amp Juice but did not meet PepsiCo’s standards in any of three trial runs. The Fort Gibson plant passed all three tests and is now the packager of that line.

Besides presenting the trophy, Maller showed his appreciation of the Whitlock employees by falling into place in the serving line for the barbecue dinner that followed the ceremony. He put hot rolls on plates and asked employees if they also wanted pickles and onions.

Whitlock in Fort Gibson employees 157 full-time workers, said Ted Smith, vice-president of human resources. The plant also has 83 temporary workers. The plant’s turnover rate is about 2 percent, and there are 19 employees who soon will receive their 20-year pins.



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