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Proof That Teamwork Makes Happy Customers

February 23, 2016

Whether she’s developing formulas using flavors, improving products and processes, reducing costs or completing countless other tasks, Renata makes Edlong’s Applications Lab the best it can be. Read how our President’s Award winner saved a customer’s presentation using teamwork.

Renata Rojek
Applications Talent Development Supervisor

When did you start at Edlong?
I joined Edlong in October, 1999.

Tell us how you got to Edlong and how you got to where you are today.
Before working at Edlong, I studied nutrition in Poland, working as a hospital dietitian. Additionally, I received a Dietetic Technician AAS degree from Harper College. Through nutrition education, I helped people make changes in their eating habits to make healthier choices for their daily meals.

In 1999 I interviewed at Edlong, and realized my nutrition background would be beneficial to the food industry. At that time, I joined the Quality Control department. Three years later I transferred to Research and Development, working in the Applications Lab.

How would you describe your typical day?
Every day, the Applications group meets to review projects and tasks. Then I work on different projects based on priorities. It could be creating new applications and testing formulas using flavors, evaluating new ingredients, working on product improvements, developing a product that matches a product in the market, cost reduction, making formula changes to improve processes, health and wellness or other projects to fulfill customers’ requirements. I educate and advise customers on flavors and usage levels based on each project. I assist in training new Applications employees or other employees needing guidance in the Applications Lab. Also, if needed, I travel to work with customers on their projects in their labs.

What’s your favorite part about working here?
It’s a friendly, family environment. Additionally, I like that each day is different and involves creativity, solutions and solving problems based on each customer’s specific requirements for their projects.

Is there a project, event, etc. that sticks out in your mind or a favorite memory that you might have from your time here?
My favorite project was working on a snack seasoning blend for a specific customer. It was very challenging because it involved a tremendous amount of communication between both R&D labs, sales and marketing. Also, there was a lot of bench top testing, and consumer testing to meet the customer’s requirements. After working on this project for one year, the customer approved the seasoning blend and they launched the finished product. It was a long process that ended in success. I felt proud of all my hard work and communication to complete what the customer was looking for, and I will always remember this customer and project.

How does what you do impact Edlong’s customers?
My patience and organization helps me provide the best solution for their project requirements. I obtain all necessary information from the customer, our sales team, and our R&D team to satisfy our customers. I make sure my work meets my personal standards so the customer can rely on our Applications work. This helps build trust and reliability in our lab to impact our customers.

How does your work make Edlong better?
I suggest the right flavors and usage levels for specific applications. I make sure products and prototypes sent to customers meet their requirements and are made with the highest standards.

Favorite food.
Chocolate. Specifically, milk chocolate.

One thing your coworkers might not know about you.
I love to make different types of mini desserts for events with families and friends, such as weddings, showers, birthdays, etc.

Your favorite thing to do for fun.
I enjoy Caribbean cruise vacations. It’s fun to visit different islands, and I love the weather.

Any other anecdotes or stories about a time that you took a special pride in your work, or an interesting story about your time at Edlong? Maybe you solved a problem, tried something new or supported your co-workers to help them with something critical.
One day we received a phone call from our sales representative that presentation prototypes did not arrive at the hotel the day before the presentation. The package with the prototypes got lost during shipment due to severe weather. To meet our customer’s expectations, I organized a quick meeting and distributed work between the Applications team. The big decision was to postpone this presentation, but this would cause more scheduling issues with this customer for another presentation. To solve this problem, the Applications team quickly remade the prototypes that were lost in shipment. Thanks to our teamwork, we were able to ship fresh-made prototypes overnight. The samples arrived just in time, and our sales representative did not have to postpone the presentation. I felt proud organizing the formulas to develop the prototypes, and the Applications team did a great job putting these prototypes together. It was great TEAMWORK!