Restek Volunteerism Thrives at Inaugural Culture Fair

For new employees such as Ravali Alagandula, an LC applications scientist, the abundance of volunteer opportunities at Restek is exciting, but knowing where to start can be tough.

Employees at the chromatography manufacturer can use up to four hours per month to volunteer during work and, at a company with more than 350 local employees, opportunities abound.

To help employees new and old better understand the opportunities available at Restek, the company hosted its first Culture Fair on Oct. 4 and invited more than 20 groups and organizations to set up an info booth within the company’s atrium and hallways to talk to employees about how they could get involved.

Alagandula, who was hired just over a month ago after receiving her PhD in clinical and bioanalytical chemistry from Cleveland State University, signed up to help Restek present at STEM fairs at local elementary and middle schools and with Centre Volunteers in Medicine (CVIM), a group that advocates for the medically underserved living or working in Centre County.

“Everyone is so friendly. It’s easy to approach them and learn about the opportunities,” Alagandula said.

One of those friendly people was Pam Decker, a senior graphic designer at Restek, who staffed the booth looking for volunteers for 4thFest, the county’s renowned annual 4th of July celebration.

“Dozens of Restek employees help out during 4thFest each year and we’re hoping to get a few more today,” she said.

To encourage employees to speak with a lot of different groups, Restek distributed passports to be signed by booth staffers. Employees with at least 10 signatures were entered to win one of three gift cards.

“Volunteerism is part of Restek’s culture, and we’re hoping this fair spreads that engagement even further,” Karen Davis, a Restek HR representative, said.

The event was spearheaded by the Restek Owners Culture Committee (ROCC) with the goal of increasing the number of employees who volunteer by offering an easy way for them to learn more about the opportunities that are available within both the company and the community.

“There are a lot of people constantly doing things and recruiting volunteers—we thought a culture fair like this could help employees get a good overview of different organizations and how they can get involved,” said Denise Kyle, a sales coordinator at Restek, who leads the Employee Owners Communication Team (EOCT).

The idea was brought to the attention of the EOCT by Mike Shuey, Restek’s international customer service supervisor, after attending an ESOP conference and seeing another company doing one. Restek, like thousands of companies in the country, is an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) company, which is a business model where the employees own shares of the company. In Restek’s case, the company is 100% employee owned.

“It seemed like a great idea, and I’m looking forward to seeing it grow each year,” he said.

The fair was held in October to help celebrate ESOP Month. The company also plans to host a number of other celebratory activities, including educational seminars, a Halloween costume contest, and a presentation by State Representative Kerry Benninghoff (R-Bellefonte). October 15 is also Restek’s 32nd anniversary of serving top-notch chromatographic innovations to the analytical community.

Trace-Level Analysis of Melamine and Related Compounds by LC-MS/MS

Published By: Restek Corporation

Year of Publication: 2017

Link: http://www.restek.com/Technical-Resources/Technical-Library/Foods-Flavors-Fragrances/fff_FFSS2792-UNV

Abstract: The analysis of melamine and related compounds is critical in protecting consumers from adulterated food products. While these highly polar analytes are difficult to retain and accurately quantify on many columns, the Raptor HILIC-Si column and LC-MS/MS method shown here allow quick and complete separations, so melamine and related compounds can be accurately identified and quantified even at residual levels.

LC-MS/MS Analysis of Paraquat and Diquat without Ion-Pairing Reagents

Published By: Restek Corporation

Year of Publication: 2017

Link:http://www.restek.com/Technical-Resources/Technical-Library/Environmental/env_EVSS2791-UNV

Abstract: LC-MS/MS analysis of paraquat and diquat herbicides is an important tool for protecting human and environmental health. However, the ion pairing reagents that are commonly used to improve retention, resolution, and peak shape have a negative impact on sensitivity and can contaminate the system necessitating frequent cleaning. The LC-MS/MS analysis of paraquat and diquat presented here provides complete separation and good peak response for both target analytes in a fast, 7-minute gradient run without the use of troublesome ion pairing reagents.

Restek’s Joe Konschnik Named ILI Board Chairman and Receives Two ACIL Preston Millar Awards

During ACIL’s last annual meeting in St. Louis, Restek Business Development Manager for Food & Agriculture, Joe Konschnik, was named Chairman of the Independent Laboratory Institute’s (ILI) Board of Directors. The previous ILI Chairman, Jim Kuhn, was appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors for ACIL (American Council of Independent Laboratories) and chose Joe to replace him on the ILI Board.

ILI is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3), scientific educational organization established in 1992 by ACIL; multidisciplined and member-driven, ILI serves the laboratory testing community by offering valuable training and education, administering PT programs, and helping the ACIL community to implement new technologies and methods to advance the testing industry.

Over the past four years, Joe has worked with Mr. Kuhn, in conjunction with Richard Bright (ACIL COO) and Milton Bush (ACIL CEO), to revitalize the ILI Board. “Joe has been instrumental in the success of many initiatives taken on by the ILI Board and various sections of ACIL, so when it came time to find a successor to the ILI Chair position, it was an easy decision to appoint Joe,” commented Kuhn.

Joe also received ACIL’s prestigious Preston Millar award—in 2016 and now again in 2017—for his service to the Food Sciences Section of ACIL. Jeffrey Abels, chairman of ACIL’s Food Science Section, presented the award noting, “Joe Konschnik has been an integral part of the Section’s efforts to work with FDA in a positive and professional manner to develop new methods for food analysis. Joe has brought ACIL and FDA together in ways that have enhanced our relationship with the Agency and set us in a positive and productive direction for the future.”

For more information about ACIL, visit www.acil.org  Information specifically on the ILI can be found at www.acil.org/?page=685  And Restek’s latest Food Safety solutions can be found at www.restek.com/food-safety

Highly Selective LC-MS/MS Analysis of Mycotoxins from Multiple Classes

Published By: Restek Corporation

Year of Publication: 2017

Link: http://www.restek.com/Technical-Resources/Technical-Library/Foods-Flavors-Fragrances/fff_FFSS2790-UNV

Abstract: Mycotoxin contamination of crops is not only a public health concern, but it also has a huge impact on the global economy. This highly selective LC-MS/MS analysis of 20 mycotoxins in just 9 minutes allows scientists to accurately identify toxins, to monitor food products for contamination, and to support control strategies that prevent economic loss.

 

Fast, Accurate LC-MS/MS Method for Folate Deficiency Biomarkers in Plasma

Published By: Restek Corporation

Year of Publication: 2017

Link: http://www.restek.com/Technical-Resources/Technical-Library/Clinical-Forensic-Toxicology/cft_CFSS2789-UNV

Abstract:

LC-MS/MS methods for folate deficiency biomarkers in plasma are complicated by the presence of matrix phospholipids and lysophospholipids. These interferences are problematic with reversed-phase LC because they can suppress response, reduce accuracy, and contaminate the MS source. Using a Raptor HILIC-Si column and the HILIC method shown here, folate deficiency biomarkers are completely separated from matrix interferences, allowing accurate determinations to be made in a fast, 5-minute analysis.

Restek Customers and Employee-Owners Donate More Than $11,000 to Red Cross Hurricane Relief Efforts

While the storms and headlines have passed, the hardships of those residents affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are nowhere near over.

For this reason, Restek held a fundraiser in September to raise money for Red Cross operations in Texas, Louisiana, and Florida. In a combined effort from Restek customers and employee-owners, the company presented a check for $11,122 to the Red Cross on September 29.

Bryan Wolcott, Restek President and Head Coach, thanked customers and coworkers for their kindness and charity.

“People’s lives are forever changed by these tragic events, and I’m proud to be able to make this donation to the Red Cross on behalf of the Restek community,” he said. “Thank you to our customers for their generosity and caring.”

For several weeks in September, customers could forgo receiving their Wizard Dollar incentives during checkout over the phone or website and, instead, divert those funds to aid those in need. Restek employees could also donate, and Restek Corporation contributed an additional $5,000 as well.

Restek is well-known for empowering its employees to suggest and implement improvements to the business and its renowned culture. In this case, the hurricane-relief fundraiser was set into motion by Kent Rauch, Lead Web Developer at Restek. He said he recognized how dire the situation was by hearing from colleagues in the affected area.

“I wanted to help, so I got approval and made the code edits to the website,” he said. “The reception from our customers was tremendous.”

This is not the first time Restek raised money in response to a natural disaster. In 2013, the company raised nearly $4,000 to help ease the suffering of those affected by the tornado that ripped through Oklahoma, and the company also raised money after Superstorm Sandy hit New York and New Jersey.

Heather Ishler and Angie Rushe from Restek’s domestic customer service group helped organize and drive the fundraiser. Rushe said Restek’s culture of employee ownership instills a sense of responsibility and community.

“I work with an exceptionally generous group of folks who take our responsibility as owners very seriously. We understand that when you are in a position to be able to help, you should do all you can,” she said.