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Playing it Safe

Who wouldn’t love to have more Kari Ottos?
By
  • Mary Burich

May 13, 2019

Category
Story

It was a rare daily double when Kari Otto accepted the Hormel Foods Pride of the Jersey award and the annual Safety Elite Trophy from Osceola Food. The dual recognition was made sweeter by the 200 team members who packed the room to celebrate their one-of-a-kind coworker.

Kari Otto

“Kari is always identifying issues when it comes to food [safety] or people safety,” said Doug Howard, supervisor of safety, security and medical at Osceola Food. “… We can count on the fact that Kari will be the first to Speak Up either on her own or with her team to get things moving.”

Kari joined the company in 2006 and became part of the 20-plus-member safety committee five years ago. She’s known for keeping everyone safe and well and for hospitality that makes people feel special.

“I try to remind people to be safe. If I see something, I take it upon myself to fix it. I also try to be helpful and welcoming to newcomers,” she said.

Doug cited various examples of Kari’s safety vigilance, noting, “Her teammates are just as grateful to have her in their department as we are.”

Human Resources Coordinator Miguel Aparicio echoed Doug’s sentiments.

“Kari has done a great job. We work with almost 900 team members, and our main goal is to keep them safe. I hope we have more Karis here,” he said. Recognizing her “was an easy choice for us.”

We can count on the fact that Kari will be the first to Speak Up either on her own or with her team to get things moving.

Doug Howard, supervisor of safety, security and medical at Osceola Food

Kari works in portion control for Osceola Food. When she’s away from the plant, she likes to spend time with her family, including her three young-adult children, nieces, nephews and her husband of 28 years. Camping in Minnesota is a favorite activity. The family enjoys fishing and “playing around on the four-wheelers,” she said.

She also likes her time at work – and more to the point, the people she works with. “After this many years, I’ve formed a lot of friendships. Osceola Food is a good place to be. It’s a good atmosphere,” she said.

Receiving the first jersey of 2019 was an honor Kari celebrated by wearing the coveted hockey-style sweater to work. “I showed it off,” she said. “It was nice and warm, too.”

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