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Sure Thing

Mary Burich | August 28, 2017

People | Pride of the Jersey

Arlis Pesta on work, family and taking chances

It’s a familiar refrain at Hormel Foods: employees come for a job and find a home they don’t ever want to leave. The result is thousands of people with decades-long service, amazed at how quickly time passes when you’re having fun.

Arlis Pesta

Meet Arlis Pesta, one of the earliest employees of Dan’s Prize, a member of the Hormel Foods family since 1991. She’ll mark her 30th anniversary in January 2018, though she will likely shy away from a celebration of the milestone.

“I’m not used to having my picture taken or being in front of a crowd,” she says. “I’m more of a back-40 person.”

Be that as it may, Arlis was recognized recently as the first employee at her Browerville, Minn., location to receive the Hormel Foods jersey, the trophy that is awarded to all Pride of the Jersey recipients.

“Arlis has mentored many supervisors and helped us all with a variety of issues in the plant,” says Dan’s Prize President Jeff Tobak, who summarized her career and her family life for those who came to honor her.

Arlis joined Dan’s Prize in 1988 as an administrative assistant. Since then, she has served as a line supervisor “because Dan’s Prize needed the help,” payroll supervisor, accounts payable supervisor, office manager, cost accountant and maintenance inventory clerk, her current position.

Outside of Work

She and her husband, Dave (better known as Woody), have been married 43 years. They are parents to three grown children, all of whom live close by. It’s common knowledge that one of Arlis’ favorite things to do outside of work is host her six grandchildren for sleepovers at her house. The kids range in age from 3 to 21, and Arlis takes great pride in the fact that even the oldest of the six hasn’t tired of the tradition or of the mega-playground that graces her backyard.

Woody trucks all over the country, but when he is in town, he and Arlis enjoy playing the slots at regional destinations in Minnesota and South Dakota. On special occasions, they take trips to the casinos in Las Vegas.

She remembers an especially good day when she was “up $1,000.” Her co-workers have in mind an even better bet., one that was placed nearly 30 years ago when Arlis decided to roll the dice and apply for a job with a young company called Dan’s Prize.

That was the day Arlis and the company hit the jackpot.

at Dan’s Prize
Pride of the Jersey
recipient in Browerville, Minn.
married to Woody