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Holly Mockus

With over 30 years of experience in the food industry at companies like ConAgra, Kellogg, and Sara Lee, Holly has recently joined the Alchemy Systems team where she currently helps the firm to create world class workforce development solutions for large, complex operations within the food industry. Holly has held positions in food safety, quality assurance, sanitation, and plant regulatory affairs. She has authored several chapters related to the importance of record keeping and documentation in the food industry. She was honored to become the 2013 recipient of the Safe Quality Food Institute's Outstanding Achievement Award, and is passionate about the importance of training in the food industry including the cultivation of successful safety cultures.
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Recent Posts

Tune in Tomorrow for Helpful Tips to Set Your Supervisors Up for Success

Posted by Holly Mockus

Feb 23 2021
Feb 23 2021

By 2025, two thirds of the workforce will consist of millennials who bring a new set of demands for their employers. For them, being valued and working under competent leaders ranks among their top requirements.

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Topics: Coach, Training Best Practices, Webinar

How to Keep Truck Drivers Safe for the Rest of Winter

Posted by Holly Mockus

Feb 1 2021
Feb 1 2021

As we count down the days to spring, commercial drivers face weeks of dangerous roads and unpredictable winter weather. Wintertime is one of the busiest and most stressful times for medium-duty truck drivers.

Bad weather brings a range of troubles for drivers as they struggle to maintain control of their trucks in parking lots and on slippery roads. They have to navigate around unpredictable and panicky drivers. And they’re forced to take extra precautions to avoid injuries every time they step outside their vehicles.

 

To help prepare drivers for the road, we asked Thom Schoenborn, vice president of marketing for Instructional Technologies Inc. (ITI) for some recommendations. When drivers are mentally prepared to deal with winter hazards, it lowers their stress levels and improves their ability to handle common problems. Here’s what he had to say.

 

Q: As we finish out the winter months ahead, what can drivers do to prepare for unexpected weather hazards?

A: When we think of tips to handle winter road conditions, everyone usually thinks of special driving tips or techniques to avoid dangerous conditions. But the best safety tips start long before drivers hit the road. We think the best way to ensure drivers don’t overlook the most common causes of winter weather breakdowns, DOT violations or accidents is to remember that safety starts with a thorough pre-trip inspection. Taking 10 extra minutes to prepare for bad weather can prevent hours of misery on the road.

 

We suggest checking the basics like making sure your battery will hold a charge, that your brakes are in good condition, that your chains are solid, and that your tire treads are above the required minimum standards.

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Topics: Supply Chain

4 Tips to Chill the Hottest Challenges in Refrigerated & Frozen Foods

Posted by Holly Mockus

Nov 23 2020
Nov 23 2020

Refrigerated & frozen foods are more readily available than ever. Their popularity has grown as consumers have become busier and look for more quick, convenient meals and snacks. Whether it's pre-chopped vegetables or ready-made meals, your customers are well accustomed to frozen and fresh foods being a staple part of their diets. As food demand continues to rise with population growth, the cold food manufacturing market will increase by $262.3 million according to Cold Planers Market Report. 

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Topics: Operational Tactics

5 Beverage Industry Trends to Watch in 2021

Posted by Holly Mockus

Nov 5 2020
Nov 5 2020

The beverage industry is undergoing significant changes as it strives to keep up with evolving consumer demands. As millennials become the largest generation cohort of the population, they have significantly impacted the trends of the beverage industry. Beverage manufacturers must understand millennials’ values, behaviors, and preferences to get ahead of their competition.

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Topics: Food Safety Insights, Operational Tactics

Most Training is Designed for Office Workers. Here’s Why That’s Dangerous.

Posted by Holly Mockus

Aug 4 2020
Aug 4 2020

Are you a manufacturing company? If so, the likelihood that you are using a training platform designed for the average, college-educated office worker is pretty high. Almost every employee training program is built using the same techniques, methods, and philosophies of training developed for a corporate, sit-down-at-your-desk-and-work-on-your-computer type environment.

But for workers on the production floor, this is not only impractical, but dangerous. Those suit-and-tie DVDs (and even VHS tapes!) don’t resonate with production team members.

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Topics: Training Best Practices

“You Have B.O.” & Other Conversations that Stink: Training Your Supervisors on the Soft Skills They Need to Survive

Posted by Holly Mockus

Jun 25 2020
Jun 25 2020

Nobody likes an awkward conversation. Nobody really wants to tell a friend, colleague, or direct report that they are causing other people discomfort, especially when it’s related to personal hygiene. But we’ve all been in the company of someone with foul breath or an unpleasant body odor.


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Topics: Training Best Practices

5 Ways to Accelerate New Employee Onboarding and Increase Retention

Posted by Holly Mockus

Jun 12 2020
Jun 12 2020

Knowing how to successfully onboard a new frontline worker can mean the difference between employees staying with you for the long run versus having a high turnover rate. In fact, Glassdoor reveals that companies that have efficient, robust onboarding processes tend to improve their retention rate by more than 80%. As an added bonus, employee productivity is about 70% higher at manufacturers with an effective onboarding process.

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Topics: Training Best Practices

4 Steps for Setting Up an E-Learning Training Program During COVID-19

Posted by Holly Mockus

May 14 2020
May 14 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to upend the traditional manufacturing environment. As mandates require organizations to practice social distancing in their facilities, many manufacturers are struggling with how they can safely provide critical workplace training to their frontline employees.

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Topics: Workplace Safety Tips, Training Best Practices

3 Ways to Improve Truck Driver Safety During COVID-19

Posted by Holly Mockus

Mar 31 2020
Mar 31 2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, cities and states have shut down their restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. Despite all of this, consumer demand for medical supplies and food continues to increase and truck drivers are crucial for maintaining the supply chain and keeping the economy going. 

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Topics: Operational Tactics, Workplace Safety Tips

Automate Your Training Regimen to Improve Performance

Posted by Holly Mockus

May 17 2018
May 17 2018

The key to high production and efficiency is automation. But did you know automation can also be used to optimize training in manufacturing? Many companies have seen success automating their training programs, but that doesn’t mean “set it and forget it.” Rather, using automation for training can enable continuous learning, where important safety and knowledge concepts get reinforced every shift, every day, to every worker, for a greater impact.

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Topics: Training Best Practices

2018 NSC Annual Conference Focuses on Safety Programs

Posted by Holly Mockus

Apr 30 2018
Apr 30 2018

As a member of the National Safety Council (NSC), I was excited to attend NSC’s annual Southern Safety Conference & Expo. We got to showcase our newest workplace safety products that feature what we’ve been working on — and where we’re headed in the future. It was a fun chance to catch up with industry partners and show Alchemy’s support to the safety industry!

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Training Beyond Onboarding: Filling the Gaps in Food Manufacturing

Posted by Holly Mockus

Apr 27 2018
Apr 27 2018

Food safety training has made great strides in the last several years, especially in onboarding, as more companies recognize the role strong employee engagement plays in successful training programs. Yet, a big opportunity still exists to increase engagement and ensure initial training is applied long after onboarding is finished: refresher trainings. These reinforcements can be delivered in several ways, and should be designed to maximize effectiveness and minimize time off the floor. 

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Topics: Training Best Practices

Get the Dirt on Clean Labels

Posted by Holly Mockus

Feb 21 2018
Feb 21 2018

What do people mean by “clean label?” The industry refers to "clean label," but the reality is consumers don't often use that term. What consumers are looking for in food products is transparency, and that includes simple ingredient lists with recognizable ingredients. After all, how many of you have heard this advice in health magazines and lifestyle blogs: "Don't eat it if it has something in it that you can't pronounce."

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Topics: Food Safety Insights, Training Best Practices, Compliance Matters

10 Training Tips to Lay a Foundation for Employee Success

Posted by Holly Mockus

Dec 11 2017
Dec 11 2017

An effective food industry training program is the cornerstone of a high performing food production or manufacturing facility. Providing the basic knowledge and reinforcing concepts for frontline workers are just two critically important facets of a well-thought-out training system. Here are ten ideas to round out an integrated training program and fully engage your workforce:

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Topics: Training Best Practices

Packaging is Part of Food Safety, Too

Posted by Holly Mockus

Nov 17 2017
Nov 17 2017

It may not be edible, but packaging has a major impact on keeping food safe and displaying to customers the care with which your product is produced. Comprehensive food safety training is just as important for employees in the packaging industry as it is for those in food manufacturing facilities.

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Topics: Food Safety Insights

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