Green Bay Innovation Group

Hire Right: Domtar Production Manager Attests to the Structured Board Interview

Fresh out of college, Sue Wiggins started her career at Domtar, a paper, pulp and packaging company based in Fort Mill, South Carolina. After 21 years working in a variety of roles, Sue was promoted to Production Manager in January 2022 at the Washington Courthouse, OH Plant. For two decades, she helped hire employees based on the 15dots® Selection Process. It’s the only hiring process she ever used, and for good reason. The system works. In this article, she shares the reasons why a Structured Board Interview (SBI) is so effective. First, some explanations about the structured interview process.

What is a Structured Board Interview?

A SBI is an employee selection process in which a panel of four team members interview job applicants. Essentially, the SBI replaces one-on-one interviews performed by a single HR professional.

A structured board interview:

  • Follows a pre-established, structured sequence of specific questions
  • Is conducted by people who are trained in interviewing 
  • Takes place in a highly organized setting
  • Is an exact, standard process, not a freewheeling, off-the-cuff or arbitrary activity
  • Is conducted after applicants are tested and tour the facility to experience the work environment, thus giving them an opportunity to opt out before the interview

Interview & Pre-employment Testing

A SBI occurs after applicants complete pre-employment tests. However, applicants don’t have to score above a threshold in order to be interviewed. That’s an advantage of this process. The test and the interview scores are combined for an overall score. Those on the panel never know a test score before the interview, so they go into an interview as unbiased as possible. The 15dots process takes into account that not everyone does well at testing and not everyone is comfortable in a group interview setting. Thus, it gives both types of individuals a chance to be hired, instead of knocking them out of the process halfway through.

Hiring Quality vs. Quantity Candidates

Like other 5P industries, Domtar is struggling with manpower. Unlike 10 years ago, the company doesn’t have a readily available pool of candidates. Yet Domtar remains true to the structured board interview process. Because the plant is already short-staffed, it may seem counterproductive to pull four people from their work to conduct job interviews. Although it takes more time and effort, the SBI absolutely yields better results. If companies do the process correctly, the quality of candidates is better – and quality trumps quantity.

Learning the Art of Interviewing

Because they’ll be working shoulder-to-shoulder with the new hires, the existing employees get a say in the selection process. Domtar trains both hourly and salary employees as interviewers, to achieve a well-rounded board. By conducting SBIs, employees gain a better understanding of the hiring process. They are far less likely to say, “HR can’t get us people” or “HR doesn’t know what we’re looking for.”

Reducing Bias with a Board Interview

An individual interviewer may think he or she is unbiased, making hiring decisions based on facts, but that isn’t necessarily true. Sue firmly believes that HR officers hire applicants who are like themselves. They select applicants they “like.” However, that doesn’t mean the applicant is a good fit for the job. That’s the beauty of the board interview – four decision-makers instead of one. The board discusses each candidate and reaches a consensus regarding how the candidate fits the jobs.

Asking Behavioral-based Questions

The behavioral-based questions in a SBI are so important. History is the best predictor of how a candidate will perform in the future. Therefore, if candidates have good examples of how they used their skills in the past, that’s assurance they can do so in the future. An applicant can tell a panel what they would do in a given situation, because they know what interviewers want to hear. However, interviewers need to find out what candidates actually have done in the past, backed by specific examples.

Hiring Employees with Ability & Motivation

When Domtar is hiring, the company looks beyond entry-level positions. Domtar promotes from within its facility, looking for applicants capable of entry-level roles and the next jobs down the road. Some HR professionals just want someone in the door because they need people on the floor. This solves the entry-level staffing problem, but it isn’t a long-term solution. Employers also want hires equipped with the ability and motivation to move up in the company and make a lasting impact.

Conducting Structured Board Interviews

Domtar uses the SBI process, and Production Manager Sue Wiggins fully believes in its effectiveness. Although structured board interviews may take longer to complete than a one-on-one interview, the results are far better and more reliable. The ability to conduct effective, standardized interviews is a teachable skill. Thus, 15dots offers expert-led Virtual Structured Board Interview training sessions in which participants gain the confidence and learn the techniques necessary to be effective interviewers. Contact 15dots to register or to learn more.

15th annual Converters Expo had a Record Breaking Year

Thank you!

The 15th annual Converters Expo had a record breaking year with 169 companies  represented on a sold out exhibit floor and over 935 registered attendees. Participants  were there to find solutions to their converting needs in the areas of Machinery &  Equipment, Materials. Materials, Services and more. A complete list of exhibiting  companies can be found at 

This year’s attendees were able to learn from exhibitors sharing their expertise in our  new Vendor Education Sessions that debuted at the 2021 event. For those unable to  attend this year’s event, the programs can be found under the Agenda section of the  website. 

The Converters Expo team would like to thank Gold Sponsors Charter Next Generation  and Midwest Engineered Systems, Silver Sponsors Bobst, Precision Roll Solutions, and  Rol-Tec, Bronze Sponsors BST, Coast Contols, Motion Control Robotics, Preco and Valley  Grinding & Manufacturing, and our supporting organizations GBIG and New North. 

Paper, Print Experts to Discuss Supply Chain

An Update from Marty Ochs

Paper shortages and rising distribution costs are challenging today’s papermaking and print industries. The industry is experiencing major disruptions in the packaging industries for food, consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, etc., and print industries for periodicals, catalogs and direct mail. To address these challenges and offer potential solutions, Green Bay Innovation Group will host a roundtable discussion featuring six leaders in Wisconsin’s paper, pulp, and print industries.

Presenters include Aaron Haas, vice president at BillerudKorsnas; Brad Shockey, vice president of supply chain at Pixelle Specialty Paper; Dennis Tegrootenhuis, president of Small Quantity Boxes; Blaine Ott, director of Supply Chain at Outlook Group; Brit Swisher, vice president of the North Region at Midland, and Nick Mares, president of Viridian.

The in-person event takes place from 2-4:30pm Tuesday, May 24, at Urban Hub, 340 N. Broadway St. Ste. 200, Green Bay. The cost is $25.

Papermaking in Wisconsin is an $18 billion industry that employs more than 30,000 people. A fluid supply chain keeps people working and products moving. Anyone interested in learning about the paper supply chain shortage is invited to attend the roundtable event, sponsored by Green Bay Innovation Group.

PCMC opens state-of-the-art Packaging Innovation Center

Modern facility will be hub for latest flexographic print and package converting technologies

GREEN BAY, Wis. — May 5, 2022 — Paper Converting Machine Company (PCMC), part of Barry-Wehmiller, welcomed 70-plus customers, suppliers and area supporters to its new Packaging Innovation Center on April 26 for a ribbon-cutting ceremony, tour and overview presentation. 

Located at PCMC’s headquarters in Green Bay, this state-of-the-art facility—focused on the printing and packaging industries—will serve as a resource for training, demonstrations and industry trials, along with research and development opportunities. The new center features the latest equipment for plate mounting, anilox roll laser cleaning, and central impression and inline flexographic printing.

“We’re launching this unique experience center with flexographic central impression and inline printing capabilities, and will soon be adding digital printing, lamination, and bag and pouch converting equipment,” said Rodney Pennings, PCMC’s Director of Sales–Printing, Coating and Laminating. “We’re very grateful to our industry partners for contributing their equipment, knowledge and experience, so we can share the latest innovations in flexographic printing and bag converting.”

PCMC’s current partners at the center include 3M, All Printing Resources Inc., AV Flexologic, Clean Planet, Fox Valley Flexo Services, Harper Corporation of America, Interflex Laser Engravers, INX International Ink Co., Miraclon, Rossini s.p.a., Sandon Global, tesa SE, Wikoff Color Corporation and XSYS, in addition to Hudson-Sharp, which is part of PCMC. In the future, PCMC will seek to expand the center’s capabilities by collaborating with additional innovative companies serving the flexographic printing industry. 

“PCMC has always been focused on providing high-quality, innovative machinery, along with excellence in customer support,” said Stan Blakney, BW Converting Solutions’ Group President. “It’s gratifying to offer a state-of-the-art facility where our customers can get hands-on training and learn more about the latest technologies that PCMC and our partners have to offer.”

As part of the center’s educational focus, a three-day flexographic training seminar will be held there from June 21 to 23. Additional events are expected to be announced.

What Four Factors to Consider When Choosing a Flexographic Equipment Manufacturer

If you’re in the food or pharmaceutical packaging trade, according to Smithers, in a recent article, (4 trends that will change, 2018) “Four key trends that will shape the future of packaging to 2028”, the demand for packaged goods is increasing dramatically. As a company in this growing industry, there are four important things to consider when choosing the right flexographic equipment manufacturer. Here is what you need to know to be successful in 2022 and beyond.

First, make sure your equipment manufacturer is working toward sustainable packaging. As manufacturers continually work toward the growing consumer demand for these sustainable products, you need an equipment manufacturer that is on the same level playing field, and understands that consumers are pushing the needle on sustainability.  “As sustainability has become a key motivator for consumers, brands are increasingly keen for packaging materials and designs that demonstrably show their commitment to the environment.” (4 trends that will change, 2018) Minimizing food waste is another goal of policymakers, noting 40% of food produced worldwide is not eaten. In agreement with this sustainability trend, Anderson Vreeland, notes that solvent-free plate cleaners and supplies are expected to make a huge impact in 2022. (4 trends, flexographic printing, 2022)

A second point when determining which equipment manufacturing company to take into consideration is the company’s perspective on technology, and how they keep up to date on the latest in technology. Digital printing needs to be taken into consideration when building printing equipment. The use of thermal ink jet printing is not going away anytime soon. This technology provides low maintenance, has fewer chemicals, and is great for short production runs. It is definitely something that flexographic equipment manufacturers need to be aware of and learn how to integrate it into their process if it is a good fit. With QR Codes gaining ground, according to, (Veritiv Corporation, June 03 et al., 2021) digital printing technology allows manufacturers to print QR codes that are used to provide user experiences that help make brands top of mind for the consumer, allows the use of creativity in building brands.

Third, automation is another area that equipment manufacturers need to be well aware of, and know that it is vitally important to the packaging industry. With the upsurge in labor shortages, and an increased need for skilled labor, higher levels of automation are on the horizon. Anderson Vreeland Inc, a leader in the flexographic printing industry, believes that, “Advanced automation is an important step for the printing & packaging industry, and it should be adopted to stay on track with the industry’s trajectory.” Automation also helps reduce human error, and has proven a reduction in waste.

Finally, when researching an equipment manufacturer to partner with, a company needs to review the manufacturer’s experience in the industry. A leader in designing innovative solutions, Printco Industries, a company that has been around since 1983 and has a reputation for building solid flexographic printing equipment. According to Laurie Burkel, a key factor to choosing a partner in the flexographic printing industry is “knowledge and experience”. Burkel’s company has worked with OEM’s worldwide since 1983, and their troubleshooting capabilities are a true testament to building a list of satisfied customers. 

In summary, when choosing the right flexographic printing manufacturer to work with, the determining factors are 1) High outlook on sustainability. This must be in the equation based on consumer demand. 2) The company must be able to keep pace with technology. 3) Automation must be an integral part of their design process, and 4) industry experience must be a crucial element in choosing the right flexographic partner. Keeping these four factors in mind when you choose a partner, will ensure your success in the packaging industry, hands down.

BPM Partners with Local Schools for Earth Day Clean Up

PESHTIGO, Wis. – April 29, 2022

BPM Inc’s environmental citizenship includes the conservation of natural resources and exploring new opportunities to protect the air we breathe and the land on which we live.  As part of our initiative, we partner with local schools.   Students from area schools will join together to recognize Earth Day by picking up trash, litter and garbage to make area communities cleaner. For the past several years, BPM has donated biodegradable garbage bags and compostable gloves for area students to use in clean-up efforts. Schools and organizations which have volunteered to clean up surrounding areas of school grounds and communities include Beecher-Dunbar-Pembine, Coleman Middle and High School, Marinette Middle School, Menominee Central Elementary and High School, Oconto Elementary and Middle School, Oconto Falls Elementary, and Wausaukee High School. With the excellent response and interest, the company provided bags and gloves to 16 schools and organizations for an estimated 2600 students, teachers and volunteers.

The area schools that agreed to participate appoint a teacher or staff member as the contact person and event coordinator. The schools estimated the number of students participating and supplies were provided accordingly.  Each school may choose the Clean Up day according to weather and class schedules.

The Earth Day Clean Up event is designed to partner with local schools and help students to recognize the need to take care of our environment and in return, provide a beautified community for all. A special thank you is extended to the coordinators at each school and the eagerness to partner with BPM.

Please reach out to BPM at to be included for next year’s event or with any questions.

Appvion Announces Large Captial Investment in New Coating Equipment

Appleton, Wisconsin, May 12, 2022

Appvion Announces Large Captial Investment in New Coating Equipment. Appvion, LLC, a Wynnchurch Capital, L.P. (“Wynnchurch”) portfolio company, announced a significant investment in new equipment slated for delivery and installation in 2023.

“This is the largest single investment made in our Appleton plant for many years and marks the start of a new and exciting journey for the Appvion team,” said Laurie Andriate, CEO at Appvion. “The investment provides many benefits for Appvion and our customers, including elimination of “double-handling” of rolls to improve productivity as well as safety of our people.”

This new equipment will allow Appvion to make products more efficiently, allowing Appvion to optimize finished goods capacity and eliminating the need to secure pre-coated base in a consolidating white paper market.

“The capital investment demonstrates our commitment to Appvion. Continued investment in new technology fosters future growth in Appvion’s core business,” said Greg Gleason, Managing Partner at Wynnchurch.

The announcement comes just months after the company was purchased by Wynnchurch Capital, L.P., a private equity firm headquartered in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont, Illinois. Founded in 1999, with offices in California, New York, and a Canadian affiliate, Wynnchurch Capital is a leading middle-market private equity investment firm. Wynnchurch’s strategy is partnering with middle-market companies in the United States and Canada that possess the potential for substantial growth and profit improvement. The company’s focus is on leveraging business strengths and identifying new market opportunities to support management’s vision—with an unwavering commitment to sound business judgment, partnership, communication, and integrity.

About Appvion

Appvion Announces Large Captial Investment in New Coating Equipment

As a leading manufacturer in North America, Appvion develops innovative, water-based, and environmentally responsible coating solutions for consumers’ everyday life. Appvion utilizes its material science expertise to apply high-performance, functional coating solutions to various flexible substrates, including products from an FDA-compliant facility. Primary offerings include direct thermal paper and film products and renewable, fiber-based consumer and industrial packaging solutions. Headquartered in Appleton, Wisconsin, Appvion employs nearly 400 people. Connect with us on Twitter and LinkedIn to learn more.

GBIG NEWS | 69 Stories and Links on the Internet 5/4/2022


Get links to the latest news, events, stories, and interviews from our 5P news sponsors. Our goal is to remind the decision makers in Wisconsin of the importance of our industry both historically, and more importantly, into the future.

Read the latest 69 Stories and Links on the Internet below.




The Green Bay Innovation Group will be hosting an outstanding group of speakers to discuss the Paper, Pulp, etc. supply chain issues impacting their businesses.

DATE:  May 24, 2022

TIME:  2:00 – 4:30 pm

PLACE:  Urban Hub 340 N. Broadway St. Ste. 200 Green Bay, WI


COST:  $25.00

The guests include:

  1. Aaron Haas – Vice President at BillerudKorsnas
  2. Brad Shockey – VP Supply Chain at Pixelle Specialty Paper
  3. Dennis Tegrootenhuis – President of Small Quantity Boxes
  4. Blaine Ott – The Director of Supply Chain at Outlook Group
  5. Brit Swisher – Vice President of the North Region at Midland
  6. Nick Mares – President of Viridian

We are seeing major supply issues with the paper industry having a huge impact on the Wisconsin Economy.  We are seeing long lead times, allotments, NO paper availability and large price increases. The current USA suppliers are simply not able to keep up, and we have become dependent on overseas suppliers to fill the void. 

The Wisconsin Printing Industry is a major supplier for commercial printing, publication, catalog and direct mail printing leading the nation. Wisconsin is a premier manufacturer of labels and packaging.  Wisconsin is a major producer of corrugated products. Wisconsin is the leader in the Converting Industries. 

We are seeing major disruptions for customers in the packaging industries like food, consumer goods, logistics pharmaceuticals, chemicals, etc. because of the severe disruptions of the supply chains.  We are seeing publications go digital with major supply issues with the catalog and direct mail industries. The paper shortage will have far-reaching consequences, especially for the Wisconsin economy! We will be addressing these issues to try to come up more questions and answers to the issues. 

GBIG Launches New Website, Built by Packerland Websites

Revamped and Ready to Go

Our new website is live! The revamped Green Bay Innovation Group website makes it easier for members to network with others in the 5P Industries. The website has a brand-new look and easier navigation. GBIG members and the public can visit the website to read GBIG’s bi-monthly newsletter, register for events, and learn about innovative 5P Industries in Wisconsin.

Built by Packerland Websites

Packerland Websites built the website as a dynamic online tool for the organization. Packerland Websites, 2140 Velp Avenue, Green Bay, develops effective websites and SEO strategies that lead to results, so businesses gain and nonprofits prosper. Owner Bill Koehne is a GBIG board member who built his first website in 1999, putting him on the cutting edge of technology. He opened Packerland Websites in 2007 after managing a multi-million-dollar home construction company for 20 years. Bill leads a team of four college-educated developers who design websites to be eye-catching, secure, fast, and user friendly. The team manages over 500 websites, each specifically customized to achieve a client’s goals. They also co-publish the GBIG News, to share the latest industry news and sponsor updates. To view a portfolio of commercial, municipal, and nonprofit websites built by Packerland Websites, visit

Designed as a Dynamic Internet Tool

GBIG’s new website is designed to be:

  • Secure – averts hacking and cyberattacks
  • Mobile friendly – resizes for phones, tablets, and other devices
  • Google friendly – pops up higher in internet searches 
  • Manageable – easy for GBIG editors to maintain and update
  • Functional – free of broken links, so as to professionally represent GBIG 24/7/365 
  • Navigable – visitors move around the website quickly and easily
  • Attractive – images, graphics, and text invite the audience to browse

Includes Interactive Links, Phone, Email

Images and text on the GBIG website invite the audience into a closer relationship with the organization. Visitors learn about GBIG’s founder, Marty Ochs, and the organization’s history and purpose. Visitors can easily search the sponsor list for networking and partnership opportunities. Then, with a couple of clicks or taps, they can contact these sponsors by phone or email or visit the sponsor’s website to learn more about them.

Provides Value to Members

GBIG’s new website allows visitors to:

  • Build relationships with others in the 5P and related industries
  • Search the list of sponsors for partnership opportunities
  • Join GBIG as a Gold, Silver, or Bronze sponsor
  • Learn about webinars, seminars, and networking events
  • Read the latest industry news in the GBIG News

Wisconsin is a manufacturing hub for paper, pulp, printing, plastic, packaging, and related industries. The GBIG website drives these industries forward and advances their mutual interests.

Green Bay Innovation Group

Bringing Green Bay Companies Together. Green Bay Innovation Group is committed to building an authentic networking experience where innovation can thrive.

Contact Information

Phone: 608-698-3333
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