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January 31st, 2024 Newsletter

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GBIG NEWS | 98 Stories and Links on the Internet 1/31/2024


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.

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Belmark Establishes Allen County, Kentucky, Packaging Operations

Belmark Inc., a manufacturer of printed pressure sensitive labels, flexible packaging and folding cartons, plans to establish packaging operations in Allen County, Kentucky. The approximately $99 million project is expected to create 159 jobs.

Belmark logo

The new 156,000-square-foot facility will allow the company to increase manufacturing capacity and capabilities to better serve its customer base throughout the U.S. Construction is scheduled for completion in 2026.

“Belmark is a growth-minded, market-leading provider of label and total packaging solutions,” said Karl Schmidt, Belmark president and CEO. “We continually reinvest in our people and business to ensure a thriving, dependable company and a vibrant culture that supports our customers and the local communities where we operate. We are excited to expand with a new location and continue our growth with our new Allen County family.”

To encourage investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority approved a 10-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $2 million in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of $98.9 million and annual targets of creation and maintenance of 159 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 10 years; and paying an average hourly wage of $36.98, including benefits across those jobs.

Additionally, KEDFA approved Belmark for up to $500,000 in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). KEIA allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing.

“There has never been a better time to locate, expand and do business in Kentucky than right now,” noted Governor Andy Beshear. “Quality companies choosing Kentucky time after time is a testament to what this great state has to offer. Belmark’s decision to locate its new facility in the commonwealth will bring quality jobs to Allen County and add continued growth to Kentucky’s manufacturing sector. I want to thank Belmark’s leadership, and we’re looking forward to their company’s success here in the commonwealth.”

By meeting its annual targets over the agreement term, the company can be eligible to keep a portion of the new tax revenue it generates. The company may claim eligible incentives against its income tax liability and/or wage assessments. In addition, Belmark can receive resources from Kentucky’s workforce service providers. Those include no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job-training incentives.

“TVA and Tri-County Electric congratulate Belmark on its decision to establish operations and create new job opportunities in Scottsville,” noted John Bradley, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) senior vice president of economic development. “We are proud to partner with Allen County-Scottsville Industrial Development Authority, Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, the city of Scottsville and Allen County to foster economic growth in the region and look forward to Belmark’s future business success here.”

Belmark manufactures pressure sensitive labels, flexible packaging and folding cartons for customers in a broad range of markets. THe company operates seven facilities in De Pere and Shawano, Wisconsin, as well as in Phoenix, Arizona.

“The announcement of Belmark Inc. is exciting news for Allen County-Scottsville,” said Adam Tabor, chairman of the Allen County-Scottsville Industrial Development Authority. “Belmark Inc. is a company with a strong community culture that produces exceptional value-added products. The Allen County-Scottsville Industrial Development Authority Inc. could not be more grateful and delighted to welcome Belmark Inc. to the great commonwealth of Kentucky, particularly Allen County-Scottsville.”

Wisconsin Paper Group Marks 90 Years of Shipping Excellence

A Fox Valley-based shipper’s association has been helping its members realize a competitive advantage for 90 years and counting. In 1934, a group of 13 enterprising paper mill executives started the Wisconsin Paper Group to provide their paper companies with the best possible shipping services. Wisconsin Paper Group was the first not-for-profit shipping cooperative in the nation and remains the only shipper’s association of its kind nine decades later.

Wisconsin Paper Group original building

Lower Freight Rates

“By starting the Wisconsin Paper Group, the individual members of the association could guarantee faster and more frequent deliveries of their products at a lower cost,” said Tim Metten, President of Wisconsin Paper Group, 634 Muttart Road, Neenah. “Today, this cost-saving mindset benefits all members by keeping freight rates lower than individual companies could achieve on their own.”

Nationwide Coverage for Billerud

The logistics team at Billerud utilizes WPG for less-than-truckload shipments originating from Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. Mike Dailey, Supply Chain and Distribution Director of Billerud, said WPG has done an outstanding job providing nationwide coverage.
“In the 22 years I have worked with them, I can think of countless times the WPG team went out of their way to provide unique service solutions to allow Billerud to meet our delivery needs,” Dailey said. “I want to wish WPG a happy 90th anniversary and thank them for their partnership over the many years we have had the pleasure of doing business with them.”

Wisconsin Paper Group board with Governor Nelson

Simplified Shipping Options for Milltown Paper

Niki O’Brien, manager of logistics at Milltown Paper, said working with WPG saves the company time and money and avoids many of the headaches of a common LTL carrier. O’Brien described the Top 6 benefits of working with WPG.

  • We get competitive rates and tender shipments online in minutes with basic information.
  • Blind shipments are a simple click of a button and company name away, without any additional charges or extra paperwork on our end.
  • We are able to use our standard Bill of Landing instead of a carrier specific BOL for the drivers.
  • Paper rolls can be floor loaded; palletizing isn’t an automatic requirement.
  • Invoices are accurate, no surprise accessorial charges to fight.
  • Quick responses to emails and no long hold times when we call.

“Many thanks to everyone at WPG for all of the behind-the-scenes work you do so our efforts are minimal,” O’Brien said. “Whether the freight is consolidated at your facility or you give our freight to the common LTL carrier, our process is the same.”

Quick Response Time for Hi-Tech Plastics

Bernard “Gus” Dahlin, Vice President and General Manager of Hi-Tech Plastics Inc., said the WPG team is easy to work with, has quick response time, and is willing to help with any shipping need.
“We have been very appreciative of their competitive rates and assisting with any shipping issues we may encounter. They have a wide base of carriers which accommodates our customers shipping locations across the U.S. and Canada,” Dahlin said.

An Extension of Members’ Logistics Teams

WPG represents over 100 Wisconsin and Upper Michigan companies and welcomes new members to its association. WPG, also known as The WPG Shippers Association, acts as an extension of members’ logistics teams. Members tender orders for less-than-truckload and shared truckload shipments to WPG for consolidation into multi-stop or single-stop truckload deliveries.
“Every shipment is important to us, and we treat it as our own. Our passion is transportation,” Metten said.

Ground Transport, Air Freight, Warehousing

WPG utilizes linehaul carriers and regional distributors to deliver freight throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. In addition to ground transportation, WPG also provides Air Freight services and warehousing services.

Expansive Commodity Base

Originally, WPG handled paper. Through the years, WPG expanded its commodity base to include packaging, plastics, and other paper-related cargo. In 2000, WPG expanded further, handling fabricated metal, primary metal, lumber and wood, furniture and fixtures, nonperishable food and kindred products, machinery, and transportation equipment.

Efficient Loads with Less Handling To Save Members Money

“While much has changed in manufacturing, transportation and logistics, the primary goal of our organization remains the same, even after 90 years. By using a cooperative approach, Members send as much volume as possible through our consolidation network to build more efficient loads, driving down costs, and reduce touch points,” Metten said. To celebrate its 90th anniversary, WPG will host an event in summer 2024, with the details to follow.

Become a WPG Member Today

For more information or to join WPG, contact Tim Metten at or 920-389-8018.

Provident LLC Announces Promotion of Agata Bacia to Inside Sales Representative

Provident, LLC, a leading manufacturer and distributor of press room products including Doctor Blades, End Seals, and Cleaning Chemistries, is thrilled to announce the immediate promotion of Agata Bacia to Inside Sales Representative.

Agata Bacia
Agata Bacia, Inside Sales Rep, Provident – Her natural drive to succeed will play a key role in helping us achieve the anticipated business growth at Provident this year

APPLETON, Wis., Jan. 15, 2024 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Provident, LLC, a leading manufacturer and distributor of press room products including Doctor Blades, End Seals, and Cleaning Chemistries, is thrilled to announce the immediate promotion of Agata Bacia to Inside Sales Representative.

Agata Bacia joined Provident in March 2022 as a customer service representative, providing exceptional support to both the production team and customers. Over the past two years, she has closely observed and worked with the sales team, contributing to the success of Provident. Prior to joining Provident, Agata served as an executive and team expert, honing her skills in schedule coordination, support ticket processing, and communication.

In her new role, Agata will continue to work closely with Provident’s outside Technical Sales Representatives, strengthening the company’s growth mission. She will directly interact with customers, ensuring a white glove experience while identifying new leads and opportunities. Building strong customer relationships and gaining a deep understanding of their needs will also be a key aspect of her responsibilities.

Andy Gillis, the General Manager at Provident, expressed his pride in Agata’s expanded role within the team. “Her natural drive to succeed will play a key role in helping us achieve the anticipated business growth at Provident this year.”

Fluent in both Polish and English, Agata is passionate about travel and holds a master studies in Tourism and Leisure, as well as a bachelor’s degree in international Tourism from Cracow University of Economics. She regularly visits her family in Poland and explores various European destinations. When she’s not traveling, you can find Agata rock climbing, mountain biking, weightlifting, or skiing.

About Provident, LLC:

Provident offers flexo print companies a single source solution of top-quality press room products and attentive service. Their selection of doctor blade, end seals, flexo cleaning chemistry, and press room supplies are developed to meet the specific demands of printing and packaging operators and their clients. You can count on Provident to sharpen your competitive edge with over three decades of press room and industry experience guiding you.

For more information about Provident, LLC and their range of press room products, please visit their website at

Media Contact

Courtney Pazdra, Anderson & Vreeland, Inc Family of Brands, 224-253-1171,,

SOURCE Provident, LLC

Sustana Advances as a Clean Materials Company

The rebrand will consolidate its fiber, paper, and recovery businesses under the united Sustana umbrella, signifying a bold new step in the organization’s transformation as a clean materials company.

Sustana new logo

[De Pere, WI – January 16, 2024] – In a strategic move to streamline its operations and enhance its commitment to sustainability, Sustana proudly announces the rebranding of its subsidiary companies, including Sustana Fiber, Rolland, and Hanna Paper, under the united Sustana umbrella.

Fabian de Armas, Chairman and CEO of Sustana, expressed his enthusiasm for the rebrand, stating, “This strategic move marks a significant milestone in our journey toward a more circular and nature-positive future. By uniting our business units under the Sustana brand, we are creating a stronger, more united company around our shared purpose – to make sustainability an ingredient in everyday products.”

Aaron Ling, Director of Sustainability at Sustana, highlighted the company’s ambition to drive the clean materials and methods movement forward. “A more sustainable future isn’t possible unless materials adopt more eco-friendly practices. Sustana’s mission is to develop sustainable solutions with clean materials and a circular mindset. Through innovation and collaboration, we can show that it’s possible to produce high-quality, fiber-based materials while minimizing waste, preserving natural resources, and protecting biodiversity.”

De Armas emphasized how the rebrand positions Sustana as the premier provider of holistic, sustainable fiber-based solutions and services. “From waste prevention to sourcing alternative fiber to paper production, we embrace a circular mindset at every step. We believe this will draw and invite prospects and partners who are committed to delivering a more sustainable future. It’s about creating a shared vision that aligns us toward a common goal.”

Ling added, “This rebrand is about inspiring action. Sustana doesn’t just promote sustainability; we practice it. We apply that principle to every point in the sustainability journey – from day-to-day operations to strategic direction setting. This move is a testament to our commitment to creating positive change in the industry and beyond.”

Renee Yardley, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Sustana, emphasized how this rebrand signifies a new chapter for the company, reinforcing its dedication to sustainability and innovation, “This rebrand allows Sustana to deliver on customers’ needs every step of the way from sourcing clean materials, to producing finished goods to recycling, positioning our brand as a complete solution.”

About Sustana

Sustana is dedicated to finding new ways of putting clean materials within more everyday paper products—sustainably, responsibly, and meaningfully. We are an industry-leading producer of quality fiber-based products and services built on a solid commitment to sustainability and continuous improvement. From recovery to fiber to paper production, Sustana produces the clean materials used in coffee cups, food packaging, your favorite book, and so much more. At Sustana, creating real change starts from within. Learn more about how our products and manufacturing practices support the circular economy at

Art Advertising adds Domino N610i,their first digital narrow web press

Stacy and Gary Gestring

Art Advertising, located in Jonesboro, Arkansas USA was founded in 1969, opening its doors as Art Sign Company. Transitioning into screen-printed graphics in the 1970’s, the sign division was sold off in 1980 and the company became Art Adverting focusing solely on industrial labels and other screen-printed products. The company’s quick growth across a broader range of industries necessitated moving into a new building in 1985. Over the next decade, Art Advertising’s offering would expand to include flexographic roll labels and traditional offset printing, still catering to the needs of regional, industrial clients. In 1995, Stacy & Gary Gestring joined the business and began efforts to accelerate growth. Their customer base expanded nationwide as they continued to add new products and services. In 2007, the company relocated to its current location. Since then, they have added another 10,000 sq. ft. building to house their wide format division, bringing them full circle to be able to offer larger outdoor sign products again. Today with over 28,000 square feet of production across two facilities, Art Advertising is one of the most diversified printing companies nationwide. And they continue to grow. In December 2023, Art Advertising added their first digital narrow web press …the Domino N610i 7-color digital UV inkjet label press.

We caught up with Art Advertising’s owners Stacy & Gary Gestring to learn more about their business, the drivers for adding digital, and why Domino. Stacy is president and oversees finance and production. Gary is vice president and oversees sales, purchasing, estimating, and HR.

Exceeding customer expectations

Gary begins, “We specialize in decals and labels for manufacturers. Our strength is in meeting custom requirements and outdoor durable markets. Our customers value our reliability in providing their labels and decals on time and within their high-quality requirements and specifications. Our key strength is our ability to solve our customers’ problems, whether it be a need for custom adhesive, creating decal kits, or fulfilment services. We’re committed to exceeding their expectations.”

Why digital? Why Domino?

Stacy says, “We have long recognized the value of digital printing for great color and ease of setup, and we are looking forward to the increased speed and variable data capabilities of the Domino. The Domino N610i is our first digital narrow web press.”

Gary says, “We’ve been familiar with Domino for years, seeing them at trade shows and knowing their offering as a high-end piece of equipment, while hoping our increasing demand would justify having one.” Stacy adds, “Domino was on our short list for its ink durability, high-resolution print, and wide color gamut. The great communication and responsiveness of the Domino team gave us the confidence to make the final purchase decision.”

When asked if they anticipate any changes in the type of label jobs run or projects they pursue due to the capabilities of the N610i, both Stacy and Gary show tremendous excitement. Gary says, “We are most excited by the greater efficiency and new markets we’ll be able to pursue with the Domino. We’ve been mainly focused on long term outdoor durable markets. The Domino will greatly increase our competitiveness in short term durability and consumer goods markets.”

And Stacy is also enthusiastic on the Domino N610i maximizing their productivity, efficiency, profit, and opportunities. “We expect that the Domino will greatly reduce our production time on certain label lines, increasing productivity and improving profit margins. Our more recent investments were all in the screen department where we have the latest high speed rotary presses. Now, we anticipate the Domino N610i will bring our roll label department a huge leap forward and open up markets we’ve previously not had access to because our existing flexo equipment was too slow, or we had a cost disadvantage because we would need to outsource larger or full color roll label orders. When considering the cost justification of the Domino, we looked at both, the improved efficiency we will gain from the orders we have been running through other processes, and the potential to grow into new markets. So, we are very excited with the installation of the Domino digital press.”

Installed, Trained, Ready to Go!

The Domino N610i was installed at Art Advertising in December 2023, and their team went through a very comprehensive training program. Stacy says, “We have been very pleased with Domino. The detailed scheduling of the install and training were impressive. When our team came back from Gurnee, they said it was the best training they have ever received on a piece of equipment. While we are just getting the Domino up and running, we are confident their team is with us, and committed to our success and growth moving forward.”

Is there a ‘Domino Difference’?

Gary says, “I think the Domino Difference is their people. We have felt a comfort level with the Domino team, and a trust that they’ll be with us as a true partner to a level higher than we’ve experienced.”

Stacy concludes, “While we’ve continually added new printing technologies and production types, we are more excited about the potential the Domino N610i has to propel our company to the next level, than any equipment purchase we’ve ever made.”

Domino is a leading manufacturer and distributor of digital printing and product identification solutions. Celebrating its 46th year in business, Domino is a global organization with world headquarters in the UK, and North America headquarters in Gurnee, IL. Domino has 25 subsidiaries, representation in over 120 countries, and over 3,000 employees worldwide. For more information on Domino digital printing, please visit

Immel Construction: Paul Martzke named recipient of 2024 Wisconsin Titan 100

(Green Bay, WI) Titan CEO and headline sponsor Wipfli LLP are pleased to announce Paul Martzke, President of Immel Construction, as a 2024 Wisconsin Titan 100. The Titan 100 program recognizes Wisconsin’s Top 100 CEO’s & C-level executives. They are the area’s most accomplished business leaders in their industry using criteria that includes demonstrating exceptional leadership, vision, and passion. Collectively the 2024 Wisconsin Titan 100 and their companies employ more than 148,000 individuals and generate $76.4 billion dollars in annual revenues.

Paul Martzke

It’s not every day that you hear about an architect leading a construction firm, but Paul Martzke is not your typical architect, having worked as a general contractor for over 15 years with Immel Construction. Paul started his role in leadership by directing projects for clients like the University of Wisconsin and Door County’s Cana Island Lighthouse. Shortly after, Paul took on the role as Immel’s Director of Business Development, securing opportunities with some of the region’s most recognizable landmarks and utilizing his extensive involvement in the community to build meaningful relationships. Paul transitioned into his current role as President of Immel Construction in 2020 and was instrumental in Immel’s evolution to a 100% employee-owned company, creating an atmosphere of ownership and teamwork. In 2023, Paul led Immel to their highest sales year, generating $135 million in revenue.

Serving as the 2023 President of the Associated General Contractors of Wisconsin and as a previous President for American Institute of Architects Wisconsin, he is believed to be the only professional in the state of Wisconsin to have achieved both accolades.

Immel team at 2024 Titan awards

“I find that by volunteering I am able to stay passionate and focused at the business level. It allows me to understand that the successes and failures at our company are not unique, and that I can learn from and also mentor others. By serving outside of our company and its day-to-day responsibilities, I recharge and become more positive about the work that we do.”

Paul Martzke, President, Immel Construction

Paul Martzke along with the 99 other honorees were recognized at the annual Titan 100 awards celebration January 18th, 2024, at the Fiserv Forum. It is an incredible honor to have Paul Martzke represented for his success in the industry alongside this diverse group of leaders in Wisconsin.

About Immel Construction

Immel Construction is a construction services company providing general construction, project management, estimating, and skilled craftsmen to meet the needs of the commercial, healthcare, industrial, and institutional markets.

Advancements In Web Gauging Systems and Their Impact on Quality Control

Advancements in Web Gauging Systems Transforms the Manufacturing Landscape

Two Quad Plus techs installing gauging sensor

In the ever-evolving world of manufacturing, precision and consistency are essential elements of a company’s success. Industries such as printing and packaging require a level of accuracy that cannot be found through traditional methods. Advanced web gauging systems have taken a technical leap that is transforming the terrain of quality control. Where precision is vital, these innovations make a substantial impact on product quality and cost reduction.

Real-time Precision Is the Key to Outstanding Accuracy

Traditional gauging methods were subject to periodic sampling which left gaps in product quality. Modern web gauging systems have removed these limitations by including real time, continuous measuring. Manufacturers can now assess every inch of material as it goes through the production line, significantly improving quality control. This real-time precision significantly minimizes defects by reducing the need for costly rework and enhancing overall production efficiency.

Print Perfection Across Every Run

Web gauging systems are indispensable in the printing industry that thrives on precise color and print consistency. The ability to maintain uniform print quality across large print runs empowers manufacturers by decreasing misprints and improving operational productivity. This integration of web gauging with automation technologies leads to a substantial reduction in manufacturing processes, revolutionizing the industry.

Striving For Packaging Excellence

Material thickness is a critical component of the packaging industry. Advanced web gauging systems play an important role in detecting even the slightest variations in thickness, allowing for immediate adjustments to maintain consistency. Material waste is minimized and production costs are lowered significantly.

Advanced Data Analysis Beyond Measurements

Today’s web gauging systems are made up of more than just elevated measuring; they come equipped with extensive data analysis capabilities. By collecting and analyzing data in real time, manufacturers receive valuable insights into their production processes. Trends and potential issues can be identified early on allowing for proactive measures. Preventing defects and providing the consistent delivery of high-quality products can uplevel business reputations.

Elevating Operations through Seamless Automation Integration

By performing automated adjustments based on real-time measurements production lines remain in excellent condition and overall efficiency is increased by minimizing human errors. This integration not only elevates the overall product quality but results in substantial cost savings by diminishing the necessity for manual adjustments and revisions.

New Era of Manufacturing

The advancements in web gauging systems have created a new era of manufacturing excellence. The innovative technologies not only alter the traditional landscape of production but also result in heightened precision, efficiency and quality control across printing and packaging industries. By embracing this modern wave, the opportunities for seamless productivity and product consistency becomes increasingly promising.

For businesses seeking to stay ahead of the curve, Quad Plus stands as a trusted partner, providing tailored solutions to improve manufacturing processes. To learn more about how our expertise can transform your operations, contact Jim Would at or call (920) 515-4155.

JP Morgan/Chase 2024 Business Leaders Outlook

Despite mixed economic signals, leaders remain steady, nimble and primed for opportunities. In the Chase’s annual survey, attitudes about the national economy were nearly evenly split between optimist, pessimism and neutrality. Uncertainty has been a hallmark of the markets in the post-pandemic era. Hiring and inflations challenges remain top of mind. Middle market leaders are increasingly exploring ways to adopt artificial intelligence and machine learning. Nearly half of companies are using or considering AI tools for 2024. Only 6 percent identified AI/machine learning as one of their business’ primary challenges.

Download Business Leaders Outlook
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