Valerie Fricke honored as All-Star Mentor

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Northeast Wisconsin Manufacturing Alliance recognizes Nicolet Plastics process tech

Times Herald Staff

Val Fricke stands out as a trainer and mentor of her Nicolet Plastics co-workers, company officials said.

An employee of Nicolet Plastics in Mountain was honored as an All-Star Mentor during the sixth annual Northeast Wisconsin Manufacturing Alliance “Excellence in Manufacturing” event Oct. 25 in Green Bay.

The event at the KI Convention Center showcased top talent from local manufacturing companies.

Valerie Fricke, an employee of Nicolet Plastics for 16 years, started in production on third shift, moved into a team leader role and, recently, “found her calling” as a process technician level 1, said Lisa Pichotta, human resources manager at Nicolet Plastics, who nominated Fricke for the award.

“As a process tech, Val also has the opportunity to train others. She plays an active role in not only training our many summer interns, but also making them feel welcome,” Pichotta said. “She takes the time to welcome and support all new employees including myself, even though that is not her official responsibility. She simply likes to help others.”

This year, Fricke volunteered to take on the responsibility of training other employees in the company’s newly created Quick Changeover Artist role, which aims to improve efficiencies in the manufacturing process.

“We could not have made this important progress without her technical skills, leadership skills and overall organizational skills,” Pichotta said. “In addition to this important responsibility, she has also assisted with mentoring new and existing female employees by being a role model, showing female coworkers that they also have the opportunity to gain additional technical skills to further their career while helping to fill our skills gap.”