Sellars Award 2023
John Reineking, operations manager for Sellars Absorbent Materials, has been named a “Rising Star in Manufacturing” by BizTimes magazine.

John Reineking, operations manager for Sellars Absorbent Materials, has been named a “Rising Star in Manufacturing” by BizTimes magazine. Sellars is a Milwaukee-based manufacturer of wipes, absorbents and towel and tissue products with 200 employees.

Reineking joined Sellars in 2013 as a scheduler after earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration, finance and supply chain management from the University of Wisconsin — Milwaukee. Within a year, he was promoted to a process engineer at one of Sellars’ manufacturing facilities. Since then, he’s established himself as a dedicated and insightful leader and mentor who produces significant results.

“When John came to the manufacturing facility, it was ripe for innovative ideas and he delivered by improving quality by 50 percent and reducing waste by 28 percent during a three-year period,” says Julie Graverson, chief manufacturing operations officer at Sellars.

In addition, Reineking led projects that generated a 32% increase in operator bonus pay over the past two years.

“All of John’s impressive work over the years has led to his current position as operations manager,” said Graverson. “He has a bright future of leadership with Sellars.”

Reineking is also involved in Sellars’ IR Second Chance Program, which works with Milwaukee County to provide work release opportunities for incarcerated individuals.

“John views these individuals in a light that allows them to be seen and respected and prosper personally and professionally. I am proud of John for this admirable quality as a leader,” says Graverson.

In addition, Reineking helps lead the Competency Based Training program (CBT), which provides a career roadmap for IR operators to thrive by providing long-term employment and family-supporting wages.

"This program delivers a great future for all IR machine operators, including second chance employees," says Allen Hagen, IR training specialist at Sellars. “In his 10-plus years with Sellars, John continues to evolve as a leader and establish a positive work ethic for his team. He displays an unwavering passion for the manufacturing process and a commitment to excellence in safety and quality while being accessible, compassionate and a strong mentor.”