PMG Employee Spotlight with Colleen B.

Colleen is an Administrative Receptionist who joined PMG just over a year ago.

About me

I was born and raised in Minnesota (just like PMG!) and enjoy baking a lot. I also love to travel and watch truly binge-worthy TV shows.

What are your main responsibilities as an Administrative Receptionist?

My main role has changed a bit with COVID19 because I don’t have to meet and greet as much as I do when I’m (physically) in the office. I’m often the first face people “see” when they interact with PMG, either on the phone or at the front door, so I’m always trying to set a good impression. Otherwise, I’m a jack of all trades who tries to help wherever I’m needed.

How did you learn about the opportunity with PMG?

I actually started as a temp recruiter in March of 2019 and helped on projects until I was able to transition into my current role full-time a few months later.

What do you like most about your job?

I enjoy getting to be part of different departments and tasks. From Sales to Lead Generation to Technical Solutions to Accounting – it’s fun to work with so many different people and be a part of everything without having to be fully invested in it all 100% of the time.

What do you like most about working for PMG?

I actually grew up in the hospitality and food service industry and I’ve never been a member of a corporate office anywhere. That’s been an enlightening and rewarding experience by itself. It’s also about the people here. We’re a younger office, in general, with great people and predominately female leadership. That is all important to me and unique in this industry. I’m really proud to be part of something so great, yet so different from the norm.

What are some hobbies you do in your free time?

I go on a lot of walks by myself. I enjoy my alone time. I choose not to drive, ever, so I like to explore things on foot. I do like a good restaurant or concert or show of some kind too.

Where is the best place you’ve traveled and why?

Probably New Orleans. I love that city. I went for a week by myself once. It has old charm but is designed to be a city where you can have a good time too.

What celebrity/inspirational person do you admire the most?

Reese Witherspoon. She always does a great job whether it’s as June Carter Cash or Elle Woods. I’ve never seen her in a bad movie.

What did you want to be when growing up?

I did want to be a princess at one point. I also wanted to live in a house by myself with no kids and live in peace. I have a good start on that thus far. Both of my parents always worked in restaurants so I grew up really wanting to do that as well.

You’re happiest when…

…it’s St. Patrick’s Day (I’m Irish) and I’m with my family.

What advice would you give to a recent new hire at PMG?

Take every opportunity given to you. Take that extra training day. If you don’t know how to do it, ask someone to teach you. You can never ask enough questions.

What’s your favorite restaurant and what must you order there?

My favorite restaurant is Saint Dinette in downtown St. Paul. Their cheeseburger is to die for!

Want to read more employee spotlights? Check out more posts on our blog!

Spring has sprung!

The grass is green again, the birds are chirping and we’re looking around our homes and yards, deciding what project to tackle first. If you work up the energy to start a project, look around you. You’ll likely come in contact with another type of spring – those often little, sometimes big, metal objects that store and absorb mechanical energy in a multitude of assemblies and components.

Pull out your bottle of all-purpose cleaner and you’ll find a spring in the trigger sprayer. Crank up your lawn mower and consider the springs that are playing critical roles in just how fast you mow. Springs are around us all year and doing big things in every season. For this version of How It’s Made with PMG, we’re talking springs.

Types of Springs

There are technically two types of springs – a stretched spring and a coiled spring.

  1. A stretched spring can be shown by using the example of a bow and arrow. By pulling the string back, tension is created on the bow (the spring) and the energy of the spring is transferred to the arrow.
  2. A coil spring is the most common type of spring and has been around since the first patent was secured for it, in 1763.

How are springs made?

Regardless of the types of coil springs (you can find that information here), the process for manufacturing springs is basically the same. Let’s spring into it.


Springs come in various materials including stainless steel, non-ferrous alloys (Monel, for example), high-temp alloys (such as Inconel), high carbon steel, other alloy steels, and even plastic.


Springs may seem like simple instruments, but the design of a spring is precise in nature and utilizes many mathematical equations. Important factors include wire composition, size, diameter, number of coils, required force and end application.


After designing and choosing a material, the next step is coiling. This is performed on coilers/coiling machines. These machines use cold winding operations to make most springs, but thicker wire or stock receives heat prior to winding operations. We call this hot winding.

Rather than trying to explain these machines in this article, I’ve found an excellent source online. Automated Industrial Motion (AIM) is a spring coiling and wire forming machine manufacturer who skillfully outlines how spring coiler machinery works.


Depending upon the type of wire used and the coiling process, springs are also hardened and tempered to remove negative internal stresses within the spring and to ensure the spring’s strength and ability to deform in use without breaking. This happens at very high temperatures for a specific amount of time.


The last steps in spring manufacturing is finishing. These steps include:

  1. Grinding: If the end of the spring wire requires flat ends, they go through an automated grinder
  2. Shot Peening: smooths the material and prepares the spring for coating operations
  3. Setting: fully compressing the spring to ensure length and stress load ability
  4. Coating: this step prevents corrosion and includes plating and coating
  5. Quality Control: inspection of the springs to ensure each meets quality control requirements and specifications

With all that said, spring forth and go see the process live and in action here!

Kim Mooney, Technical Manager & Coach

What changes will we see in the US food production industry?

You can’t miss the current impact of COVID on US food production. We see them everywhere as we watch TV updates or wait for our package of bacon at the deli counter. But which of these impacts will American food production still feel the most of in the post-coronavirus future? Here are three food industry changes that will persist long after the pandemic has passed.

Increased Traceability

Traceability is the systematic ability to trace the path of food ingredients and/or finished products throughout their entire life-cycle. This is done by using previously captured and stored records. These records catalog key data elements at critical tracking events.

Bryan Hitchcock of the Global Food Traceability Center says the concepts of traceability benefit agriculture with better real-time decision making. “Traceability tools and systems enable food and agriculture stakeholders to further digitize their supply chains, gaining deeper insights into optimization opportunities, sustainability impacts, and chain of custody…We see the digitization of supply chains further accelerating as the pandemic subsides.”

Basically, traceability brings the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) from the factory to the farm. There’s already recent demand for increased scrutiny of food production, mostly because of previous food safety recalls, consumer demand, and sustainability efforts. COVID didn’t create demand so much as it has increased this scrutiny.

Changing Retailer Habits

From social distancing to drive through pickup, coronavirus impacts food production most at the point of purchase. Sometimes that impact isn’t just in how goods are purchased, but on WHAT goods are purchased.

A Forbes article said BlueYonder reported that 87% of customers found products were out of stock when shopping. However, a survey by Shopkick found that 69% of customers bought brands new to them when their favorites sold out. Mass experimentation like this means that big brands built sales during the pandemic, but others may have built a new customer base for the future.

Changing Consumer Habits

Restaurant closures are one of the most obvious results of efforts to limit the spread of COVID. Americans will continue to practice many of the habits they develop today, in the future. Delivery and curbside options have grown tremendously, but so have the eat-at-home and eat-local movements. Where and how we eat our food isn’t our only change either. Individual establishments are placing greater emphasis on health and safety measures too.

According to this article, more than half of Americans EXPECT permanent changes at restaurants. These include more hand sanitizer dispensers and employees visibly cleaning once we return to restaurants.

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We may not have to worry about coronavirus contaminating our food, but COVID has already changed how, where, and when we get it. If you’re still worried about food safety, read more from the FDA here .

If you’re a producer currently affected by coronavirus, contact PMG here to learn how we can help.

Josh Erickson, ReTool & Technical Solutions Associate

As the old adage states, a picture is worth a thousand words, and in honor of national photography month, we wanted to give photography a shout out.  In a world that has a constant stream of social external influences, I’d like to use this shout out as an opportunity to influence your individual creativity.

Over the last year (plus some), PMG employees have shared some of their favorite photos as part of a fun team challenge. Whose did we like the best?

Below you’ll see the top voted photo of each quarter, with no caption or context. That, my friend, is where you and your creativity come in!

Take 5, and spend one minute looking at each photo.  How does it make you feel?  What does the photo remind you of?  What story does it tell?

In the next five minutes, please take this opportunity and spend a little more time beneath the surface.  Ready. Set. Go.

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Kelly Grohowski, Client Solutions Manager

How It’s Made

Welcome to the first edition of PMG’s “How It’s Made”. In this article, and each to come, we’ll detail and summarize the manufacturing process of anything and everything. Starting off is the now highly-coveted, in demand, flying-off-the-shelves product we call Toilet Paper!

With current demand considered, we should also remember we didn’t always have toilet paper. I recommend that you check out how toilet paper came to be.  It’s quite interesting. But that’s not what we’re here for.

This article is about how toilet paper is made. It’s a product used for its original, intended purpose but also many other purposes. This includes acting as a fill-in for facial tissue, wiping down the bathroom sink, removing makeup etc. These likely play into the numbers for (normal) consumption habits, that being: 57 sheets of toilet paper per day for an average consumer.  At that rate, a family of four would purchase a 12-pack of single ply, standard rolls, 20 times in a year. What’s your consumption rate?

With all that said, let’s roll it out! Pun intended.

How is toilet paper made?

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Toilet paper is just that – paper, and paper comes from wood. How toilet paper is made starts in the forest, moves on to the lumber mill, then the paper mill, and finally the manufacturing floor.


Hardwoods and softwoods are harvested from forests then shipped to the lumber mill. Typical papers are made of 70% hardwoods and 30% softwoods. Find the differences and types here. And yes, new trees are planted after harvesting.

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Lumber Mill

Harvested trees are debarked and chipped at the lumber mill then sent to the paper mill.

  • Debarking: the process in which the outer layer of the tree is removed. The preference here is to keep as much wood, as possible.
  • Chipping: the process in which debarked logs are placed into machines to create small, similarly-sized wood chips (usually around 1”x1/4” in dimension).

Paper Mill

Wood chips are processed into pulp and sheet then sent to manufacturing facilities. Wood chips arrive at the paper mills in batches and are “cooked” with chemicals for the purpose of removing moisture and creating a pulp. The pulp goes through further processing to include more chemical processing, washing, and bleaching. More water is added creating a paper stock which then moves through a series of rolling equipment to, yet again, reduce the water and moisture levels through a series of heating and drying processes, ultimately creating matted fiber sheets. These sheets are then wound onto jumbo reels (some that weigh as much as five tons) which are then sent to manufacturing facilities.

Manufacturing Facility

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The large reels of sheets are unwound, slit to size, and rewound onto cardboard tubes. The tubes are very large in size and must be slit yet again to the dimensions of your standard toilet paper roll, which is 4.5” x 4.5”. From here, the rolls are conveyed to stacking and packaging equipment creating the very product you see (or sometimes don’t see) on your store shelves.

To see it live and in person, check out this video from George Pacific, one of the largest paper manufacturing companies and those responsible for the toilet paper branded Angel Soft and Quilted Northern.

Kim Mooney, Technical Manager & Coach

B13… I26… N37… G54… O71

For the month of April, we kept employees engaged and ‘together’ courtesy of a Wellness Initiative.  We played BINGO!  The goal was to challenge everyone to think outside the box and try something new during this crazy time in our life and then share it with the rest of us!

Since all of our corporate employees are working remotely from home, we asked them to take a picture of themselves in their home office, to finish a home project, to virtually tour a national park, to build a fort, to call a family member they hadn’t talked to in a while, to play a board game, to watch something that made them laugh, to have a dance party, and to lift weights with anything they happened to have around the house.  Below are just some of the great pictures we got.

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Interested in adding a BINGO Wellness Initiative at your company?

Check out our BINGO Board for inspiration!

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