March is Women’s History Month and to wrap up the celebration, we wanted to shine the spotlight on a couple of Dunn Paper’s women in leadership roles: Deb Doubek, a Logistics Supervisor, and Sherril Mayton, a Mill Manger.
Doubek: Hello, my name is Deb Doubek. I am the Logistic Supervisor at Dunn Paper in Menominee, MI. I have been at this mill for 15 years, though I did take a bit of a hiatus after 10 years and worked at GENCO (now FedEx) for a few years. I have an associate degree in Supply Chain Management, and I earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration several years ago after the age of 50. I also have a passion for sustainability.
Mayton: I am Sherrill Mayton, Mill Manager at our Wiggins, MS mill. I have been with Dunn Paper for 13 years, with 18 months at the Natural Dam mill and 11 years in Wiggins. I started out with Weyerhaeuser in Springfield, Oregon as an hourly employee and eventually took a salaried position at the mill before moving on to the corporate office and then back into the mills. I have worked in 7 different mills across the U.S.
How did you get into the paper industry and how has your career evolved over time?
Doubek: I got interested in the paper industry in 1995 because I had a friend who worked here. I, like many people, went through numerous positions including Engineering Secretary, Production Secretary, etc. At that time, there were several rounds of downsizing and I always kept my head up for more opportunity and tried to keep my skills sharp. One day the Transportation Manager was downsized and there was an opportunity to learn a new field and a career logistics person was born!
Mayton: I started in the paper industry as a summer hire and transitioned to a spare hand on the paper machine. I worked as an hourly employee for 5 years before taking a salaried position at the mill. My next stop was corporate where I spent 5 years. My passion was being in a mill so when there was an opportunity to be part of a greenfield start-up, I took it, even though it meant moving to the mid-west. We successfully started up 2 paper machines in just over a year and it was the most rewarding, most intense, and proudest time in my career. From there I took positions of increasing responsibility until I became a Production Manager and then Mill Manager at Dunn Paper’s Natural Dam mill and finally Mill Manager at the Wiggins Mill.
Did you have a mentor or influential person throughout your career?
Doubek: I have had many great mentors and people that have influenced me. Tony Cicero was the Engineering Manager shortly after I came to the mill. He had a knack for coaching people like no one I had ever seen.
Mayton: For women there are very few mentors or influencers in the paper industry. My family has been the biggest influence on my career, supporting me when they did not understand what I was doing or why I was moving to progress my career.
What is something you wish young professionals knew now?
Doubek: I wish young professionals knew that in 30 years, their jobs will look completely different. Do not fear change. Do not worry about job security. Keep your skills sharp and your body healthy and the rest will follow. On a financial note, take advantage of your 401K and HSA. Start saving young!
Mayton: Education is great but hands on experience connects the dots. Do not be afraid to take risks and do what others won’t.
What books/podcasts are you reading/listening to right now?
Doubek: I am currently reading: The Plant Power Doctor by Dr. Gemma Newman, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster by Bill Gates, and my “go-to” podcasts are: The Dave Ramsey Show, The Rich Roll Podcast, and Afford Anything: Build a Better Life with Paula Pant.
Mayton: Currently I am reading Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin.