Black River Falls, WI— November 27, 2023 — Flash4, a privately owned label manufacturer located in the Black River Falls Industrial Park, is celebrating their 25th anniversary this year.
As part of the Jackson County Business Incubator Program, Flash4 was founded in 1998 by Dino and Kelly Valentino with one label printing press in a 2,000 square foot building. After outgrowing their initial leased space, Flash4 built its first manufacturing facility three years later. Additionally, Flash4 has expanded their original facility multiple times in 2016, 2017 & 2022. Over the past two and half decades, Flash4 has continued to manufacture in its original building, along with 2 added facilities, totaling 43,000 square feet and just under 50 employees. Starting out with just 1 blank press, Flash4 has since grown by investing in an additional 15 presses capable of handling a variety of supply chain solutions. Many of the goals set forth by Flash4's owners have been accomplished over the years, but that did not come without obstacles and lessons that were overcome. To achieve success, the company has stayed true to its core values of loyalty, relationships, and commitment.
Flash4 creates pre-printed labels, blank labels, and tags that are used in industries such as food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, health & beauty, industrial warehousing, and promotional items. Flash4 manufactures labels and tags that are used by consumers throughout the United States including: Amazon, Jennie-O Turkey Store, Gap, Target, Nestle, Ford Motor Company, Conagra, and 3M. In addition to earning the business of many globally recognized end users, Flash4 also appreciates the value and rewards of partnering with local companies such as Black River Falls High School, Krohn Clinic, Regal Beloit, Cummins, Sand Creek Brewery, Creekside Winery and our close neighbor, Positive Impressions.
With pioneering technology and a commitment to quality and innovation, Flash4 has remained ahead of the competition. Philip Cooper joined Flash4 19 years ago as a press operator and now serves as Vice President of Sales. “As the company's operations and services have grown, our core values have remained the same. Keeping our reputation at the forefront of what we do has always been Dino and Kelly's top priority. It would not have been possible without the talented team of employees we have; they are the backbone of our organization. To stay competitive in this business, you need to stand out and that is where we differ from most in this industry. We are committed to nurturing relationships, internally and externally, that we have built for decades. A successful business philosophy that will continue to propel us into the future,” explained Philip Cooper, VP of Sales.
“As we celebrate our 25th anniversary this year, our hearts are filled with gratitude as well as enthusiasm. Flash4 owes its success to its team of dedicated professionals who have worked tirelessly to ensure that the company's reputation stands out in the market. We have evolved from just my wife and I, to now a company with almost 50 employees producing roughly 300,000 miles of labels every year. (To put that into perspective the moon’s distance from Earth is 239,000 miles.) Easily, our employees remain our most valuable asset. We are very fortunate to have several employees that have been with us for many years including: Monica Dykstra (21 years), Bryan Knutson (19 years), Philip Cooper (19 years), Jessica Zeman (18 years), Miranda Cooper (15 years), James Wall (14 years), John Bolger (12 years), Joshua Smothers (11 years), Alene Forsting (8 years) and Issac Lowe (5 years). While many businesses struggled to stay afloat in 2020, it actually turned out to be our busiest year in Flash4 history. Not only was business booming, but it was also a big year for us in terms of onboarding new hires to join our team. Daniel Pokorny, Troy Rave, Tucker Rockwell, Karena Smothers, Lindsey Sipple and Jessica Rockwell all started at Flash4 in 2020. I am extremely proud and honored to have started this independent family-owned company where many of our family members have built a great career and life for themselves and their families. Where we stand today in year 25 is something to be proud of, and our biggest goal is to be even bigger and better in the next 25,” explained Founder and CEO Dino Valentino.
During Covid, the need for labels skyrocketed due to an increase in e-commerce and that need has not slowed down. “When most businesses were tapering down because of the pandemic, we ramped up our production because of the increase in online shopping, and that has not slowed down. To keep up with this continued demand, we are hiring new staff and creating new products to fulfill needs that our customers are asking for. No matter how great our company's vision or goals may be, they are meaningless without the right people to execute them. Therefore, it is crucial that Flash4 prioritizes hiring and retaining dedicated employees who are committed to the company's mission and values. By investing in quality employees, we can build a solid foundation for growth and continue to achieve long-term success,” said Jessica Rockwell, Human Resource Director.
“Having been here for over 20 years, I have seen change but what remains the same is the dedication from our owners, Dino and Kelly. They are great bosses and they have passed those skills onto Phil, Miranda, Jess, and Lindsey. They care a great deal about us and our customers too. I have never seen someone with so much commitment as them and that is why I enjoy working here,” described Monica Dykstra, Customer Care Coordinator.
Rhonda Lange, Shipping Lead at Flash4 further explains, “I enjoy coming to work every day and the people I work with; they truly are like family. I love to see what the day is going to bring. There is such a variety of tasks every day and the day just flies by. Our management team is a great group of people to work for as they really care about you as a person. I absolutely enjoy working at Flash 4.”
As Flash4 celebrates this significant milestone, it remains committed to its core values of loyalty, relationships and commitment. They are grateful for the trust and loyalty of their employees and customers, who have helped them to become the company they are today. The company looks forward to many more years of providing customers with exceptional label solutions that meet their unique needs as well as providing hard-working Western Wisconsin residents with a reliable and fulfilling work environment. As part of the celebration, Flash4 invites the public to like their Facebook page (www.facebook.com/flash4labels or the QR code listed below) and look for Black River Falls Chamber bucks giveaways starting on December 4, 2023,as a way of saying "thank you" to its supportive community.