‘Wimpy Kid’ series nominated for “Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin”

By Patrick Lynn

Worzalla is one of several companies across the state to be recognized in the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce’s annual “Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin” contest.

The Stevens Point-based book publisher has been nominated for its production of the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series, a No. 1 New York Times best-selling children’s book series authored by Jeff Kinney and published by Amulet Books. Worzalla has printed millions of copies of each book in the series since 2007, most recently the 13th book in the series, “Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid: Rowley Jefferson’s Journal”, which was released in April.

The contest, which highlights the state’s manufacturing sector, is now in its fourth year. Voting began Sept. 9.

“The entire state will be voting on their favorite thing made in Wisconsin starting on Monday, and Worzalla is asking the Central Wisconsin community to vote for their entry,” a press release from Worzalla reads in part.

“It’s thanks to our talented and dedicated associates that we are able to create these books to share with children across the country,” said Jim Fetherston, president and CEO of Worzalla. “We hope the local community will support us by casting their vote for Worzalla.”

Fetherston said each new book in the “Diary” series requires about 40 million linear feet of paper, which when laid out end to end is 7,889 miles, roughly the distance from Stevens Point, Wisconsin, to Manila, Philippines. Each book requires about 450,000 pounds of ink and upwards of 7,500 manhours.

In the first round of public voting for the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin contest, popular vote from September 9-15 will determine the top 16 products that will be placed in a bracket-style tournament called “Manufacturing Madness.”

Products will compete against one another in head-to-head match-ups, and the products that receive the highest votes in each match-up will advance to the next round.

Winners will be announced at the WMC Foundation’s Business & Industry Luncheon at State Fair Park in Milwaukee on October 8.