Walsworth CEO Don O. Walsworth and President Don Walsworth announced that their family-owned company would be spending the rest of this year celebrating its 85th anniversary. Walsworth, one of the top book, magazine, and catalog printing companies in the U.S., unveiled plans for a series of events commemorating the company’s history, celebrating employees, and looking forward to a bright future.
For the rest of 2022, Walsworth will celebrate by giving back through employee appreciation and civic investment, while continuing to encourage employees to also give back to their communities.
Current and former employees will gather at each of the company’s printing facilities for an employee event later in the year. Starting in March, the company plans to feature weekly employee spotlights on its websites and social media, showcase customer spotlights and encourage community service to build on their success, and prioritize their future to show that the first 85 years are just the beginning.
As a printer with a rich history of working with schools and education, Walsworth’s focus for giving back will be on programs that promote literacy and reading, working with local programs in each of the company’s six locations, and encouraging employees to give a few hours of their time to work with a literacy program or volunteer to read.
“I’m glad to have been part of the growth that has taken us to where we are, employing more than 1,200 people and working with customers from all over the country,” CEO Don O. Walsworth said. “Our ongoing success is because of our people who go above and beyond every day, and this anniversary year is the perfect time to show them how much we value them and to show our communities as well.”
Walsworth prints millions of yearbooks, catalogs, magazines, books, and more that make their way across the country and globe. The company is now:
- A top 3 yearbook printer in the U.S.
- The No. 3 book printer in the U.S. and Canada*
- The No. 4 magazine printer in the U.S. and Canada*
- The No. 31 largest printer in the U.S. and Canada*
Through all the growth under the Walsworth family’s continuous leadership, the focus has always remained on
the people who make the company great.
“It’s the people who are part of Walsworth – employees, customers, and suppliers – who make our company
truly exceptional,” President Don Walsworth said. “It’s about more than the printed product for us. My
grandfather’s vision has woven its way throughout our company, and we all strive to live up to the incredible legacy he created.”
Over the decades, Walsworth has grown into a powerhouse of print, spanning locations in Marceline, Missouri; Brookfield, Missouri; Fulton, Missouri; Overland Park, Kansas; St. Joseph, Michigan and Ripon, Wisconsin, and employing thousands of individuals over the years. It changed the economic landscape of Marceline and nearby Brookfield, and the company has kept many in the area employed. The corporate offices are still located where it all began, in downtown Marceline.
The company legacy includes prioritizing community investment. Don O. Walsworth likes to say, “Our people make the difference.” That’s why multiple generations of families have worked for Walsworth, and more than 400 current employees have worked for the company for more than 20 years. They’ve seen the value Walsworth adds to their communities.
When the Marceline community proposed the creation of a community center and had challenges raising enough funds, Don O. Walsworth donated money, and the Walsworth Family Foundation continues to provide ongoing financial support to keep the center running. The Walsworth Community Center ties the community together as a place for kids to go after school and for local community events, such as weddings, banquets, blood drives, flu shot clinics, and more.
In Brookfield, Walsworth donated the money needed to revitalize the eastern half of Twin Parks. This park, which is a source of pride in the Brookfield community, is located in the town center and divided by Main Street. The company donation covered the construction of an events pavilion, which bears the Walsworth name. Since being revitalized, the park hosts many special events and is a regular gathering point for children and families to enjoy outdoor activities.
In Marceline and Brookfield, Walsworth also matches employee contributions to the local Marceline Community Chest and Brookfield Community Chest each year. The Community Chest organizations were set up by each town for the purpose of coordinating local organizations’ fundraising into one yearly campaign.
“The overarching mission of this organization is to create a higher quality of life, stronger business environment, and greater economic opportunity locally,” Brookfield Community Chest President and Walsworth press manager Drew Elliott said. “Walsworth has always been very supportive of both the Brookfield and Marceline Community Chests over the years. The company matches each employee’s contribution dollar for dollar, which doubles the amount of each gift.”
All money stays local, and most of the organizations are geared towards helping the youth, elderly, lower-income, and at-need individuals. As an additional incentive, for every $5 an employee contributes, they are entered into a drawing for a bonus day of vacation. This year, 21 bonus days were awarded.
In addition to the commitments made in each community, Walsworth also sponsors a scholarship program for
the children or grandchildren of employees. It’s an investment that is changing future generations, and, to date, Walsworth has awarded 210 scholarships worth over $2,382,000.
“When [Walsworth] presented us the scholarship of $16,000, we were taken aback. This scholarship will be life-changing for our son. With the COVID-19 pandemic going on and the economy not so good, Walworth could have very well not offered these scholarships. But they stayed true to being a family business and caring for
their employees’ families and offered scholarships in these trying times,” Walsworth perfect bind operator Jon Stellmacher said.
Bindery supervisor John Bell agreed with Stellmacher’s sentiments. Three of Bell’s children have received
“When our children received the Walsworth scholarship, it was exhilarating and provided a great sense of relief knowing that part of their college education is funded. This is an extremely competitive scholarship and
tremendously generous of the Walsworth family. We hope they know how much it is appreciated,” Bell said.