Simply Put — A Spotlight on Family-Owned Wisconsin Businesses

Award-winning photographer Carl Corey recently visited WORZALLA for a press OK on his new book, For Love and Money, Portraits of Wisconsin Family Businesses, published by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press.

Carl Corey - For Love and Money - Front Cover

Carl Corey’s For Love and Money

For Love and Money showcases Wisconsin family-owned businesses in existence for fifty years or longer.  Through his lens and his talent, Mr. Corey provides indelible glimpses of an increasingly endangered way of life.

The Forward, by Michael Perry, states, “These are people who know what it is to be in charge of the inventory and the broom.”  He finishes with: “Look at the logger again, his leather coat so worn to his work that it has taken on wrinkles and a posture of its own, not unlike the hide of a rhino.  There is something in that coat and something in that logger’s eyes that say, yes, I know there are better ways to survive, but this is my way, and furthermore:  define better.”

WORZALLA is an independent, employee-owned, mid-size book manufacturer doing business in Stevens Point, Wisconsin since 1892 – the first 100 years as a family-owned business, the past 27 as an employee-owned business.  We can identify with the folks in these photos, and we are proud to be the manufacturer of this book.

While visiting our facility, Mr. Corey took photos of WORZALLA associates for possible inclusion in another project he is working on.   Blue – A Portrait of the American Worker, is a collection of photos spotlighting the American hourly worker.  Mr. Corey has photographed workers from all walks of life.  We were thrilled to participate, and hope to see some of our associates featured in the final product, and of course, we hope to have the honor of manufacturing Blue when it is ready to go to press.

To learn more about Carl Corey and Blue, visit his website!

Jeanne Trebatowski, Aster Sewer Operator at WORZALLA.

Jeanie Trebatoski, Aster Sewer Operator at WORZALLA. This photo is part of Carl Corey’s collection, “Blue – A Portrait of the American Worker.”

For Love and Money will soon be available for purchase through the Wisconsin Historical Society Press.

A Commitment to Creating Jobs in America

Dining at the White House-From the President's Table to Yours

WORZALLA sales representative Rick Hanaway received a holiday newsletter from our customer, LifeReloaded Specialty Publishing in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  Their title, Dining at the White House – From the President’s Table to Yours by Chef John Moeller, was printed and bound at WORZALLA.

Buy Now From Amazon

LifeReloaded creates jobs in America by only printing in the USA, something that we heartily applaud at 100% employee-owned WORZALLA of Stevens Point, Wisconsin, USA! Check out their article — Creating Jobs in America — featuring photos of the WORZALLA facility.

Excerpts From The LifeReloaded Newsletter –

Dining at the White House-From the President’s Table to Yours was launched on September 24, 2013.   The response has been overwhelmingly positive. In early December it reached  #1 best seller in category on Amazon. A second printing arrived in the warehouse this week.

Dining At The White House Amazon Best Seller
The recipe section is particularly popular. Each recipe is one that Chef John personally created and served at the White House. In each case, the recipe is accompanied by the menu card which shows when and to whom this meal was served.  Many people have told LifeReloaded that they are planning to recreate the 2004 White House Holiday dinner for their own families and friends this season.

Dining At The White House Recipes
Creating Jobs In AmericaCreating Jobs In America –
Every project at LifeReloaded Specialty Publishing is an All American Production, and has been since our beginning in 2004. This includes the creation of eBooks and printing of traditional books.

We work with a network of associates across the country who provide services for editing, design, web services, graphics and artwork, printing, photography, shipping and warehousing etc.

The production of just this one book-Dining At The White House-created more than one full year of paid jobs for our associates.

It’s more than a book . . . it’s YOUR book. Come to a printer who understands.

What do Spaghetti, Birds and Baseball Have in Common?

Three great books — manufactured at WORZALLA — all winning PPN Book Show Awards.

Publishing Professionals Network (PPN) selected each of these titles for a Recognition of Merit. The awards will be presented at the upcoming PPN Book Show in January 2014.

Award Title_SpaghettiCongratulations to Little Pickle Press, publisher of Spaghetti is NOT a Finger Food (and other life lessons) — written by Jodi Carmichael and illustrated by Sarah Ackerley. This hilarious chapter book chronicles a typical school day that is anything but typical for an eight-year-old boy with Asperger’s Syndrome. Through his personal dialogue, a day in the life of Connor is written in fourteen life lessons. Written with clear perspectives of Connor, his teachers and classmates, it helps the reader to understand the thought process of a “quirky” kid.


Don’t Judge a Bird by its Feathers, written and illustrated by teenager Tori Nighthawk, is another deserving winner of the PPN Recognition of Merit. This is a story of Phoenix, a rather plain bird who can’t dance well, but who wishes to capture the heart of Luminous, the most beautiful bird of paradise in the Highlands of New Guinea. This book teaches children that surface appearances are far less important than character. Congratulations to Tori and to our customer, Anne Stone Publishing.

NightB4BaseballOur third award-winner is a special book we did for the San Francisco Giants — The Night Before Baseball at the Park by the Bay, written by David Schnell and illustrated by Macky Pamintuan. This beautiful book is written in verse, describing in detail a little boy’s dream of being a major league pitcher and pitching as the “closer” on Opening Day at ‘the park by the bay.’ The Giants gave away 10,000 copies of this book to their fans at their July 6, 2013 game in an effort to spread the joy found in families reading together.

The Publishing Professionals Network (PPN), founded as Bookbuilders West in 1969, is a nonprofit trade association supporting book and book-related publishing in the 13 Western states. The PPN Annual Book Show is where the best publications are recognized for excellence in design and manufacturing quality.

We are proud to add these three wonderful books to our ever-growing collection of award-winning and high profile titles printed and bound at WORZALLA, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, USA!

Chet Plaski Presses On



After 45 years of distinguished service, Chet Plaski has announced his retirement from Worzalla.

“We owe Chet so much for the contributions he has made in the pressroom, on our board and especially with the relationships he’s developed with our customers over the years. He has had a major role in making Worzalla the company it is today”, stated Jim Fetherston, President & CEO.

Looking Back:  Chet began his career with Stevens Point, WI based WORZALLA on December 4, 1967, back in the days of Linotype printing.  His first position was “Lockup Boy,” taking the lead-type pages from the Composing Room and arranging them in print format for the press. He would then disassemble the type and return it to Linotype.

By 1971 Chet received his Journeyman Card in Letterpress and transferred into the Offset department spending six months on the night shift before moving back to days as a Feeder. With the opening of the company’s new pressroom in 1975 he was promoted to Pressman, running the Miehle M-25, the Multilith, and the Miller TP-38 presses. In 1981 WORZALLA purchased the Miller 54-4 four-color press and Chet went back on the night shift as a Working Foreman, running the 54-4. The company also entered the web market with a Hantscho four-color web press.

On December 31, 1986, the company became 100% employee-owned, sparking a period of tremendous growth. The pressroom welcomed a new Manroland 800 press. The legendary Frank Anderko (former VP-Manufacturing, who died in 1997) promoted Chet to Night Plant Superintendent. Chet began working directly with customers, handling press OK’s on the evening shifts. By 1990 the 806 and 802 presses, both also from Manroland, had come along and played a big part in growing the business. The web pressroom was expanded in 1992 to include a Timsons one-color web press, with a second Timsons to follow in 1998.

In 1993 WORZALLA decided to expand and bought the Bookbinders plant in Eatontown, New Jersey, and installed two Manroland presses — an 800 six-color and a 600 46C — in that facility. When that division closed in 1994, both presses were shipped west and installed at WORZALLA’s plant in Stevens Point.

When long-time Press Superintendent Bernie Peterson retired in 2003 Chet moved back to days and took over the department as the Press Room Manager.

“The change in technology over the years has been amazing – overwhelming,” stated Chet. “In particular, the advent of imagesetters was a huge technology leap. When we left film behind it made printing so much easier.”

In just the past year, Chet has overseen an expansion of the company’s web press room with the successful installation of two web presses, a Manroland Lithoman and Rotoman that are significantly increasing web capacity.

When Chet was just starting out working with customers, he got some good advice from sales representative Peter Kimball – “Always be honest, don’t BS the customer.” Chet says he never forgot that advice, and customers today still count on Chet’s disarming ability to shoot straight.

Over the years Chet has developed great relationships with customers big and small. “A lot of customers I still deal with today were with us when I became a supervisor in the 1980’s,” Chet commented. WORZALLA has enjoyed longstanding relationships with Capstone, Disney, Harpercollins, Harris, Houghton, Little Brown, and Disney, to name a few. In more recent years Chet has established close relationships with folks at Abrams, Hachette, Random House, and National Geographic. Working closely with these people for so many years, when someone couldn’t come in for a press OK, they were comfortable that Chet would know what they wanted and could do the OK inhouse. “I’m honored to have earned that trust from our customers,” he commented. “It’s not an easy thing to do.”

Chet has also had the pleasure of working with famous children’s book authors and illustrators on many award-winning books — Alan Say, Steven Kellogg, Bernard Waber, David Weisner, Marc Brown, Kevin Henkes, Jeff Kinney and just recently, Jessica Lange.

Chet commented that he has been fortunate to work with so many wonderful people over the years. He will always remember former sales reps Alan Laming and Peter and Anne Kimball. When asked about WORZALLA people he admired most, he immediately responded, “Frank Anderko – he was strict, fair, and showed compassion to his co-workers.”

Many Hats:  There is no doubt Chet has been a valuable leader in our press operation. But he has done much more for every associate here, with his 27 years of service on the WORZALLA Board of Directors. When the employees purchased the company in 1986 a new Board was formed, consisting of three management and three non-management directors. Chet was a founding director, and served in that capacity through July of 2013. He also served as a Trustee of the ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan).

Chet’s volunteer service on the WORZALLA Board of Directors helped to guide and grow the company, and helped us all to weather the occasional downturns in business and changes in the industry.

Looking Ahead:  And what lies ahead for Chet? Some personal time. Chet and his wife, Joyce, have two children – Wayne and Jennifer – and four grandchildren. “I still have my ‘part time’ job on the farm,” he stated. “I think I will probably look up Greg Mykisen (retired Production Control Manager) to try to hook a free stay at his cabin – maybe try the same thing with Bernie Peterson (retired Press Superintendent) too.”

When asked if he had any advice for us for the future, Chet stated, “Change is here. I want to encourage everyone to hang in there. I think it’s a good place to work. My hope is that this company survives and grows and what we are going through now is going to help build the business to become secure as a leader in the industry. I would really feel good knowing that in 10-20 years to come, this place is still going strong. I think we have a good management team in place that will make it happen.”

“Worzalla has always been quality-driven. The customer has always been Number One around here, and that is what has kept us around for such a long time. If we continue doing that – if every person here continues doing that – that is what’s going to keep us around a lot longer.”

Chet himself will still be around for a few months to assist in implementing a changeover in department management, and to keep several initiatives moving forward. So there will be time to stop in, thank him for his contribution, and wish him well in his retirement.

Proud to Fly the Flag at WORZALLA

A 35-foot flagpole was recently erected on the northeast lawn of WORZALLA’s headquarters on Jefferson Street in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.

WORZALLA associates are proud to be flying the Star Spangled Banner above our facility.

An honor guard from the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) Greater Plover Post #10262 conducted a dedication ceremony on September 27 as several associates were on hand to watch the flag being raised while the bugler ‘played to the colors.’

WORZALLA CEO Jim Fetherston stated, “We dedicate this flag to our associates who have served our country, and to those associates who have family members serving in the military. We are grateful for your service, for your sacrifice, and truly honored to work beside you.”

The suggestion to install a flagpole was made by Carolyne Hovel, from our Prepress Department. She participated in the ceremony, carrying the flag to the honor guard. She stated that her father — a WWII Navy veteran — had always flown a flag, and she will remember him when she catches sight of the flag when coming to work.

WORZALLA, a 100% employee-owned company, has been manufacturing high quality books and printed materials for our customers for over a century. We’re proud of our country, proud of our quality, and always proud to say, “Made in the USA.”

Digital Dynamics

Worzalla is working with the modern demands of the printed world through our digital printing options.  Why is having a printer who offers digital advantageous with today’s marketing platforms?  The following four points explain why digital printing makes for an efficient option when it comes to getting your product on the market.

1.  Trickle Inventory

Some products are not needed in mass quantities, but may be needed continuously over a period of time.  This is where  trickle inventory comes in.  Trickle inventory is getting multiple smaller orders that can be used more efficiently at the moments they are needed.  Backlist titles are often run digitally as it is more cost effective in the supply-and-demand chain.

2. Customization and Personalized Products 

With digital printing, products can be customized/personalized to fit the customer’s needs.  This can be for an entire order or just for static portions of an order.  The customer can focus his or her products more effectively by getting the exact product that he or she needs.  A customized/personalized product makes reaching the broader range of more individualized audiences that is becoming the norm possible.

3. Marketing Made Simpler

Having the option of doing smaller runs with more personalized options allows for new marketing options.  Having a small run done for a book promo or signing is a great way to test out the design of your book on your audiences.  This is a wonderfully efficient  way of receiving feedback.  For example, one customer of ours was at a book release and noticed how people would walk up to one of his tables, look at the book, and put it back.  He realized that the design of the cover was creating a bit of confusion.  It was very similar to a book he had previously had published and people were mistaking the new release for the previous one.  A quick design modification made for less confusion and better marketing.

4. Same Quality and Options

Our digital solutions offers all the advantages of printing digital offers, and includes the option of printing hardcover books. Adhesive binding on all our digital runs makes for an additional economic advantage when it comes to digitally printing with Worzalla.  And, of course, all our digital runs are guaranteed to be of the same quality that has come to be expected of us.

Working with today’s printing trends, rather than against them, Worzalla is dedicated to fast, quality digital printing with long run options.  Contact us for further information on how our digital printing department can help you market your products more efficiently.