DON WALSWORTH III -- Selling Peace of Mind
Rick Jensen, a sales/publications specialist with industry supplier xpedx, has known Walsworth for 22 years and considers him to be a quiet, yet intense, individual.
"He's not a screamer or a yeller, just quietly very aggressive," Jensen says. "Don lets the people who work for him lead the way, then he comes into the picture if things aren't going well. He runs and works out, and always seems to be going from point A to point B quickly."
Doug Henry, superintendent of the Tarkio (MO) school district, first met Walsworth while a principal at Brookfield (MO) High School, the same town that houses Walsworth Publishing's prepress facilities. Henry feels Walsworth and his staff go far beyond what is expected of a product and service provider, calling the company an educational partner.
"Don and (son) Ed were the driving force behind our school getting into the graphic arts and offering it as a vocational program," Henry says. "Don invested in our school, giving us computers. He cares about the kids and gives back to the community.
"He gives out six principal awards each year for being a consummate professional," he adds. "That, to me, speaks volumes about Don and his company."
Henry notes that graduating children of Walsworth employees can apply for scholarship money towards college tuition. To date, the company has given out more than $800,000 toward students' tuition.
|Now boasting nearly $85 million in sales, Don Walsworth (seated) and son Don Jr. have led Walsworth Publishing to become much more than just a producer of high school yearbooks.|
Perhaps the primary challenge Walsworth faces is the pace of technology and the cost of maintaining the highest level it offers. In the last three-plus years, the company has invested more than $30 million.
"If you don't stay on the cutting edge, I'm afraid you'll get lost in the shuffle," Walsworth maintains. "We have great people here analyzing it constantly. A couple of our employees concentrate solely on new products, methods, new techniques and material. They travel the country and the world to do that, and that's how we stay abreast of the market.