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Wisconsin Business World Announces Winners of the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin Essay Contest

MADISON – Wisconsin Business World announced three winners of the Fall 2022 Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin Essay Contest and named two students as honorable mentions. The contest, sponsored by ITU AbsorbTech, centers around the theme “Business is a Force for Good,” and tasked students to research the “coolest” thing made in Wisconsin and explore how Wisconsin businesses impact their employees and their community in an essay of no more than 1,000 words.

The winners of Wisconsin Business World’s Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin Essay Contest:


Leo Burke – 12th grade – Joseph A. Craig High School
Samantha Lien – 9th grade – Barron High School
Ellie Lloyd – 12th grade – Arrowhead High School


Judges also awarded two honorable mention entries:


Olivia Czarnecki – 12th grade – Portage High School
Zach Lizan- 12th grade – Joseph A. Craig High School


“Not only do Wisconsin businesses produce some cool things, they create good-paying jobs, support communities across the state and drive our economy,” said Senior Director of Wisconsin Business World Michelle Grajkowski. “With this contest, we get to encourage students to identify a product they love and then take a deeper look at the significance of a business. We want our future workforce to see that Wisconsin is full of opportunity!”

The winning essays identified Festival Foods, Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery, Sargento Cheese, Harley Davidson, and Minocqua Popcorn & Puffs as companies that produce some of Wisconsin’s “coolest” products. Students also explored the company’s history, culture and economic impact in their essays.

“We’re pleased to sponsor this contest because it can really make a difference as young people are selecting good paths for the rest of their lives,” said ITU AbsorbTech President & CEO Jim Leef. “We encourage students to see not only the excellent products Wisconsin companies produce, but also the forces for good that these businesses are for their employees and communities. Wisconsin has a tremendous number of outstanding employers and is a great place for a career. Congratulations to our entrants, and to our winners!”

The contest was open to Wisconsin students in grades 6-12. All projects were submitted between October 25 – December 16, 2022. The winners received a $500 cash prize, and the honorable mention recipients were awarded a $100 cash prize.

Wisconsin Business World – a program of WMC Foundation – educates students on business, entrepreneurism and the free market through its statewide competitions, Summer Camps, one-day programs, online curriculum and classroom presentations. The Business World message is simple — Business is a Force for Good.

More information about Wisconsin Business World and its programs can be found at





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