MADISON – Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) – the combined state chamber and manufacturers’ association – partnered with Johnson Financial Group to announce this year’s Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin: the Bevi Bottleless Water Dispenser, manufactured by Plexus Corp. in Appleton. Plexus was crowned the winner at WMC’s annual Business Day event on Thursday in Madison.
WMC and Johnson Financial Group have partnered for eight years to host the statewide contest, and the competition has drawn over 1.3 million votes since its inception. This year, over 187,000 votes were cast to determine the ultimate winner.
In addition to selecting a winner, the annual contest is meant to draw attention to Wisconsin’s robust and diverse manufacturing industry and the rewarding careers available throughout the state. Wisconsin’s manufacturing industry contributes roughly $70 billion to the state’s economy and employs nearly 1 in 6 Wisconsin workers – more than any other economic sector. The Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin culminates each October, in celebration of Manufacturing Month.
“The Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin contest continues to showcase the best of Wisconsin manufacturing,” said WMC President & CEO Kurt R. Bauer. “Not only do our manufacturers produce a wide variety of products used all over the world, they provide high-paying jobs, invest in their communities and bolster our state’s economy. Congratulations to all of this year’s nominees and especially to the entire team at Plexus!”
Over 100 products were nominated for the contest this year, representing dozens of manufacturing sub-sectors and each corner of the state. After an initial popular vote round and a bracket-style tournament known as “Manufacturing Madness,” four finalists competed for the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin trophy.
“Northeast Wisconsin truly made their mark in this year’s competition and was well represented in the top four. Congratulations to Plexus and their Bevi Bottleless Water Dispenser! This is something that every business needs,” added Johnson Financial Group President & CEO Jim Popp. “Plexus’ unwavering commitment to craftsmanship and innovation is a testament to the spirit of manufacturing in Wisconsin. Thank you to WMC for continuing to showcase the dedication to quality and excellence from all of our finalists and reminding us of all of the Coolest Things made in Wisconsin.”
The Bevi Bottleless Water Dispenser is a smart water dispenser that offers on-demand filtered, flavored and sparkling water with a mission to unbottle the future. Bevi offers users the ability to customize their hydration, and users have saved over 400 million single-use plastic bottles to date.
“The Bevi Bottleless Water Dispenser combines sustainability and innovation to vastly reduce the carbon footprint of its end-users, embodying our vision to help create the products that build a better world. This product, manufactured at our facility in Appleton, is representative of our global team’s dedication and commitment in bringing that vision to life,” remarked Plexus CEO Todd Kelsey. “We are proud to have Bevi honored by WMC and the state of Wisconsin as the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin.”