In 1976, Bob and Judy Worrell embarked on a journey to bring forth their vision to create a product development firm devoted to helping brands through innovative design. Forty years, an international office expansion and an impressive and diverse client roster later, Owner Bob Worrell, and President and CEO, Kai Worrell, have shaped the company into a multinational design firm dedicated to healthcare innovation.
This year marks a special milestone for Worrell as we celebrate our 40th anniversary. Here, we reflect on the awards, offices, people and projects that have defined our legacy, while hinting towards our future aspirations.
To commemorate this accomplishment, please join us for an evening of drinks, memories, toasts and more at Worrell’s headquarters in NE Minneapolis. RSVP here.
1976: Two years after designing the still untouched Bobcat logo, Bob Worrell and his wife, Judy, launch Worrell Design.
1979: Worrell reaches international acclaim after helping establish Kroy Lettering System as the market leader in the presentation business.
Worrell’s design work wins several awards during this period, including IDSA’s International Design Excellence Award.
1985: Worrell Wins Time Magazine’s most prestigious Top 10 Designs Award.
Bob receives his first IDEA Gold Award for consumer product design.
Worrell moves its headquarters to the River Market in downtown Minneapolis.
1987: Worrell purchases its first milling machine and officially adds prototyping to its list of in-house capabilities.
1990: Judy Worrell is recognized in Who’s Who of American Women for her leadership and contribution to the company’s growth for the second year in a row.
1991: After adding an engineering team, Worrell moves to a 6,000 sq. ft. office in Eden Prairie, MN.
To better understand client product needs, Worrell develops CENSYS™, a proprietary predictive modeler and quantitative research tool.
1994: Worrell works with VideoLabs to design a wildly successful new videoconference system which was unveiled at the first MacWorld conference.
1999: Worrell pairs up with Boston Scientific to develop a handheld device, called the Patient Activator, which allows patients to detect atrial fibrillation event and administer a shock via an implanted cardiac defibrillator. This marks the beginning of a long-term partnership between the two companies.
2004: Bob is named one of the 100 Most Notable People by the medical device industry.
2005: Worrell moves into a 30,000 sq. ft. warehouse located in the Arts District in Northeast Minneapolis.
2005: Worrell collaborates with Boston Scientific to design a user-facing Remote Communicator System. The system serves as a connection between a patient and the clinician to remotely broadcast alerts from the patient’s cardiac device to the clinician.
2007: Kai Worrell opens the first international office in Shanghai to serve China and other emerging markets.
2008: Worrell partners with Evan and Eric Edwards, brothers and co-founders of Intelliject (now Auvi-Q®), to create an epinephrine injector to treat life-threatening allergic reactions.
2008: Worrell acquires Gad Shaanan Design, a Montreal-based design and innovation company with offices in Canada and San Diego.
2010: Kai Worrell is appointed President and CEO.
2011: Kai Worrell co-founds Geneva Healthcare, alongside of Gilanthony Ungab, MD and Manish Wadhwa, MD, FHRS, two practicing cardiac electrophysiologists, to improve the lives of patients living with cardiovascular disease.
2014: Worrell collaborates with Stratasys to accelerate medical device development through the use of 3D printed injection molding (3DIM). This enables the firm to put injection molded prototypes in the hands of users faster and for a fraction of the cost.
Onward: After years of increasing work in healthcare, Worrell wholly dedicates its resources to incorporating the principles of design to the practice of medicine. Today, Worrell’s clients look to the firm for its expertise in digital health, medical device and emerging markets to create better health outcomes.