Alan Joseph Waller: Mormon businessman
Alan Joseph Waller is the CEO of Out of the Box Publishing, which creates board and card games. Out of the Box Publishing is a leader in the American game industry.
Waller was raised in Wisconsin. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was raised Catholic and attended Catholic schools. He began to have doubts in his religion as a youth when the priests could not answer his questions.
He began studying engineering in college, and when he attempted to order a product from a teacher on a Sunday, and she said she didn’t do business on the Sabbath, he was curious about her religion. She referred him to missionaries for her church, the Church of Jesus Christ. He joined the church in 1981 and served a full-time mission to Manchester, England.
Waller’s inspiration to switch careers came as a result of “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” issued by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ. “Wholesome recreational activities” as part of a successful family caused him to think about his role as a father. He believed he was too serious with his family and needed to play more with them. He started a game publishing company with a friend and soon met the inventor of the game Apples to Apples. They published the game and before they sold the rights to the Mattel Company, they sold three million games.
One of Out of the Box’s newest games is Snake Oil. Waller says that each of their games must have the “fun factor” as the number one priority. In a fast-paced world of digital games, Waller makes sure his games can be learned in under five minutes and played in under thirty minutes. The games are also affordably priced.
Waller’s games are sometimes challenging or educational, but always family-friendly and interactive. They are available at over 4,000 game, specialty toy, educational, and book stores nationwide. The company is headquartered in Dodgeville, Wisconsin. It is affiliated with the American Specialty Toy Retailer Association, the National School Supply and Equipment Association, the Toy Industry Association, and the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design.
Waller and his wife, Lorie, have five children.