Outlook Magazine - Fall 2023

A Around west-central Wisconsin, Hoeft Builders is known for its upscale commercial and industrial buildings. The company also builds community connections, helping sponsor the Eau Claire Mara thon and supporting building projects with nonprof its like the Eau Claire Children’s Museum and Boys & Girls Clubs of the Greater Chippewa Valley. When co-owners Peter Hoeft, Jay Rideout (’04) and Luke Rykal (‘05) learned that UW-Stout Ath letics needed new weights in the athletes’ weight lifting room, they didn’t hesitate to provide $76,000 to Stout University Foundation to make it possible this past summer. Hoeft is Stout Proud — helping build stronger Blue Devils already this fall at the newly christened Built by Hoeft Weight Room but also with its history of hiring UW-Stout graduates and interns. “It feels great to be at a point in life where we can start giving back,” said Rykal, who played outside linebacker for the Blue Devil football team from 2001-04. He has a degree in business administra tion with an emphasis in construction. Rideout, a construction graduate, agreed. “This takes me back to when I was going to Stout, and I’d see different rooms named for donors. Now that we’re part of that, it’s pretty special.”

Hoeft Builders has a new office in the bustling River Prairie area of Altoona near Eau Claire. The company was founded in the 1980s by John Hoeft, Peter’s father. It provides construction manage ment services, guiding businesses through projects from start to finish. The company has expanded sig nificantly in recent years, now with 40 employees and having done work in eight states. The weight room gift is a testament to Hoeft Build ers’ connection to UW-Stout as well as to an over arching mission to be a company that values the communities and people where it does business. “It’s a natural fit. We’re a construction company, but we’re a people company. We’re relation ship-driven,” Rideout said.

BUILDING: STRONGER BLUE DEVILS Hoeft Builders owners, including two alums, give back to the university to upgrade weight room for athletes

They learned about the weight room need from Erin Sullivan (’10) , deputy director of Athlet ics and a friend of Rykal’s. “When I walked in, it brought back a lot of memories. I attribute a lot of my success to athletics and to Stout. I said, ‘We’d love to be part of it.’Athletics builds character, but you get so much more out of it,” Rykal said. The gift also was supported by Peter Hoeft. “He understands the company’s connection with UW-Stout,” Rideout said. All of Hoeft’s new project managers and superin tendents are UW-Stout graduates, many of whom were interns with the company. Hoeft typically has two to four UW-Stout interns a summer. Rykal and Rideout believe in the university’s polytechnic approach to education. “We both had good intern ships at Stout, and it kick-started our careers,” Rykal said.

(Top) A Blue Devil football player uses the new weights in the Built by Hoeft Weight Room in the Sports and Fitness Center. (Left) The co-owners of Hoeft Builders, from left, are Jay Rideout, Peter Hoeft and Luke Rykal.





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