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Honoree Headshot

Betsy Bear Hoff

President
Alloy Products Corp

Location: Waukesha County, WI
Founded: 2017
Industry: Manufacturing

When Betsy Bear Hoff was a child, she used to visit her grandfather at Alloy Products Corp. and tell him that someday she was going to sit in his chair.

Hoff began her journey toward fulfilling that vision when she graduated from high school in 1989 and began working on the APC’s production floor. The manufacturing company was founded in 1929 by Hoff ’s great-grandfather, Walter Wachowitz Sr., who eventually handed the reins to her grandfather, Walter Wachowitz Jr., and then to her father, Craig Bear.

Hoff furthered her education while working at APC, first earning an associate degree from Waukesha Technical College, then a Bachelor of Business Management degree and a double MBA in Business Management and Business Administration from Cardinal Stritch University.

When her father died in 2009, Hoff transitioned to the role of executive vice president, serving alongside her father’s successor, Joe Vick. With Vick, she navigated APC through the recession while also working to further develop herself for the position of president. In 2017, her dream was realized when she rose the ranks to sit in the president’s chair. She continues to hold that position today.

“I think about the changes to our business since my father was in this chair over 10 years ago,” Hoff said. “He couldn’t have possibly imagined the demand for our products and resulting sales numbers. He also couldn’t have ever imagined the challenges that have come along with it … everything from increased material costs, material shortages, struggles to attract enough talent to keep up with demand, and the struggles to retain those new faces we’ve attracted because they are seeking something entirely different from their employment than the generation that preceded them.”

Hoff said the key is setting an example of continuous growth and learning.

“If I don’t continue to learn and develop myself, how can I expect my team to do likewise?” she said. “If I can expect my team to do likewise, can I really expect my business to succeed?”

Hoff led APC to an increase of $6 million in annual revenue between 2019 and 2021, and the goal is to grow revenue by $15.5 million in the next five years. APC, though, is about more than just revenue numbers. The company touts a unique culture where employees are viewed as extended family and there’s a focus on community and giving back.

“One of the things that Betsy is most proud of is the culture at APC,” her team said. “She has built upon the unique family culture established by previous generations, as well as the continuation of their long tradition of helping, supporting and training employees to help them reach their highest potential.”

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Honoree Fun fact

Betsy contemplated obtaining a doctorate degree, and told the employees that if she did, they’d call her Dr. Bear. They laughed and told her they didn’t want to do that – so she decided it wasn’t worth the trouble. All kidding aside – she is truly passionate about being a great leader and making APC a great place to work. In her spare time, she enjoys bowling, golf, travel, and live music. 

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