Longmont resident and female business owner, Heidi Hostetter, was named as one of the three finalists for the Colorado Manufacturing Woman of the Year in the sixth annual Colorado Manufacturing Awards, or CMAs.
Hostetter has been selected as a finalist for the Colorado Manufacturing Woman of the Year for three consecutive years, since the inception of the award in 2019, according to Bart Taylor, founder of the award and founder and publisher of CompanyWeek.
“Heidi is known statewide as a real advocate and change agent in the sector and her recognition as a finalist over the past three awards is incredibly well deserved,” he said.
“The region, and Longmont in particular, has emerged as a real hotspot,” Taylorhe said. “For reasons that have to do with COVID, we all understand, today, what we lost when we decided to offshore manufacturing over the last couple of decades. In the 2000s, we lost, nationally, about 6 million manufacturing jobs, and manufacturing has come back as consumers have driven demand for locally made products.”
“Boulder County has become a real epicenter of this new manufacturing brand that's made up of multiple industries fueled by technology and entrepreneurialism,” Taylorhe said. Ironically Boulder, which is known as a tech hub, has emerged a hotspot for manufactures.”
Hostetter has been working in the manufacturing industry for over 20 years, and is mostly known in the community for her role as the vice president of Faustson Tool— a worldwide leader in precision and complex cutting of materials for the aerospace, aeronautics, defense, energy, medical and semiconductor industries.
“I’m a Jill of all trades and not a master of one,” she said. “That’s my background in a nutshell.”
Five years ago, Hostetter started a consulting business in Longmont, H2 Manufacturing Solutions— a locally-based consulting agency — focused on helping manufacturers with the “trials and tribulations” that feel daunting. “(We) simplify them, (and) take the pressure off,” she said.
When COVID hit and as many manufacturing businesses were scrambling to figure out a rapidly changing landscape. Hostetter jumped at the opportunity to create the Colorado Manufacturing COVID Taskforce and use existing operations and structures to support organizations who were lacking PPE, or personal protection equipment, for essential care.
“We showed manufacturers they had to pivot quickly to start making PPE to supply to domestic shelters and homeless shelters, the places that were not getting the supplies and this also kept them as essential (businesses),” she said. “They (manufacturers) were happy and were willing to put resources toward it and the shelters were ecstatic.”
After a rough year with the pandemic, Hostetter believes honesty, tenacity and hardwork are key to becoming successful in an industry that, especially for women, can be a hard one to break into.
“There is this belief that I bump into when dealing with younger females trying to get in (the field), that they have to choose between family and this career, you really don't, you just have to ask for it and stay tenacious about the ask,” she said. “You cannot hide behind your gender. You have to be tenacious, honest and just keep at it, you really do. Because your one mistake will equal 20 of your male counterparts.”
Winners of the 6th annual Colorado Manufacturing Awards will be announced Apr. 29 at the virtual CMA Winners Reveal and Finale, from 2 to 4 p.m.
To register for the award ceremony, click here.