The extended-play version of the elevator speech tells an interesting story. Hostetter runs a five-axis manufacturing company based in Jefferson County that focuses on the defense and aerospace industries, with aeronautics, energy, medical and semiconductor clients thrown in.
Hostetter heads a Weld County-based consulting business, H2 Manufacturing Solutions, which “tries to make the trials and tribulations that manufacturers face a little more manageable and a lot less frustrating,” she said. H2 is another set of eyes that assesses processes on the floor and in the office suite and then makes recommendations that build in new operational efficiencies.
While owning a building seems like something every successful business should do, that’s not always the case. For many companies, it makes more sense to continue leasing space, freeing up time and capital that can be better utilized in other ways.
On top of that, she works with the governor’s office, looking at infrastructure projects and programs from an altruistic standpoint that have positive community-wide impact. She is one of the founders of ADAPT (Alliance for the Development of Additive Processing Technologies), a research lab at Colorado School of Mines. In lay terms, ADAPT looks at the characteristics of materials used for 3-D metal printing and then looks at the next product development steps based on manufacturers’ needs.
There’s also a top-secret technology readiness project being developed in Northern Colorado. It’s very hush-hush right now because of NDA documents with Hostetter’s signature, but should be announced in about eight months. “It’s going to be super fun,” she said.
She’s a board member for Northern Colorado Manufacturing Partnership and ADAPT. She volunteers at a Boulder County respite program, spending time every week with one of the organization’s clients. She is a donor for ChildSafe in Fort Collins; H2 sponsors many of its events.
Hostetter’s career started as a program manager in electronics manufacturing, which led to a dedication to keeping manufacturing in the United States and especially Colorado. It’s not a typical career path for a woman, given that manufacturing is a male-dominated industry. For other women who want to enter the field, she has sage advice: “You can have it all.”
“Every time I give a career development talk at the college level, someone says, ‘Oh, my gosh, and you have a family, too?’ It comes up 100 percent of the time,” said Hostetter with a certain amount of frustration in her voice. She’s the mom of three boys — a 7-year-old and two sons in college. “Yes, yes I do. It doesn’t have to be a choice. You can have it all. You can want it all. And you can add a whole lot of value in pioneering as a woman in manufacturing technology.”
Hostetter’s advice: Be gender neutral at the conference table. Appreciate the content and value that people — women and men — bring to the table, and nothing else.
She plays just as hard as she works. She skis, mountain bikes and cuddles with her little boy while they watch movies and read books. “This is an incredible state we live in,” she said, “and I want to enjoy every bit of it.”
View 2018 Women of Distinction publication.