“I want to grow the business by increasing employee satisfaction, bringing in new products and developing a reputation of excellence for our company through relationships,” she says. “I want people to work here because it’s the best place to work in our community, not just the best beer company.”
The company is growing, hitting a milestone of 200 employees this year, up from 165 employees in 2016. Heart of America has also experienced five years of year-over-year growth, even with a significant loss of bar and restaurant clients that shuttered during the pandemic. And Hoff knows that, by focusing on people, more growth is possible. “I wanna rule the world,” she says with a laugh. “I want to be the best. I want to be the leader in this region in this industry, with more market share. I’m on a mission.”
From walking the floor of the 148,600-square-foot warehouse each morning to spending the day job shadowing every role at the company, Hoff is determined to lead the next two years by learning every detail and aspect of Heart of America’s business. By mastering her company’s current protocols, as well as digging deep into data alongside CEO Lance Foresee, she hopes to continue the company’s overall growth for the next generation.
“After I put my three kids to bed at night, I’m up for hours on my laptop, learning this business,” says Hoff. “I listen to every podcast, read books and trend reports. I want to know it all. I’m in education mode, because I want to know it backwards and forwards if I’m leading this team. They deserve that, and so does the future of this business.”
At home, her young family supports her by encouraging her to dream big. She credits strength gained through a battle with infertility and a journey to adopt through foster care for her resilience, and Hoff’s great nanny helps make sure all the pieces of her busy schedule connect.
A phone call away, her father is both a champion and mentor, providing insight and advice when asked. He’s never pushed her, but always given her a choice to lead in the family business—a step critical to a successful transition from warehouse worker as a teenager to current Heart of America CEO.
“My dad always encouraged me to strive to be better, with only that as an expectation,” she says. “The greatest gift I was given was time to decide if I wanted to be in the family business. So now, I plan to do the same for my kids. There will be a structure in place for them to join us as third-generation owners and leaders. But that’s an opportunity, not a gift. Just like how it was for me.”