Built by Boldt

New STAAT Mods continue family legacy of innovation, quality construction

by Tim Froberg

Building a hospital or university is a complicated, time-intensive process. Building a business is even trickier.

Few construction companies in the nation have done it better than The Boldt Company, which has never strayed from founder Martin Boldt’s original blueprint for success: honesty and hard work.

Those core values have enabled the Appleton-based company to grow from a small carpentry shop into a construction giant with 14 offices across the country and close to 2,000 employees. The 131-year-old construction company topped $1 billion in revenue in 2017.

CEO Tom Boldt continues to follow those founding principles to preserve a family legacy of quality construction work. Tom is the fourth generation of the Boldt family to lead the company. He succeeded his father, Oscar, CEO for four decades, who died June 9 at age of 96.

“In some ways, it (protecting the family legacy) is daunting, but on the other hand, my family and I had the opportunity to work with my dad for many years and see how he handled things – how he problem-solved,” said Tom. “My dad had a saying, ‘Do something you’re proud of every day.’ I have a little band on my wrist with those words and it’s a reminder to try and make him proud today.”

Chances are Boldt’s latest construction project would make Oscar proud. The company showed its innovation prowess by teaming with design firm HGA and electrical contractor Faith Technologies to produce a line of modular critical-intensive care units to help hospitals overwhelmed with coronavirus patients. The Strategic Temporary, Acuity, Adaptable Treatment Modules, or STAAT Mods, consist of two-bed medical units that offer a critical care option to hospitals with a shortage of beds.

The STAAT Mods have been shipped to various hospitals across the country and used as either isolation units in open buildings or connectable modules that can attach to an existing medical center. Boldt developed and began producing the units in April. To date, the company has sold 100 units, which meet guidelines by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Our team worked very diligently to come up with a design that would be easy to build, would meet all codes and standards, and could be delivered on-site in a short period of time,” Tom said. “When you build a hospital, it could take a year or two to get it done. In a pandemic, you don’t have a year. You have months.

“The beauty of the concept is that it’s expandable. We build them in whatever configuration you want and you can put them together – kind of like a Lego set.”

Tom, who received his bachelor’s degree from St. Olaf College, is known for his expertise in bringing “green” construction to Boldt customers. He’s also maintained Boldt’s long track record of giving back to the community.

“My mom and dad didn’t have a lot of money starting out, but they contributed in any way they could,” said Tom. “It wasn’t always dollar resources, but they were big volunteers. We try to emulate that. Sometimes it’s treasures, but a lot of times we can help the community through talent and time. We certainly encourage our employees to be engaged in the communities where we work. We’ve always had a very active gifting program and that will continue. It’s about being a responsible company and being responsible citizens.”

Tom is a forward-thinking man who especially proud of the company’s green initiatives.

“We’re seeing a lot of activity with green generation projects,” he said. “A big market has been wind, but we’ve also had some opportunities in solar, and we just completed a hydro project in Minnesota.”