John Bockstael

Business leader gives back

John Bockstael

John Bockstael is a builder – in more ways than one. Not only is he President and CEO of Bockstael Construction, one of Manitoba’s most storied construction companies, he’s also a thoughtful philanthropist, eager to build the community.

He and his company are long-time donors and sponsors of St-Boniface Hospital Foundation. Bockstael’s most recent pledge of $150,000 is a strong statement of his support. The gift will be endowed, which means the asset will be held by the Foundation and the interest income it generates will support the research efforts at St-Boniface in perpetuity.

“For my family, all roads seem to lead to St-Boniface Hospital,” says Bockstael. “My mom volunteered in the Auxiliary, my kids were all born here, and my parents have been treated here. When my father had heart surgery, the doctors discovered and treated lymphoma. St-Boniface Hospital significantly extended his life.”

His specific interest in medical research goes back to his days as a Project Manager at the century-old, family-owned business. “I was working on a project at the G. Campbell MacLean Building at St-Boniface Hospital and watched some of the researchers doing their work,” he says.

“I was fascinated and curious, and as an engineer, I could really relate to the rigour and attention to detail that their work required. I knew then that it was important to build the strength of our science community. I saw the real work of research.”

Bockstael’s generosity is grounded in his Catholic faith. His passion is also fuelled by his belief that successful Manitoba businesses have a duty to be philanthropic. “The key is to give back,” says Bockstael. “And then we can all take pride in the high-quality work being done in our own backyard.”

This article was originally published in Believe magazine, Fall 2014. 

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