Building a Legacy: Brent Hasslen ‘94

Hasslen Construction Co., Inc. owner Brent Hasslen ‘94 is building a legacy that spans generations.

Hailing from Ortonville, Minn., Brent comes from a long line of builders, marking the fifth generation in the family business. During college, he worked for his family’s company and entered MSUM’s program understanding the industry better than most other students. His decision to attend MSUM was influenced not only by the university's strong construction management (then ‘Industrial Technology’) program but also by a connection he made with (now retired) Professor Scott Seltveit during a campus visit.

"Scott had more than academic knowledge; he had industry experience. That's what drew me to MSUM. It was a business-based program," Brent recalls.

His college experience was more than lectures and exams. Brent actively participated in the Construction Management Club, creating lasting memories with classmates and faculty. Trips to Las Vegas and New Orleans exposed him to the broader construction field, particularly the World of Concrete and Homebuilders Association events.

BS in Construction Management

"MSUM wasn't just about classwork for me. It was the conversations behind the scenes with mentors like Scott that shaped my understanding of the industry," Brent says.

Upon graduation, Brent seamlessly transitioned into the family business in a profession where hard work meets innovation. Over the years, Hasslen Construction Co., Inc. has evolved under Brent's leadership. The company, founded in 1893, is now in its sixth generation with Brent's son, Jade, in the business. Specializing in general contracting and construction management at risk, the company has expanded its focus and embraced technological advancements.

"I’m proud of the fact that our company has continued to grow throughout my career. We're blessed with good people, and we’ve expanded and kept up with the cutting edge of our industry’s technology. We’ve done a lot of unique and fun projects," Brent notes.

Looking toward the future, Brent envisions passing the keys to the next generation, allowing him more time with his wife Kim and their grandchildren and pursuing his passion for travel and outdoor activities. His daughter Hope is also a construction management graduate, serving with the South Dakota National Guard as a Blackhawk pilot in Rapid City, S.D.

As a proud alumnus, Brent helped shape the construction management program into what it is today, serving as a board member when it became the state's first ACCE-accredited Construction Management program. He also gives back generously as a donor, through his company’s support of an endowed scholarship for students enrolled in the program.

Brent's advice to current students at MSUM reflects the wisdom gained through years of experience. "Listen to your advisors. Build strong communication skills, both written and verbal. Take on opportunities to develop leadership skills. Learn another language; Spanish would be helpful in this industry," he advises.

"Construction is a great career choice. There's an enormous amount of opportunities if you're willing to learn and work hard," Brent says.

Construction Management Degree

Being the first ACCE-accredited Construction Management program in Minnesota, you will get hands-on experience to prepare you for a professional career managing and leading projects in the construction industry.

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