UW-Eau Claire Alumni

President's Award
2016 Recipients

President's Award: Recognizes outstanding professional and personal achievements and service to UW-Eau Claire.

Jeffrey Cote

Jeffrey Cote '64, bachelor of business administration degree

Jeffrey Cote describes himself as a "doer," and a look at his life's work and service are proof of that. He began his career as a bank management trainee before serving in the U.S. Army from 1965 to 1968. Cote then continued his banking career, ultimately advancing to senior vice president. After 21 years, Cote made a career change and joined County Concrete Corp. as general manager. He would stay with County Concrete, eventually renamed County Materials Corp., until his retirement. Cote was instrumental in helping County Materials expand its business into the Minneapolis-St. Paul area with the construction of its facility in Roberts, Wisconsin. "Jeff was a great representative of the company," said John Sonnentag, retired president and current chairman of the board of County Materials. "He was responsible for getting the city of Roberts to annex property and to help us grow our business. It is County Materials' largest plant in the state. He was very responsible for making that a success." Throughout his professional career, service to his community and alma mater continued for Cote. He served as president of the former Water Street Businessmen's Association, Optimist International-Eau Claire and the Indian Waters Girl Scout Council, and was a board member for the local American Red Cross, Junior Achievement and the UW-Eau Claire Alumni Association. He also served as chair of the UW-Eau Claire Foundation Presidents Club. Cote's spirit of service was evident from the start. Shortly after his Blugold graduation in 1964, Cote was working at his first bank job while also volunteering for the Wisconsin State University-Eau Claire Foundation Inc. (a forerunner of today's UW-Eau Claire Foundation Inc.), making calls to his fellow alumni to encourage their financial support of the university. Sonnentag, Cote's college friend and fellow UW-Eau Claire graduate, recalled receiving a fundraising call from Cote when the two were young Blugold alumni and Sonnentag was focused on building his company. Little did Cote know that his call might play a role in the Sonnentags' decision decades later to make a gift of land and money to the Foundation for the development of what will be the Sonnentag Event Center and Recreation Complex in Eau Claire. "That call created an awareness I never forgot and planted a seed that eventually helped us decide to make our gift," Sonnentag said.

View the list of past recipients of this award.