20 Under 40: Mathew Mendisco helping shape community in Hayden
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Things are taking shape for Mathew Mendisco, his family and community in the small town of Hayden.
Mendisco, 37, made the move to Hayden with his wife, Heidi, and three children to become the town manager in December 2016.
When: 5 to 7 p.m. July 26
Where: Haymaker Patio Grill
Cost: $35, $15 for Young Professionals Network members
He had spent the previous 10 years in the private sector as a consultant working for municipalities.
“This kind of brought me back into working in the public sector, and it’s been up to this point, the most rewarding job I’ve had in my career, so far,” Mendisco said.
Mendisco faced many challenges with his new gig. The town had been dipping into its savings to pay the bills, the schools were crumbing and the community was at odds at how to deal with inevitable growth.
During Mendisco’s short time in Hayden, things have evolved drastically.
Voters approved a bond measure to fix basic infrastructure like water lines and streets.
The residents also decided to invest in their community further when they approved a bond issue to support construction of a new $61 million school campus, which will be supported in part by a state BEST grant.
A new hardware store has helped support the construction boom, and Hayden now is seeing more young families move to the community, and more visitors are coming to check out the town.
“We have people coming from everywhere,” Mendisco said. “I think that’s helping Hayden to shape its place in the valley.”
People are giving Mendisco a lot of credit for the town’s re-birth.
“Mathew has overseen numerous high-value development projects for the Town of Hayden and, in my opinion, is a dynamic, driving force behind the towns’ renaissance,” Jay Hirschfeld said.
Hirschfeld is a member of the Hayden Economic Development Commission and vice president of the newly formed Town of Hayden Chamber of Commerce. He is also the founder of 41North, an aquaponic greenhouse in Hayden that is among several new businesses.
Mendisco grew up in the small town of Naturita in Southwest Colorado, and he was seeking a similar place to raise his family with some nice amenities nearby, such as a world-class ski area.
Hayden met his criteria, which included a brewery that serves as a community gathering place.
“It’s a small-town life also balanced by having a larger mountain town (nearby),” Mendisco said. “That is rare when it comes to smaller towns in Colorado, because typically, they’re a little more isolated.”
Mendisco and his family have embraced the Northwest Colorado culture.
“I think people make or break communities,” Mendisco said. “I think none of this would be possible without my wife and family. I think she’s more deserving of this type of award than I am.”
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