2019 Navigator: Cole Hewitt believes in giving back with time and money
Young Professional of the Year: Cole Hewitt
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Cole Hewitt believes people can give back to their communities in two main ways. The first is time, and the second is money.
As the chief financial officer and vice president of the Yampa Valley Bank, as well as a volunteer board member of the Yampa Valley Housing Authority, he effectively does both — though most of the money does not come from his personal accounts.
Hewitt was a major contributor to the housing organization’s most recent development, Alpenglow Village, which broke ground in May. The complex, consisting of three buildings along Pine Grove Road, just north of Walgreens, will provide 72 apartments for low- to middle-income residents.
At 34, Hewitt has been settling into family life in Steamboat after moving from Wyoming in 2011. He and his wife, Lauren, are celebrating their first year of marriage.
Improving the quality of life in Steamboat, for his family as well as others, has become an increasingly important initiative. A financier with an economist’s brain, Hewitt has developed an equation for doing so, which he denotes with the acronym, APPLE.
The letters stand for activities, programs, policy, life and economy.
“APP = LE,” Hewitt said.
What: 2019 Navigator Awards
When: 5:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6
Where: The Steamboat Grand, 2300 Mount Werner Road
In other words, the more activities, programs and policies a town has in place, the better the quality of life and economic opportunities for families.
His work with the Housing Authority contributes to the programs portion of the equation, he said. By supplying a system of affordable homes, people can have more disposable income to invest in businesses, and those businesses can, in turn, hire employees who can afford to live near town.
In early August, the Housing Authority announced plans for another affordable housing project, set to break ground in 2020. While details are forthcoming, Hewitt has been busy with the project’s finances. Unlike past efforts, this development will not be funded using the sale of tax credits, which means the Housing Authority will invest more of its own money.
As Jason Peasley, the Housing Authority’s executive director explained, that involves greater risk. He is glad a detail-oriented person like Hewitt is behind the books.
Most of Hewitt’s contributions deal with the nuts and bolts of the housing organization, Peasley said. It is not the most glamorous work, but he plays a vital role in the success of projects.
“He is really good at understanding what we are trying to accomplish and then pairing that with action,” Peasley said.
He met Hewitt five years ago, when both were among a cohort of Leadership Steamboat graduates. Since then, they have become friends as well as colleagues. Hewitt’s approachability is another quality that makes him easy to work with, Peasley added.
“You can have a really intense discussion on the business side and 10 minutes later go have a drink with him,” Peasley said.
BUSINESS LEADERS OF THE YEAR 1999 — Julie Green; 2000 — Rod Hanna; 2001 — Mike Lomas; 2002 — Andy Wirth; 2003 — Scott Ford; 2004 — Steve Dawes; 2005 — John Kerst; 2006 — Chris Diamond; 2007 — David Baldinger Jr.; 2008 — Rex Brice; 2009 — Chuck Porter; 2010 — David Nagel; 2011 — Grant Fenton; 2012 — Karl Gills; 2013 — Jim Schneider; 2014 — Ed MacArthur; 2015 — Bob Dapper; 2016 — Scott Marr; 2017 — Adonna Allen ; 2018 — Mark Walker
YOUNG PROFESSIONALS OF THE YEAR 2009 — Stacy Huffman; 2010 — Ryan Marsden; 2011 — Sara Ferris; 2012 — Stephany Traylor; 2013 — Chris Tamucci; 2014 — Sarah Fox; 2015 — Glen Traylor; 2016 — Nick Sharp; 2017 — Tara Weaver; 2018 — Jason Peasley
BUSINESSES OF THE YEAR 1999 — TIC; 2000 — Native Excavating; 2001 — Ore House at the Pine Grove; 2002 — SmartWool; 2003 — Ski Haus; 2004 — PostNet; 2005 — F.M. Light & Sons; 2006 — Off the Beaten Path bookstore; 2007 — Prudential Steamboat Realty; 2008 — Christy Sports; 2009 — BAP!; 2010 — Yampa Valley Bank; 2011 — Alpine Bank; 2012 — Colorado Mountain College; 2013 — Steamboat Ski & Bike Kare; 2014 — Yampa Valley Medical Center; 2015 — Rex’s Family of Restaurants; 2016 — Chief Theater; 2017 — Steamboat Springs Arts Council; 2018 — Freshies
SERVICE EXCELLENCE PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR: 2017 — Barbara Robinson; 2018 — Jason and Kelly Landers
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In an effort to connect better with their voters, Steamboat Springs City Council members will begin tabling at Ski Free Sundays, which are every Sunday at Howelsen Hill.