Steamboat Living: 20 Under 40-Cole Hewitt
After growing up in Casper, Wyo., and graduating from Laramie’s University of Wyoming with an accounting degree, Cole Hewitt, 31, let the Wyoming winds fill his sails and carry him to Steamboat Springs in 2011. He was working as an internal auditor for a group of banks when client Yampa Valley Bank brought him in-house as a financial analyst. Now’s he’s an assistant vice-president and controller, and couldn’t be happier.
“I had the job before I relocated here, which is a bit backwards from how a lot of people come here,” he says. “It was the best decision I’ve made in my life.”
Plenty others are happy also, from workmates to fellow philanthropists.
“He leads by example,” says Yampa Valley Bank president PJ Wharton. “He can be counted on to do whatever is needed to support a non-profit reach success. For him, work is a blurry line as to when it starts and ends. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to meet a deadline and assist his club, team or company in reaching its goals. I’m proud of what he contributes to the community.”
As well as serving as board member and treasurer for the Young Professionals Network, Hewitt holds the same role for the Yampa Valley Housing Authority, helping the organization develop new affordable housing and stabilize its existing assets.
“Affordable housing has been a long-running problem here,” he says, “but the community is finally starting to rally around it. There’s a good steering committee in place, the economy’s bouncing back, and new developments are coming on line.”
The key, he adds, is keeping all ideas on the table. “The energy in the community is there, and conservations are happening,” he says. “It’s just a matter of deciding as a community what’s important to us. There are a lot of great ideas, but they’re all just cogs in the machine of what will eventually solve the problem. It’s a multifaceted problem, with a multifaceted solution.”
A graduate of Leadership Steamboat, Hewitt, who loves hiking, cross-country skiing, playing in the river and more, knows that he found the right solution for his own life by moving to Steamboat. “Having great access to the outdoors and a great social scene, all in a small valley, is super unique,” he says. “The community knows that it’s a privilege to live here, not a right, so they treat it accordingly. Plus, there’s no wind down here.”
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