IVGID board getting younger – three under 40 – with new trustee makeup
September 28, 2015
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — The newest addition to the IVGID Board of Trustees has taken his oath, marking the beginning of the next era of government for Incline Village.
Matthew Dent, in his first try for a trustee position, gained unanimous 4-0 approval from the existing board of trustees during a special Sept. 16 meeting.
Trustees voted after conducting public interviews with Dent and nine other applicants. Dent, an 8-year resident of Incline Village, was the last applicant to make his pledge for the position.
Other candidates included former IVGID trustee and board chair Joe Wolfe, as well as Judith Miller, Frank Wright, Robert Vidra, Robert Olmer, Steven Kroll, Rollen Casselberry, Carolyn Stark and Phil Horan.
Olmer and Wright have both run unsuccessfully for a trustee position in previous election years.
With Dent having no prior history of applying for an IVGID trustee position, board Chairwoman Kendra Wong asked, "why now?"
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"I saw a need and an opportunity," he responded. "Plus, I think it could be fun."
Despite Dent's lack of government experience, the 33-year-old managing principal for Tahoe Investment Properties, Inc. has amassed an impressive résumé.
In his interview before the board on Sept. 16, Dent credited his 20 years of experience in the hospitality, customer service and project management industries. Over the past 10 years, Dent has served on a variety of executive teams, overseeing projects in California and Nevada.
Dent is also a board member on "1 Life Fully Lived," a Reno-based nonprofit providing education and support for the impoverished.
Dent, who holds an MBA from the University of Nevada, Reno, believes the largest challenge IVGID faces is a perceived communication breakdown between the district and its constituency — something he said can be fixed with the hiring of a public information officer.
After interviews, board members returned with a top-three list of candidates from which to choose.
Wong was the only member of the board to not put Dent in her top-three, though he was the only candidate to reach out to her prior to the Sept. 16 meeting, she said.
Wong explained in a follow-up interview Dent had invited her out to lunch to discuss the position and the current issues facing IVGID.
"I appreciated that outreach," she said.
With Dent's election, he joins Wong, 36, and board Vice-Chairman Jim Hammerel, 35, as trustees under the age of 40.
Though the age gap (fellow trustees Tim Callicrate and Bill Devine are 55 and 54, respectively) may be perceived as a motion to go younger as the board proceeds, Wong sees Dent's appointment as being more reflective of the diversity the district represents.
"I think that's just the nature of the landscape of candidates that we have," she said. "It was such a good pool this time around; I think we just really lucked out."
Dent's seat will be up for reelection next year.
"It feels good," Dent said last week when asked of his appointment to the board.
Dent said he planned to study in preparation for his first official IVGID meeting, which was set for Wednesday, Sept. 23, at The Chateau.
Agenda items included an update to IVGID's strategic plan, as well as potential votes on an updated trash law and the policy by which trustees conduct themselves at meetings, among others.
Last week, Wong's only advice for Dent is to be a sponge.
"Listen and learn as much as you can, and meet with senior members," she said.