Skiing in the winter. Climbing in the spring. Mountain biking in the summer. Hiking in the fall. Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell is happiest when his body is in motion enjoying the multitude of outdoor activities in his hometown.
Remaining active is a priority for the mayor. During election season he labeled workouts as “meetings” in his calendar. Caldwell is also an early riser, starting most days at 4:30 a.m. by meeting a group of like-minded cyclists for a two-hour spin class before beginning his mayoral duties. “It is a great way to start your day, and you also have the motivation of the group to drive you out of bed,” Caldwell says.
Passion for Ogden
Mayor Caldwell has a deep-rooted passion for the city he is proud to call home. He has lived in Ogden his entire life, attending Weber State University and then holding various positions such as president of the Ogden Convention Visitors Bureau, a member of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Olympics and a public information officer for Weber County.
He is proud that Ogden has become a hub for creativity and innovation. Caldwell references companies such as the Marriott International, Browning Arms and First Security Bank that all have roots in Ogden. “Ogden has kept its rich history in place, and we are able to build on that. Ogden can tell stories that not many cities can,” Caldwell says.
Now in his second term, the mayor is doubling down on what worked well in the past and building on the city’s bright spots. Great things are happening, especially in the tourism industry. “So far year to date we are up 25 percent in our overall tourism revenue. We know people are coming to Ogden and spending money,” Caldwell says.
Ogden’s airport is a sleeping economic giant, according to Caldwell. The city’s proximity to Hill Air Force Base is a major plus, and jobs in the aerospace and advanced manufacturing industries have skyrocketed. “Part of our economic success has been tied to growth in jobs where people can earn a technical certificate and get employed in a unique environment and see economic opportunity,” Caldwell says.
He credits Ogden’s diverse economy as the reason for its economic success. “It is not just one industry we have gone all in on, we have a diverse economy and that brings a sense of stability,” Caldwell says.
Leading by Example
Mayor Caldwell’s favorite saying is, “What you do speaks so loudly, I can’t hear what you say.” The mayor and his staff like to show what is being accomplished by completing tangible projects. “I would rather be in the business of doing the work than talking about the work,” he says.
The two values Caldwell prizes most are honesty and integrity. “If you can trust your staff to go out and accomplish goals, you don’t have to micromanage them, and this opens up everyone’s bandwidth because they are empowered,” Caldwell says.
When it comes to leadership, he believes the most important skill is being willing to listen. “If you establish an environment where individuals can freely exchange ideas, and surround yourself with the best and brightest, your chances of being successful are much greater,” the mayor concludes.