A Man With a Plan

Dean Vonderheide of Jasper, Indiana has always fulfilled the goals and objectives he has set in his life. Ever since his playing days on the football field for the Indiana Hoosiers, he has always had a very calculated approach to life. 

Now he brings that approach to the mayor’s office in Jasper.

The story starts in DuBois County, Indiana, where Mayor Vonderheide was raised. He excelled on the football field and dreamed of playing at the collegiate level; the first major goal he achieved. Despite attention from various midwestern universities, he still chose to attend Indiana University, due to its proximity to Jasper, gorgeous campus, and prestigious football conference. IU is still a major part of his life, as he served for one term as president of the I Association (for letterwinners) and still tries to keep contact with his teammates and classmates to this day.

The next goal for Mayor Vonderheide was to graduate. Despite having self-proclaimed “lousy” academics his first two years, he still graduated with a degree in health, physical education, and recreation, while minoring in business education and social studies.

Then, he spent over three decades in the furniture industry in various management positions, seeing the full spectrum of what the business had to offer. He accomplished the task of sustaining a long and fulfilling career that many aspire for.

Then came retirement. 

He set three objectives for himself; take a mission trip, garden a personal hops farm, and run for public office. The first two he achieved rather easily, but then came the third. He served on the city council in Jasper until December of 2018, when Mayor Terry Seitz resigned from his office. A Republican precinct caucus was held, and Vonderheide was elected Mayor of Jasper.

Perhaps his most important tasks yet were those he faced once he assumed the mayoral office. Since becoming mayor, he has spent his days helping to assist civil projects, including increased diversity, new hotels, assisted living facilities, cultural centers, and a nature park; he went from tearing up the grass on the football field to planting it in parks. Quite a change of pace to say the least.

There is still a lot that needs to get done in Jasper. Mayor Vonderheide cites the roads and water systems of specific issues that are still progressing. In spite of that, Mayor Vonderheide remains positive, as he said “Everyday we learn something new, and everyday is a good day, even if some are better than others.”