Matt Maggio

Fort Dodge

-Messenger Photo by Hannah Wadle
Lifeworks Community Services President Matt Maggio, center, begins a meeting.

Dr. Matt Maggio lives his life by the following words: “To whom much is given, much will be required.” Luke 12:48

The Fort Dodge native has a rich history within the city, and shares it in every possible way.

As president of Fort Dodge’s LifeWorks Community Services, he is able to assist in the oversight of 220 some local individuals.

And, as a member of the Fort Dodge Parks Foundation and the Noon Rotary Club, Maggio has focused on improving area parks and making public areas more accessible. Snell-Crawford and Loomis parks have seen many improvements from volunteers over the past two decades.

Many of his life values and experiences stem from lessons learned from his parents, employers and mentors.

As a young person, Maggio began work as a busboy for Deb Lacina at the Holiday Inn. He worked for Dan Payne in the city Parks Department during high school and as a psychiatric tech for Dr. Lee Berryhill on hospital floor 3 east as a college student. He is now a general dentist.

Maggio has lived in Fort Dodge his entire life. He received his undergraduate degree from Grinnell College in Grinnell, spending his junior year of college abroad at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. He received his dental degree from the University of Iowa in Iowa City.

It was there that he met his wife, Laura, as she was earning her master’s degree. The couple has three children: Sam, Jack and Kate. Kate will be a senior at Fort Dodge Senior High in the fall. Maggio himself graduated from FDSH in 1977. Laura’s parents, Robert and Rosemary (Stiles) Jordison are 1950 FDSH graduates.

The manner in which Maggio serves his community is truly heartfelt. He believes, and has personally seen, that cooperation among Fort Dodge civic and city leaders and others in the surrounding communities is key to progress.

“I like to see the city meet challenges, jump hurdles, and make progress to better our community,” he said. ”It is hard to pinpoint exactly what makes serving Fort Dodge enjoyable for me. I enjoy the challenge and process of helping our area come together to face adversity and create new goals…to do things that seemed just not possible or imagined of in previous years.”

It is no surprise that Maggio plays a huge part in his community, because his parents and grandparents did the same. Maggio’s father was a first generation Italian-American when he moved to the city in 1938, where he practiced dentistry until 1998. Maggio and his father, Paul, practiced dentistry together from 1986 to1998. He explained that he sometimes wonders how his parents raised eight children while also volunteering consistently in the community.

When asked about working with his father, he spoke of the values his father shared with him.

“My dad taught me a lot about how to treat people personally and with kindness, rather than just as my patients,” Maggio said. “The people that come into my office are my neighbors, friends, and people I personally know in the community. They are not just patients to me.”

The Bible verse he cited is one that Maggio’s parents always spoke of while he was growing up. Because he was born into a family that was blessed with enough, Maggio wants to give everything he can back to those who really need it.

His grandparents also had deep roots in Fort Dodge. He is the grandson of Cornelius Nash, who owned the first Buick dealership in Iowa, located on the City Square. Maggio’s grandmother, Katherine Halligan Nash, was the first hire for the Webster County Relief Office.

“I love seeing Fort Dodge maintain the architecture and culture from its glory days,” said the dentist. “It is amazing to be walking on the same sidewalks that my parents and grandparents have walked on. On my way to work I walk by three homes that have been lived in by my relatives. My own home is almost 100 years old.”

The Dodger alumn loves serving his community and watching it turn into a vibrant and growing place to live. He mentioned that our community is currently rivaling other expanding Iowa communities such as Ankeny when it comes to the economy, restaurants, and new growth.

Another accomplishment of Maggio’s was to start the Iowa Central Community College dental hygiene program with college officials Jim Kersten and Mary Sula Linney, plus the local dental community. With more than 120 graduates to its credit, the program significantly addressed the workforce shortage in our area.

He also served on the Blanden Memorial Art Museum board and its foundation’s board for years. And, for his profession he has held local, area and state offices.

“There is no place I would rather live than Fort Dodge,” he said. ”I love my community. The people I work with, my patients, and my job are all great. I have never regretted staying in Fort Dodge.”