Michael Mattessich originally hails from Palisades Park, New Jersey. He proudly served in the United States Marine Corps from 1993 to 1998. During his time with the USMC, he served as a 3051 warehouse clerk and a 3043 logistics clerk while stationed at Camp Pendleton, California and Okinawa, Japan.
After serving his country, Mike found himself at a low point in 2016. For a period of seven months, he struggled to make ends meet, eventually finding himself homeless. After reaching out to several organizations, he was able to find a place to stay at the Bergen County Homeless Shelter in Hackensack.
He did not have a car then, but there was a mode of transportation that helped him survive. The shelter’s community bike. It was a bike shared by hundreds of residents, but for Mike it became his way to attend job interviews and go to the local store.
Eventually, Mike was able to land a security job for a charter school in Passaic. Yet, he did not forget the importance of the community bike. A critical lifeline during a difficult time.
It inspired Mike to help others in need get their wheels and and culminated in the creation of Bikes 4 Veterans and Others In Need (B4VOIN), an organization that provides bikes to veterans and individuals that need one.
As a result of his efforts, Representative Josh Gottheimer honored Mattessich as a “Hometown Hero” in December 2019.
He also has a fan in A.J. Luna, the Bergen County Director of Veteran Services. Luna saw firsthand the efforts of Mattessich’s organization in December 2019. Together, they donated bikes at an event in Bergenfield to veterans and several families as part of the Veterans Services’ Operation Holiday Cheer.
This year, his organization has donated 70 bikes to veteran groups and schools utilizing his vast network of fellow veterans and people that he has met while volunteering for Bergen County’s transitional living program helping young adults ages 17 to 22 find employment.
Mattessich is glad the bikes are making a difference in the lives of the people who have received them, but notes “the one thing that we [Marines] lived by when I was in there was never to leave anyone behind,” and I am just trying to do the same to the residents of Bergen County that most need it.
He is currently employed by Samsung in Ridgefield Park as a Supply Chain Analyst and is married to his beautiful wife, Ritchie Mattessich, and has 1 son, Marcus, and a recently born baby girl, Ava, 1.
Thank you for your service and commitment to our Bergen County community!
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The Division of Veterans Services was established in 1977 to provide resident veterans and their dependents with information and assistance in obtaining earned entitlements from federal, state, and local governments, as well as any that are available from the private sector.
Through a quarterly newsletter and direct client contact, the division provides Bergen’s veterans organizations and their auxiliaries and individual residents with up-to-date benefit information.