Mattie Prodanovic

“We do different stuff for school districts than we do for anybody else,” said Mattie Prodanovic.

Title: Senior Vice President
Firm: HilltopSecurities
Age: 33

Having the right professor at the right time can make all the difference.

Mattie Prodanovic enrolled at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago thinking the public policy master’s degree she earned there would launch a career in agency management.

Along the way she took a municipal finance course from industry veteran Michael Belsky.

“I thought the class was really interesting,” Mattie said. “It paired what I was generally good at — math — with what I’m generally interested in — policy.”

She’s now a Denver-based senior vice president for HilltopSecurities, where her practice focuses on school districts.

“Her knowledge and expertise have led her to be viewed as a thought leader in Colorado school finance, and she is regularly asked for input or guidance from many school district CFOs on interpretation of existing statutes or proposed legislation and potential impacts on school districts,” Hilltop Senior Vice President Jason Simmons wrote when he nominated Mattie to be a Rising Star.

Since she joined Hilltop in 2017, she’s played a key role in adding school districts as municipal advisory clients, Simmons said.

Mattie relishes the challenges of advising school districts, and the way positive outcomes matter.

“We do different stuff for school districts than we do for anybody else,” she said. 

That includes consulting work, revenue forecasting and tax and policy analysis.

“We end up dealing with a lot more than just bonds,” she said. “I find it really interesting. As a parent and somebody who grew up in K-12 public schools I think it’s important for kids to have an opportunity to have a good education.”

Mattie was born and raised in the Chicago metro area.

She has a B.A. in economics from Cornell University, where she played varsity field hockey. She is married and raising a two-year-old son, Cooper.

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