Pocono Raceway's Third Generation Woman Takes On Newest Venture

Mary Jo BuchananSenior Writer IJune 1, 2009

Ashley Igdalsky might just be the Executive Director of The Village at Pocono, a new all season destination resort which is the biggest of its kind in the Pocono mountains, but she is also a Mattioli through and through.

Igdalsky is the granddaughter of Dr. Rose and Doc Mattioli, owners of the Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, PA. Pocono is the next stop for the NASCAR Cup series, whose drivers and teams sweep into town this weekend.

But first and foremost, Igdalsky describes herself as a race fan.

"I have spent every summer of my life on this race track," Igdalsky said about Pocono Raceway.

Igdalsky continues, "I am more than a fan. It's in my blood. There is not a feeling in the world that compares to the feeling of excitement in the air on race morning."

Racing truly is in the veins of this young woman, who basically has grown up at Pocono Raceway. In fact, Igdalsky's first job at the track was when she was 10-years-old, painting checkers on the front stretch.

"Do you know how many checkers are on that track?" Igdalsky said laughingly. "It would take almost all summer and then we'd have to do it again before the second race!"

Igdalsky advises that she has worked at the track every summer of her life. "I have never missed a race," she said. "And I never will."

Another race track skill that Igdalsky has now mastered is in the area of construction.  Her mother "Looie" McNally shares that Doc always had the grand kids out moving some kind of dirt on the track, which she dubbed his "personal playground."

Ever a quick learner, Igdalsky mastered how to drive one of the track bulldozers at the ripe old age of eight. She shares that for Christmas that year, her father gave her a hard hat with her name on it, a gift she has cherished throughout the years.

That hard hat has certainly come in handy for Igdalsky in her latest Pocono venture.  Three years ago, her grandfather "Doc" Mattioli came to her with a vision, to enhance the Pocono Raceway experience by building the biggest resort in the area.

Doc believed giving fans a destination resort would add a whole new dimension to the Pocono race weekend. And having seen Ashley out on that bulldozer, Doc was convinced she was the one to lead this massive new undertaking.

"Doc sucked Ashely in", said her proud mom, "Looie" McNally. Igdalsky sees it a bit differently, adding her love of designing and building has been the true impetus leading to this new challenge in her life.

Her hard hat has indeed come in handy, as Igdalsky just went through the "soft opening" of The Village at Pocono. The Village is a private, gated resort directly across the street from Pocono Raceway.

This new community features many amenities, including a 6,000 sq. foot Clubhouse, a Fireside Lounge, theater, state of the art fitness center, saunas, billiard parlor and game room.

One of the best features of The Village is the 5,000 sq. foot Indoor Aquatic center, featuring an 82 degree pool with rock waterfall and spa. The pool has palm trees and outside are tennis courts, a basketball court, Bocce court, playground, gazebos and picnic tables.

One of Igdalsky's biggest challenges has been getting all of this, or at least what has been built to date, ready for the race fans this weekend.

"We are sold out and as you can imagine, the waiting list for race weekends is quite long. I need to build more units, fast!" Igdalsky said.

Igdalsky will be doing just that, adding 28 two-bedroom units by the August race weekend. Eventually, The Village will have 250 houses, with 1,000 two-bedroom villas on the property.

From snaking toilets to taking bids on pool supplies at The Village, Igdalsky is one tough businesswoman, just like her mother and grandparents. 

When asked about the key to her success, Igdalsky said, "I don't think it matters if you are a man or a woman, young or old. You will succeed if you are good to your word, know your stuff, do your job well and with a smile, and treat everyone with respect."

"If I ever have a question, I don't sit and wonder. I find the answers and never give up," shares Igdalsky. "I like when there is opposition and challenges. It tests your character and ethics and pushes you further and to places you never imagined you could be."

In addition to her can do attitude and ethical approach to business, it does not hurt that Igdalsky is also very smart. "I've always been a get up and go kind of girl," she said.

"I skipped 10th grade and graduated high school a year early at the age of 17. I also graduated college a semester early, at the age of 20."

Igdalsky attended Elon University in North Carolina and graduated with a BA in Communications and Film and a Photography Minor. Yes, that is right, Igdalsky is not only one of the most talented construction managers, but she also has a passion for film and photography.

When she is not insanely busy at The Village, Igdalsky works on the weekends in TV Sports Broadcasting. She has done so since 1999, working primarily in motorsports, "the perfect fit" as she describes it.

Since 2002, Igdalsky has been a Freelance Assistant Director, primarily with the SPEED Channel. She often travels to various races, such as the Rolex Grand-Am Series, ARCA, and AMA races.

"I fly out on Friday and am home by Sunday night," Igdalsky said. "I get back in time to go right back to work at the track on Monday morning."

Although leading an incredibly hectic life, especially with race weekend quickly approaching, Igdalsky reflects that she too has dreams for the future of Pocono Raceway.

"My grandparents are the most amazing people I've ever known," Igdalsky said. "I am so lucky to be able to work with them on a daily basis. They have achieved the American dream, helped the community and have touched so many lives."

Igdalsky continues, "I want to carry on their dream and legacy and I'm so proud to be a part of the family and the business. The knowledge that I have learned from them is priceless and I am excited to be an integral part as Pocono continues to grow."

There is no doubt that Ashley Igdalsky, third generation Mattioli woman, Executive Director of The Village, Assistant Secretary/Treasurer of Pocono Raceway, and freelancer with the SPEED Channel, will do just that. 

For more information about The Village at Pocono, visit www.villageatpocono.com or visit poconoraceway.com.