Matt was born and raised in Peachtree City where he graduated from McIntosh High School. He moved to Athens six years ago, but feels Athens as always having been his adopted hometown because of his extended family members here. He attended Georgia College in Milledgeville, Georgia where he earned a degree in Mass Communications, with print advertising and public relations his focus. He is currently a Strategic Account Manager at the University of Georgia in the Division of Marketing and Communications. He lives with his husband Nick in the Newtown area with their two dogs, Lola and Bernie.
What inspired you or led to your current career?
In college, I was a business major to start with because that is what you do. Then, I needed an elective so I took a newspaper design course, I really don’t remember why at this point. I loved it and started working at the college paper, and then I changed my major to Mass Communications. It kind of just clicked from there. Out of college I was a reporter for a small paper in LaGrange, Georgia writing about cops, courts and crime. I went to Gainesville and did editing and design up there. I then came here to the university to write for the faculty and staff newspaper and transitioned as the university transitioned to more of a marketing focused I shifted to a more marketing angle in my current role.
What is your favorite restaurant in Athens, and what do you love there?
Probably Taste of India. I don’t think I could pick a single dish that’s my favorite, I love it all. I have never had a bad dish there. Beyond the food, I love the people there and the owners, and they are wonderful people.
If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
I have never been to Europe and I think I would just love to go and explore the history there. I think I would enjoy that. Nick and I plan to go to India next year hopefully so that will be fun and amazing.
What is your favorite movie, or do you remember the first movie you saw in a theatre?
The first movie I remember seeing was an animated Batman movie, and I don’t remember what it was called. But, my favorite movie is Dead Poet’s Society hands down. I love that movie.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Life is not as scary as it seems. I think especially when I was younger, there was a lot of fear in my life and making decisions and doing things was terrifying. Especially now, having opened two businesses, life is just not as scary as it seems.
If you could put anything on a billboard, what would you put?
I would probably put a pun. I love me a good pun. I don’t know what the pun would be, but I would think very long and hard and I would laugh every time I passed it. And hopefully it would make others smile too.
If you could see any band or show, dead or alive, who would it be and where?
In terms of a show, I am actually fascinated and really respect Brene Brown. I think I would like to see her talk live. I have seen her Netflix special and read a lot of her books. She has such an appeal to me and it would be fascinating to see that live and see how it translates. As far as location, maybe at Hendershots.
If you could have lunch with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and where?
I would love to pick Hillary Clinton’s brain. I would absolutely love to pick her brain. Not only just the life she has lived, but publicly facing defeat twice. I can’t imagine. That was hard enough for me. She has got stories to tell. We would go to a hole in the wall, otherwise everyone would know her. I wouldn’t want to be interrupted. We need to go to like a dive or a gas station hot dog place.
What is something interesting about you that most people don’t know?
I had open heart surgery at 13. I had a leaky valve all of my life, and I got really sick when I was 12 and kept getting sick and sick and sick. They attributed it to my heart working too hard. So, they cut me open, gave me a little bit of pig skin and I have been better ever since. I grew like eight inches that year. I was very rarely ever sick again.
What three words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word “home”?
Quiet to a degree, except for when its not, comfortable and non-judgmental.