Matt’s family moved to Whitby in 1982 and he has called this town home ever since. He would attend school at Dr. Robert Thonton and Anderson C.V.I. while playing many years of Whitby Minor Hockey, Lacrosse and Baseball. Matt enrolled in university at Saint Mary’s in Halifax and would later transfer to York University in Toronto. While attending university he played on both school’s varsity hockey teams and earned his Bachelor of Commerce Degree . After graduating he spent a two seasons playing pro hockey in the United States and then came back to Whitby to start a career.
In June of 2010, Matt opened up the first of his two businesses in Whitby. The Royal Oak was born and gave Whitby a pub in the north end of town. The business was supported well by the local residents who went on to vote the Royal Oak “Best Pub” seven years in a row. Matt understood the potential for growth in our town and went on to open up a second location in November of 2012. The newest Oak is located in Whitby Shores and works at delivering the same great pub experience. Matt believed strongly in job creation and used his businesses to hire local Whitby and Durham residents.
As a business man, Matt joined the Chamber of Commerce in Whitby. It did not take long for him to get actively involved with the events and other businesses involved. Matt worked hard on the principles of networking and reciprocation toward the current member businesses. This dedication led to a 2012 nomination for “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” which Matt ended up being recognized with. Shortly afterwards Matt was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce, a position that he held up to 2017. Matt was asked by past board President Dan Miles to create a new committee for the younger members of the Chamber. After much thought and collaboration he founded the “Young Entrepreneur and Professional’s Committee.” Matt is the past chair of this committee and as a group they work to ensure the Chamber of Commerce grows their membership base.
After seven seasons of playing hockey for the Sr. AAA Whitby Dunlops Matt retired after the 2010-2011 year. Later that year the team honoured him by adding his #23 to their own Wall of Fame. He was humbled to have his name on the same banner as one of his idols in Bobby Attersley. Matt continues to be an active alumnist and sponsor of the hockey club. For his time with the Dunnies he was also recognized with Town’s “Outstanding Achievement” Award.
As a business owner Matt feels it is important to give back to the community. As such, he just committed to raise $10,000 for A.L.S. research in 2015. Matt has supported many community groups, charities and not for profits through fundraising, donations and volunteering his time. Here are some examples; The Boys and Girls Club, Salvation Army, Durham Rape Crisis Centre, Lakeridge Health, Children’s Wish, Their Opportunity, Whitby Minor Hockey, Grandview Children’s Center, Rotary Club of Whitby – Sunrise, and several others.
Matt made the decision to run for town council because he thinks he can make a difference. With the experience he has gained in locally owning two businesses he know what it takes to get the job done. He believes that a business approach to making decisions will be a benefit to the new 2018 town council.