New Dowagiac Chamber Events Coordinator ready to listen, learn – Leader Publications

DOWAGIAC – Matt Money may have been kicked and screamed from South Bend six years ago, but Dowagiac has grown on him – and now he’s ready to listen, learn and eventually lead from a new position in the city.

Money was recently announced as the new marketing and events coordinator for the Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce, and he says he’s already looking forward to making a difference in the community.

“I appreciate the small-town pride,” said Money, a South Bend native who is transitioning from his role as assistant director of operations at the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture. “One thing I’ve missed since leaving South Bend is that I was really involved in the community there, and I’ve missed that here in Dowagiac.”

Money is a founding member of Young Professionals Against Poverty in South Bend, developing and running the On the River festival for its eight years. The festival raised more than $900,000 for the Center for the Homeless, according to Money.

“This two-day event changed the landscape of South Bend with live entertainment, a volleyball tournament, kids’ activities, great food and drink and a teen gang battle,” Money said. . “Anyone and any age could benefit from our hard work and dedication.”

For the past 10 years, Money said he has also managed School of Architecture events around the world – experience he will bring to his role for the Dowagiac Chamber once he has the wet feet.

“This first year will be focused on Chamber learning, events and getting to know member companies,” Money said. “Listening and learning will be my focus in the first year. We live in an amazing community and the opportunities are endless.

Money said he already learned from his predecessor, Vickie Phillipson.

“Vickie opened her door,” Money said. “Whenever I need something, she is happy to help me.”

At the latest Chamber After Hours event, Chamber Speaker Kris Soenen introduced Money to the Chamber members in attendance.

“I was a little nervous, because it’s the first coming out party,” Money said. “Everyone comes in and introduces themselves, tells me their story, which is good. … Everyone is welcoming to this community.

When the coordinator position opened up, Money said he saw it as the right opportunity to change and spend more time with his wife – who is from Dowagiac – and two young sons.

“I was like ‘this is perfect for me,'” he said. “I can get involved, I can learn about the city, I can raise our family here. I don’t need to go back to Notre Dame for that 9 to 5 at a desk. I can be a little more flexible.

As for what the word community means to him, Money said it’s about being in something you value and love — with people you love.

“You create your own community, and it’s up to you to leave a legacy and make a difference,” he said. “I actually came to Dowagiac screaming and kicking because I didn’t want to leave South Bend, but actually it was great. … I plan and hope to have a positive impact here in Dowagiac, not just for the community, but because it is where I have chosen to raise my family.