Interview by Sarah Shumick
Name: Matt Lofy
Profession: Director of Marketing and Community Outreach at Westerville Area Chamber
Education/Certifications: BA in Public Relations from Otterbein College
Quote: “Being chosen for this award motivates me to want to do even more in Westerville and our region to ensure we get our communities even stronger and with just a little bit more kindness.”
Connect: LinkedIn | Facebook | Instagram
Matt Lofy’s career path has taken him through roles in higher education, the United States Coast Guard Reserves, youth ministry, an internship at the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium with Jack Hanna, and leading backpack trips in Maine and New Hampshire, just to name a few. These days, Lofy serves as Director of Marketing and Community Outreach for the Westerville Area Chamber of Commerce, an association of more than 700 local businesses. Ever varied in his interests and full of energy, Lofy teaches a 5:00 a.m. spinning class before heading into the office. Lofy credits his success to one of his mentors, Jack Hanna, who showed him that, “From the smallest [tasks] to the most rewarding, that’s how you’ll be able to inspire those around you to follow and take to heart the mission of your organization.”
Give us a snapshot of your career path:
It took my career a bit to get on track. I started in the United States Coast Guard Reserves and Otterbein University with the thought of using my education to go full time in the military in Public Affairs. A two-year internship at the Columbus Zoo with Jack Hanna set me on a path of private sector and wanting to work in some form of marketing and PR. A short stint at a local ad agency, two years as youth minister, half a year leading backpacking trips in Maine and New Hampshire, along with some marketing consulting, I found my way to the Westerville Area Chamber.
What gets you up in the morning? And what gets you through the workweek?
Quite honestly, probably too much caffeine and yelling at riders in my morning Spin classes…but also knowing that during the remainder of the day I get to help local businesses grow and help the greater Westerville area have a great quality of life.
What advice or mentors have helped guide you along the way?
I’ve been fortunate enough to have a lot of great mentors. Two come to mind. My Senior Chief from my time in the Coast Guard, who told me that in order to have success on any mission “you must be a sea of calm in a storm of chaos.” Those words have remained with me ever since.
Second, going back to working with Jack, he taught me to be who you are in whatever work you do and to effectively lead and impact those around you, you must be willing to do all tasks. From the smallest to the most rewarding, that’s how you’ll be able to inspire those around you to follow and to take to heart the mission of your organization.
What do you do or where do you go to unwind?
To unwind, I head for a secluded trail to unplug, get lost in my head and hike with my dog Shandy and soon my son…or to the nearest brewery with my wife.
When you were a kid, what did you say you wanted to be when you grew up?
Somewhere between a professional soccer player and mayor of my hometown…it only took two quarter of studying Political Science to learn it wouldn’t be the latter.
What books or podcasts are you reading/listening to right now?
I am currently listening to Simon Sinek’s “Leaders Eat Last” and finishing up “A Mind at Peace.”
What does it mean to you to be chosen for the Next Up Columbus award?
I am beyond honored to been recognized for this award. I have always found the work I do and my contributions to the community as rewarding, not worthy of an award. So being chosen for this award motivates me to want to do even more in Westerville and our region to ensure we get our communities even stronger and with just a little bit more kindness.
If someone were to ask you what the “pulse” of Columbus is, what would you tell them?
The pulse of Columbus is for everyone. If you want networking, it’s available everywhere. If you want an exciting night out, pick a neighborhood or suburb and it’s alive. You want a craft beer, there’s a brewery around the corner. Want a world class sporting experience, head to the Nordecke for a Crew game. Just a couple of reasons why Columbus is truly the Emerald City of the Midwest and I’m proud to call it home!
The Next Up Columbus Awards highlight emerging leaders who are connectors and ambassadors in Central Ohio and who are making a positive impact on the future of Columbus. Special thanks to the Columbus Young Professionals Club, Discover Financial, and Zipline Logistics for their support of this awards program. Meet the entire “Class of 2020” »