Whether it’s helping to bring thousands of jobs to the region while appointed by the Buncombe County Commissioners to volunteer on the Economic Development Coalition of Buncombe County, working as the Chairman of the Asheville Airport Authority or a strong sense of calling to serve at his church, Matthew is a man who gives back to his community.
Matthew has been playing trombone since the seventh grade. He and his wife Barbara still play every week in the Hendersonville First Baptist Church orchestra. He also plays with nine of his friends as a member of The Vinyl Brothers, a fun party band that raises money for local charities playing 60’s, 70’s and 80’s dance music!
Ever since earning his pilot’s license in high school, Matthew has had a love for the air. Not only does flying antique airplanes continue to allow him to float in the clouds around our beautiful mountains, but he’s also putting his passion to work, giving back to the community through his service as the Chairman of the Greater Asheville Regional Airport Authority.
OK…that might be stretching it. But as a child Matthew did play the role of Romey in the film, “Where the Lilies Bloom”, which was filmed in Boone. That role created his first opportunity to represent Appalachian life all over the country while promoting the film. Later in life, Matthew was able to put his Hollywood contacts to use while assisting Gov. Jim Martin’s NC Film Commission.
Matthew consistently places his Christian faith in his daily life. He has always maintained a strong sense of calling to serve his church through playing music, teaching Sunday school, doing disaster relief with Southern Baptist Men, and serving on financial committees at church. He is a committed supporter of Young Life and is a current Trustee for Christ centered education at Montreat College.
Matthew has always felt the need for speed. Admittedly not mechanically gifted, Matthew loves internal combustion. Whether on the ground, water or in the air, he loves competitive motorsports. Matthew has attended over 50 NASCAR races and follows the sport closely. A favorite memory was attending church service in the drivers meeting at the Daytona 500 with Darrell Waltrip leading the service!
Matthew is a businessman, entrepreneur, volunteer and local leader, but his greatest joy has been raising his two daughters. Now that Matthew and Barbara are married, they have six girls, as Barbara brought four delightful ladies to their marriage. Matthew was heavily involved in his girls education in Buncombe county schools and Barbara home schooled her daughters. Matthew and Barbara’s daughters, their husbands, boyfriends and their grandchildren bring them joy, laughter and hope for a bright future.
Matthew was raised in Buncombe County, growing up with five brothers and sisters. In 1973 he moved with his parents to McDowell County, where he graduated high school. After a year at Mars Hill College, he spent five more at the University of Georgia. Following college, Matthew returned to North Carolina, now having lived and worked in Buncombe County for over 50 years.