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The Real Leaders Podcast 2024 Interview with Constructive’s Founder Matt Schwartz

Our Founder and Executive Director Matt Schwartz was recently invited for the second time onto The Real Leaders Podcast. Below is the transcript of his and host Kevin Edwards intriguing conversation on Constructive’s current goals and organizational values, Matt’s personal leading style, and his priorities now 26 years after he first started Constructive.

Kevin Edwards: Welcome everyone to this episode of The Real Leaders podcast. I’m your host, Kevin Edwards and beside us today folks, we have Matt Schwartz, the Founder and Executive Director of Constructive Matt Schwartz. How are you doing today? Thanks for coming on the show.

Matt Schwartz: I’m doing well, thanks. Thanks for having me again. Appreciate it.

Kevin Edwards: Of course, this is your second appearance on the show, setting a new record this year. Of course, last year, the most listened to episode of the year, so we’re back again in 2024. Now Matt, for those who didn’t listen to the first interview, tell us a little bit more about your background and the founding story of Constructive.

Matt Schwartz: Sure. So Kevin, growing up just I was one of those kind of English and Fine Arts kids, and as I talked about in my last podcast, I grew up as kind of a punk rock kid with a big focus on social impact and values and a bit of a DIY culture. And so that led me after I graduated college to do a couple of jobs. 

I spit out into the advent of the commercial internet, if you will. I graduated in 93, so a little bit of the right time, right place, and I just worked as that medium was evolving itself and started my job as a designer. And at some point, after a good number of years, I just decided to start my own thing. 

I was always entrepreneurial as a kid, I did a bunch of different things to make money and test out ideas and so I just decided to start doing my own thing and I started Constructive in my living room. I was in a 525 square foot rent-stabilized apartment on Prince and Lafayette Street in Manhattan and I was just doing the hustling and building things up. It brought together my passion for doing meaningful work, focusing on social impact, focusing on issues and making society a better place, and bringing together the two areas that I really love focusing on. That’s designed experiences and strategic brand building.

Kevin Edwards: And of course your motivation can change over the years, but when I think of motivation, the Latin word for its motif, it’s the reason for doing something. What was the initial reason you started Constructive?

Matt Schwartz: Probably in a simple way because I wanted to do my own thing as somebody who was always a bit entrepreneurial. I’ll say maybe, and a lot of people might be able to relate to this, when I was younger I thought I could probably do a little bit of a better job listening and I probably had wanted to do things my way.

My motivation was to start to do something where I could decide the direction that the work I was doing would go in. I did have a sense that it would be a company of some kind, what that would be, I didn’t really know, but I wasn’t just expecting to be a freelancer. My thought was I’ll start something and try to build it out. So I think wanting to be self-directed that way and create something meaningful and that has changed a lot as you’ve alluded to. If you had told me the things that are meaningful to me now would be really meaningful and that’s where I would get the greatest satisfaction as a leader and just as a person—I wouldn’t have thought that that would be where my attention was. So it’s changed over time, but that was the original seed.

Kevin Edwards: Go into that a little bit more. What are the things to you that are meaningful?

Matt Schwartz: So one thing that folks I think Constructive folks will say for me and this remains true no matter what for me, first of all it is always about the quality of the work and being really good at what we do. I don’t want to be fourth, fifth, or sixth best at what we do. I’m always striving to be in that top three. And so the quality of what we work on always matters and that still drives me. And I’m somebody who is self-taught in a lot of the areas that I did practice and grew expertise in, and I was always really hard on myself and I like to say beat myself up along the way about how good I was at what I was doing was because I had really high standards. And so focusing on really high standards was always the thing.

And I think when you’re younger, sometimes you can let that get in the way of understanding what it means to build a team and a culture that can do that both with you and autonomously. And what your responsibilities are as a leader to provide people who come with really varied backgrounds and experiences and skill sets and levels of knowledge. You hire folks in your career who are experts and come with a lot of pedigree and you have folks who may start with you as an apprentice or intern or who are just really early on in their careers. 

The way that you show up and the things that are your responsibility as a leader to make sure that those folks who entrust a bit of their professional trajectory to you or your company—at least being aware and mindful of that and really focusing on that at the same time is one of the keys to that quality and great work. I think that is all part of the hallmark of, at the end of the day, we are what we produce. It’s balancing those things and realizing how fulfilling it is when folks grow and learn and realize that being part of our team is something meaningful to them and that they’re better off for it.

Kevin Edwards: Balancing that act is such a difficult thing and delicate thing to do for leaders. It seems like you put a lot of responsibility on yourself to create that culture, to set those standards, not just for the work, but for the culture itself. Where do you land right now on how you balance? How do you like to show up? How do you perceive your role in the company right now?

Matt Schwartz: Well, as I’m sure Kevin, you talk to a lot of leaders, so there’s no doubt you’ve heard some version of this, right? It’s multifaceted and the way you show up depends on the thing you’re having to do. I think the first thing to say is that a woman who worked for us for a good number of years in a recommendation she wrote about me on LinkedIn that I thought was very nice, said that I bring my full self to work—and actually our first core value at Constructive is be your full self or bring your full self. 

That’s because I think being authentic and being true to who you are, that’s really important. And so I always like to show up that way. I’m a bit of an open book and I think it’s important for people to see me as a person who’s trying to do the things that I’m trying to do well on behalf of others and what I care about.

I think the other thing is to say that I think folks have described me as a lead from the trenches type of person, and that can be a bit of a delicate balancing act. I really do feel like there shouldn’t be to some degree anything that I’m not willing to take on if it needs to get done. And at the same time, I have to be careful with my time and do the things that I uniquely can do perhaps. So I like to show up being hands-on in the work. I still am close to the projects that we work on to provide guidance and support and feedback and inspiration. And at the same time, the other facet of it is to be an inspirational leader, to try to be visionary, to help folks to see who we are as a group because everyone sees a lot of what they do through the work, maybe they’re focused on and being really strong at that. So a big part of my job is to help people understand how do we connect all those things and why. So because I do a lot of brand strategy work, the sense of our brand is as important as anything because that’s what unites us as a group.

Kevin Edwards: I love that. So important to start with core values, really building that into the brand. And for folks who aren’t aware of what Constructive does, could you give just a quick description about the services you provide?

Matt Schwartz: Sure, yeah. So we’re a brand strategy and experience design firm. So again, we work exclusively with social impact organizations, primarily nonprofits and some educational institutions. We do work with social impact businesses in the core issue areas that we’re deeply focused in. 

We do basically brand definition, brand assessments, strategy, positioning and messaging, defining what I would say are the visual, verbal and experiential sides of what a brand is. So how does the brand show up in the world? What does it sound like? What does it look like? Creating design systems that support the varied types of communications that folks do across print and interactive and in person for event related stuff. And then on the digital side, we do some fairly complex and large scale website work. So everything from content strategy to user experience design and of course engineering and site design. And we work on marketing work and looking at things like search engine optimization and other areas.

Kevin Edwards: That makes a lot of sense. And when you describe yourself as someone who leads from the trenches, that tells me you’ve really bootstrapped this company from the ground up. I mean you’ve done every single job in every single area. You know this company like the back of your hand, when you hire someone, you can focus on something else if they leave or they quit, you can take their roll up and make sure that you can land the plane or take care of things during transitional times. 

That can be of course very time consuming And anyone listening to this right now is probably like, yep, been there, done it. What is something that you are prioritizing right now when you think about your main priorities as you go throughout the week, what are they and how did you arrive at that conclusion?

Matt Schwartz: Well, I think I might look at it a couple of different ways, Kevin. I mean I think there’s always like, what are you prioritizing and focusing on at a high level that sustains throughout the year? And then of course there are things that go on in the ebbs and flows and so maybe I’ll start with that high level stuff. 

A big focus for Constructive over the last couple years has been focusing on how the leadership team works. I’ve invested a lot in leadership coaching, both I’ve had my own for many years and then have expanded that to all the Directors at Constructive so that they have access to that and we then do planning sessions to gather, help guide the company, and allow each of the directors to connect the work that their teams are doing to that vision. So that’s always a work in progress, but focusing on that has been a big and I think fruitful area of focus.

Another is process. I’ve done a lot of the things and when you’re a founder who has started something by himself as I have, as opposed to maybe having a partner, a lot of things can live inside your head or within a team, and if someone leaves, they bring some of that with them. 

We’ve been working a lot on a thing we call Working Constructively, which is laying out what clients can expect about the process, about how they work with us, because a lot of our clients don’t know the ins and outs of the things that we do. Documenting what they need to know, what’s important, how we need them to collaborate with us—so we can guide them. And then looking at the other side of that coin, which is what are the steps to the various things that we do.

Everything from when a new inbound comes from someone who wants to talk to us through to launching a great new project with them and what’s next. There are a lot of steps that go into all the different disciplines and there are ways of thinking about what you do within that, not just, oh, do this, then do that, but why? 

We’ve been focusing a lot at the leadership level on aligning on company vision, aligning on priorities per quarter, and then documenting and building out processes both for client experience and for ourselves. And those are the big ones. 

Then of course you mentioned how am I figuring that out on my day to day? I mean, maybe I just won’t bother getting into that. As I’m sure people can imagine it’s a lot of things from business development to helping support folks to reviewing work and giving feedback to meeting with clients, all those things.

Kevin Edwards: Sure, it makes a lot of sense. And of course documentation is a great pathway to scale. Any recommendations for tools, apps, programs that have been helpful with this documentation process?

Matt Schwartz: We’re using Notion right now. I mean I would talk to Paul Sternberg, who’s our outstanding Director of Strategy and UX and is a planner in the extreme. He’d probably have a lot more to say about this than I do. He’s the one leading that project and Notion is a good space for documenting and building out that kind of documentation. I know other people like Confluence, but I think that the best tool you can have is someone to support project management of it and treat it like a real project. That, and as for any internal project, treating it with the respect it deserves as you would your most important client project. At the end of the day, probably the most important work you’re going to do is for yourself so that you can show up well for the folks who trust you with their budgets and their brands. That’s key. Having someone who is shepherding that and we do have someone that assists Paul with the coordination and all the meetings that need to be scheduled.

Kevin Edwards: Well, thanks for sharing that, Matt. And two core values, you mentioned core values earlier, two core values that are in our community are folks are impact-oriented, but they’re also growth-minded. So maybe fill us in on a couple growth secrets or growth strategies that have been helpful for you when you think about what’s really been growing your business. You mentioned that outbounds are really not something you focus on. What’s been a great source of revenue generating opportunities for Constructive?

Matt Schwartz: The first has been content marketing. Kevin, when you and I started just before we hit the record button and we talked about what kind of matters to me, that is putting something of value out into the ecosystem. To me it’s critical. And so when I’m posting on LinkedIn or writing any articles, I take it really seriously for it to not be fluff and to be thoughtful and to do it in the spirit of sharing what I’ve learned or what my team is doing and has learned. Not puffing out our chest, but actually sharing with the intention of this might be helpful. And if it is, you might think well of us. And so for me it starts with that focus on delivering brand value and content marketing that follows through on that. Our newsletter is really focused on delivering good content. We get a lot of folks emailing back. I get them personally sometimes saying this was a great newsletter from folks that I know, which I really appreciate. 

So that’s a big one. And the other is intentional internal skill building around complimentary services. We do not want to be full service. You will never hear me say we are a full service agency because we want to be specialized and focused in the areas in which we excel. And so I think being intentional about what services you naturally have the ability to deliver on that you might connect really well to the work that you’re already doing. So for example, we are doing a lot more work on UX analytics, user testing, user research, search engine optimization, things of that nature because we build a lot of websites and we can help people understand what’s happening in them and bring more people into them. So we’ve invested in that. So I think those two things are the keys for us.

Kevin Edwards: It’s so crucial by providing value first. I think that that’s something that people miss, right? And that’s what really good companies do. 

Matt, one of the threads or just perplexing questions that I think is going around the impact space right now is, what is the brand? And it’s a basic question, but it’s not really a simple question. And the reason I ask is that some companies in this space, they want to be very inclusive, they want to serve everybody, but at the same time, brands really do have to be intentional about who they serve. In my experience, when you think about that question of how can I be an inclusive brand but still be very intentional about the products and services, how do you thread that needle as a brand?

Matt Schwartz: That’s a great question, Kevin. I love it because it’s top of mind. And actually it’s funny, you asked about what’s a focus. Our focus right now is we’re working on our own brand right now, and website. It’s been a good number of years and we’ve evolved and changed and have some thoughts about where we want to go and we want that to be reflected. So that is a project we’ll be working on. 

And what I’ll say is, I mean, first of all, we work in the social impact space and as you might imagine, there is a lot of focus on everything from DEI in how it shows up for our clients and their work and the actual missions they have to what diversity of opinion and of thought looks like in your partners. And I do think when we talk about the nonprofit space, it gets painted with a somewhat broad rush in a way that I think is actually unhelpful.

And maybe this is a sign of the maturity of the sector, which has been one of the largest growing sectors over the last 20 years actually. That is that nobody says, oh, where do you work? And you go, oh, well I work for an S corp and we do X. But a lot of people say like, oh, well I work for a nonprofit and a nonprofit is just a tax filing status. And this idea that if you work for nonprofits somehow you are a good fit for all of them is as foolish as saying we are an agency that focuses on businesses. 

So for Constructive, what that means right now is that we really show up, I think particularly well for specific types of clients and you can see it and I know it because when we get these inbounds from folks reaching out to us, because from the type of work that they are and the kind of work that they want done, we can quickly identify whether it seems to be a good fit.

And I boil it down to what I call “style box” of organization and then issue areas. And so what that means at a high level is Constructive, for example, I think is really good at working with nonprofits who are in the knowledge mobilization space. They are capacity building organizations. They do sector strengthening. They might provide professional development within a space such as education. They are research oriented. They might be a think tank, they’re a research institute, they work with data. That type of stuff is very different from a nonprofit that does community-based programs, for example. And you probably are looking for a different type of partner in that case. 

And then there are issue areas. We will work on a range of them, but they’re ones that we’re particularly strong on. We do a ton of work in climate change and sustainability. It’s one of our deepest areas of focus and has been for a long period of time. The same goes with education equity and education systems. And the same goes with healthcare and health equity. So any organization that is in this sort of knowledge mobilization or research or sort of even policy advocacy space and works in some of those areas or maybe public interest law, those are going to be really good fits for us. And if there’s an organization that’s focused on something that’s a more direct service nonprofit or a community program or such, maybe a bit less.

Kevin Edwards: And what’s that conversation? I mean, if they come to you and say, Hey, I’ve got a hundred thousand dollars I want to spend, but I’m not really in your style box, what are those conversations like?

Matt Schwartz: Well, so that’s where the issue areas help Kevin. And sometimes for us that’s really exciting. So for example, we have an organization that is a business and they are actually, one of the questions they have is they’re curious about how we would apply things to a business setting, but they happen to be in the sustainability space. 

We bring a lot of expertise and understanding of their audiences, the issues, what they’re motivated by, and so there’s a good connection there for us. So that would be the first thing. If there’s that kind of alignment, great. But if it’s in an issue area where we’re just not going to be able to bring the kind of expertise and be that consultative thought partner and practitioner that they want, quite frankly, I’m likely to suggest that say, look, I’m really glad that you reached out to us, but we might not be a great fit for you. Fortunately, I think we’re in a position where we have enough of the types of clients, both existing and new ones coming in who are in those spaces that we can graciously and gratefully decline. And I might recommend them to someone if I know someone who does particularly good work in that space.

Kevin Edwards: Interesting. And I’m just fascinated to learn a little bit more about your own brand reconstruction right now as it’s going on, as it’s taking place. Are you having an outside agency come in and say, Hey, you’re in the inside of the bottle, you need to have someone read the label on the outside? Or is it more internal work with the leadership team? Is it everyone in the company? Tell me a little bit more about your experience.

Matt Schwartz: Part of me might wish that I would bring someone in from the outside. I think that that could be a little bit freeing in a way, but I don’t think for us that’s a good fit given what we do. I think it’s just important that we do it. We are a brand strategy and experienced design firm, and I think we should focus our attention there and I think we can do a good job of that as long as we treat it like a real project. As I mentioned. I also think it’s really important to our people, and when we announced that it was time, I know members of the team were really excited and it’s a good opportunity too.

 I think an important thing to say on this is that we talked earlier about this idea, how do you get the stuff and the ideas that are inside your head out so other people can really understand and appreciate and kind of take them and run with them? Well, this kind of project is an ideal setting for that because we can focus on the strategic underpinnings of our brand and who we want to be and why. And then we can focus on the different practice areas of the way it sounds, the way it’s going to look and what the site’s going to be like that’s going to bring all that to life. And then as far as the team, it will be a handful of folks. It’s not everybody. Leadership is involved at a certain level. We’ve done a lot of work on developing our core values, developing things about the vision for the company over the next few years. There’s some discussions to have about how much we want to narrow our focus and some of the areas of the sciences and research and other issues that I mentioned. 

Of course the design team’s going to be involved, and we’re going to have our strategy team doing writing and messaging. I’ll be really heavily involved. And then of course our engineering team will be doing building. The only way we will bring folks in addition to that is if we get to a point where we’ve gotten a critical mass of the important decisions made and the foundational stuff in place, and we have a capacity crunch because we have a lot going on and we don’t want to lose velocity on it, I would bring in a production partner in one or more of the areas to just help us get it finished.

Kevin Edwards: Sure, that makes sense. Matt, throughout this conversation, you’ve continually reminded me, Hey, I’ve got a lot in my head. I need help. Have a lot going on. It’s a lot of pressure. But before the show, you had mentioned something, and I want to preface this to say it’s a very positive thing, and that is you have ADD and that Simon came on our show and we asked him what’s your superpower? And he said, ADD. And so I’ve come to a realization that I want to say about probably 60 to 70% of the members in our community, CEOs, impactors, they all have ADD in various different forms. How has that been an advantage, but also maybe a challenge throughout your process?

Matt Schwartz: Oh man, have I lived this while I walked this walk? ADD is absolutely a superpower for me in that my brain’s pretty active and I’m a very fast processor, so things can come to me quite quickly. I think I can see things sometimes with some clarity quickly. And as a lot of folks say, there are different types of leaders. The sort often using the traction model, a lot of your listeners and readers are probably familiar with the book Traction,  and then you’ve got your visionary leaders and then you’ve got your integrator types. And I’m definitely more the visionary leader where I might come up with 20 ideas on any given week and you should probably ignore 18 of them, but my brain’s going to keep churning them out. And I think when combined with enthusiasm and optimism, that can be a real boost for clients because I really like to help clients and our teams see what’s possible.

And I think your integrator types make people believe that what you think is possible is actually going to get done. And that’s the really important key. So it’s been a boost for me to have a very active brain that can juggle a lot of different things and kind of keep all the plates spinning when I’m on my game to do what you need to do as you’re growing a company, especially as a sole founder, where it’s a drawback or a thing to work on is about sticking within process. 

And I think what I’ve learned to really appreciate is that the process impacts other folks and that the way you communicate and document things and help them understand and then they tell you what they need—you need to stay on track with those things. And for anyone who has ADD in a significant way can attest, sometimes you can just get a little overwhelmed and you have to take a step away from your desk because you almost don’t know where to start.

I’m not a planner. I have an Eisenhower Matrix I keep to organize things and I regularly don’t look at it, so I try and then I walk away from it. So I think it gets in the way of good planning and that’s where I’ll say my leadership team comes in, if I were to give folks a tip. I have been blessed to both learn from and just have folks on our leadership team and in other spots who are heavy planners, very process oriented, really good in integrating stuff and structuring it and moving it through. And if you had two people with my mental model in a company of our size, you’d probably have more problems than solutions. And I think that having more people who focus on integrating, carrying through who are behind you and see or believe in what you’re looking to do, that’s a big help for that flaw because it does happen. There’s no doubt about it for me.

Kevin Edwards: Well, I think one thing I’m also gathering from your answers is that you’re also very self-aware, I think really. And you also have some humility with that too. So knowing thyself, that’s kind of the key, and I think that’s really important. And living your values of showing up as you are wearing it on your sleeve, it’s really important. Where do you go for an outlet when you try to get away, step away, get some space for some thoughts for you, where do you go?

Matt Schwartz: Well, there’s getting away just to get away and then for thought. I think for thought, I mean honestly, I find walking is probably one of the better ones, and sometimes getting to the gym, but walking is a good one because getting to a gym, you’re going through routines or you’re getting your sets of this and that in, and you kind of get a little focused on that. 

Walking gives your body and your mind room to roam, so that’s one of them. I think reading, which I don’t do nearly as much as I would like to, but reading is a good place to get away. So there’s that. Then there’s just for me, because my brain is often really active, getting away sometimes for me, a lot of it is just like my wife and I are in a bowling league with a neighbor and I love going bowling and I have two pinball machines in my house. I love pinball and pinball makes you be in the moment, right? It’s a great game that way. So I think activities like hanging out with friends, those things just matter a lot for me. The ideas come fast and furious all the time, or not all the time, but a lot. So the best place to get clarity for me is walking and just sort of being away from the desk.

Kevin Edwards: Look, I get it. I started doing a challenge this year. It’s the 75 hard challenge, like two exercises a day, 45 minutes each. I won’t go into the specifics, you can look it up, but I’ve been walking each day for 45 minutes. It’s just been an absolute game changer. So definitely recommend it for anyone that’s listening out there, man. I’m going to ask you four questions if I can to close this episode out. Very simple questions. First, when you’re at your best  what emotion are you experiencing?

Matt Schwartz: Ooh, man, I like that question. Just joy, just unbridled joy, because that covers so much—there are so many words I could use—but if I were to pick one, it would be that just excitement and there’s a feeling of, as my brother likes to say, sometimes you’re the pavement and sometimes you’re the steam roller, and when you’re really feeling good, you just like feel like you can do it all and you have a great amount of excitement and just joy in taking that on.  If you love what you do. Joy, fulfillment, uncapped, excitement, exuberance.

Kevin Edwards: When you’re at your worst, what emotion are you feeling?

Matt Schwartz: When I’m at my worst, despondent. Despondent, distant and irritable/ Not good enough. Yeah, irritable, but that’s not at my worst. I’m way harder on myself than being irritated at somebody else. Maybe I’m irritated with myself, and that’s a good way to say it, because being irritated with somebody else is a mask for avoiding being irritated at yourself, quite frankly. I think often, I’m just overly focused on inadequacies, right? When I’m at my worst, I’m feeling like I need to focus on what I’m not good at versus the things that I’m good at.

Kevin Edwards: Hyper fixated. Yeah, despondent. Okay. Now I want you to think of one state of being that would completely negate being despondent. What comes to mind?

Matt Schwartz: Partnership. Comradery.

Kevin Edwards: What emotion comes to mind?

Matt Schwartz: Connection. Being connected. Mutual appreciation. Appreciation. Yeah, because it’s not just respect. You can respect someone and perhaps not really appreciate them. There’s just, to me, partnership almost is an emotion. I get that it’s not, but there’s just the collaboration and appreciation which is the best way for me to say it, because when it’s going great, I have such appreciation. Let’s say the leaders on our team or a really great client that we work with (I always call the folks who work with partners). You are just so appreciative of what they’re bringing to the process and you appreciate that they see you for who you are and what you are bringing to the process too. And when that is there, boy, you can do just about anything.

Kevin Edwards: I love that. Well, that right there, I think is your superpower. That’s what I want you to focus on this year. When you feel despondent, try to get into that mindset of gratitude, the mindset of appreciation. These are the things people don’t talk about. When you get into the role of being a CEO, being a leader the path forward is for you clearly appreciation and gratitude. It’s been a pleasure having you on the show day in all of this.

Matt Schwartz: Yeah.

Kevin Edwards: What’s your definition of a real leader?

Matt Schwartz: My definition of a real leader? I am curious about what I said last year when I was asked this very same question. For me, a real leader is somebody who first and foremost shows up by putting the priorities of the whole and often others ahead of themselves. Sometimes you can’t put someone else’s individual priorities ahead of your own because you’re focused on the whole, but I think an effective leader is always focused on what is good for the organization, those who show up for it and trust her or him to lead. And you always show up with the best interests of the folks who work with you in mind, those who entrust you with their budgets and their brands in mind. And that you both listen and speak. Uncomfortable truths, which is one of Constructives core values that you listen, lead with intention, and speak uncomfortable truths when you have to so that everyone can hear hopefully what is in the best interests of the project or the company that you’re leading.

Kevin Edwards: Yeah, well said, Matt, another great episode here on the Real Leaders podcast today from Matt Schwartz and Kevin Edwards asking you to go out there, prioritize others over self. Thanks, Matt.

Matt Schwartz: Thanks Kevin.


If you would like to explore Matt’s first interview with Real Leaders, you can explore the transcript here. 

About the Author

Matthew Schwartz

Matthew Schwartz

Matt partners with Constructive’s clients and teams to make sure that we stay focused on what matters, and that both our partnerships and the work we produce meets our shared expectations and the highest standards. With 27 years of experience as a designer, brand strategist, and writer for the social impact sector, Matt helps Constructive’s teams create processes and practices that create brand value for nonprofits and social impact businesses—elevating how mission and purpose are translated into brand-aligned strategy, messaging, and designed experiences.


Matt contributes to the field of nonprofit design, serving on the Leadership Team for the NY chapter of The Communications Network, writing, speaking, mentoring, and conducting workshops. His work has been recognized for excellence by numerous organizations such as The Webbys, Communication Arts, Print Magazine, The Case Awards, Graphic Design USA, The W3 Awards, The Communicator Awards, and others. Matt earned his BA from Sarah Lawrence College in Writing & Visual Studies, and then conducted post-graduate design studies at the School of Visual Arts, Rhode Island School of Design, and Parsons.

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