Matt Jones ’06

Executive Director of Gateway Region YMCA in O'Fallon, MO

Bachelor of Science in Recreation Management

Please describe your position and what you enjoy most about it.

I currently serve as the Executive Director of the O’Fallon Family YMCA in O’Fallon, MO. I run our flagship branch with daily operations/fundraising and help lead the sports programs for all 23 of our locations. I’m most definitely a people person…this job requires that and so much more. It’s the face of the Y, it’s being in the public, it’s fundraising and it’s advocacy work. People view success in so many different ways. This is what makes the Y so diverse. I love being a part of something that creates opportunity for anyone regardless of age, income or background. Everyone should have at a minimum, an opportunity to learn, grow and thrive and I believe we do just that.

What aspects of your HLGU experience helped you prepare for your career?

Just leadership in general. The “experience” was simple…get out there and get involved. HLG prepared me for that by showing me the map and it was up to me to determine how to get where I wanted to go.

What have you enjoyed most about your career?

The amount of people that I get to meet. I’ve moved 25 times. So, meeting people was just second nature. It has been a pleasure to work with so many people across the nation that live in the same world that I do and are as every bit committed to the success of others.

What HLGU professors played a part in your success? How did your relationship with faculty help you succeed?

Dr. Tom Hufty – a friend and mentor more than he will ever know.
Mrs. Rhoads – The words “get it in gear” mean more now than ever.
Mrs Burt – She made Literature I and II fun. I mean come on! A genius in the field.

Do you have any tips to share with students interested in this field?

Never underestimate the importance of volunteering. Put yourself out there. Learn new things. Make mistakes…small ones! Learn from people and never be afraid to ask for help.


Find Matt on LinkedIn