With Dallas, GCB, Most Eligible Dallas and the A-List, Dallas has become a hot-bed for television, both reality and network, and I couldn’t be happier. Yes, it skews the vision of Dallas, but it gets the conversation started and that is always a good thing. Recently, we caught up with Matt Nordgren.
Some will know Matt Nordgren from the much discussed first season run of Most Eligible Dallas, but others around Dallas will know him from Nordco, his time as a Longhorn at the University of Texas or from being an active member of the Dallas social-charity circuit, but when I sat down with him, I wanted to know about his Leadership Foundation, the “why”, “how”, and the “what” is next. I wanted to know what he loved about Dallas, and the best advice that he has ever received. He graciously sat down and let me pick his brain.
For this interview, we met at the Nordco offices situated in the gorgeous Rolex building off of Harwood. From a breathtaking skyscraper view, we got to watch Dallas sky minutes before the infamous hail storm was rolled into the city. I had seen and met Matt out and about at various different social engagements, but I was excited to see him in his own setting.
We started the conversation about, “What makes Dallas Great?” A smile lit his face and he spoke about how Dallas is a “people town” and that life here is “centered on its residents and after being all around the world he loves being here”. People that “do good, work hard” and make connections “can do really well here.” He loves the way of life here and the cost of living well in Dallas makes it possible to travel and do most anything and still come home to a really nice place to live. He mentions Eddie V’s and Javier’s as places to that he loves to eat, when he wants consistently good food and nice atmosphere.
I asked him about The Leadership Foundation which he founded in 2011. I asked him why, with all of the resources and options in Dallas, why start another foundation rather than just contribute to another one. He said, “Necessity, given all the relationships (that he has been given), not to utilize them for good would be a sad thing. ” He wants to be a “value-added” component to each relationship that he is a part of be it personal or professional, and that is the mission of the Leadership Foundation, to build young leaders and create young citizens that are and will continue to be value-added components to their community. He happily discussed how it has brought a greater value to his life and how he feels it is a valuable use of his time.
An athlete to his core, it is easy to see that the Leadership Foundation flows out of Nordgren’s personality and builds on his unique way of interacting and ingratiating others and strategically thinking about how to build a network. I can easily see in the future, a manifestation of Matt’s vision of program that brings the best and brightest of Dallas-Ft.Worth youth together to create a young leader think-tank of sorts that builds upon itself and makes Dallas and the world a better place; The Leadership Symposium that will be held for the first time during in the next school year.
But it all starts with the message that they impart to the students and the one that Matt lives by, “Live with a Purpose — Lead with a Purpose”. Nordgren speaks easily of “Leading with a Purpose”. It is clear that he has experience motivating others and is cognizant of each step and decision he takes from abstaining from alcohol (we visited on his one year anniversary of the choice) to his choice of dating partners. He believes that “Everyone is a leader to somebody, somewhere, and that you should act like it.” And that “time is his most valuable resource”.
We are looking forward to seeing how the Leadership Foundation, with Matt Nordgren at the helm, develops in the future.
To get a greater scoop into his world, follow Matt on Twitter @MattNordgren