Matt, a Vice President at CIT Bank, is currently responsible for originating and structuring commercial aircraft financing opportunities within the aviation industry. His day-to-day role involves analyzing and pricing debt secured by commercial aircraft while building and maintaining relationships with airlines, aircraft lessors, banks, hedge funds, private equity firms, and other industry-related institutions.
Matt currently works and resides in New York City. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree with a double major in Finance and Risk Management/Insurance from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, where he attended the Haub School of Business.
What kind of role did Kellenberg Memorial play in shaping you into the person you are today?
I have been fortunate enough throughout my life to have had a strong family foundation complemented by 15+ years of Catholic school education. Beginning with Maria Regina for elementary school, then Kellenberg Memorial for high school, followed by Saint Joseph’s University for undergrad, each progression within my formal education was more than just an academic institution. As the years go by, I look back and appreciate the sacrifices my parents made to create these opportunities. Maria Regina is still my family’s parish and I try to stay involved as an alumnus of both Kellenberg and SJU.
As everyone knows, high school plays an important part in the development of an individual’s identity. I think many former students can attest to the positive impact of attending Kellenberg. Whether it’s the experiences a student has through the sports played, the clubs joined, the events attended, or the friendships formed, all aspects leave a lasting impression. Kellenberg certainly does not fall short of the opportunities provided to make high school a positive experience.
I’ve always felt that Kellenberg realizes everyone is more than just a student. My oldest brother was in the military and deployed overseas during my sophomore year. I’ll never forget the assembly held that focused on students with family members in the military. I felt honored when I was asked to participate in a pre-recorded interview. I was excited the day of the assembly, but also a little nervous as I didn’t know what to expect. When it came to the part with pictures of my brother and the interview, I was filled with all different types of positive emotions. I remember going home and showing my parents a DVD of the assembly. I was so proud to be a part of it and always appreciated Kellenberg’s support. The experiences I’ve had throughout my life, including at Kellenberg, have had a direct impact on who I am as a person today and for that I am grateful.
How did Kellenberg prepare you for success in college and in your career?
My experience at Kellenberg was an important building block for developing a strong work ethic. While trimesters and comprehensive exams were challenging, they were instrumental in developing the fundamentals for preparation and hard work. For me, the amount of effort and time dedicated to school work and studying was directly correlated with my academic performance. By the time I arrived at Saint Joseph’s freshman year, I felt prepared and aware of what it took to keep myself motivated to succeed academically. My experience as a student was an important part of the development of a skillset I rely on each and every day in my current role.
You recently attended the NYC Alumni Social at Juniper Bar. What made you want to attend the event and reconnect with fellow Firebird alums?
I’ve remained friends with many former classmates over the years. Regardless of how often I see them, many are lifelong friends. The friendships formed in high school and college are relationships where you can pick up right where you left off and it doesn’t skip a beat. I was talking with a friend (Mike Hutchinson ’08) and we decided to attend the Alumni Social and catch up. I plan on attending my 10-year reunion this upcoming June and look forward to catching up with friends from Kellenberg. I am also looking into playing in the annual golf outing on June 4th.
Who was your favorite teacher, moderator, or coach when you were a student here, and why?
While there are many faculty members who have left a lasting impression in the classroom and on the field, I think I’d have to go with my former “bosses” Jeff Harris ’03 and Kevin Murphy ’03. Like many students, I worked at Kellenberg over the summers and throughout the school year. Jeff and Kevin were college students at the time and involved in countless activities/events sponsored by and/or affiliated with Kellenberg. We’ve remained friends over the years and I always enjoy catching up. It shows that Kellenberg has a lot of great people involved throughout every facet of the administration and faculty.