Board Spotlights: Matt Astphan, Director

Interview with Matt Astphan, Director, Skate for the 22. This interview originally appeared in Issue 3 of the SFT22 newsletter, What the Puck. 

By night, your SFT22 board members are working to create a supportive community of veterans all united by hockey. By day, however, they take on different roles. Last month, we introduced Dr. Michele Baker, the board’s medical director, who is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. This month, we welcome Matt Astphan, one of the board’s directors. When he is not working with SFT22, he is an operations manager for Amazon, working at the Amazon Fresh delivery site in Everett. In his spare time, Matt enjoys golfing and travelling.

 

“The most interesting destination I’ve visited is probably Brazil,” he said. “Rio is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen.”

 

Matt was raised in a military family. His father, uncle, and sister all served in the army, and he followed by joining the Marine Corps.

 

“I always had it in the back of my mind as an option. During undergrad, I couldn’t see myself doing anything else. I didn’t want to sit in an office for the first few years of my 20s, and being a Marine seemed really challenging, with a chance to gain leadership experience.”

 

Matt spent five years as an infantry officer before being deployed to Afghanistan in 2010. While in the Marines, he learned valuable lessons about leadership, time management, and teamwork. After returning from Afghanistan, he obtained an MBA from Boston University’s Questrom School of Business, which is where he started getting involved in the nonprofit world, and ultimately, SFT22.

 

“In July of last year, my sister saw something posted on social media abut Skate for the 22. They were looking for a veteran to join the board of directors. I had just graduated with an MBA from [Questrom] and during that time, had taken a course on management consulting. I spent time working with local nonprofits in Boston as part of the course, so I contacted Charlie and Bobby, and after meeting with them, they brought me on board.”

 

While he does not actively play hockey, Matt describes himself as a Boston Bruins fan. He was introduced to the sport as a child by his grandfather, who took Matt to his Friday night hockey games. Matt, however, was more of a football player, but still follows and cheers for the Bruins during playoff season. His favorite player is Brad Marchand. According to Matt, Marchand is a small, gritty, tough player who plays bigger than his size, but brings a lot of heart, passion, and toughness to the game.

 

As a part of the board of directors, Matt’s goal is to help the organization scale as it grows. He wants to ensure that the strategy, vision, and mission stay true as SFT22 expands its programs to other parts of the country.

 

Our next feature will be SFT22 co-founder Dan Wesinger.

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