It's difficult to find a label for Terri Matthews. "Whirlwind" might be appropriate, or “trailblazer." Taking on the diverse mantles of intrepid "serial entrepreneur," passionate philanthropist, dedicated mom, style icon, and all-around life-loving go-getter, the California native has emerged as an inspiring changemaker in Philadelphia and across the country.
Terri's drive started early. After enrolling herself in college at the age of fifteen, she self-funded her education, graduating with degrees in Human Resources Business Management and HR Law. From there, she hit the ground running, throwing her trademark focus and determination into her business aspirations. She has applied her skills as a senior executive at numerous Fortune 500 corporations, successfully improving work-flow and process, balancing multimillion dollar budgets, and increasing production and profits.
Living up to the epithet of “serial entrepreneur," Terri has also embarked on ventures from construction to consulting to clothing. She is currently the president of MattCo Construction, Inc., standing out as one of the few women to hold such a position in the male-dominated construction management field. In addition, she owns and operates CleanIt Solutions, Inc., an environmental cleaning concepts company, and TM Partners, LLC, a consulting firm where she channels Olivia Pope in dealing with high-profile clients (though minus the sleeping with presidents). And that’s hardly the end of the story. Further endeavors include her healthcare company, ORI HomeCare; an inspirational clothing line deemed Gravity & Grace focused on forgiveness and humility; and a partnership in IKAN, a community of women seeking female empowerment and representation in the corporate world.
While Terri has a proven track record in the corporate arena, her passion lies with helping people, both in overcoming obstacles and in achieving their dreams. She speaks from experience, citing her own modest background and early challenges as key stepping stones in developing her drive and skills today. In her mission to help people turn dreams into reality, she has spoken to crowds of over 30,000 through panels, faith-based conferences and seminars, educational organizations, corporate gatherings and more.
Yet one of her biggest inspirations comes from her son, Jaden, who was diagnosed with autism at the age of three. The mother of three dropped everything to tend to the needs of her youngest child, diving head-first into understanding the complexities of services needed for children with autism. As she dedicated time and money to ensuring that Jaden received the most advanced therapies available, Terri was struck by the overwhelming obstacles facing families of autistic children. She jumped into action and in 2010 founded Jaden's Voice, Inc., a nonprofit that provides vital support, therapies, information, and capital to families impacted by autism. As CEO of Jaden’s Voice, Terri leverages her extensive background in human resources and business strategy to fundraise and take action to benefit families in need. A key achievement of this is Jaden’s Friends; an approach developed in partnership with Apple and the A.J. Drexel University Autism Institute, Jaden’s Voice certifies environments as autism-friendly. Terri’s enthusiasm for autism advocacy and her determination to address the needs of underserved demographics led to her election as the President of Early Intervention Services for the State of Pennsylvania, as well as appointment by Philadelphia Councilman-At-Large Dennis O'Brien to serve on his Philadelphia Autism Project.
And despite the jam-packed schedule, this stylish trailblazer shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.