Matt Katz

Occupation: Vice President Services, Teknowledge

First Car: 1990 Chevrolet Berretta

Favorite Restaurant: Erna's Elderberry House, Oakhurst, CA

What are three things most people don't know about you?

My hobbies and pastimes that are not always apparent…

a). Sailor
b). Sketch artist
c).Cake decorator

What's the best memory from your youth?

I have some great memories of the dingy sailing community and competitive races in So. Cal. / Marina del Rey.

If you could have a conversation with a person of your choice, past, present or future, who would that person be and why?

I would love to have a conversation with Warren Buffett, particularly in light of his recent charitable giving...he has always been an intriguing personality to follow, and I think he has made a distinct, positive impact on so many companies.

What's the hardest thing you've ever done in your life?

Watching, and standing bedside for 3 months as my newborn, premature son demonstrated his incredible will to live. I am very pleased to report that he is now a very healthy, active 4 1/2 year old with an insatiable curiosity and a beautifully caring demeanor.

What's your favorite hobby?

  1. Spending time with my wife and kids
  2. Golf, when time permits

What are you currently reading? What is your favorite book?

Currently reading:  Neil Stephenson; The Baroque Cycle, Volume 3, “System of the World”

Favorite book:  Edward Tufte, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information (no, it is not as “dry” as it sounds!)

Is there a particular place or thing you want to see?

At some point I would like to travel to either New Zealand or Iceland…two very different places on the map, but both have “island” cultures and unique climates that I would love to experience.

If you could give $10,000 to a charity, what would that charity be and why?

Given my personal experience with these organizations, I would donate to either March of Dimes or the Jewish Family and Children Services (of San Francisco). As two of my three kids were born prematurely, and we have been very fortunate to have positive outcomes with these organizations’ support, I am eager to give back to families facing similar challenges.

If you weren't on the professional services career track, what would you be doing?

I have been fortunate to experience a few different career tracks, in both Management Consulting and Financial Services. If I did not love my current work, and could not make it as an amateur golfer, I would likely work in public education.

What is the path that led you to Professional Services/Consulting?

I started my career in Management Consulting, where every project was a one-off effort, and one’s only leverage for results were the teams (labor) assembled to deliver the projects. I then jumped in to the enterprise software industry, where the teams were important but more importantly we had a ‘product’ (capital) to leverage, re-use and focus the project on specific outcomes. After 8 years in software, I took a one-year ‘break’ to work for a large customer, from the inside, but soon found myself wanting the smaller company, start-up environment that was more agile and dynamic. I am now back in software, and loving every day’s challenge and faster pace.

What advice would you give to a recent graduate who just took a job in professional services?

Seek out and work with a mentor, not in your direct reporting/management chain, that has experience you value, and has the demonstrated ability to coach. Many career paths will open to you along the way, and it is invaluable to have a sounding board for the evaluations you will make. My coach/mentor have become good friends after 15 years of this dialogue, and I always value the perspective and insights he brings to my career.