Guest, Matthew J. Cary

Guest Name: 
Matthew J. Cary
Matthew J. Cary
Guest Occupation: 
Executive Director of Veterans and Military Families for Progress (VMFP)
Guest Biography: 

Matthew Cary currently serves as senior marketing and sales advisor for IOREX/USA a water pipe protector and treatment company headquartered in Washington, DC and Seoul, South Korea. Matthew also serves as the executive director of Veterans and Military Families for Progress (VMFP) a 501(c)(4) non-profit, non-partisan, tax-exempt national veteran and military family veteran service organization. VMFP’s mission is to endorse and elect veteran andmilitary family members for public office, advocate for legislation before Congress and state legislatures which assists veterans and their families with coming home issues and educatethe media and civilian population on these critical matters. Matt was recently elected to serve a second two-year term as VMFP Executive Director by its board of directors in December 2017. In addition, he was recently appointed to serve a four-year term on the board of directors of the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroesa 501(c)(3) non-profit veteran organization whose mission is to assist Iraq and Afghanistan disabled veterans with their transition to civilianlife.Matt was appointed director of the DC Office of Veterans Affairs by Mayor Vincent C. Gray in April 2011 and was unanimously confirmed by members of the Council of the District of Columbia in June 2011. During his four years in office, he initiated several new programs for DC veterans and their families including the furniture donation program for DC homeless veterans and their families resulting in donations of furniture and household items valued at $1.5 million from several military installations which has been delivered to 500 DC homeless veterans moving into transitional or permanent housing. The new DC Veterans and Spouse License Plate program provides display tags to District veterans and their spouses who are residents of the District of Columbia through the sale of tags by its partner, the DC Department of Motor Vehicles. The program has sold more than 155 license plates and raised more than$8,000 for the DC Office of Veterans Affairs(DCOVA) Veterans Assistance Fund to assist DC needy veterans. The VALOR program is a financial literacy initiative providing debt management, credit management,financial planning, management and budgeting counseling through classroom and online training to DC veterans. The program has provided free educational training through its partners Financial Education Literacy Associates and Bank on DC to more than 200 District veterans and their families. Thefourth program is a Christmas holiday toy and clothing event for DC military and veteran families’ children ages two through 18. DCOVA and its partner AFL-CIO Helmets to Hardhats organization provided toys and clothing to 80 children in 2013 and 180 in 2014.Cary was instrumental in helping a senior staff member become accredited by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as a certified claims officer to prepare and present DC veterans disability claims to the VA.Since 2011, through Matt’s leadership,DCOVA has broken ground on four affordable transitional and permanent DC veteran housing projects with supportive services providing more housing.

From 1986 to his DC government appointment in 2011, Cary was president and chief executive officer of his own government relations and international marketing consulting firm representing the interests of public and private sector clients with the U.S. Congress, federal and state government agencies and linking U.S. companies to foreign government projects in water treatment and solid waste management.Prior to starting his own small business, Matt was director of federal programs for a consulting engineer trade association, director of the New York State Washington Office for former Governor Hugh Carey. As an employee of the U.S. Conference of Mayors,he was the Washington representative to the mayors of seven cities (Bayamon, PR; Buffalo, NY; Houston, TX;Kenner, LA;Richland, WA; Riverside, CA; and Sunnyvale, CA). He was also legislative director to a former congressman from New York.Cary holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration with a concentration in urban management and urban planning from American University and a BA Degree in Social Science from St. Bonaventure University. He was elected president of the National Democratic Club in Washington,DC in 2018 and previously served as first vice president, treasurer and a member of the board of directors. Matt serves on the board of directors of Veterans and Military Families for Progress,the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes and Sports Management Associates. He was also inducted into the Washington, DCMetroMen’s Adult and Senior Amateur Baseball League Hall of Fame in 2008.Matt has been a resident of the District of Columbia for 49  years and currently resides in Ward 3 with his wife Dana. Matt and Dana enjoy global travel and have visited Argentina, Brazil, numerous Caribbean Islands, Chile, China,Czech Republic, England,France,Greece, Iceland,India,Ireland,Italy, Japan, Mexico, Paraguay,Portugal,Scotland,Sicily, Spain,Thailand and Vietnam.He is originally from Elmira, New York.