On Thursday, The Chronicle published its "20 Under 40" special section to recognize some of our area's top young professionals.
The section was produced through a partnership with Young Professionals of Lewis County.
We'll highlight each of our honorees with personal profiles beginning today.
Pick up a copy of Thursday's edition of The Chronicle for the full special section.
Name: Matt Noren
Town of Residence: Chehalis
Employer: Thorbeckes Athletic Club and Pacific Sports Spa
I have helped coached my kids soccer and baseball teams for several years and we help organize community events through Thorbeckes such as the Annual Turkey Trot which benefits the Boys and Girls Club of Chehalis and Visiting Nurses foundation, the annual Health Fair which benefits United Way and am always trying to do as much as I can with local youth and high school and college sports programs.
Andrea (wife). Children: Brantley (8), Kynsley (6), Camden (2), Lakelyn (10 months).
What do you appreciate most about our community?
Neither my wife or I are originally from Lewis County, however we immediately fell in love with Chehalis when we moved here in 2009. We have made some incredible friends and the community support we have received has been amazing. We are blessed that our children are lucky enough to attend the Chehalis School District. And being able to walk into a local high school gym and know most of the people there, several since I was a child, is something that is incredibly special to me.
Who is your mentor and what is one lesson you have learned from that person?
The person I would consider my mentor, and also learned the most from was my Grandpa, Robert Aiken. While he passed away in 2006, he was my best friend, he guided me through some difficult times and taught me so many lessons that I still use nearly daily. He worked extremely hard, was a very successful person, and the most important lesson of all that he taught me was that regardless of what was going on in life, to always make sure to spend as much time as possible with family.
Tell us one hobby or fact that people would find interesting about you.
I have an obsession with Disneyland. It is my favorite place to travel to and my son Brantley and I are always quizzing each other on random Disney history. Also, Kathy Pullin, the previous Thorbeckes owner and wife of Dale Pullin, was a Willapa Valley graduate as I am. Also, her mom Betty was my bus driver in grade school.
Describe a defining moment in your career.
There was a point in 2015 where I realized I needed to do something with my career that I truly enjoyed. I had a successful company, but realized I did not enjoy what I was doing. Athletics, whether the actual game or the work behind the scenes from game planning to training, has always been a consistent passion in my life. I decided I needed to figure out a way to combine my love for sports with a profession that didn’t exist locally and attempt to make a career out of it. About 18 months later we opened Pacific Sports Spa, the opportunity with Thorbeckes presented itself six months later and here we are.