E!C's Rising Star: Matt Fieldman
My admissions counselor once told me that no matter where you land, as long as you submerse yourself in the culture of a new place, you’ll begin to love that place. Engage! Cleveland’s most recent Rising Star, Matthew Fieldman, seems to have had no trouble following that advice. From his circle of friends and colleagues to his endeavors in the community, Matthew’s submersion in the Cleveland lifestyle is what made him stand out to us as well as his colleagues. Matthew is a transplant Clevelander who moved here in 2007 and since has obtained a position as Senior Account Executive at Fathom, the digital marketing firm. When asked about what he loves about being a young professional in Cleveland, Matthew said, “I love that this is a place where you can build a strong network that will follow you from place to place and support you in each new endeavor you take on. Everyone is separated by just one degree, so building that strong network – both in person and through LinkedIn – pays dividends when you want an introduction to someone you don’t know…yet.”
Of course with Cleveland’s big-city, small-town atmosphere, you really cannot submerse yourself into the culture without knowing its best neighborhoods, and Matthew is no stranger to the concept. When asked about his favorite spot in Cleveland, he replied, “I love Root Café on the West Side. I love the energy, commitment to our environment, liberal and accepting vibe, and of course the food. The neighborhood reminds me of one of my favorite neighborhoods in DC, ClevelandPark, with all [of] the intellectualism and the international flavor. I would pay a lot of money for them to open up a place in my neighborhood of University Heights!” That being said, Matthew isn’t waiting for Root Café to spread that energy around, and that’s what makes him our Rising Star.
In fact, what you may not know about Matthew is that he and co-founder Brandon Chrostowski are using their talents to develop and give back to the community they love. Their endeavor, EDWINSRestaurant and Leadership Institute, is set to open this September in Shaker Square. Matthew explained to us that EDWINS is a “social enterprise—a mix of a for-profit, fine dining restaurant with a nonprofit educational institute.” His greatest hope is that in working at their restaurant and learning a valuable trade, “ex-offenders will learn a new career in fine dining and successfully reintegrate into society, while simultaneously serving the best meals in Cleveland.”
With such an innovative idea to help others, we were interested to see if Matthew lived by any particular philosophy—and we were not disappointed! “I’m motivated by the Hebrew phrase tikkun olam meaning the commitment to repairing our broken world,” he told us. “Judaism tells us that the world is like a jar that’s been shattered, with the pieces flung far and wide; our job in life is to reassemble that jar, piece by piece. If I can put a couple of pieces back in the right places in my lifetime, then I’ve done my share.” Here at Engage! Cleveland, we think Matthew is well on his way to finding those pieces, and we are proud to name him as a Rising Star.
If you know a young professional doing amazing things for Cleveland, consider nominating him or her as an Engage! Cleveland Rising Star. Interested readers can nominate their peers by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.