MBN’s Partnership with the Capital Region Minority Chamber of Commerce

Transcribed Interview between LaTryce Anderson & Stan Matthews, Founder & CEO of The Matthews Business Network

· Business

StandardMag: First of all, Mr. Matthews, could you explain, real quick...again, this may be redundant, the relationship between the Matthews Business Network and the Capital Region Minority Chamber of Commerce?

Stan: Right! So, MBN is a professional network, LaTryce, where we exchange qualified referrals with each other, and we also build relationships and make strategic connections. Capital Region Minority Chamber of Commerce is a full chamber of commerce that hosts educational events for business & chamber members; interacts with public policy makers, at the state and federal level, as an advocate for business owners; and helps business owners engage in business transactions that require bonding and other instruments with public and private entities. So a Chamber of Commerce is kind of the public policy and transactional partner with business whereas a professional network is more of a relationship building entity. So, that’s the difference. We’re in professional network. They are chamber of commerce. Our focus is qualified referral exchange and also relationship and strategic connections. Theirs is more about effecting, advocating and implementing policy on behalf of the chamber members.

StandardMag: And I want to thank you for your networking and thank you for allowing me to do this interview. First of all, I should have started out with that. .

Stan: Mmm-hmm. My pleasure.

StandardMag: What is the agreement or the affiliation that has come between MBN and the Region Chamber of commerce?

Stan: Capital Region Members and MBN members are entitled to belong to both organizations. Capital Region and MBN will jointly fund a lobbying effort to lobby public policy makers at the state and federal level on behalf of our membership. A lobbying firm is a paid advocacy group that interacts with policy makers and basically tells them, “These are the interests of my clients and these are what my clients are interested in promoting.” The public policy makers take that into consideration. In the constitution, it says that citizens will have a fair and unfettered opportunity to advocate their interests to their elected officials. And so, this is part of that advocacy that has allowed, and in fact encouraged by the constitutional founders, that citizenry will let their elected officials know what their issues are.

So the lobbying piece and also the membership piece - we are going to see ourselves as one entity. We’re going to continue to be independent, but from the perspective of membership and from the perspective of lobbying, we’re gonna see ourselves as united. The third area that we will see ourselves as united is the Capital Region and MBN Empowerment Fund. We’re going to collectively sell “The Historical News Journal” and we’re going to take the proceeds of those sells and we’re going to focus on the following things: providing resources to help underfunded companies get commercials on tv and social media, to provide resources for young couples to get assistance with their down payment in buying a home, to get resources to provide scholarships for deserving students to go to four year schools, and fourth to fund the payment to the lobbying firm that will lobby state and federal policy makers on our behalf.

StandardMag: Since we’re dealing with policy makers, is this for a specific state or a specific region? Will this transcend to all the chapters nationwide for MBN?

Stan: For the next three years, it will be focused on influencing policy makers at the state level primarily and then it will move into a lobbying effort they may expand. From this perspective, the beginning points, since MBN & Capital Region is headquartered in New Jersey, will primarily influence New Jersey policy makers at state and federal level.

StandardMag: For those who are members of MBN in the New Jersey area, what would you advise them to do to get started and make sure they are fully engaged in this merger?

Stan: Well, the thing that we are all going to do is at this coming Monday’s meeting, we’re going to offer a way they can participate in growing the Empowerment Fund. So, we’re going to share how individuals can buy “The Historical News Journal” and how non-profits can buy the journals. So it will be the sells to individuals and the sales to non-profits that will drive this Empowerment Fund and drive revenue to the fund.

StandardMag: Are there any final thoughts or words that you would like to say regarding this merger? You know, I can hear the excitement in your voice. What are you looking forward to and what are some of the end results that you are looking forward to seeing?

Stan: I would say, I’m most excited about the fact that the movement to build generational wealth, collectively, is increasing in momentum and force. I realize that people sometimes look at events like this as a moment in time. I never look at it as a moment in time. I look at it as a movement.

StandardMag: Yes.

Stan: Right? And so a movement, is when a group of people make up their mind about goals and values that they have and they say, “This is not an occurrence, this is a way of life.”

StandardMag: Yes, sir!

Stan: So I’m most excited about the fact that people are seeing their desire to build generational wealth as a collective rather than as individuals. You know, as it was told to me many years ago by my business mentor, we’ve got to get together to get ahead. And that’s individually, and financially, and politically. A collective elects a president. A collective makes a corporation. The shareholders make a corporation valuable. The individual is part of the collective, but the collective can do so much more than the individual. So that’s what I’m happiest about, I see people making decisions to be a collective. I’ll also say this, I think that other chambers of commerce, other business entities are also going to partner with MBN. They’re going to see MBN as a partner. I think this is the first and not the last of these kinds of partnerships.

StandardMag: That is wonderful and I believe that as well. Mr. Matthews. I want to thank you for your time. This was my first interview. Karey allowed me to take the reigns with this one. (Both laughing) My final question to you is, how did I do with my first interview, sir?

Stan: Ah, I think you did well! You asked the questions that were important to you and I think you did very well. So, congratulations on your new journalism career and have a great time doing it! (Both laughing) Have a good time because my thing about anything we endeavor to do...when people ask me questions about their success or lack of their success or whatever they’re doing, LaTryce, I always ask them, “Do you love it and would you do it for free?”

StandardMag: Mmm-hmmm. (In agreement)

Stan: Anything that you would do for free that you love, you’re going to be fantastically successful. Anything else you do is work...

StandardMag: Exactly!

Stan: ...and you’re not gonna be successful! So, in short, my advice to you is love it or leave it alone.

StandardMag: Amen! I agree with that. Well, thank you, Mr. Matthews, for your time. You are dear to my heart; you know this already as my mentor and as someone I see as figurehead and father-head, in my life. I just thank you, again, for the opportunity, and your patience in me just growing and getting my life together. Now that things in my life are finalized, I want to personally thank you from the bottom of my heart; the space where I don’t allow a lot of people to be. You, Karey, and a few others have been very influential. I wish there was more I could do than just say thank you, but at this moment that’s all I can say, but I mean it from the bottom of my heart.

Stan: I appreciate the thought. That’s also a moment in time. There was also a moment in time when Tyler Perry was sleeping in a Volkswagen and he said a similar thing to a lady that bought him lunch ‘cuz she knew he was living in his car with a headlamp on writing his play, “Madea,” his first play. And he said I wish I could do more ma’am, I just truly thank you. She knew he wasn’t eating. He was living in his car. So at another moment in time, Tyler Perry bought that woman a whole house. So I’m waiting for my house.

StandardMag: (Laughing) Understood, Mr. Matthews!

Stan: So your moment in time is coming! This is just a moment in time, this is not a lifetime. It’s a moment. They’ll be other moments and we’ll have this conversation again then.

StandardMag: Yes, sir. I look forward to it. Thank you so much.

Stan: Alright, you have a blessed day.

StandardMag: You, too.

Stan: Bye.

StandardMag: Good-bye.

-End of transcribed interview.-