Exton, PA – The Exton Region Chamber of Commerce is delighted to announce the winner of the 2018 Senator Robert J. Thompson Public Service award. Chester County Prothonotary Matthew (Matt) Holliday will be recognized as the public official who has made an outstanding contribution to the Exton Region.
Matt Holliday knew at age eight that he wanted to dedicate his life to public service. From the moment that transformed his life as a young boy he knew that his path forward would be helping people with honesty and humanity.
Matt has just finished his third year as Chester County Prothonotary, an elected position. As Prothonotary he is chief clerk for the courts of law. He manages a budget of over 1.4 million dollars, presides over public ceremonies such as the oath of citizenship at Naturalization Ceremonies, implemented an e-filing system and identified a language service that provides real time translations for customers in over 70 languages via the phone and other extraordinary tasks. Matt does his job well but what makes him stand out is the humanity that he brings to the position.
“One of my favorite aspects of being County Prothonotary are the opportunities that come up for my staff and I to work behind the scenes to help people,” as matt relays the following story: “On Tuesday afternoon, Phyllis, my head court clerk, came into my office to let me know that she had just spoken to a man who was in a tough spot. His brother, who was a war veteran, had passed away and left him as the Executor of his estate. The man had arranged to have his deceased brother buried in Arlington National Cemetery, but due to some unusual circumstances, Arlington Cemetery needed a court order granting the brother/executor permission to bury this veteran on Thursday (today) otherwise they wouldn’t be able to honor his request to be buried there at all.
Phyllis and I put our heads together and decided to reach out to the First Deputy Register of Wills to see if we could fast track an emergency petition to get this required court order before it was too late. We could have left it there having done much more than the average government workers typically would do, but Phyllis and the First Deputy Register of Wills went the extra mile to assist this man. We sat with him and assisted him as much as we could with each step of the process and within a few hours he left the Justice Center with the Court Order that he needed to bury his brother with dignity.”
Another example is this story also told in Matt’s words:
“People often say that their Elected Officials never seem to go the extra mile, but every once in a while a few of us try to confound expectations. Today the County Government closed a few hours early due to a sudden snow storm.
A young couple who was scheduled to get married at 3 almost had their wedding cancelled, but thanks to some quick thinking by Judge Cody, Judge Allison Bell Royer, Sheri Madiro, and I that didn’t happen. The bride arrived an hour late (due to the storm) and she told me she was nervous that her guests would be irritated. She happened to catch a glimpse of a brass quintet from West Chester University who I had recruited to play holiday music in the lobby and she mentioned how beautiful they sounded.
This made me think it might be nice to get permission for them to get married in the lobby so that the brass ensemble could enhance their ceremony. I called in a few favors and within 20 minutes we had a beautiful wedding ceremony on the grand staircase in the lobby of the Justice Center. Snow swirling around the glass doors, while “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” was played in the background certainly made it a rather special day for these young people who went from catastrophe to remarkable memory all because of a few dedicated public servants.”
In addition to his current work, Matt served as Chief of Staff to State Representative Dan Truitt for five years and Political Director of the Republican Committee of Chester County for over a year
As a volunteer Matt has been involved in Chester County organizations for more than a decade while also serving on multiple Non Profit Boards. Matt currently serves on the Board of Directors for: Friends Association for the Care & Protection of Children, West Chester Business Improvement District, Student Services, INC., West Chester Public Library, Rotary Club of West Chester, The Friars’ Society Alumni Association Board, West Chester Area Senior Center, Fame Fire Company, Domestic Violence Center of Chester County, The Arc of Chester County, Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce, Knights of Columbus, West Chester University Alumni Association and West Chester Downtown Foundation.
“Matt Holliday is a dedicated and generous community leader. Matt can always be counted on to step up and lend his time, knowledge and talent striving to ensure that we all have the benefit of living healthy happy lives in our wonderful community,” said Catherine Friedman, Executive Director of Friends Association for Care & Protection of Children.
The award will be bestowed at the ERCC Annual Review Luncheon and will take place on Tuesday, January 8, 2018 at the Downingtown Country Club from 11:30-1:30. During the luncheon, Laurie Kerkering, President of the Exton Region Chamber of Commerce will present the accomplishments of the chamber in 2018 and what’s in store for 2019.
Exton Region Chamber of Commerce’s mission is to advance the economic success of their members and the community by providing opportunities for businesses to build relationships, market their business, share industry knowledge and provide community outreach. For over 40 years, the Exton Region Chamber has been focused on meeting the diverse needs of its members and provides a wide array of events and programs to enhance the business climate and quality of life in Exton.