AlumNow: Big “D” Band alum turns passion into building businesses

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As a member of Townview’s Big “D” Band 15 years ago, Matt Houston learned many valuable lessons beyond music.

Houston’s band days might be far behind him, but the lessons he learned in school are still close to his heart as he helps others build businesses.

AlumNow, a Hub feature that checks in with district alumni to see where they are now, checked in with the School of Health Professions at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center grad (2002) for an update on what he’s been doing.

What are you doing now?

I’m head of a consulting firm that focuses on business development, strategy, and marketing. I help build businesses.

Briefly list a few of your career and/or personal highlights.

2015:  Appointed to the City of Dallas City Planning and Zoning Commission

2013:  Appointed to the City of Dallas Park and Recreation Board

2013:  Youngest person elected Chair of the Board of the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce

2013:  Awarded Dallas Business Journal’s 40 Under 40

2013: Awarded Dallas Business Journal’s Minority Business Leader Awards

2011:  President of the Urban League of Greater Dallas Young Professionals

What was your favorite subject or activity/involvement in high school?

My favorite high school activity was being a part of the Townview Big “D” Band. I learned a lot of leadership skills and responsibilities there and acquired a vision to better systems, not just myself, through this program.

Who was your favorite teacher?

Mr. Dean Hill was my favorite teacher. He brought music to life by showing us how we can use our passion and talent to not only sound good musically, but to impact lives on or off the music staff. He also brought to life the importance of music feeding the soul, allowing you to express emotions and feelings through a variety of genres.

What lesson did you learn in high school or beyond that has served you well through the years?

Perfect practice (not just practice) makes perfect. Work hard and do your best. The best attracts the best, which will form a dream team that will allow all of you to build a legacy that all will know and appreciate.

What advice, if any, would you offer to high school students today?

Work hard on your school work at this time of your life!  If you master things in high school, college and grad school will be much easier, affording you time to enjoy college life. Your work on the front end can also afford you opportunities to become a world leader by qualifying you to participate in national programs earlier in life, building your network, and effectively giving you better opportunities for success.

What inspires you?

People’s potential inspires me, as this is the only way we can improve as a society. After talking with a student or young adult and hearing their aspirations, I want to make sure I’m in a position to either assist them in achieving their goals or working with them to conquer the world. People with a vision are very powerful; they can move mountains. It’s our job to work together and use our vision/purpose for the betterment of humanity.

College/University and degree earned:

B.A., economics, Southern Methodist University (2006)

M.B.A., Neely School of Business, Texas Christian University (2014)

If you are a Dallas ISD alum and would like an opportunity to be spotlighted, please complete the questionnaire and submit along with a recent high-resolution headshot. We look forward to catching up with you and sharing your accomplishments.

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