Joe Matty has served in the alumni relations/association office of the undergraduate school since early 2006. He oversees all the operations for the association board of directors and operations pertaining to the school’s Visitors Center, the alumni office in Chicago and alumni partnerships at the two satellite campuses. Since his appointment, among other leadership activities, he has implemented dues-paying membership, negotiated contracts totaling $500,000 over a five-year period, implemented a three-year business plan for board and staff operations, and oversees over $2.5 million in accounts.
Of his colleague and friend, D’Andrea says, “As executive director of the NIU Alumni Association, Joe has led the transformation of NIU’s alumni outreach activities. NIU’s 210,000 alumni now have a full menu of opportunities for involvement from events in the Chicago area and throughout the country, affinity groups and career networking. Through his tireless hard work, NIU alumni now have plenty of reasons to become more active with the university.”
Before becoming executive director, Matty was responsible for overseeing the planning and preconstruction of the impressive alumni/visitors center on campus. In this capacity, he worked alongside the project manager, site superintendent and financial team, to the conclusion of the construction and operation. No small task, it’s one that requires an eye for detail, and skill in many disciplines. Obviously, with his continuing success at Northern, Matty was the right person for the job.
From 1996 until he began his professional career at NIU, Joe served his country in the United States Air Force. He attained the rank of staff sergeant and, among other responsibilities, supervisor at any given time. Matty trained 12 airmen under the direction of the 182nd Support Group for mission readiness. He also was responsible for new preventative and safety measures for the 182nd Group.
His professional memberships and associations complement his NIU position, and he has held leadership positions in many of them. These include the Association of Fundraising Professions, American College of Health Care Executives, Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Mid-America Conference of Alumni Directors.
Matty received his bachelor of science in health administration and master of science in university administration at Northern Illinois University. While in the military, he received degrees in technical training/diet therapy and certification stats of medical evaluation training. A Chicago native, he graduated from Brother Rice High School.
Judge Anthony Iosco says, “Joe Matty is the ultimate Huskie, tireless and indefatigable. Joe is extremely conscientious, follow-up is his middle name. He is always a phone call away, and is never too busy to speak with alumni, students or prospective students. Joe is iconic of an NIU alum: hardworking, caring and willing to help others. He is the pride of both the NIU and Italian-American communities.”
Joe’s family on his mother’s side immigrated to America from Italy in 1902. They arrived in Chicago soon after. His father’s side of the family arrived from Italy in 1910. His mother’s family is from Calabria and Naples, his father’s side from Palermo. Both sides of Matty’s family were raised in the Marquette Park area. His parents raised their two sons in the Queen of the Universe Parish with faith, family and friends as the centerpieces of their upbringing. Joe relates that his mother is the strongest person he knows. She was diagnosed in 1987 with multiple sclerosis, and since then she has fought the disease every day. She has been at every graduation and milestone in the family, no matter what. Joe’s father has been a role model for his brother and him, teaching them what being a good person means and what loyalty and family means.