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Our Community Focus

Mr. Pleasant Hill

Feb 29, 2016 02:18PM ● By Elena Hutslar

Matt Rinn as Mr Pleasant Hill

Hard-working Pleasant Hill State Farm agent, Matt Rinn, was awarded the 2015 Pleasant Hill Citizen of the Year at the Community Awards Night on January 27.

The Community Focus interrupted Matt at a recent volunteer stint to ask him about this cherished award, his young family, and the many organizations he gives his time to within Pleasant Hill and beyond.


CF: Congratulations Matt. What does this award mean to you? 

MR: This award is such an honor -- to be recognized by the people and organizations that work to make Pleasant Hill such an amazing community to raise a family and run a business.


CF: What community nonprofits have you been part of? And which one has been most impactful? 

MR: Chamber of Commerce (chairman, board, ambassador and ambassador chairman); Rotary Club (past president); Irvin Deutscher YMCA (advisory board); PHMSA (soccer coach and referee); PHBA (softball coach); Pleasant Hill Education Commissioner; Contra Costa Community College District (governing board); Fourth of July Commission (fundraising chair); Boy Scouts; Art, Jazz, and Wine Festival; Blues and Brews Festival; Wine Women and Shoes; Relay for Life; Special Olympics; and College Park High School Boosters. They all have made an impact on me one way or another. Being a volunteer, whether leading the organization or not, you learn about people and their true selves. To see people give their time and money for others is very inspirational. Often, recipients never know what went on behind the scenes to make things happen, but seeing the end result really fills your heart.


CF:  Has your insurance background been helpful in your leadership roles? 

MR:  Being a trusted business leader in this community has made for an easy transition to the various organizations and committees I serve on. Most of the people I already interact with frequently, so we have a good working relationship and can get a lot accomplished.


CF: How do you manage your busy schedule with a young family and keep it all organized? 

MR:  I am lucky to have an amazing wife, Ashley, who keeps the household on track. With younger kids, we usually eat at 5pm, so I am able to eat dinner at home most nights and spend some time with them before heading out to a 7pm meeting. Living and working in Pleasant Hill really helps, as some meetings are coffee or lunches, which I can get to pretty easily. I also use technology to help manage my calendar and most communications. Much of what I do can be done on the go and at any time of day electronically.


CF: Does your family enjoy volunteering as much as you do? 

MR: As with most kids, they don’t have long attention spans. For example, if we are helping clean up our local school on Community Service Day, we pick a project geared towards them that can be completed in a decent amount of time. If it is a festival that I have helped plan, they come to enjoy it the day of. They are very proud of the work we do locally and often point out things we have done as a family. As they are getting older, they are doing more projects with their Girl Scouts and their group of friends.


CF: Did your parents instill the value of community involvement? 

MR: My parents split up when I was in elementary school, so I grew up with a single mom trying to raise 3 boys. I think being the middle son, I tried to be the peacekeeper and make things better for those around me. As a parent, I try to do the things I always appreciated as a kid or wished my parents had done.


CF: Why did you choose Pleasant Hill as your home? 

MR: State Farm had an agent retiring in Pleasant Hill and part of the recruitment deal was to manage those clients from Pleasant Hill. Soon after I started, I got involved in the Chamber of Commerce and got to know the leaders of the community. It started to feel like home and a perfect caring community to raise my family. We relocated from Dublin and have been loving it ever since.


CF: What do you take away from your involvement? 

MR:  That together we can accomplish great things. This community is so caring about each other that people outside of here don’t believe it. Just go to any event and see for yourself all the volunteers and community leaders who are engaged to make it the best place to live and work.


CF: You are seen coaching on the fields. How does this role compare to others? 

MR: I think being an Under 8 Girls Soccer coach for one of my kid’s teams was probably the hardest and most rewarding at the same time. I am very competitive by nature, so I had to get over that quickly. It taught me to really take a step back and look at the little things and enjoy those cute moments. Helping them build confidence in themselves, learn new skills, work as a team and build friendships were the biggest victories that season.


CF: What is your next big role? 

MR: I am not sure at this point. I am really passionate about the community and want to continue to work on making it a better place. I have been approached to run for a political position in 2016, but just not sure in what capacity as of yet. For now, just continuing to try and be the best dad to my kids, have a successful agency, serve the organizations I am involved in, and maybe get a nap in there somewhere. 


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