Matt Rodman, who was named by the Rotary Club as Business Person of the Year in Pacific Palisades, received his award at a dinner at Casa Nostra on December 16.
At the dinner, Rodman said, “Receiving this award as the leader of local nonprofit organizations is a nice acknowledgement for someone who gives their time to the community.
“I can’t accept this accolade without sharing the recognition with the other hard-working volunteers, especially Daphne Gronich at the Palisades Americanism Parade Association (PAPA).”
Rodman, who lives in the Alphabet streets, was accompanied by his wife Rene, his son Max, Gronich and her husband Paul.
The Rotary Club requires that the winner of this award must hold a senior-level management position in his/her company; has to live or work in Pacific Palisades; and must have demonstrated leadership within the Palisades and the nominee’s own industry, while also demonstrating a character of “Service Above Self.”
In honor of his award, Rodman will receive a $500 donation to the charity/nonprofit of his choice and a one-year honorary membership to the Pacific Palisades Rotary Club. He is donating to Palisades Charter High School’s PCHS Fund, a nonprofit.
Rodman has twice received a Golden Sparkplug award from the Pacific Palisades Community Council, first for his efforts to reduce car trips to and from Paul Revere Middle School by facilitating buses and carpools, and second (in 2021) for his ongoing efforts to ensure the Pacific Palisades Fourth of July continues to be one of the most celebrated days of the year.
In nominating him, one Rotary member wrote, “Rodman as president of the Palisades Americanism Parade Association was successful in organizing and leading community volunteers and acquiring resources to produce the Fourth of July Parade and Fireworks – all during the Covid pandemic.
“Rodman has combined the websites for the Will Rogers Run, parade and concert so that everyone can seamlessly enjoy the event of choice. He believes if every member of the community goes to the website, palisades4th.com, and makes a small contribution, it would make a huge difference.”
After graduating from USC, where he majored in political science, Rodman worked at the L.A. County District Attorney’s office. But when his grandmother suddenly passed away, he moved into managing the family’s business, a commercial real estate development company with a focus on underserved communities.
Rodman sent the following note to Rotary Club President Hagop Tchakerian after the dinner: “I write to you and your fellow Rotarians to thank you for the acknowledgement of Business Person of the Year. It’s incredibly thoughtful to be recognized by fellow Palisadians for the good work I do in the community. Although I have been leading nonprofit operations, and have never taken compensation from them, they are in fact businesses. Whether the operation is helping families get their students to school safely on buses, or making sure the 4th of July is the “Best Day in the Palisades,” make no mistake that I share the same challenges and stresses as any for-profit business in which a Rotarian is involved.
“Rotary is among the most important service clubs around,” Rodman continued. “Business people that participate in Rotary are among the most respected in town. I’m incredibly glad to be among your group as an honoree.”