Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania announced today that it has selected as its next President Patrice Matamoros, former CEO of P3R where she nurtured and grew the Pittsburgh Marathon into the eighth-ranked marathon in the world, and an iconic Pittsburgh athletic and cultural happening.
As president of the region’s Junior Achievement initiatives – which have grown to encompass offices from Erie to Altoona to Morgantown, West Virginia – Matamoros will lead and manage the organization’s work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy programs that currently reach nearly 42,000 K-12 students across its regional footprint.
“Patrice is a special person and proven executive who comes to JA at a time when the needs of our youth for guidance, career direction and inspiration are more significant than ever,” said Jim Nickel, Chairman of the JA Board of Directors. “The schools and students we serve, as well as our corporate and government supporters, will benefit immensely from the talent, energy and vision Patrice is bringing to us.”
Matamoros, who has built a successful record of success in support of a range of non-profit organizations over the past two decades, is an accomplished strategist, marketer, team builder, and fundraiser. Prior to her 11-year run building P3R into a health and fitness lifestyle brand with the Pittsburgh Marathon driving its expansion, she spent a decade volunteering and consulting on various youth and education community campaigns. She built those skills on the foundation of sales and management skills gained at Ford Motor Company, where she started her career.
“I couldn’t be more enthusiastic about the opportunity to lead Junior Achievement in our region,” Matamoros said. “JA engages, teaches and motivates young people to value free enterprise, business and economics so they can be successful in whatever they pursue in life. They are our future and are undoubtedly the most important contributor to a healthy, growing and vibrant community and economy,” she added. “I will be an energetic and collaborative steward of JA’s efforts to unlock even more value in our young people, so that our quality of life – and theirs – continues to advance across every school and neighborhood.”
Matamoros joins JA in the midst of pandemic-driven disruptions to education systems, which have challenged the delivery of JA curriculum in the classroom and at its JA BizTown experiential learning facility – opened last January. JA is adapting by going digital and virtual with student and other stakeholder engagement. “I’ve seen obstacles before, and I’m ready to lead and build on the growth, success and inspiration JA has built here over the past 81 years,” she said.
Matamoros succeeds Dennis Gilfoyle, who has been at the head of JA and its expansion for the past 12 years. “It’s gratifying to leave JA with a capable new leader supported by a strong and committed team to take us to the next level,” he said. Gilfoyle will retire at the end of December after 36 years with the organization.