Matthias has the experience to make a difference in our community
Since 1989 I have had the privilege to call Hawaii home. After working in the tourism, commercial marine industry, and management, I was honored to be hired by the Hawaii Fire Department.
During my tenure in HFD, I used objective, evidence-based outcomes that guided my career as an EMT, Rescue Specialist, Captain and then Battalion Chief of Operations. I took pride in working busy stations, being a part of a well-trained team, and making a real difference in people’s lives.
In my free time, I have volunteered for various boards, commissions and councils. Currently, I am the president of the EB DeSilva Elementary School Community Council, President of Hilo Bayfront Trails, Inc., and a member of the Cost of Government Commission: making County government more cost effective, efficient and user friendly.
I have 3 daughters, and as a father I take my role seriously: Working to ensure they learn to be conscience contributors in the classroom, in their respective sports and as future citizens of Hawaii Island.
My wife and I are partners in our values-based company, which is focused on providing and managing affordable rentals here in Hilo.
Making a real difference in people’s lives
In 1995 I was hired by Hawaii Fire Department and went on to work at Kailua Rescue Station and Waiakea Rescue station as a rescue man/EMT and USAR (Urban Search and Rescue-Structural Collapse Specialist) team member. Over the span of my career, I worked in every district, with the last 10 years of my career at Central Fire Station in Downtown Hilo. First as a Captain, and then as the East Hawaii Battalion Chief of Operations. Those roles and the exposure they provided, have all played a role developing my skill set as a manager, decision maker and problem solver.
The expression “Putting your feet to the fire” is a perfect euphemism for being a Battalion Chief: Make all the calls, all the decisions with imperfect information, on a rapidly changing event; then add nighttime and the rain to the challenges!
Volunteering & Community Support
I have been serving our Island for nearly 2 ½ decades: Starting in the 90’s with the West Hawaii Fisheries Council, I then moved into roles at EB DeSilva Elementary School. From 2009 through 2012, I was the PTA President. With our team, we were able to correct a longstanding and sizable IRS fine and the impending loss of our PTA nonprofit status, fundraise and install the bleachers in the covered court, and turn over a sizable balance sheet to the incoming PTA. From 2012 to present, I have been the School Community Council President. In this role we review and approve Academic Plans, School Financial Plans, Capital plans and other issues relevant to parents, teachers, the administration and non-teaching employees.
From 2010 to the present, I have been a board member, VP and most recently, President of Hilo Bayfront Trails. As a key contributor to all 4 grants we have received (combined total ~$2.3 million) for the existing and future sections of the trail, I also have worked tirelessly with 3 different Mayoral administrations to move the project from vision to actual trail on the ground. This unwavering focus and collaboration with our Federal, State and County officials, administering grants and interfacing with various regulatory agencies has taught me how to navigate these complex systems, and get results! Look for a new section of Hilo Bayfront Trail to start at the end of April! Progress Together!
My wife and I own a company that focuses on Affordable Homes and Rentals. For 22 years I have been building, remodeling and managing Affordable Homes and Rentals on Hawaii Island. No other candidate has this experience to draw upon. I know where we can make safe, reasonable changes to provide more homes to our new families, young couples or those in later life on fixed incomes.
I worked and served in Downtown Hilo for 10 years at Central Fire Station. I got to know many of the homeless/houseless who inhabit the area, I got to know their fears, their history. With a bit of dignity and proper resources we can make their lives better, make them self-sufficient and in turn reduce the houseless population Downtown. Learn more
Whether hiking, hunting, fishing or diving; you learn a lot about our ecosystems when you are immersed in it. Our native and introduced plants and animals all tell a story, both the good and the bad. Understanding their history, their relationships are important lessons that guide our life on this amazing Island of Hawaii.
My family loves an active life. Whether it’s in the ocean, on the court or the track; we like to get out there! As a father, I do my best to role model values that will never go out of style: Integrity, kindness(sportsmanship), loyalty and community service. Not unlike the message they teach in elementary school, and coaches preach from the sidelines. Living true to your values isn’t easy, but it always wins in the long run.