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Matthew Gilbert

Photo of Matthew Gilbert
Matthew
Gilbert
Commissioner
Waterloo, IA
Biography: 

Few licensed attorneys practicing transactional law can seamlessly shift gears between business, generational wealth development, and public policy reforms. This is a primary part of Matthew Gilbert’s signature offering: An advocate for resilient communities that utilizes his leadership in grassroots organizing, managing charitable organizations and developing public-private partnerships to advance the social, political and economic needs of communities of color. Matthew is differentiated by an uncommon complement of social entrepreneurship experience combined with strong business and tax law expertise; allowing him to view impact in communities with a wide lens to drive change, take action, and develop executive leadership in solving complex issues.

Matthew earned a bachelor’s degree in Entrepreneurial Studies from Simpson College. Always adept at juggling many responsibilities simultaneously, Matthew earned his juris doctorate from Drake University specializing in Business Law and a Masters of Laws (LLM) degree, while running his own coaching and fitness business. Matthew continued learning and developing leadership skills as a graduate of the 2018 Class of the African American Leadership Academy (African-American Leadership Forum-DSM).

When opportunities weren't available for Matthew, he created them. This birthed a series of businesses from a health & fitness practice, to an executive coaching business, to his current professional services consulting company MRG International LLC.

In addition to his full-time career, Matthew is a mentor, and a member of the Des Moines Branch of the NAACP where he serves as Chair of Economic Development Committee. Matthew also serves as President of the Iowa Center for Opportunity Resources & Equity Inc., a non-profit whose mission is to strengthen giving practices in Iowa while promoting the collective impact of minority leaders, workers, and underrepresented communities of color.

As a native of Waterloo, Iowa; Matthew desires impacting both rural and urban communities, as he descends from generations of servant leadership. His great grandfather and grandfather – Dr. Lee B. Furgerson and Dr. Warren Nash were both well known African-American medical professionals in the Cedar Valley. When Matthew is asked what’s his purpose in life? His response is to develop compassionate leaders who demonstrate a mentality reflecting greatness that transforms systems, influences change, and brings underrepresented populations along.