Meet Matt Newquist

Who am I?

I am equal parts learner and teacher.

I am the product of all the lessons I’ve learned from everyone throughout my lifetime.

I am imperfect, but I will get it right even if it takes a lifetime.

I am grateful for all that I have and driven to inspire others to feel the same way.

I am the class clown that’s cracking jokes to keep coworkers, family, and friends level headed in tough situations.

I am in control of where my story leads me and I’m excited to continue writing it.

Early Life

I was born in Syracuse, NY where my family lived until I was six years old.  The younger of two children, I have a sister who is four years older than me but will always be my little sister.  My father, jumping from career to career led us to move around Central, NY a few times.  My mother took on the majority of the parenting while my father was away working on his constantly changing ventures.  For the bigger part of my early life, my family lived in Cortland, NY.   Cortland was a smaller town with its one claim to fame being the hometown of Ronnie James Dio.

I spent my summers staying at my uncle’s house in Chautauqua, NY.  It was there that I took on my first summer job as a “Hydro Ceramics Sanitation Specialist” (my fancy title for dishwasher) at the Athenaeum Hotel.  I was fourteen when I started working there and it was incredibly fun for me to watch a restaurant function from the Dish Pit.  Each summer, I would go back to work at the Hotel and the kitchen staff took full advantage of my eagerness to learn everything about the kitchen.  I looked up to those guys and they trained me in every station, beginning with salads/sandwiches, then to sauté, and eventually to grill.  When I turned sixteen, I began working during the school year at a restaurant called The Hollywood Restaurant, owned by Ronnie Dio’s cousin, David Feinstein.  The pay was great for a sixteen-year-old kid and I made so many great friends at that restaurant.

I had a relatively easy life growing up.  It’s funny now, looking back at those years, realizing how little it took to be happy.  Nobody had Cell Phones, Social Media didn’t distract people from real interaction, and the news wasn’t flooded with stories of school shootings or acts of terror every day.


Growing my knowledge has always been a passion of mine.  I have a drive for learning that typically makes me hyper focused on understanding all the details from start to finish, no matter the lesson.  This has been one of the keys to success throughout my career and in my current role as the Learning and Development Coordinator for H5H.  My passion for self-development is what will continue my success through the next levels in my career as well as my personal life.  H5H is a company with drive and passion for growth, therefore, over the next five years, I will continue to advance my career.  One of my more ambitious career goals I have is to assist with the design of a new restaurant concept for H5H, creating more opportunities for our current Team Members and our Community.  In order for me to advance in my career, I must train my successors and surround ourselves with loyal and well-trained Team Members that are fully equipped to live and breathe the H5H visions every day, so bring it on!

Personal Goals

I imagined myself being in a different place in life by the time I was 35, however, it’s never too late!  I imagined I’d have a wife, maybe some kids, and the house of my dreams by now but things didn’t exactly work out that way.  There’s a long list of ex-girlfriends that would probably really enjoy the opportunity to chime in at this point in my story, but this is MY STORY and they don’t get to tell it.  I have many personal goals set for the next five years.  I’d like to purchase a farmhouse with some land and a workshop. I’d like to travel outside of the US.  I’d like to settle down with the right woman and start a family.

My Hero

The real hero in my life was my Grandfather on my Dad’s side of the family.  He was a man that was simply larger than life and made anything look easy.  He would light a cigarette, place it on a fence, and shoot it in half from 20 feet away; he just never missed!  A former Marine, he served with the 2nd Marine Division, 8th Regiment and Special Weapons.  He served in the Battle of Okinawa and the Occupation of Japan landing at Nagasaki.  He fought the entire Battle of Okinawa as a Machine Gunner in a Decoy Unit.  The most amazing thing about my Grandfather was his sense of humor.  Even when telling some of the most awful stories of the things he had seen, he would have his audience laughing. Every memory I have of him is a memory filled with laughs.

My Grandfather was the man that put a Mallet and Chisel in my hands for the first time, so he could teach me how to build something from a pile of wood.  A perfectionist, he did not cut me any slack; if the project we were building had any flaws, it turned into an expensive pile of firewood and we started over.  Starting at a beginner level, we started with small projects like birdhouses, rabbit traps, and shelves.  After a whole lot of practice and countless piles of expensive firewood, we worked up to more advanced projects including desks, chests of drawers, and restoring an antique sailboat.

Start small, perfect your craft, and advance to the next level until you have perfected that level as well.

Repeat… Repeat… Repeat…  Sounds a little like what building a great life and career is all about, doesn’t it?

What’s your Story?