Celebrating 25 Years of Innovation and Impact: Reflecting on Our Journey

by Joanna Pineda Posted on May 1, 2024

Matrix Group is officially 25 years old today. I say “officially” because May 1 is the date on our incorporation papers, but the real date is April 22, when I opened up shop in shared office space in Georgetown, Washington, DC. If you want to hear stories about when, why and how I started the company, listen to this week’s episode of Associations Thrive. For a change, Leah Monica, Director of Marketing at Matrix Group, interviewed me about my personal journey and the journey of Matrix Group.

Although I love to take photos and videos, I’m not actually one to spend a lot of time looking back. If you want to read about the first 10 years at Matrix Group, here’s a blog post I wrote back in 2009! I’m not someone who looks to the far future, either. I’ve got my eyes on the next three years and boy do I expect a lot of change, challenges, and fun!

Reinventing Matrix Group – Again

I told my staff that we’re in a period of reinvention – again. Why? Because post-pandemic, I know that we can’t go back to offering our clients the same old services, in the same old way. Doing THAT would be the fastest way to planned obsolescence. So many of our clients are revisiting their strategic plans, most are upending their conferences, some are rethinking their member types, and so many are tweaking their governance. 

So how do we stay relevant and continue to partner with our clients to create new services and amazing journeys for their members?

The answer, of course, is that we need to reinvent Matrix Group – again. WHO we serve isn’t changing – we’re still committed and focused on the association and nonprofit community. HOW we do our work hasn’t changed either – we’re still committed to client education, we’re still fanatic about delighting our clients, we still like to go deep with our clients, and we work hard to keep the same team working with clients over time and across projects. 

The WHAT of our work has changed, is changing, will always change. When NABTU (North America’s Building Trades Unions) came to use to help them better manage the process of contractors becoming signatory to their agreements and reporting work hours, we used a no-code/low code platform so that NABTU’s tech debt burden would be much lighter in the future and they would never be on an “old” version of their software. When SQFI (the Safe Quality Food Institute) came to us to redesign and help them do business better on a global scale, we integrated AWS Translate into their CMS so that the new website is available in 9 languages, visitors can search in 9 languages AND the site is indexed by Google in 9 languages.

We are developing a lot of experience and fluency with AWS services, including their AI services, and their suite of cloud services. All of this new work is prompting new offerings by Matrix Group, necessitating new training for my staff, and creating a need for new skills sets and new positions at the company. I bet that by the end of 2026, I won’t recognize the company in terms of WHAT we offer our clients, even if the WHY, WHO and HOW remain the same.

Work 4.0

When I sent everyone home in March 2020, we already had a well-defined and well supported remote work policy. In fact, when we moved to our new office space in July 2019, Maki Kato, the Matrix Group CTO, declared that the new office would not have a server room and everything had to move to the cloud. So when the pandemic hit, we were well prepared technology-wise.

But sending everyone home and holding regular Zoom meetings does not make a culture. For the past few years, we’ve had an ongoing conversation at Matrix Group about what Work 4.0 looks like. With our office space lease expiring in March of 2025, we continue to ask ourselves questions like, “How do we make sure Matrix Group values and culture stay consistent and strong? If we don’t have an office in Arlington, VA, where will we be based? When and how will we gather in person?”

I’m proud of the active and intentional culture that we’ve created at Matrix Group. How have we done this?

25-Year Celebrations

The pandemic changed how and when we gather. In addition, not only did staff scatter to other parts of the country, we have hired from around the country. All of this means that a big, in person party would be really complicated. So how are we celebrating?

Full of Gratitude

As I reflect on 25 years of being in business, I am filled with gratitude. Gratitude for:

To help me reflect on everything I have in my life, and everything I am grateful for, my husband and I are reading The Gratitude Diaries. Howard Pearl, CEO of CARS, was on my podcast a couple of months ago. He shared with me that he makes every employee read this book. I took inspiration from his words and I’m so glad I did!

Thanks to everyone who’s been part of my personal journey and the journey of Matrix Group! Be safe, be well.

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