Katherine Helena Mattox
Company: Marand Builders
Position: HR Manager
WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED IN CHARLOTTE AREA?
I was born and raised in Charlotte and have lived here my whole life except for college at NC State University. I had a picturesque childhood growing up in South Charlotte. Some of my favorite memories were going to the old coliseum to watch the Hornets play (shout-out to my family’s favorite player, Muggsy Bogues), eating a baklava sundae at the Greek festival and visiting the Queen Charlotte painting at The Mint Museum Randolph. I went to CMS public schools and graduated from Providence High School in 2011.
After college, it was like moving back to a brand-new city. Growing up, I had only ventured to Uptown if I was going to the Blumenthal or watch a Panthers game. It has been amazing to see the city transform and attract new people to areas like South End and NODA.
I currently live in SouthPark and enjoy its attractions like walking around Phillips Place, Symphony in the Park, and Sunday brunch at Eddy’s.
TELL US A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT YOU?
I am an HR professional working in the construction industry as the HR Manager for commercial general contractor, Marand Builders. As the company’s HR representative, I innovate new company policies and procedures to improve corporate efficiencies in addition to managing all facets of HR. My career journey so far has been an exciting one and I feel fortunate to have had the foundation of working in HR in the community banking industry with Legacy Park Sterling Bank. My passion is serving people whether it be my “Marand family” or members of my community.
My main focuses of community involvement are job preparedness, education and promoting the arts and culture of Charlotte. Most recently, I served as the President of the Young Affiliates of the Mint Museum through our 30th year and raised $25,000 to offset free school tours for CMS students to inspire a new generation of artists and art enthusiasts. I also served on the Patriots Path Advisory Board where I planned career-related events for veterans transitioning into the civilian workplace. As a member of Prepare4Success led by Duke Energy’s Hispanic employee resource group, I planned and executed a resume writing workshop and career fair for the Hispanic community in partnership with Camino Community Center. Additionally, through serving on the education working group of the Charlotte Executive Leadership Council, I collaborate with community and private sector leaders to drive change within education by implementing strategies to improve early childhood literacy rates, and promote STEM and college readiness programs.
Personally, I am the daughter of amazing parents and sister to an incredible brother. I am lucky that most of my family lives locally and I get to have lunch with my grandparents every Sunday after church at St. Gabriel’s. My family is my world and it has meant so much to have their constant support.
DURING YOUR TIME VOLUNTEERING FOR A COMMUNITY ACTIVITY OR PROJECT, WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT?
I served my first board term with the Young Affiliates of the Mint in 2016 as art show co-chair. My co-chair, Margaret Strickland, and I created the concept, planned the jurors, and coordinated all of the logistics for two art shows in the 5th floor expansion space of the Mint Museum Uptown, Gendered: An Inclusive Art Show and Mainframe exhibited in 2017 and 2018 respectively. Gendered won Best Art Exhibition in 2017 in the voter’s choice category by Charlotte Magazine and over 500 people came to the opening. The most rewarding part about planning the shows was making art accessible. Individuals could get their name on the sponsorship wall with a donation of $50 and both shows were completely free to the public. We were able to offset a large portion of the cost by providing our own security with volunteers and my most memorable moment came from volunteering for one of the Gendered shifts.
The exhibition had been up for almost 4 weeks and had allowed time for the public to partake in one of the interactive pieces by artist, Stacy Bloom Rexrode, called “TAG! You’re it!”. The piece was a participatory installation in which viewers were asked to transcribe their personal stories regarding statistics impacting women’s reproductive health and rights onto manila shipping tags. Participants hung their tags among the crocheted yarn and floral vine symbolizing the resilience of women. The intention was to provide an impetus for healing and awareness. I remember reading the comments from anonymous members of the community about their raw and personal stories and it was then that I realized the impact that art can serve as a vehicle for understanding and compassion.
IN YOUR OPINION, HOW DO YOU CONTRIBUTE TO THE COMMUNITY? PLEASE BE AS DETAILED AS YOU CAN.
I like to think that I add a fresh perspective to the organizations I serve. The boards and committees are diverse, but I am often the youngest in the room. As far as my community contributions go, what I lack in experience I make up for in execution. For example, I had no formal education in art, but the Young Affiliates of the Mint took a chance on me because I expressed strong leadership and organizational skills. I went on to plan two widely successful art shows with over 6,000 people in combined attendance.
I know that the time and effort I have put into my contributions are paying dividends. Once I met someone at a networking event that had a picture of an art piece from Mainframe as her phone background and she said that it was her favorite art exhibit. I also received an email from a teacher from STEMersion that said that she was working on a presentation for her class that encourages students to pursue working for skilled trades. It is the little things that give me reassurance that my efforts make an impact.
PLEASE LET US KNOW ANY AWARDS OR RECOGNITIONS YOU’VE RECEIVED IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL CAREER:
I was proud of the recognition of banking officer at Legacy Park Sterling Bank. I worked hard not only to excel in my department but to lend my talents to other areas. It was my first taste at making a difference on a corporate level and I am grateful for the opportunities that I had to expand my skillset.
I also acknowledge being nominated for professional or community committees as recognition of my leadership skills. I have been fortunate to represent Marand Builders in the community by serving on the education working group of the Charlotte Executive Leadership Council (CELC.) The CELC was initially formed to improve Charlotte’s standing of being 50 out of 50 states in economic mobility. I have been an active participant in spearheading non-profit awareness and programs like Read Charlotte and CMS’ STEMersion.
This summer, I was appointed to lead the effort in planning a mask distribution event for construction trades hosted at Marand Builders in partnership with the Charlotte Commercial Construction Coalition (4C) and the CELC. 2 million masks were funded by CELC members and Mecklenburg County Government to aid in protecting essential workers and members of our community from COVID-19. With the help of Marand team members and community leaders, we provided over 50,000 masks in one day to both companies and passerby. I am honored to have also been appointed to serve on Atrium Health’s Million Mask Initiative Hispanic Outreach taskforce to implement a similar strategy in masking our Hispanic population.
WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES OR INTEREST?
I joke that my life goal is to be at least mediocre at a dozen sports. Some of the sports that I am “proficient” in are golf, tennis, water skiing, whitewater rafting, clay shooting, and wakesurfing. I can hold my own in golf and enjoy being a member of the First Tee’s Young Professional Group.
Other than sports, I enjoy traveling and trying new restaurants. I am thankful to have inherited my dad’s high metabolism. We can both eat our weight in oysters, and I think that I have the Marand record for number of crawfish eaten at our annual Crawfish Boil.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE THAT YOU STAND BY?
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” by Eleanor Roosevelt. I heard it for the first time watching The Princess Diaries around 10 years-old and the quote has stuck with me ever since.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 5 YEARS? 10 YEARS?
In five years, I hope to be a member of the senior management team at Marand Builders. The growth of the company has been exciting to be a part of and I want to continue the journey of growing our brand awareness in Charlotte and in other markets. For reference, I have hired 50 people a year for the last 3 years! I value the mentorship of Marand CEO, Francisco Alvarado, immensely and look forward to future opportunities representing the company in education and Hispanic community-related efforts.
In 10 years, I plan on being in a C-Suite position and mentoring young professionals in navigating their careers. I would also like to spend time advocating for women in male-dominated industries and using my experience and relationships to pave opportunities for them. Lastly, I hope to be fluent in Spanish. I have learned the hard way that if “you don’t use it, you lose it” and am currently taking Spanish courses through CPCC as a refresher. I cannot speak highly enough about CPCC. Check out their continuing education classes!
CAN YOUR SHARE ONE THING THAT IS ON YOUR BUCKET LIST?
I would love to try surfing. I have my sights set on a trip to Costa Rica that includes whitewater rafting in San José and a surfing lesson in Santa Teresa.
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU USED YOUR PASSPORT?
I traveled to Barcelona, Nice, and the Cinque Terre in 2018 with G-Adventures. I signed up for the “YOLO” trip series comprised of 18-30-year-olds and met some amazing people. The scenery was breathtaking, and I even got to scuba dive in the Mediterranean.
WHAT IS A FUN FACT ABOUT YOURSELF THAT NO ONE KNOWS?
I can bust a rhyme to T-Pain’s “Buy U A Drank: Shawty Snappin’.” I never knew how much I loved that song until a YAM Board member, and I recited the lyrics at the art show opening of Mainframe.
WHO IS YOUR HERO?
My mother is absolutely my hero. She is bold and 100% fearless. She is a brilliant HR compensation and benefits professional and an ace at crossword puzzles. She taught me to always stand up for myself and stood for quality work. She is the most adventurous person I know and has hiked Banff National Park, glaciers in Iceland, and the mountains of Croatia. I can always count on her to be up for anything!
I admire so many of these things but the quality that I admire most is her compassion. She inspired and instilled service in me and my brother at a young age. She is the most thoughtful person I know and is always signing up for ways to help people like serving food with the Monroe, NC Missionaries of the Poor or serving on committees with the Carolina Thread Trail.
Some people dread “turning into their mother” but for me, there is no greater honor.
WHAT WAS THE LAST BOOK YOU READ?
I last read a book recommended by my friend and colleague called Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman by founder and owner of Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard. Not only was it an inspiring business story of going against the status-quo, it reminded me that life and business is about trial and error and you have to surround yourself with people that believe in you.
WHAT WAS THE LAST MOVIE YOU SAW?
I stumbled upon The Firm with Tom Cruise on Netflix the other night. The movie had me on the edge of my couch!
WHAT WAS THE LAST CONCERT YOU SAW?
Last year I attended the P!ink concert with my Marand family. My boss won a suite package at the JDRF Annual Gala and was nice enough to treat the office. P!ink knows how to put on a show! Her acrobatic and aerial dance moves were incredible as well as reliving the song “Get the Party Started” from my childhood.
I feel fortunate to work for a company that supports and encourages the arts and cultural scene of Charlotte. I certainly miss attending the Charlotte Symphony concerts due to COVID-19, but I look forward to their return.