Matthew Iribarne: In His Element
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
SANTA ROSA — Not long after ascending to upper management at an established glass company, Matt Iribarne realized he belonged in the field rather than in an office. “My grandfather had a glass business and I got involved at a young age,” he explains. “Right out of high school, I joined a union, went through an apprenticeship program, and worked in the field for 18 years before moving into estimating and project management. Eventually, I became vice president of the company.” However, despite reaching an upper rung on the proverbial ladder of success, Matt couldn’t help but feel he’d lost something along the way. “I missed being in the field, interacting with clients and dealing with projects hands-on. Eventually, I jumped ship and went to work for B & L Glass, where I’m now head of glazing operations. It’s a better fit for me, so I’m glad to be back in my element.”
Today, Matt says his favorite part of his job is the daily challenges. “I enjoy working on different projects and the challenges therein. In this field, no two jobs are the same and the technology is always changing, so it’s hard to get bored.”
A resident of Petaluma, Matt spends his time outside of work on a variety of active pastimes. “I enjoy outdoor activities like surfing, fishing, scuba diving and mountain biking. When I’m at home, I like to read and work on my house—I’m actually in the process of remodeling my kitchen right now.” Matt also enjoys spending time with his four grown children. “My son actually works at B & L Glass as a glazier, my oldest daughter is a teacher and my younger two are still in college.”
In regard to a professional philosophy, Matt espouses the importance of honesty. “My motto is, ‘Do the right thing, even when nobody is looking,’” he explains. “I never want to install an inferior product; rather, I offer our clients the best options available and let them decide. That way, at the end of the project, they feel good knowing they got the best product for their situation and a good value for their investment.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Matt says he’d catch a wave. “First thing I’d do is go surfing. After that, I’d do some traveling. I’ve never been to Europe and I’ve always wanted to see Rome, so I’d probably start there. I’d like to see some more of the United States as well.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s your favorite book?
A: “East of Eden” by John Steinbeck.
Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Volpi’s Ristorante & Bar in Petaluma.
Q: If you could time travel, would you go to the past or the future?
A: I’d probably go to the past, just because I like a slower paced lifestyle.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to eat for dessert?
A: A milkshake.
Q: What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
A: A custom-made surfboard.
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