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Employee Spotlight: Matt Nyiri


Man in boat holding a fishIf you’re looking to chat on the phone, he’s not your guy. But if you need a partner in crime to drive a van across the country, compete in a bike race and immediately drive back, he’ll be riding shotgun.

Matt Nyiri, Sr. Mgr. of Customer Operations at CamelBak, has been at the company since the development of CamelBak’s ‘Better Bottle’ – a 15-year stint. He came in as a Customer Service Representative and was the brains behind morphing the department into Customer Operations. He manages a team of 21 that serve customer and brand needs. His daily focus lies on reporting incoming supply and timing, order allocation processes, inventory fulfillment and compiling revenue projections.

“You could say we have our fingers in many pots,” Matt said. “Bottom line, I’m empowered to partner with all departments to drive things forward. We have been through massive changes in the past two years and I have a personal need to get to the bottom of an issue and solve problems. I want to figure out efficient ways to deliver on the business needs before me.”

Matt claims he’s still trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life and admits to ‘floating around’ in his younger years.

“Where I am at today in my career fell in my lap. It was natural evolution,” he said.

But the truth is, Matt’s true ‘floating years’ are more than they sound.

“When I was about 8 years old, I wanted to be a professional bass fisherman when I grew up!” he said, explaining his father, who is more at home on water than land, instilled the passion for fishing in him at a very young age.
In his youth, Matt took a break from bass fishing to explore the worlds of cycling and surfing, but returned to baiting the hook about 15 years ago.

But Matt’s favorite parts of fishing don’t revolve around getting sunshine and drinking a few cold ones with friends. In fact, his enjoyment when out in the boat has far more to do with his career than one might suspect.

“There are true patterns to figure out how and where to catch fish, and those factors can change day to day. I get the most joy figuring that daily pattern out,” Matt said.

There are three of the top Bass fisheries in the US within a 1.5-hour drive of his Northern Californian home – making the addiction a convenient one to hook into.

Prior to working at CamelBak, Matt fed his passion for cycling by starting a custom bicycle company, SOULCRAFT, with a good friend.

“We made a good valiant go of it, and I am fiercely proud of the product we made, the unbending values we stood for and the maturity I gained in that period,” he said.

His passion for biking also led him to one of his greatest – and admittedly most exhausting – adventures, as well. Matt and a friend once drove 40 hours non-stop from Santa Cruz, CA to Kanaan, WV in a mid-60s Chevy van to compete in a 24-hour team bike race. He spent the following 24 hours taking turns with three other teamates riding laps all day and through the night. They won the race and he and his buddy proceeded to attempt the same non-stop feat of driving home.

“We had to stop in Boulder, CO,” Matt admitted. “I was so physically exhausted that I couldn’t even eat. I fell asleep on the grass in a friend’s backyard and have never slept that hard before or since.”

man and woman in front of bushesMatt lives with Sherry, his significant other of 22 years. The couple has a kind, creative and beautiful daughter, Isabella (Issi), who recently left home for college. But there’s no empty nest in this Santa Rosa, CA home: Sherry and Matt have rescued a rag tag group of animals: A Healer/Hound Mix named Ginger (Matt’s best friend), and two peculiar cats, Mixxi and Charlie.



Last read:
The Greatest Beer Run Ever by John ”Chick” Donohue.

Secret Talent?
I cut my own hair (with scissors and electric clippers; no Flowbie here!) and I haven’t paid for a haircut in over 10 years. I have always wanted to be a barber!

Favorite sandwich?
I love a good turkey sandwich however, I much prefer a good slice of pizza!

What would a day off with no obligations look like?
Launching the boat ALONE on Clear Lake in Northern California and embarking on a full day of Bass Fishing. That is my idea of therapy.

A fictional family you would like to join?
It’s got to be the Cunninghams from Happy Days. First, they were set in the 50s. If I could go back to any era that would be it! Howard and Marion were cool parents and to top it off, Richie had benefit of the Fonzi, coolest guy in town, living over his garage!

man in top hat and suitWho would you like to swap places with for a day?
I know I am supposed to pick some visionary or intellectual here, but honestly, I’d love to crawl around in the head of Bill Murray for a while. I consider him one of our greatest comedic actors, and I absolutely love Caddyshack!

Advice to the younger you?
Quit procrastinating!

Your claim to fame?
I am told I could make money impersonating Abraham Lincoln at kids’ events?

What a person needs to be happy?
Work/life balance and plenty of time spent alone. I am an introvert… can you tell?

What is one thing most people at work don’t know about you?
I have a fairly fragile self-esteem. I take things way too personally.

Odd quirk?
I severely dislike talking on the phone! I avoid it in my personal life when possible. I prefer things short, simple and to the point, which a phone call never is.

Lifelong goal or bucket list item?
I have always liked to write. I’d like to write a screenplay that was good enough to make into a film. Thankfully, my daughter is a Journalism major and a much better writer than I, so I am secretly hoping that maybe she could bring this to reality.