A changemaker here in Philadelphia, Terri Matthews is the CEO and Founder of Jaden’s Voice, “a welcoming community that works to enhance the lives of individuals diagnosed with autism and their families.” With her strong passion for her family and her work, Terri is a modern day ‘Jane Of All Trades,’ and we’re so happy to have her on our list of 30 inspiring women. Read on to learn more about Terri!
1) What neighborhood in Philadelphia do you call home? Downtown
2) Tell us about what you do professionally: I am a serial entrepreneur. One of the greatest and most challenging areas in my life was starting a non-profit organization for individuals impacted by autism. I work to enhance the lives of individuals impacted by autism while creating spaces around the world that are autism friendly.
3) What makes you happy? Making a life changing difference, setting a legacy and being a trendsetter
4) Who inspires you and why? The women named Mary who clean Jesus’s feet. She had a level of service and humility and used that as an opportunity to learn.
5) What’s your biggest regret and why? Not looking at my challenges in life early on as opportunities to grow professionally and personally.
6) What is your life motto? To complement, not compete.
7) Name a guilty pleasure: Eating french fries with melted cheese and warm chocolate chip cookies out of the oven late at night.
8) On what occasion do you lie? I wouldn’t call it lying but I have bent the truth if I miss a play date with my kids and I make up for it… I hope they don’t read this…lol.
9) What’s in your purse right now? Tom ford lipstick, Naked lipgloss, rare perfume from Fred Segal (keeping a secret), Platinum American Express, to-do list on scratch paper, a notepad with a crystal pen, and business cards.
10) What is your greatest extravagance? Flying on private jets and dining in mid air
11) Where is your favorite travel destination? Fiji
12) How do you take your coffee? Flavored creamer, which changes based on my mood. I like it the same way hot or cold.
13) What is your most treasured possession? My kids – I don’t think there is anything that i treasure in this life I have learned material things come and go.
14) What is your favorite magazine? Forbes, Elle, Deco Style
15) What advice would you give your 20-something self? Don’t make a permanent decision out of a temporary circumstance.
16) Where can we find you on a Friday night? If I’m not working…kids’ activities or dinner with my girlfriends
17) What motivates you? Taking a broken situation and fixing it
18) What’s something unique that we can find on your desk or around your workspace? Old cards given to me that give me words of encouragement and seaweed snacks
19) What’s the best relationship advice you’ve ever gotten? You don’t always have to be right.
20) What’s your favorite thing about Philadelphia right now? The food!
21) If you could be any superhero, who would you be and why? Wonder Woman because she had a great outfit. Oh and she’s gifted with a wide range of superhuman powers and superior combat and battle skills.
22) Do you have a fashion icon? Yes Posh Spice aka Victoria Beckham
23) If you could go back to one decade in history, which one would it be and why? When Jesus walked to have an opportunity to meet him… But I only want to go back if I can meet him for sure.
24) Where’s your favorite place to eat? Cafe La Maude
25) How do you stay sane balancing your life and career? I recognized that there is no balance – there are only boundaries and I have accepted that. I set them for my personal and professional life.
26) What’s your favorite drink or cocktail? I have never had an alcoholic beverage so anything virgin.
27) What is your favorite movie? Taken or Columbiana
28) Tell us about an embarrassing moment you recently had: When my autistic son who doesn’t understand boundaries touched a lady’s butt and told her it was soft.
29) What’s your favorite app right now? Houzz
30) If you could, what would you say to yourself fives years from now? It was challenging but it was worth it to end up with this level of world changing experience and success.
#30Over30PHL is a month-long series highlighting Philadelphia’s most ambitious women. Created in collaboration with Melissa Alam of Femme & Fortune and Alex Kacala of Fayme Problems. #30Over3PHL is being presented with support from Hard Rock Cafe Philadelphia.