Matthew Kenyon
Matthew Kenyon
UNF Degree: B.T. - ’81
Employment: President & CEO Dana B. Kenyon Co.

Kenyon builds on family heritage

 Matthew Kenyon understands the value of his heritage both professionally and personally. As the president and CEO of the Dana B. Kenyon Company of Jacksonville, he is the third generation to work in his family-owned construction company.

 

“Everything I did as a child and young adult was with the ultimate goal of running this construction company,” he says. “UNF provided me with a solid basic education and prepared me for the business world.”

 

The company was started by his father, Dana B. Kenyon, more than 25 years ago. The firm has built commercial, residential and industrial projects totaling more than four million square feet in a dozen states. It has more than $80 million in contracts under construction.

 

But the dollar amount of contracts under construction is not the accomplishment of which Kenyon is the proudest. “For 14 years I was a partner with my father. Most people don’t have the experience of working with a parent. It was truly a great friendship and wonderful partnership,” he said. Kenyon’s grandparents also worked in the company; his grandfather out on construction projects and his grandmother in the office.

The UNF experience is also part of Kenyon’s family heritage. One son, Matthew Jr., is currently a UNF student. Kenyon’s wife, Rita, also graduated from UNF with a bachelor of fine arts degree.

 

Kenyon admits much has changed at UNF since he graduated in 1981. “It was a very small school then with no freshmen or sophomores. Seventy percent of the students were over 30 and there weren’t many extracurricular activities,” he recalls.

All that has changed and he praises the growth of the campus and the dynamic leadership of President John Delaney. “You have an exceptional guy at the helm and he’s planning some exciting programs in the future.”

 

Involvement in the community is a continuing facet of Kenyon’s life. Professionally the company has been actively involved in HabiJax, the Habitat for Humanity Jacksonville chapter, building new homes for low-income families. Personally he is involved in a number of charities and church-related activities. One such activity is participation the Florida Youth Hunting Program sponsored by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

 

Helping young people extends to UNF where he has made presentations to classes and hired interns and graduates to work in his family