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.
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