Matthew Haggart is a manager with ScottMadden. Prior to joining the firm in January 2023, Matthew served for more than ten years as a Green Beret in the Army’s Special Forces. He holds an MBA, with a focus in finance and strategy, from the University of Georgia’s Terry School of Business. Outside of work, Matthew has a family of five and serves as a board member for the Special Forces Foundation and the Creek and Timber Legacy Foundation, both of which provide aid to the veteran community and children in need while advocating for mental and physical health resources.
Matthew was born in Miami, Florida and moved to central Georgia at a young age with his parents and older sister. Growing up in Gwinnet County, Matthew spent most of his free time in the garage or on the field. At home, he and his father spent hours together tinkering with cars, and at school, he was an avid athlete— playing football and baseball throughout high school. Altogether, life was good, and family was great; the blessings of both were never lost on Matthew. His parents instilled the values and traditions that embodied what it meant to be an American, and because of this, Matthew felt compelled to give back to his country. In his senior year of high school, he realized that his type-A personality and athletic ability might serve him well in the military, and so sprung the roots of his commitment to service.
Before joining the military, Matthew received an undergraduate degree in criminology from Kennesaw State, leaving campus not only with a degree, but also with a new girlfriend, who soon after became his fiancé and later wife. The two met during Matthew’s summer break while he was working as a P.E. teacher at the local high school. Shortly after graduation Matt, still set on his dream of serving in the military, headed to Fort Benning, Georgia for initial military training. He was later assessed and selected for training within the Special Operations community, earning his Green Beret, the signature head gear of Army Special Forces.
While serving in Special Forces, Matthew became a subject matter expert on mechanical and structural engineering as well as unconventional warfare, deploying multiple times to North Africa and the Middle East. In these locations, he operated within a small team, raising surrogate military forces and providing assists to local and national governments on strategic initiatives involving foreign internal defense and national military readiness. From serving in the Sahara Desert, developing young, eager military forces dedicated to opposing extremists, to serving in the Global War on Terrorism throughout the Middle East, Matthew was able to provide mentorship and skill-based training to a multitude of young men and women across more than a dozen national militaries.
During his service, Matthew spent six months or more each year working overseas and would return for short periods to his wife in Colorado Springs, where he and the other members of his Special Forces team would spend time hosting barbeques, training, and continued to lean on each other, nurturing the friendships formed overseas. During Matthew’s last deployment to the Middle East, however, an injury during a nighttime operation and subsequent nine-month recovery accelerated Matthew’s retirement from the military and return to Georgia.
For Matt, it was a no-brainer to align his military service into civilian life and the workforce with a return to school. He earned an MBA from UGA’s Terry School of Business and immediately applied that degree to a career at Afterburner, an Atlanta-based consulting firm staffed exclusively with former elite military. At Afterburner, his work concentrated on strategy execution framework and development, conducting workshops for fortune 500 C-Suite executives aligning long term strategy to executable initiatives. After two years, he jumped to a private equity firm in Dallas where he focused on asset valuation and organization growth planning. Ultimately, however, the toll of 5-day travel weeks and being absent from his growing family back home prompted Matthew to explore other employment options. He reached out to a peer from the MBA Veteran’s Conference that he attended years prior, and this peer was our very own Brad Velotta, who offered Matthew a path back to consulting—this time at ScottMadden.
These days, Matthew enjoys his extra time with his wife and three kids: Noah (6), Cameron (3), and Sadie (18 months). Reliving his childhood pastime, he coaches his son Noah’s baseball team, also taking time to golf, road bike, and fish whenever he can. Matthew’s extracurricular schedule also includes serving on the board of the Special Forces Foundation and the Creek and Timber Foundation. As a member of the Special Forces Foundation, he helps with fundraising and transitioning wounded warriors back into civilian life, a cause close to his heart. With the Creek and Timber Foundation, Matthew attends sponsored trips that allow him to connect with local veterans, first-responders, and children struggling with illness. To Matthew, giving back is an important, ever-present effort and something he hopes to continue for the foreseeable future.
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