Matthew Parker’s Silent T
My name is Matthew Parker (the first “t” is silent) and I’ve been at WG for a few months working as a Landscape Designer. I grew up in the small city of El Segundo neighboring LAX where I listened to planes take off my whole life. Which might explain why I feel so at home in this office. I was the red-haired middle child of three children, so I’m sure there is a therapist in my future. I went to El Segundo High School where I played for the Roller Hockey Club and was the captain of the Academic Decathlon team and first at my high school to compete all four years (sounds much cooler than it actually is). After graduating I got sucked into the mortgage industry where I worked seven years providing quality control for those horribly thick stacks of loan documents you sign when refinancing or purchasing a home. Between calculating interest rates and reviewing legal verbiage, sparks flew between me and a coworker named Brittany. It was only a matter of time before we took the plunge and have been happily married for more than 5 years. Eventually I realized that I wasn’t passionate about loan documents, so I decided to pursue Landscape Architecture. I was very blessed to get into Cal Poly’s program (literally admitted by mistake), I fast-tracked through the program and earned my BLA in three years. And now I’m here and consider myself fortunate to be working at such a great firm.
Q & A:
Wallace Group: What are some of your favorite activities at WG?
Matthew Parker: I’m still new at WG, but I’m looking forward to participating in all the fun activities I often hear about. Be on the lookout for my chili cook-off entry!
WG: What are you involved with outside of work?
MP: Outside of WG I’m involved in Project Surf Camp where I serve as a swimming partner despite not actually being a surfer (though I am working on that). I’ve also been involved with Children’s Hunger Fund for many years, helping pack food, school supplies and toys for impoverished families both domestically and abroad. But mostly my wife and I volunteer together at Rock Harbor Christian Fellowship in Morro Bay where we teach Sunday school, a.k.a. free hour and a half babysitting, a.k.a. training for future parenthood.
WG: What is your favorite pastime?
MP: My favorite pastime is hiking and hockey. Of which, there is ample of the former here on the central coast… but not so much the latter.
WG: What is your favorite movie?
MP: I’m a sucker for sci-fi and war movies. My favorite sci-fi movie is ironically the last one I saw, Interstellar. And my favorite war movie is The Thin Red Line.
WG: What are some of your favorite foods?
MP: Sushi, Mongolian BBQ, and Mexican. Though I just recently heard my favorite Mexican dish “the Burrito” is not truly Mexican but an American invention. I’m still mourning that one.
WG: What is your dream vacation?
MP: My dream vacation would be to spend a few weeks in Iceland with my wife seeing volcanos, Narwhals, huge waterfalls, glaciers and a lot of signs with words we will never be able to pronounce. My 2nd dream vacation would be an African safari with Dacé (Director of Civil and Transportation at WG) hunting big game, from which I would return a real man.
WG: What is your favorite childhood memory?
MP: I come from a very sophisticated and cultured family. My favorite childhood memories are riding dirt bikes, firing guns, and lighting fireworks in the desert. To clarify, we were not the people that would illegally dump refrigerators and washing machines. But we were the people that would fill them with holes.
WG: What’s your secret ability?
MP: My secret ability is having skin so pale that without sunscreen I can get sunburn in just 15-20 minutes. With great power comes great responsibility.
WG: What’s the furthest away from SLO you have been?
MP: The furthest away from SLO I have ever been is Kauai; which is a lot like what the Central Coast would be like if it rained every day of the year.