Matt Owen – President, Boxer Publishing, LLC
When he left England in 1992 to pursue a soccer scholarship in the United States, Matt did so with just one bag – bursting at the zipper with both clothes and optimism. He landed at Stetson University in the sweltering heat of Central Florida, which is long way from his hometown of Birkenhead, where he spent summers working on the famous “Ferry ‘Cross the Mersey.” The then-oft-repeated song still makes him shudder to this day.
After two years spent in the Sunshine State, he transferred to Charleston Southern University where he quickly adapted to life in the South. He interned his way into his first newspaper position, but not before he’d gone undrafted in the very first Major League Soccer draft. After graduating with an English degree, Matt worked at The Georgetown Times newspaper, covering everything from county councils to garden clubs. This tooth-cutting experience was only superseded when he met local girl Kelly, who went from friend to fiancé to wife in a rapid space of time.
Together, they moved to Charleston, where Matt started working at the Post and Courier newspaper at the very bottom rung: writing obituaries. He soon graduated to the features department, where became one of the paper’s chief profile writers, including penning pieces on former Governors Sanford and Hodges. In 2001, he switched careers, but did not want to move away from Charleston – a city he’d grown to love. He joined Kiawah Island Resort as its Public Relations Director and over the next seven years, garnered millions of dollars of publicity for Kiawah, its new Sanctuary hotel, and two sister hotels: The Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, VA, and The Hermitage Hotel in Nashville, TN.
Since 2008, he has had the privilege of serving as the Corporate Director of Public Relations for Salamander Hotels & Resorts, a Virginia-based company, and working directly for one of America’s leading businesswomen: Sheila C. Johnson. Matt oversees PR and Social Media strategies for five resorts: Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, VA; Innisbrook Resort in Tampa Bay, FL; Reunion Resort in Orlando, FL; Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast, FL; The Henderson in Destin, FL, the new Tryon Resort in Tryon, NC, and Hotel Bennett in Charleston, SC. A five-term member of the national PRSA Travel & Tourism Board, Matt lives in Charleston with Kelly and their two white boxers: Huxley and Lyra.