20 Under 40: Matt Renna

Matt Renna –  CREATIVE
Age: 35
Business: Boulevard East
High School: Highland Park High School
College: Cox School of Business (SMU)
Faith: Christ the King
Community Involvement: United Way, Movember, Hearts & Hammers, Habitat for Humanity, and Member of the Arboretum Finance Committee

The most critical lesson Matt Renna learned from a mentor happened to be the key to being a good businessman: Make a good first impression. Renna turned that lesson into his own personal philosophy, “Start with the relationship – it is the most important thing.” A commercial banker by day, Renna also embodied the “follow your journey” motto to pursue a lifelong passion by opening Boulevard East, a leather goods store in a Knox-Henderson garage, which also sells at DLM Supply. In his free time, Renna volunteers with United Way, Hearts & Hammers, and Habitat for Humanity.

What is the best advice you received when beginning your career? Make sure to always take care of your clients.

What is your business philosophy? Start with the relationship – it is the most important thing.

What inspires you? Being around motivated people — not just in business either.

If you could tell 16-year-old you anything, what would you say? Listen to your parents – my father always told me to get as many accounting classes as possible in undergrad. It took me until grad school to really listen to that advice. That is one small example but let’s just say I was a little hard-headed at 16.

What is your proudest career accomplishment? My proudest career accomplishment is being able to have three different jobs without sacrificing performance. My main job (i.e. where I earn the most amount of money) is as a commercial banker. I have been able to pursue two life-long passions – 1) starting a retail brand here in Dallas called Boulevard East (www.blvd-east.com), and 2) Coaching Crossfit at Vickery Athletics (www.vickeryathletics.com).

What did you learn from your best boss or mentor? I really was able to learn by observation. One of my mentors (a Highland Park citizen named Bill Borus) is the best at making a good first impression. He is great in other facets of business as well, but he has a way of getting people to open up that I have tried to learn from over the years.

What was your first summer job? My First Job Ever – selling baseball cards at Left Field (an old shop in Snider Plaza in the 80s).

What do you love about your community? I live in the M Streets. I love the convenience – I can literally walk to Knox, Henderson or Greenville. It is hard to live in a pocket that is that close to Downtown that offers that much convenience. As far as the Park Cities (where my entire family still lives), the sheer beauty in the community, the safety and the proximity to the entire City. I also have some great friends who I first met in the Park Cities that are doing some pretty spectacular things in this City.

Where is the best place for a business power lunch in Park Cities or Preston Hollow? Mi Cocina – HPV; Nick & Sam’s Grill; Dunston’s

What is your fondest Park Cities or Preston Hollow memory? 4th of July Parade – my entire family attends every year as my folks live off of University where the parade finishes up – it turns into a party every year

Where will we find you enjoying your hard-earned time off? With my family, working out and if we get a chance to travel then the beach

What do you want your last meal to be? Asian food – I can get really specific here but I will save the reader

What is your favorite color? Baby Blue

What fictional world or place would you like to visit? Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory

If you could be on a reality TV show, which one would you choose? Joe Rogan Podcast – not sure that qualifies but I don’t watch a lot of reality tv

What would your superpower be? Teleport

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Bianca R. Montes

Bianca Montes is an award-winning journalist and former Managing Editor of Park Cities People. She currently serves as a Senior Editor with D Magazine's D CEO publication. You can reach her by email at Bianca.Montes@Dmagazine or follow her on Instagram @Bianca_TBD. For the latest news, click here to sign up for our newsletter.

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