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The "Official" Bio...


Mike Matarazzo helps his clients work through challenges in both life and leadership and is a well sought after keynote and motivational speaker based in Charlottesville, Virginia.

We all have an inner voice that when heard, can lead us to the answers we seek.  Sometimes the volume of life can make it difficult to tap into this powerful tool.  In his more than four decades of life and leadership experience, Mike Matarazzo has amassed an impressive collection of personal and professional experiences which allow him to serve his clients and reconnect them to their own inner voice.

Mike has built a thriving career as a professional Chef and has become an authority within the Private Club industry on team building, mindset calibration, and positive culture development.  

Career Performance

In 2005, Mike completed an apprenticeship at the world renowned Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, WV.


In 2008 he was named team captain of the United States Regional Culinary Olympic Team and led his team to become the first US Regional Team to win the world championship against 62 teams from 32 nations.

Mike was named USA's Chef of The Year in 2010 and in 2011, placed second in the Western Hemisphere during the Global Chefs Challenge in Vancouver, BC.  During the same year, he was selected to be the civilian advisor to the US Military's Culinary Olympic Team and played a key role in helping teams and individuals win more than a dozen gold medals in elite, international competition.

Matarazzo has built and led teams at some of the most prestigious resorts and private clubs in America and knows better than most, what it takes to overcome adversity and persevere through unique challenges.

Mike currently leads a team of more than seventy at a Top 40 Platinum Rated Country Club.  In 2022, they were recognized by Club & Resort Chef Magazine for providing the #1 Club Culinary Experience in America.  

In addition to his Executive Chef role, Mike is often invited to speak at various events and industry conferences where attendees are exposed to his unique perspectives on life and leadership. 

The "Real" Bio...

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The amount of effort needed to reverse the effects of ignoring yourself, is far greater than that of taking care of yourself

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My name is Mike Matarazzo.  I was basically a failure for the first 18 years of my life.  I had self-esteem issues and have dealt with depression and anxiety.  I suffered from extreme burn out which eventually led to a mental breakdown.  It also led to the greatest chapter of my life to date.

As a young cook coming up in a very unforgiving and stressful industry, I was programmed, like so many others to believe that the only way to success was to keep your head down and push yourself in every way until you got there.  This mindset served me well for a long time and seemingly, was the mindset that enabled me to accomplish some pretty incredible things along the way.  But awards and accolades were not the only things that I got out of that mindset.

You see, when you are trying to perform at your highest level by using "tunnel vision" to focus on nothing but the end goal, you tend to miss some things along the way.  Things like balance, rest and self-care.  I had no sense of self-awareness and if the thought of "I'm not feeling so great" ever crossed my mind, I would simply silence it with a stern, internal reply of "push yourself," and keep going.

The full story is a long one so I'll sum it up for you.  

On the surface of my life long profession, I am a Chef.  But as a coach, I am much more.  I have come to appreciate my failures as much as my successes.  I know what it is like to be the victim of my own poor decisions.

I know what it is like to suffer from depression, anxiety, and addiction.  I have walked in the shoes of a 420 lb man who would look in the mirror every morning with the fear that "I could die at any moment."  I was constantly thinking about how others might see me and judge me and many of my decisions were made based on that.

I barely made it through high school, was kicked out of college two times, have been arrested, lost loved ones to illness and suicide, had 3 knee surgeries, have early arthritis, and suffered a mental breakdown at the pinnacle of my career.

That last thing... the mental that, is one of my proudest accomplishments.  It was the days that followed the breakdown, that I vividly remember feeling "awake" for the first time.  And it was the years that followed that I was able to begin overcoming some of my biggest challenges.  

I am now more self-aware than I have ever been.  Because of my profession, I have a deep passion for serving others and I have been coaching others as a leader for the last 17 years.  Combining those two superpowers now allows me to use the roller coaster of a life that I have endured and persevered through as a means to showing others that anything is possible.  And that meaningful change does not get achieved by overly ambitious goals and self-deprivation.

It's the many small insightful shifts that my clients experience, that help take them to heights that they never imagined possible.  And that is what I can do for you.

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