Future 50: Matthew Goldstein, Besa

Katy Smith
2020 Future 50 class member Matthew Goldstein.

Future 50 Class of 2020

Matthew Goldstein

CEO, Besa

About: A weekend job at a suicide hotline gave Matthew Goldstein the overwhelming sense that he needed to be doing more. But finding opportunities to engage in the community and give back wasn’t easy. So Goldstein came up with the idea of Besa, an organization that coordinates volunteering and give-back experiences for organizations. It was a hit. Since it was founded seven years ago, 30,000-plus volunteers have worked on more than 5,000 projects, making $2 million in direct community impact. Through relationships with 15 corporate partners, an additional $6 million has gone to the community. Goldstein previously founded WOOF! Downtown Pet Care and worked at Abercrombie & Fitch and Retail Forward.

Outside work: Nina West philanthropic adviser; Columbus Foundation Emerging Leaders, Gifts of Kindness Committee member; Create Columbus Commission; Humana, Well-Being Committee member; United Way of Central Ohio, Columbus Volunteer Challenge Committee member; GenNext Steering Committee member; Pride Leadership Fellow; and volunteer, North Central Mental Health Services.

50 ideas to move the region forward. Here's who else is in the Future 50 Class of 2020.

What does Columbus need to thrive? “Strong and forward-thinking leadership. Transportation solutions. Affordable housing. Smart redevelopment plans for areas like Franklinton and Linden. Fresh, healthy foods for low-income families. Support for young mothers. A steadfast response to the drug epidemic. Quality education for everyone. And much, much more. Above all, we need an army of thoughtful, passionate citizens willing to not only think together but also act together. We need to make giving back easier so that it becomes part of people’s—and companies’—everyday lives and missions, not just something they consider at the holidays or a couple times a year.”

Matthew’s idea: “I would love to see this group tackle a project addressing race inequalities. In recent months and years, we’ve regressed in this arena. Right now, over 50 percent of white Americans don’t believe we have a race problem. We do. It’s not just a black issue or a brown issue. It’s an all-of-us issue. If we can address it, we’ll advance our community and economy like never before.”

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