Alumni Network Spotlight -
Nicholas Mattia

by Theresa Ludvigson and T.J. Vilardi
 
 
 

“From Corporate America to... the Kitchen?”

After roughly eight years of sales jobs in the technology industry, Nicholas decided it was time for a change. Follow Nicholas’ story as he said goodbye to corporate America and hello to... the kitchen? Read more here.

Salesforce’s Impact

Nicholas Mattia came to Salesforce in 2015 as an Account Executive. He focused on helping emerging small businesses in the New York area with their digital transformation journey. Nicholas knew of Salesforce’s great reputation in the industry and around the world before he arrived, but he never could have imagined the lasting impact the company would have on him even today, three years after leaving Salesforce.

During his almost four year tenure at Salesforce, Nicholas had two different roles at the company, which means two different leaders. Both of those leaders instilled confidence and leadership skills that Nicholas still uses today. His first leader was Michael Hartman, current Executive Vice President of North America Financial Services. Michael frequently said, “If you always do the right things, the desired results and outcomes will follow”. Nicholas told us, “This is a quote and methodology that has stuck with me from the moment I heard it. It is something I continue to think about day in and day out in my current role. If you grind hard, show up every single day, and put in the time and effort, eventually good things will come your way.”

Nicholas’ second leader during his time at Salesforce was Brett Gubenko, current Vice President of Healthcare & Life Sciences. Nicholas told us, “I learned a lot from Brett. He helped shape who I am as a leader of my own company. One of the things he taught me was the acronym, BCD. This means no Blaming, no Complaining, and no Defending. Everything I do I need to be held accountable for, even if in the end it isn’t entirely my fault. Having this mindset everyday at Salesforce has translated over to me running my own business.”

He was also managed by Christine Worth in both of his roles. Nicholas told us, “Christine was a great manager and she really cared about my success not only at Salesforce but also on a personal level. Our team was great and everyone wanted everyone else to win, which is something you don’t see often in a sales organization. We still keep in touch on social media and I look forward to seeing her husband working on a future home construction project or beautiful pictures of her kids!”

Taking a Risk

Now that you’ve heard about Nicholas’ background at Salesforce and that he currently has his own business, you may be asking, “What is this business and why the career change?” Don’t worry, we had the same question and Nicholas filled us in. He explained, “I loved my time at Salesforce, I truly did. But I felt like something was missing.” Nicholas had a strong passion for cooking. He always cooked at home in his apartment for friends and family but never in a professional setting. This was something that he felt he couldn’t ignore any longer and needed to pursue.“

Nicholas made the decision to leave Salesforce and take the biggest risk of his life in 2018. He jumped into an industry he knew little about to start his dream company. Nicholas decided the best way to learn about the industry and what it’s like to cook in a professional kitchen was to dive right in. He volunteered at Pig and Khao, a restaurant in New York City. He explained, “I told the staff that I had no idea what I was doing and I just wanted to learn and absorb as much as I could.”

His first day in the kitchen was far from what he expected. He assumed he’d observe chefs during a dinner shift, but that wasn’t the case. Instead he was put to work shucking eight boxes of corn for the entire shift. “My first day volunteering really had me rethinking everything I thought I knew. I questioned whether I made the right decision to leave my secure job and chase my dreams,” said Nicholas. However, Nicholas would soon find himself on the line in the kitchen and watching talented chefs work right in front of him. He told us, “I started realizing how much butter and oil was being used in every single dish that left the kitchen. I knew this couldn’t be healthy and it got me thinking about what else was out there for people who wanted healthier alternatives.”

A Company is Born

In 2018, after 18 months volunteering and shadowing at Pig and Khao, Nicholas’ company Ready Strong Meals launched. His goal when he started the company was to bring healthy, portioned, and well-balanced meals to people in the New York City area, and that’s exactly what he’s doing! Before the pandemic, Nicholas and his team had strategic drop-off locations around the city where people could easily walk to and grab their meals — whether it was after a workout, in between meetings at work, or on their way home. However, now that everyone is working from home, his business model has shifted to a delivery service. Ready Strong Meals currently delivers to Hoboken, Jersey City, Weehawken, Union City, North Bergen, West New York, and Manhattan (from 92nd Street down to Wall Street). If you want to try their tasty meals but don’t live in any of these areas, feel free to connect with Nick directly (nick@readystrongmeals.com) to see if they can accommodate. 
When asked what differentiates Ready Strong Meals from other meal delivery companies out there, Nicholas told us, “We use all locally-sourced ingredients. We go to local farmers’ markets in the area and use all organic meats in our meals with zero antibiotics." Like many others in the food industry, the pandemic forced Nicholas to make changes to his business model. However, he told us that the company is still thriving! Ready Strong Meals now has delivery drivers bringing healthy and locally-sourced meals to customers each week.

Giving Back

It’s no secret that Salesforce empowers its employees to get out in the community and give back. Nicholas told us, “I was always fond of giving back and volunteering even before I got to the company, but Salesforce really reinforced it. When I left Salesforce, I knew I would be taking this value with me and practicing it in my own company.”

Today, Ready Strong Meals partners with the FLAG organization to get meals to frontline healthcare workers at no cost. “We are always looking for ways to give back to the local community. We also partner with community fridges in the New Jersey area to make sure our homeless population does not go to bed hungry. We drop off meals each week to West Side Community Fridge, JC Heights Community Fridge, and Union City Fridge to name a few. There are wonderful human beings behind this concept who take the time out of their busy lives to start and maintain these community fridges. We are looking into community fridges in NYC to donate to as well! Wherever and whenever we can help people in need, we will do it,” said Nicholas.

Ready Strong Meals

Want to learn more about Ready Strong Meals? Head to their website, follow them on social media, and use this Salesforce Exclusive Discount below on your first order!

Want to whip up one of Nicholas’ delicious meals in your own kitchen? See two of his popular menu item recipes below:

Honey Soy Turkey Meatballs
Meatballs:
1 pound lean ground turkey
1 cup of whole wheat breadcrumbs
1 egg
1/3 cup of low fat milk
2 tablespoons of thyme
1 tablespoon of garlic
1 tablespoon of ginger
1 small onion
Pinch of salt and pepper

Sauce:
1 cup of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of honey
1 tablespoon of ginger
1 Tablespoon of garlic

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Roll into small balls. To ensure they cook evenly, make sure the balls are the same size (you can form them with a measuring cup for consistency; we use a 1/4 cup). Bake in oven at 350 degrees Farenheit for 12 minutes. Take out and turn the pan. Bake another 12-13 minutes or until cooked through. Heat up the sauce and toss the meatballs in sauce. Healthy and tasty. Enjoy!

No Bake Protein Balls
1 1/2 cup of oats
1 cup of almond butter
1/4 cup of honey
2 scoops of protein powder
Handful of coconut flakes

Directions: Mix all ingredients in a bowl and form into bitesize balls. Easy, healthy, and TASTY. Enjoy!

Want to learn more about Nicholas’ career journey? Connect with him on LinkedIn! Or, if his story has piqued your interest in careers at Salesforce, go ahead and explore open roles today.
 

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