Spirit of Marquette Award (achievement before age 40)

WagnerMatthew D. Wagner, Bus Ad ’07
Long Grove, Ill.

For Matt Wagner, success has no finish line. Instead, it’s defined by ongoing impact. Working in service to others, Matt not only expands his company's horizons but also inspires personal growth and fulfillment for his team.

In both his personal life and his career at Camping World, the world’s largest recreational dealer, Matt is committed to working in service of others, a philosophy that shines through in his passion for people leadership.

After graduating with his Bachelor of Science in finance and operations and supply chain from Marquette in 2007, Matt joined Camping World as an inventory analyst and rose rapidly through the ranks, earning his current role as the company’s chief operating officer last year.

As COO, Matt led the company to adopt a new operating strategy to widen its acquisition funnel to include more dealers. The goal is to increase the store count by 50 percent over the next five years through a combination of acquisitions and new store openings. He also made it his mission to provide for his team's well-being and personal development. “My goals focus on positioning our team to continue to provide for their families while experiencing personal growth and fulfillment,” he says.

To Matt, personal growth is about much more than annual goal setting. His time at Marquette influenced him to look deeper for fulfillment and rethink the typical definition of success.

“My Marquette experience helped to shape the manner in which I approach goal setting. True success in my life is defined by the positive impact I hope to have on the lives of my friends, family, and colleagues,” Matt says.

Matt also credits Marquette for paving his professional path. He is grateful to Dr. Bharatendu Srivastava for encouraging him to double major in finance and supply chain management. “Prior to meeting him, I had a very different career in mind post-graduation,” Matt says. “I thought I would end up in the world of finance, but I discovered enjoyment in supply chain and ops processes.”

Matt's commitment to serving others is deeply ingrained in his personal and professional life. He and his wife, Katie, Arts ’07, started dating during their sophomore year at Marquette. They were married at Church of the Gesu in 2010 and baptized their children at Gesu. They reside in Long Grove, Ill., and three of their children attend Saint Mary’s Catholic School in Buffalo Grove. Matt and Katie are very involved with the church and school community and contribute to volunteering and fundraising efforts.

Matt was nominated for the Spirit of Marquette Award by Marcus Lemonis, Arts ’95, the Camping World chairman and CEO who is perhaps better known for the CNBC reality show, The Profit. He was humbled by the nomination. “It's an incredible honor given the legions of accomplished Marquette alums who are so deserving of this recognition,” he says.

Fun Fact:

  • After graduating from Marquette, Matt began running marathons, including ultra-marathons and trail running. He’s made it a mission to run at least one 50K (32 miles) and one 50-miler each year.


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