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Downtime with Matt Sayre

Downtime with Matt Sayre Photo: Jason E. Kaplan

Live, work and play with the managing director of Onward Eugene.


What I am reading

Maybe not what you’d think… Journal of Urban Economics paper from Bruce Blonigen about airline expansion and the positive impacts on the service and retail industry sectors. Also, a study by the Open Technology Institute showing the disparity between what consumers pay for broadband service in the United States versus abroad, and how different delivery models can make the internet faster and less expensive for consumers.

What I am watching

M. Night Shyamalan’s Servant. Trying to hang in there for his signature twist at the end.

What I am listening to

There are a handful of podcasts that I listen to on rotation, whichever has a new episode: The Tim Ferriss Show, This American Life, Freakonomics, Reply All and RadioLab. However, Radiolab hasn’t been the same since Robert Krulwich retired.



Must-have gadget

I have an Arcimoto FUV that makes driving fun. Also, Sonos keeps me company at my home office; I have been rocking that since 2009.

What I do outside of work

In non-COVID times, watching my kids play sports. I also have a 2-year-old German short-haired pointer dog named Huckleberry, so anything that involves him, I really enjoy doing.

Earliest ambition

I grew up in pretty humble beginnings, so the idea of making a million dollars was alluring. I started out by selling worms to fishermen, which was actually pretty lucrative for a 10-year-old.

Favorite place 
to vacation

Skylake Yosemite Camp on Bass Lake [in California]. It’s an annual tradition that started right after college.

Biggest extravagance

February in Oregon leaves me wanting for sunshine, so I usually fly someplace warm this time of year.

What motivates me to come to work

There is a lot of crossover between my interests and my work. I’m passionate about closing the opportunity gap in Eugene and Springfield. I’ve been pretty successful at doing that by growing the region’s tech sector and helping ensure that growth was inclusive.

Now I’m thinking about a model for inclusive economic prosperity on a bigger scale, focusing on innovation across industries and working on four initiatives to accelerate economic recovery locally.

Professional role model

During the pandemic and the wildfires, there have been a lot of people stepping up. In Oregon you didn’t have to look too far to find the helpers.


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