Matt Sweetwood, President of Unique Photo Elected to the Board of Directors of RTP: Rehabilitation Through Photography
RTP is proud to announce the addition of an industry visionary with a strong marketing, management, and photography background to the Board of Directors
New York, NY, February 13, 2013
Rehabilitation Through Photography (RTP) announces Matt Sweetwood elected to the Board of Directors of RTP, Rehabilitation Through Photography. Matt Sweetwood is the President of Unique Photo, a state of the art camera store in New Jersey. Most recently, he has been credited with the reinvention the successful modern camera store, which includes the country’s largest in-store education program, the Unique University®.
Matthew “Matt” Sweetwood was born to photo industry pioneers Harriet and Bernard Sweetwood in 1963. Matt has been a lifelong resident of New Jersey. Originally from Jersey City, he graduated Mountain High School in West Orange at the age of 16, then Rutgers University with Highest Honors in Mathematics at age 20. At 22, Matt received his Master’s Degree in theoretical mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania, where he also won the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching — the singularly highest honor a teaching fellow can earn.
He began his full-time career at Unique Photo® while he was attending Penn. Matt was an early adopter of computer programming and by the time he graduated, he had successfully designed, wrote and implemented Unique Photo’s first computer system. In 1987, Matt became Unique Photo’s Chief Operating Officer, placing him in charge of the warehouse operations, IT, HR, Vendor Relations and Marketing.
Matt has since added the title of President and has become the face of Unique Photo, both to the public and the industry. His reputation is nationally known as a marketing innovator, a risk-taker and as an extremely quick and creative thinker. He has personally been involved in the acquisition of over 50 U.S. and International Trademarks for both language and design at Unique Photo, and he founded and ran the Ozzie Award winning publication Photo Insider®. Most recently, he has been credited with the reinvention the successful modern camera store, which includes the country’s largest in-store education program, the Unique University®. He has been a regular photography contributor on Fox News, NBC Today Show, News 12 NJ, and other high-profile programs. He has also spoken publicly for organizations like UPS, FedEx, NJ Devils Hockey and BMW CCA.
He is a devoted father of five children, all of whom still live in New Jersey. His interests include being an avid NJ Devils’ hockey fan (and running their largest fan forum), being an advanced auto racer with the BMW Club, and of course, photography.
Jackie Augustine, President of the RTP Board of Directors stated that “We are very excited about Matt joining the RTP Board of Directors. I have known Matt for over 20 years and collaborated on many projects with him. He is a visionary who can make the impossible possible. We look forward to tapping his knowledge, enthusiasm, and marketing expertise to take Rehabilitation Through Photography to the next level.”
Maureen McNeil, the new Executive Director of Rehabilitation Through Photography stated, “We are thrilled to welcome Matt to the RTP Board of Directors. His energy and savvy business sense will help sustain our organization, grow our programs and make a world of difference for those who do not have a voice in society.”
Rehabilitation Through Photography puts cameras in the hands of veterans, the physically and emotionally challenged, the elderly, at-risk youth, the economically disadvantaged, formerly homeless and the visually impaired. Through free photography programs, professional instruction, exhibitions, and publications, RTP students, ages 8 – 80, develop a talent for visual self-expression and connect to their communities.
RTP partners with schools, hospitals, social service agencies, and like-minded nonprofits. Thanks to the generosity of the photo industry and professional volunteer photographers, RTP has provided the gift of photography to thousands of students in the New York City area over the past seventy years. Some of the current partners include: Birch Susser School for Exceptional Children, the Block Institute, Cartwheel Initiative, Creedmoor Psychiatric Center, Fresh Art, IUDU School for Students with Special Needs, Jewish Union Foundation, University Settlement House, Millennium High School, International High School, and U.S. veterans in Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx.
Rehabilitation Through Photography is entirely supported by tax-deductible donations from individuals, corporations and foundations and is a registered 5013C charitable organization.