About Me

Derek Matthews believes that leadership is truly the art of helping individuals discover and master their character within the context of a greater story - their personal leadership growth story. Derek received his Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Digital Media from Carthage College in 2010. He received a Masters in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University in 2011. At the age of 25 Derek became the youngest leadership Ph.D. in the country by receiving his Ph.D. in Leadership for the Advancement of Learning and Service from Cardinal Stritch University in 2014. Dr. Matthews’s dissertation focused on how millennials make meaning of life, leadership, and the college experience by creating personal narratives in their collegiate leadership growth journey.

Derek is the Co-Director of Character Quest Leadership Development Company (CQ), which believes dynamic leadership is about becoming the greatest version of yourself. CQ offers team, leadership, and character learning experiences which focus on the art of coaching, leading high potential emerging leaders, engaging all levels of an organization, and outdoor custom leadership development.

Derek is the co-founder of the Carthage College Leadership Certification & Coaching Program in Kenosha, WI. Additionally, Derek is the Craft Category Manager at Matthews Distributing Co., the local Miller/Coors distributor in Dubuque, IA. Derek and his wife Michelle currently live in Dubuque, IA, have two cats (Leonidas and Arya) and are expecting their first baby in August!


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