Westmont Magazine Growing a Dream
When Todd Mattson ’89 was a boy, his father owned a truck stop in New York. “I spent a lot of time there and loved talking to my dad about the business,” he recalls. “He was always making improvements. I was proud of his business and dreamed of having my own business.”
That dream came true six years ago when Todd became president and managing partner in Pro-Line Racing, which manufactures and markets aftermarket accessories for radio controlled model cars. Located in Banning, Calif., the company employs 38 people. In the last six years, it has grown significantly, tripling sales and doubling its work force.
“I like the challenge of making the business better,” Todd explains. “I’m always working on ways to improve things and it has become a part of our company culture to update and improve facilities, equipment and processes. It is satisfying to see something grow and change for the better.”
He has key employees that handle accounting, administration, tooling, product development and operations. “My role has really changed in the last five years. I’m still really involved with the general management, and marketing, but have more time to develop the vision and to plan and strategize.”
Todd joined Pro-Line in 1991 to head up marketing efforts. An economics and business student at Westmont, he had been an intern for Umbrella Entertainment, which puts on 200 air shows annually. After graduating, he joined the company full time as an account representative and promotions manager.
Unlike Todd, Amie Wallin Mattson ’90 never imagined owning a business. A political science major at Westmont, she thought about a career in politics, law or education and taught elementary school until their oldest son was born. “My primary focus is caring for our family and home, but I do whatever needs to be done at work as well,” she explains. She has taken on human resources, accounting and administrative projects as necessary.
Todd and Amie didn’t meet at Westmont, but at Santa Barbara Community Church after they graduated. Their college experiences were very different. Amie was very involved with Weekend Warriors and Potter’s Clay, went on Europe Semester and attended Gordon College in Massachusetts for a semester. “These experiences helped me realize that we can minister to those around us and don’t have to leave our communities to make an impact for the kingdom,” she says.
Amie is involved with MOPS leadership and a women’s Bible study at their church, Trinity Evangelical Free in Redlands. They go to a weekly Bible study focusing on families and prayer.
“I wasn’t really ready to be a student at Westmont,” Todd admits. “I spent the first two years enjoying my freedom and being on my own. When I was senior, I made a decision to change some of my rebellious behavior and recommitted my life to Christ.”
After working for awhile, Todd was ready to go back to school and get an M.B.A. at the University of Redlands in 1996. “Seeing direct applications to the business really motivated me and made learning exciting and pertinent.” he says.
Todd has also learned significantly from other CEOs who participate in a local TEC (The Executive Committee) group. They meet once a month to hear from experts on business issues and talk about their businesses. “I’ve developed a lot of momentum from that group, as well as accountability,” he notes.
“Growth is really important to us as a measure of the success of our business and personal lives, especially as it is propelled by growth in our faith,” Todd explains.