Born at Presbyterian Hospital, Matthew Ridenhour grew up in Charlotte and graduated from Charlotte Christian School where he played football and ran track. A charter member of Troop 7 at Calvary Church, Matthew became an Eagle Scout just before turning 18.
Matthew long dreamed of serving our nation, and he attended college at Virginia Tech studying accounting and was a member of the Corps of Cadets before transferring to AIU in Atlanta. In the summer of 2001, Matthew joined the US Marine Corps Reserve and attended boot camp at Parris Island, SC; afterwards he joined his unit at Ammunition Company, Greenville, SC. He volunteered for his first deployment to Iraq in January of 2005 and was stationed in the Al-Anbar province where he worked as a member of a Provisional Rifle Company, spending his time walking the streets looking for IEDs, standing post on the perimeter of the base, and conducting vehicle searches for contraband and weapons.
Matthew returned home in October of 2005 and was promoted to the rank of Sergeant. He remained on active duty for another three months coordinating the Upstate South Carolina Toys for Tots campaign where he was instrumental in making the campaign a success. His duties included coordinating with the media, managing a team of volunteers, and ultimately collecting over 15,000 toys for underprivileged children.
In 2007 Matthew once again volunteered to deploy to Iraq, this time with a Military Police company. The unit was tasked with providing convoy security on missions throughout the Al-Anbar province. While deployed he took on a number of different duties including Training Chief, Vehicles and Equipment Manager, and Ammunition Chief. Upon his return, he was promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant and he served as his unit’s Company Gunnery Sergeant.
In 2012 Matthew was elected to the Mecklenburg County Board of County Commissioners for District 5. During his time on the Commission he led the successful vote to protect the 2nd amendment rights of citizens on county property and has been a consistent, conservative voice for fiscal conservatism and the proper role of government.
In 2014, Matthew was named a member of the Charlotte Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 for his work in making Charlotte one of the best places to live and work.
Today, Matthew is a Risk Manager for a global financial technology firm and serves on the Board of Directors for three area nonprofits: Steele Creek Preparatory Academy, The May 20th Society, and The North Carolina Heroes Fund.
Matthew is married to his long-time sweetheart, Abby, and they currently reside in Huntingtowne Farms with their daughter and son. Their son, who recently turned one year old, was delivered by Matthew in their driveway when he quickly realized Abby wouldn’t be able to get to the hospital in time. Matthew is a devoted Christian and he and his family currently attend Forest Hill Church.