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Where are they now: Matt Dixon

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Denmark Alum enjoying journalism career in Florida

By: Chris C. Nelson, Publisher

Many people have called our village home. They’ve gone beyond our Midwest neighborhoods and small town population to make a difference elsewhere.

Every once in a while, we get a chance to hear from those who are grateful for where they were born and raised, and who want to reflect fondly on their roots.

Matt Dixon once called Denmark, Wisconsin his home. He graduated class of 2003. Journalistic aspirations took him to Marquette University. To this day, he is a successful journalist living in Florida but remains faithful to the Green Bay Packers.
The Sunshine State is where Matt settled, more specifically its capitol of Tallahassee. He covers politics, specifically the Florida legislature and political campaigns that are important to the state.

“I am bureau chief for the Florida bureau of a media organization called POLITICO, which is a Washington-based company that covers national politics. They started their Florida bureau in 2015, and I have been here ever since. I bounced around with several Florida-based news organizations before landing with POLITICO.”

Matt’s first job was working for a newspaper in The Villages, a huge central Florida retirement community with a big Wisconsin presence. Matt jokes, “I have the distinction of one of the few people whose first job took them from a college campus to a retirement community.”

His Midwestern traits and upbringing helped shape the path he’s currently following. And that includes his biggest career achievement; breaking into the highly competitive media industry in a big state.

“When I first got to Tallahahassee to cover the state’s Legislature, it was fair to say I didn’t know anything or anyone. I spent many sleepless nights learning the landscape of Florida and working hard to meet as many people as I could who could help me build a career, a work ethic I don’t think could be forged anywhere not named Denmark, Wisconsin.”

Matt’s visits to the village that helped raise him may not happen as often as he’d like, but he makes an effort to return a couple times a year during two different seasons. Summer and Winter.

“Just this year, my wife, Ana, and I came home in the middle of that brutal winter storm. She was raised in Tijuana, so needless to say it was a harsh introduction to midwest winters (she had a lot of fun). Generally I try to make a Packers game when I’m home, but beyond that I just hang out with family, and do at least one night on the old Denmark bar circuit. In my case, that’s usually led by my old high school buddy Nick Bradley.”

While Florida is home now, Matt insists he remains a Wisconsinite at heart. Ask him to prove it and he’ll tell you about being an overly loud Packers fan in a Florida sports bar where he’s the only Packers fan.

Still, you can’t take away his longing for that sense of community. Matt knows Denmark as where he was born and raised, emphasizing that can’t be replicated.
He refers fondly to our village’s “charm that is second-to-none” but realizes there are always opportunities to accentuate what is already there. Despite experiencing the world, he still appreciates Denmark as it is. Though he does like that he gets a broader array of entertainment options in his current community.

A little older. A little wiser. Matt reflects upon the majesty of his boyhood upbringing. Not much has changed (well, there is that Kwik Trip) yet everything has changed. “I’m now the guy who can drive past a neighborhood of houses and tell people, ‘when I was a kid, all this was farm fields.’”

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