Matthew Berube loves Columbia. Aside from being a Boston fan, he’s adopted Columbia as his home. You can find him as a constant staple at Firefly baseball games, and offering his unofficial tour guide assistance as a member of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce.
Q. For the people that don’t know you, please introduce yourself.
A. I am so many things to so many people. First and foremost I am a family man, I have two children and my amazing wife. I am an Iraq War veteran that served from 2003-2009 in the U.S. Army. Now I am mostly known for my work in the financial sector around Columbia. I got my start in one of the largest banks in the country and now I work for one of the state’s largest credit unions, South Carolina Federal Credit Union.
Q. You’re also a part of the local Chamber of Commerce. If someone is visiting Columbia, where would you tell them to visit?
A. I am sure the average person would tell you to go to the zoo, not that the zoo isn’t great, my family is an annual pass holder. It is just Columbia is so much bigger than that. Main Street has grown so much since I first moved here in 2006. The Art Museum has gone through so amazing renovation, Soda City Market is a must if you love local vendors plus the chance to hang out with hundreds of dogs on a Saturday morning.
I am partial to River Rat brewery, but we are starting to see a huge growth in the local beer scene. There is some amazing local talent when it comes to art and music, so there are countless of places any given night you could see the local talent of Columbia. So the next time someone ask you where to visit in Columbia when they are visiting, you can tell them the zoo, just do not leave out the small local businesses and local artist in the area.
Q. You’re a regular at Fireflies games. What about having a minor league baseball team in the city is important to you?
A. Growing up in New England you tend to fall in love with sports. To me, it’s important on so many levels to have a local team. People need to take their kids out there. Most of these players are kids themselves. They are living their dreams and we get to see them grow and inspire the next generation. It’s more then baseball, it’s a community.
Q. You’re a Boston guy. Do you ever feel spoiled by the amount of titles your city gets in pro sports?
A. Do I feel spoiled? I went from 1986 until 2001 without a championship, thanks to Tom Brady. So basically I spent the first half of my life as a loser. So no, I do not feel spoiled.