Matt O'Connell has been an executive in the dental industry for more than 20 years and is currently the President of VITA North America located in Orange County, California. He has worked around the globe leading businesses dedicated to introducing innovative dental products and services to new markets throughout Latin America, Europe, and Asia.
After completing a degree in Political Science from San Francisco State University, Matt joined the Peace Corps as a volunteer in the Dominican Republic. For three years he worked on water and sanitation projects in the Haitian communities on the Haitian/Dominican border. It was there that he first learned of the exceptional strength and resilience of the Haitian people. After his service, he went on to complete a Master’s Degree in Latin American Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
After the 2010 earthquake, Matt returned to Haiti for the first time in thirty years. Impacted by the devastation, Matt took a year-long work sabbatical and began a collaboration with the J/P HRO community health team and leaders in the global dental industry to establish a high-quality and safe dental clinic to serve the Delmas 32 community in Port-au-Prince. The clinic now employs two full-time dentists trained at the University of Port-au-Prince and sees over 6,500 patients per year.
After returning to the business world, Matt continues his work with J/P HRO with frequent visits to the J/P HRO clinic to facilitate training and capacity building programs to help J/P HRO staff and doctors achieve their exceptional potential.