OUR LEARNING PHILOSOPHY

What is effective and authentic for one individual is often forced & fake to another. Learning over training values individuality over one-size-fits all.

Our learning approach is data-driven and research-based to focus on your desired return on investment. We aim to create awareness, understanding, and application through unique blend of innovative capacity building learning topics and coaching conversations.

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DEAN MATTHEWS

FOUNDER & PRESIDENT

Dean is a graduate of Carthage College in 1984 with a degree in business administration and marketing. He is president of Matthews Distributing Co. of Iowa., a fourth generation wholesale beverage distributor located in Dubuque, Iowa. He is the founder and president of the Character Quest organization, with over 20 years of leadership development and coaching experience.

Dean is a certified leadership development coach from Cardinal Stritch University. He is a trustee emeritus of Carthage College, member of the Board of Directors for Midwest Community Bank and past board president for the YMCA of Northwest Illinois.

Fueled by his personal passion for leadership growth, Dean began a quest to provide teamwork, leadership and character development in a “hands on” learning approach. Years later, hundreds of corporate, non-profit, and collegiate leaders have experienced Character Quest training in a multitude of settings. Dean and his wife Donna live in Phoenix, Arizona.

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DEREK MATTHEWS Ph.D.

CO-FOUNDER

Derek Matthews Ph.D. received his Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Digital Media from Carthage College in 2010. He received his Masters in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University in 2011. At the age of 25 Derek became the youngest leadership Ph.D. in the country when he received his Ph.D. in Leadership for the Advancement of Learning and Service from Cardinal Stritch University in 2014. Dr. Matthews’ dissertation focused on how college students make meaning of life, leadership, and the college experience by creating personal narratives in their leadership growth journey.

Derek is the Director of Character Quest Leadership Development Company where he is the co-founder of the Carthage College Leadership Certification Program. Additionally, Derek is the Craft Category Manager at Matthews Distributing Co, the local Dubuque, IA Miller/Coors Distributor. Derek and his wife Michelle, live in Chandler, AZ, have two cats (Leonidas and Arya), and a newborn girl – Dahlia!

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