I am TreePeople: Mat Steury

The TreePeople staff is filled with amazing individuals — like Mat Steury.

Mat is TreePeople’s all around handyman and IT specialist. Hailing from Auburn, Indiana, Mat and his wonderful wife, Rachel, followed the California sun to TreePeople. The two of them make one dynamic duo!

Mat grew up building and renovating homes with his dad, who learned the skill from his Amish uncles. “I’m basically the Amish IT guy” Mat jokes. It’s no lie either. Whether it’s keeping our computer system humming or renovating the TreePeople kitchen with Rachel– Mat does it all.

In January 2016, Mat started the toughest year of his life when he was diagnosed with cancer. “This past year has been a blur,” he says as he reflects back.

Prior to his diagnosis, Mat had lived a very healthy life. He’s been mostly vegetarian since 2012 and rides his bike the 9 miles to work at Coldwater Canyon Park whenever he can. These healthy choices and his wonderful wife are what helped Mat when the dreadful “C” word came up at the doctor’s office.

Just keep pedaling” is the big lesson of 2016 for Mat — and perhaps for us all. Through chemo and radiation therapy, Mat continued to ride his bike the 9 miles to work and on to doctor’s appointments before heading home where Mat and Rachel would review the recovery plans and charts that she meticulously studied and created. “I can’t imagine trying to go through something like this without a strong partner,” says Mat about Rachel.

All this hard work paid off in the end. Mat announced before last Thanksgiving that he has been given the all clear and is essentially cancer free!

Mat and Rachel, are an inspiration to us all. Even in the darkest of times, they didn’t lose hope. And now that Mat has a clean bill of health, we expect to see them out on the trails around LA – enjoying our urban forests, including TreePeople’s Coldwater Canyon Park.

Thank you, Mat and Rachel, for everything you do and are. You are truly a part of the TreePeople Family. We wish you the best in 2017!


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By Caitlin Dunham

After graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a degree in Forestry and Natural Resource Management, Caitlin discovered a passion for working in social media and marketing and eventually found her way to TreePeople. With her unique forestry and marketing background, Caitlin is now growing and thriving within TreePeople’s Yurt Village. She loves that she can bridge the gap between science and marketing and is at the frontlines of educating Angelenos on trees and how they can save LA.