A story of a young immigrant who came to our shores at the age of sixteen by himself and through education, hard work, and strong religious faith, built a very successful financial planning firm in San Luis Obispo.
Now, Matt Kokkonen is continuing his political activism by running for US Congress. Matt's candidacy is not only a way to repay his adopted nation for the great opportunities he was afforded, but to bring a strong commitment to conservative Republican principles to Washington.
Born in Helsinki, Finland in 1945, Matt Kokkonen immigrated to America in 1962. A graduate of prestigious Westmont College in Santa Barbara, Matt holds a BA degree in Philosophy, a Master of Science degree in both Financial Services and Management and has been a Chartered Life Underwriter ( CLU ) since 1973 and a Chartered Financial Consultant ( ChFC ) since 1982.
He is also a Family Business Specialist and has owned the Matt Kokkonen Insurance and Financial Services agency in downtown San Luis Obispo since 1975, having been a trusted financial advisor to thousands of clients on the Central Coast and across the country. He has lectured widely in the United States and in Western Europe on financial planning and insurance issues for families, as well as helping businesses design effective executive compensation and employee benefit plans. A very rewarding area has been in assisting family businesses with their succession plans. He speaks four languages.
Matt is past two term President of the California Central Coast Chapter of Financial Service Professionals and the San Luis Obispo County Chapter of the Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors.
Committed to doing what's right, regardless of the risk or cost, Matt successfully took on a giant insurance company, fighting the case all the way to the United States Supreme Court and winning in a 9-0 vote in 1994.
A current and seven term elected member of the San Luis Obispo County Republican Central Committee, Matt won the primary election to be the Republican nominee in the 2008 election against Lois Capps. He was also elected several times to the Board of Directors of the Squire Canyon Community Services District.
He is on the Board of Directors of Air-Vol Block, Inc., a manufacturing company in San Luis Obispo. He served as Chairman of Simpson University Investment Committee in Redding, CA, and served Grace Church of San Luis Obispo for over 30 years as Trustee, Deacon and Secretary. He has also served on the Budget Advisory Committee of the San Luis Coastal Unified School District.
Matt is a Pilot and participates in Search and Rescue missions with San Luis Obispo Sheriff's Aero Squadron and served as First Lieutenant and pilot in the Civil Air Patrol. He holds an Honorable Discharge from the California National Guard.
Matt served as 33rd District Co-Chair of the Recall Gray Davis campaign and 33rd District Co-Chair of "Save our Licenses," aimed at repealing the law granting driver's licenses to illegal immigrants.
Matt and his wife of 48 years, Jean, have two children, Jana, an Air Force Academy graduate and Lt Colonel (reserves) and Emergency Medicine doctor, and Daniel, a computer tech service company owner. They have the two cutest granddaughters ever.