Matt DiPaola goes client side to ‘have an impact’

Canadian agency veteran Matt DiPaola was looking for an opportunity to do more “meaningful” work, and hopes he’s found it as head of marketing for Rippleworks.

The Silicon Valley-based non-profit provides funding and/or advisory work for social impact enterprises taking on issues such as education and healthcare inequity, systemic racism and climate change.

Outside of occasional freelance consulting roles for some start-ups, DiPaola (if you don’t want to play “Where’s DiPaola?” he’s in the back row, fifth from left in main photo) has spent his entire career working in agencies. He was most recently global chief client officer with Huge, a position he left in April after nearly five years with the agency—including four years as president of its Canadian office. His career has also included stops at Sid Lee, Critical Mass, and MediaCom Canada.

He had been volunteering with Rippleworks since 2021, when he was brought in to advise a start-up called YLabs, a role that included analyzing the team structure to identify missing functional areas and necessary hires, and develop a change management and communications plan.

Earlier this year, he started providing counsel to an Indonesian forest restoration company called Forest Carbon, followed by work with a DC start-up called the World Resources Institute.

He decided to make the switch to a full-time role with Rippleworks when the head of marketing role opened up. “For me, the opportunity to move from volunteering my time to doing social impact full-time was something I couldn’t pass up,” he said.

After spending nearly 30 years working with agencies, DiPaola said he was looking for an opportunity to do more “meaningful” work. “To truly have impact in the for-profit space is hard,” he said. “To be able to focus on impact full-time, and get a paying job that does that, it was an unbelievable best of both worlds.”

DiPaola, a Toronto native who spent the past year living what he describes as a “nomadic” life that has included stops in Los Angeles, Austin, Washington, DC, and now Montreal, is one of a growing number of global remote employees for Rippleworks.

“Part of the appeal of a remote job is to continue being able to travel,” he said, adding that he might begin exploring other relocation options next year. “I might end up who knows where,” he said. “I will do this for as long as I’m allowed.”

Chris Powell