USD alum Robert Matousek honored for humanitarian work

VERMILLION, S.D. -- As an advocate, champion and an ambassador for people with disabilities, Robert Matousek of Tiburon, Calif., recently received the Freedom of Mobility Award during the 2009 Spirit of Movement Awards “Without Limits” ceremony in North Hollywood, Calif.

Matousek, a 1960 graduate from The University of South Dakota, was honored by United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) Wheels for Humanity. Thanks to his "passionate involvement and commitment," UCP Wheels for Humanity has created important partnerships and linked the organization's mission to people around the world for more than a decade. Since the 1990s, Matousek has dedicated his time to working with a major philanthropic donor to fund medical and educational programs worldwide, including Vietnam, Cuba, South Africa, Thailand and Cambodia. In 2004, he helped fund a children's wheelchair manufacturing facility in Vietnam and he was instrumental in getting substantial funding for the Asia Injury Prevention Foundation to construct their current safety helmet manufacturing facility in Hanoi.

Matousek has extensive experience in the domestic and international business area. He was a senior executive for Duty Free Shoppers, a $4 billion multinational specialty retailing corporation, where his responsibilities included operations, international government relations, marketing, business development, public relations and community affairs. For the past 12 years, Matousek has been a partner in Calistoga Cellars and Howell Mt. Partnerships.

In addition to graduating from USD with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration, Matousek served two years in the United States military with U.S. Army Intelligence and he served on the USD Foundation Board of Directors for more than 10 years. In 2000, he was honored with the Alumni Achievement Award for his humanitarian work in Vietnam. He and his brother, William, established a scholarship for Native Americans at USD and contributed significantly to the restoration of Old Main and Vucurevich Children's Center.