was born in northern Minnesota, second oldest of five children. Her father, Peder Matson, was an air controller and her mother, Julia Christensen Matson was a homemaker. They raised them to work hard, value education, and be responsible citizens. From an early age, she was interested in politics and education.
Marsha has lived in Palmetto Bay for 27 years. She raised both of her children in the Village and the schools. Her son attended Coral Reef Elementary and both of her kids attended Southwood Middle and Palmetto High School. Her daughter Hayley is a clinical psychologist and has a 9 year old son, Ky, Marsha’s beloved grandson. Her son Dan, is a businessman in Miami.
She graduated with a history major and education minor from Kent State University, a master’s degree in political science from Kent State, and a Ph.D. in political science and public administration from Northern Illinois University. Most of her career was teaching college students about government. She retired from the University of Miami in 2012 after 22 years of teaching American government, local government, and public administration. She has also worked for 20 years as a part time arbitrator for FINRA, a financial industry dispute resolution service. As an arbitrator, She is a member of a three-person panel that decides disputes between investors and financial institutions, such as brokerage houses and banks.
Her passion is playing the flute. Although she played in high school, she had not touched my flute for years until she joined New Horizons Band at the University of Miami. Over four years, New Horizons reacquainted her with the instrument, so she now plays with the Kendall Orchestra in Pinecrest. The orchestra rehearses every week, performs for the Sunday service for the Kendall United Methodist Church monthly, and offeres Christmas and Spring concerts to the community. She has also performed at the Christmas concert at Old Cutler Presbyterian Church.
She moved to Palmetto Bay in 1991 and joined the Old Cutler South Civic Association. She credits a hurricane preparedness meeting offered by the civic association with saving her family. As a Northerner moving to South Florida, They were vaguely aware of the damage a hurricane could cause. After listening to the experts at the meeting, she was stunned. She learned that in 1948, a storm surge covered her property on which her house now stood with 18 feet of water! Rushing home that evening, her family planned an evacuation and upgraded their storm insurance. A few months later, Hurricane Andrew hit, destroying their house, but thankfully they all survived. Later, she became president of the civic association, always mindful of the tremendous service neighborhood groups provide in so many ways, including preparing new comers for hurricanes.
Rebuilding their home took two years of hard work. Going through that struggle taught her firsthand about how inefficiently the county operated. The experience led her to become involved very early in the incorporation of the village. Over many years, she worked alongside many dedicated Palmetto Bay residents to finally realize the goal of becoming a village, an accomplishment of which she is very proud.
Being a Palmetto Bay resident for over three decades, she has seen the village grow and prosper. As a participant in the life of the community she wants to make the village the best place to live. She wants to keep it a peaceful, safe and family-oriented community.