Celebrating Our Colleagues
Meet Matthew Coelho, Miraval Arizona’s Marketing Manager. Learn how Matthew infuses passion and pride into activism and his work at Miraval, and how you can too.
Tell us about your journey at Miraval Resorts.
I came to Miraval Arizona, almost by accident. After getting engaged, my husband Blake and I moved from Nashville, Tennessee, to Tucson, Arizona, where Blake grew up.
When we arrived in the sunny Sonoran Desert, I saw an Experience Planning position at Miraval, and I instantly applied. In that position, I worked closely with guests to help set intentions and plan their entire visit. I heard so many stories and felt connected to each of them. Sometimes their stories are so impactful that you end up sharing their emotions and tears over the phone. The more I made that connection, the more I realized this is where I should be.
My natural curiosity was heightened, and I wanted to continue my journey and learn more. A sales coordinator opportunity opened up, which let the creative passion in me flow, and led me to the marketing team, where I am today as the Marketing Manager for Miraval Arizona. I like to think of myself as a creator, and I get antsy quickly and easily, so I channel that into collaboration and creation.
What do you enjoy most about being a Miraval colleague?
There is a true sense of purpose in the work that I am doing here. Working at Miraval Arizona is fulfilling–I get to combine my skills, talent, and passion to create memorable connections and see every day how Miraval truly makes a difference in people’s lives.
More specifically, I was invited to contribute to Miraval’s DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) initiatives by serving on the council, led by Dina Fenili, Miraval Resorts Director of Sales, Marketing & Brand. This council allows us to craft marketing guidelines to ensure that we stay true to our core beliefs and values of keeping diversity, equity, and inclusion at the forefront.
I love these meetings and getting to hear from my colleagues in a safe and open space to share, be vulnerable, and honest. It is so refreshing and empowering to know that as colleagues we have the ability to truly create a welcoming and safe environment for our guests.
What brought you to Miraval?
I resonate deeply with self-growth and self-help, which are prevalent themes at Miraval. I struggled a lot growing up while coming to terms with my identity, so creative arts like music, performing, and singing allowed me a medium to get out of my head. Reading many self-help books allowed me to understand myself more intimately and become more conscious of who I was at the core and in my soul, beyond the color of my skin, sexual orientation, religion, or gender identity. I learned to become acquainted with the observer within me and get to know that part of the self, behind the ego, where transformation begins.
Matthew’s Must Reads
• The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle
• The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz
• Modern Spirituality: A Practical Guide to the Heart of Mindfulness, Meditation, and the Art of Healing, by Ben Decker
• Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, Brene Brown
• Mind Body Pride: 7-Step Guide to Deeper Inner Connection (100% of proceeds go to LGBTQ+ youth wellness)
What keeps you here?
What keeps me here is recognizing the importance of having accessible tools, resources, and programming and knowing that I get to be a part of many people’s journeys behind the scenes. I feel like this is more than just a job or even a typical career in the hospitality or travel industry. I’d say my colleagues and I work in an environment that most people dream about. I don’t think that will ever be lost on me, and I am really grateful.
What is the best part of your day?
I appreciate the wellness walks at the resort – feeling the warm sun as it reflects from the water features and hearing the birds sing. I like gazing at rows of cairns guests make during mindful breaks in their day and walking past smiling faces.
These wellness walks are bright reminders of the beauty that comes after a stressful period—a reminder that even if a day seems to be getting the best of me, I can always turn it around with a walk.
How does Miraval help you create a work-life balance?
Miraval provides many benefits to their colleagues, everything from providing wellbeing resources to remote work options. This is great because it allows us to plan and integrate part of our everyday home life when needed for appointments, errands, or family time. Miraval also allows us to use the resort and experience wellness offerings. We get to benefit from the same wellness counseling, fitness classes, workshops, and lectures that our guests do and apply those teachings to tend to our own wellbeing.
What is your Miraval “i am” word, and how did you choose this word to represent your essence?
I am magic.
I picked magic because it’s a more mystical way of describing what manifestation is. Our Marketing department sometimes has to make magic happen and create materials to translate an intangible experience with words and images. Magic is believing something enough to make it happen. That can be anything from asking myself if I have the strength to make it through the day to wondering if I have the creative energy today to make sure our websites look good. It reminds me to get creative. Choosing magic as my word was an opportunity to reflect and think about the kind of energy I put into the world and who I am.
Is there a story you would like to share that people at work might not know about you?
I love to write and record my own music; it keeps me grounded. Writing and being in the studio are therapeutic for me. My husband and I met through the music community in Los Angeles, and we’ve written music for many artists, including our own projects. When we were creating our wedding playlist, we realized how little music there was for a same-sex wedding space, so we wrote Everything – a song for ourselves that felt authentic to our love. Today, we receive many messages online from people worldwide (including other bisexual, gay men, or anyone who identifies as male) who have danced to it at their wedding.
Blake and I are so thrilled to be starting our family as we navigate our adoption journey. We were recently legally approved by the state of Arizona to become adoptive parents. We have always known we wanted to be dads! We look forward to opening our home and hearts to share our love, and it’s been so great with the support we’ve received. My Miraval colleagues have been supportive and always ask about updates, sharing in the excitement.
It’s nice to know that I’m accepted for who I am, especially when so many anti-LGBTQ+ bills are being supported in courtrooms across the country, and hate crimes have been rising. It’s not always safe to be out in the world, fully expressing myself as a bisexual man, but I’m glad that Miraval is a safe place to be me.
Matthew’s Favorite Organizations & Resources:
• Human Rights Campaign: The Human Rights Campaign envisions a world where every member of the LGBTQ+ family has the freedom to live their truth without fear, and with equality under the law.
• The Trevor Project: The Trevor Project is the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ+ young people.
• How to Support Bisexual Youth – Guidebook by The Trevor Project
• GLAAD: GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) is an American non-governmental media monitoring organization, founded as a protest against defamatory coverage of gay and lesbian people.
Would you like to share something about your ancestry, family, culture, or background?
My dad moved to the United States when he was 12 from India. I was fortunate enough to visit India for the first time when I was 15 with four of my cousins. My aunt and uncle are Christian musicians who perform worldwide to raise funds for various organizations in Singapore and India. So, when they planned a tour, they asked if we were interested in learning more about our culture. I joined them, and we traveled around India for two weeks by planes, trains, rickshaws, and motorcycles. I saw the Taj Mahal and the Ganges River and even saw where my grandfather grew up in the city of Tuticorin.
At 21, I went back to India with my dad and his brothers to see the town he grew up in. Both of these experiences were incredibly eye-opening, and I will always feel so grateful to have had the opportunity to experience my family’s vibrant culture. I will always be thankful for the trips that taught me about values, the importance of relationships in my life, and gratitude.
Celebrating our Colleague “i am” Series
Stay tuned and keep checking back in this space for an ongoing celebration of our Miraval colleagues. We are excited to shine a light on our colleagues’ “i am” statements in the upcoming months as we share the stories of their unique talents, passions, and personalities. Learn more about how their word informs and balances their work and personal journeys.
Matthew Coelho works behind the scenes on the Marketing team for Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa in Tucson, Arizona. Matthew has worked and volunteered with organizations such as The Trevor Project, Human Rights Campaign, and HyPride (Hyatt Hotels Corporation’s LGBTQ+ colleague and guest organization). Matthew has dedicated over 10 years of his life to advocating for LGBTQ+ rights by bridging his talent and experience working in experiential events, hospitality marketing, and the entertainment industry.