“A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you.” Bob Proctor
Michael Bertolini Bertolini & Company
“From the moment I first met Joe Matta as a young man, I knew he got it.”
Retiring from a long-standing interior design practice in Manhattan, I relocated to Warwick, NY in 1977 and purchased an old Victorian home in great disrepair. the young man who showed up to do basic carpentry work for me was earnest, hard working and had an intense desire to learn.
From the beginning, he was eager, receptive to new ideas and instantly reactive when asked to take different tacks than expected. He performed his work with pride and I soon found myself rehiring him for a second project – then another.
What began as a teacher/student relationship evolved into a camaraderie of peers. As the years progressed, Joe grew as a designer and a professional. It’s been a real pleasure to see him found Masterwork and emerge as one of the premier designer/builders in the region.
Like all good designers, Joe brings a realistic, practical and conceptual approach to design. He works out function and livability in an environment first, listening to his clients and truly embracing what their aesthetics and tastes dictate. Only then does his creativity take the forefront, resolving design challenges without the obstacles of preconceived assumptions.
To mold the future you have to understand the past. This is as true in design as in so many other facets of life. Colors, textures and design styles developed through the ages; Joe’s made a study of these historical trends which allows him to envision unified design solutions effortlessly.
But ideas are just ideas without proper execution and this is where Masterwork comes into the picture. Comprehensive analysis of priorities, selection of the proper materials and collaboration with a great team are the factors that turn dreams into realities. Joe understands this and prides himself on the best implementation of every aspect of the process.
When he began working on the Blackburne Farm project, Joe paid me the compliment of asking for my input. Each building was unique and eclectic – as typically occurs with properties that have evolved over the years. He was concerned with how to pull these disparate elements together into one aesthetically pleasing group.
Within a few short months he turned a few select comments into a wonderful merging of earth colors, stone and fixtures that eventually emerged as one synergistic work.
Joe gets it.
An International Design Presence
Since founding the Manhattan-based interior design studio, Red Shutters, in 1960, Michael Bertolini has designed homes across the U.S. – as well as in France, Italy, Thailand (5 houses there) and England.
Some of his most noteworthy projects include a 15th century country house in Dorset, England, a contemporary Chinese house in Bangkok and Borgo Lucignanello Bandini Historic Houses, in Italy – an ongoing project over many years.
Having plenty of energy to spare, at age 83, Michael opened Bertolini & Co., an interior design, garden design and antiques emporium business in the historic 1810 House of Warwick owned by the Historic Society.
Michael is a founding member of the Architectural Review Board of Warwick, and was elected President of the town’s Historical Society in 2012.
Gerard Hluchan President Gerard Associates Consulting Engineers, PC
“Joe’s only interest lies in genuinely delivering the best possible outcome for a client’s needs.”
Joe Matta is the most detail oriented person I know and this presents itself in every project he undertakes. I’ve collaborated with Joe and his team on several projects and in every case the end result has been nothing less than first-class.
One of the reasons is the level of work he requires from everyone around him. Joe’s a very hands on guy and is always deeply involved in every aspect of a job, but he values every participant’s talents, expertise and input. He encourages a true collaborative effort and when you’re a member of his team you know you’ll be challenged to participate and contribute at the same high level he expects of himself.
He genuinely believes every client deserves the absolute best he can give them. It’s not just about doing a great job – it’s about understanding the client’s wants and needs, then finding the best plan to resolve them. And, the better you know him, the more you realize this. For me, two examples exemplify Joe at his best. On the Eastgate and Westgate business developments we were building a large complex of buildings that would have to be adaptable to tenants’ needs for years to come. Every team member was encouraged to reach deep into their crystal balls and look at a multitude of details from every angle. Not just for the present, but for the future. Over the years, the developments have become an integral part of the area’s business community and that’s a direct result of those efforts.
Blackburne Farm was a totally different kind of undertaking. In renovating the historical buildings, Joe was determined to create a luxury environment second to none. From initial floor plans and traffic flow, right down to lighting and HVAC systems and sound proof floors, the quality and level of thought that went into every detail was amazing.
Lastly, there’s one more quality that has contributed to Joe’s staying power. Integrity isn’t just a word to him – it’s a way of life. Joe’s word is his bond and if he commits to something you can be positive he’ll fulfill that commitment to the best of his ability. In this day and age, that’s a rare quality.
Chris DeHaan RA, AIA, NCARB DeGraw & DeHaan Architects, LLP
“When you work on a project with Masterwork, you know exactly what the outcome will be – a job superbly done.”
After twenty years of collaboration on a number of high profile projects, I can say without a doubt that Joe always knows where he wants to go and excels at getting there. His attention to detail is limitless and is scrupulously upheld by the entire Masterwork team. Through the years they’ve developed a system of processes that guarantees every ‘i’ is dotted and every ‘t’ is crossed and they never stray from it.
There can be times when you feel it’s unnecessary, but when the project is complete – and you’re able to see the larger picture – you ultimately realize those little details had a tremendous impact on the end result. The project couldn’t have been delivered any better, all milestones were met on time and on budget, and – most importantly of all – the client is incredibly happy.
It’s one thing to have visionary ideas and reasonably easy to put those ideas down on paper, but quite another to actually get it all done. Blackburne Farm is an ideal example of a tough collaborative assignment with an ambitious design vision and a multitude of facets. Completion required a lot of massaging to make it code compliant and many developers might have compromised on design. Masterwork not only stayed true to the original vision, but delivered an exceptional product – within code and on time.
One other facet that shouldn’t be overlooked is the professionalism and experience of every sub-contractor they partner with. After a couple of projects you begin to realize you’re seeing the same faces and you can depend on the fact that each team member will deliver first-class services and highly detailed execution. The Seligmann Homestead in Sugar Loaf, NY might be said to best illustrate this. The project required several outside vendors and could easily have been delivered with a less than ideal conclusion if it hadn’t been masterfully orchestrated and superbly executed.
The bottom line for me, personally, is that I’ve never worked on a Masterwork project that made me feel anything but pride in the end result. What more could you ask for?
Fred Diehl Vice President, Residential Sales Pella Windows and Doors
“Striving for excellence is a characteristic that would most accurately describe Joe and is certainly the place he is determined to occupy with his company.”
Over the past 25 plus years I’ve had the great pleasure to get to know and to collaborate with Joe Matta, one of the truly fine gentlemen in the construction industry.
On first meeting Joe, I was quickly impressed with his intellect and seriousness of purpose. He was amiable and at the same time very inquisitive. He had a strategic vision for Masterwork and asked cogent questions about our company, our philosophy, and our corporate culture. I quickly understood that before he would commit to working with us he wanted the assurance that we shared his commitment to excellence. We do, and the collaboration on many high quality projects began, most currently with the Blackburne Farm community in Campbell Hall, N.Y.
Masterwork could have been a featured chapter in Tom Peter’s book, “In Search of Excellence”. It became apparent to me that Joe’s company was and is a reflection of who he is. Striving for excellence is a characteristic that would most accurately describe Joe and is certainly the place he is determined to occupy with his company. Masterwork Kitchens and now Masterwork Home is a company that embraces a commitment to the highest standards and to continuous improvement.
That drive is fueled by Joe’s integrity and determination to deliver the value on every project that both he and his clients rightly expect. I’ve also found it interesting to observe that the ethos that Joe embraced was almost always matched by the many clients and other companies he affiliated himself with over the years.
Our company, Pella, has worked diligently to do our part – to be that partner in excellence – as neither we nor Joe would have it any other way. It’s been a great ride, fun and challenging, and with many miles yet to go. We look forward to the future and to our continued partnership with Joe and his team.
Lastly, Joe and Theo’s long term, energetic and engaged commitment to several wonderful charities is a testament to their strong sense of personal and corporate civic responsibility. Pella has been proud to support those efforts. Theirs is a model for any company to emulate.
Steven Esposito, RLA President Esposito & Associates Landscape Architecture & Site Planning
“Joe brings an unparalleled level of energy and problem solving to the design process, but it’s a combination of diverse factors that makes Masterwork successful.”
I’ve worked with Joe Matta and his firm for over two decades on numerous development projects and have never found a partner I’d rather collaborate with. Joe brings a demand for quality to every project, elevating the entire design team. As a result, we all excel through our own ideas and skill sets while working toward a common end game.
When you come right down to it, it all starts with Joe. Creative solutions seem to flow out of him endlessly, but it’s the attention to detail and straightforward ‘get it done’ attitude that turns those ideas into a practical plan. He has an ability to think through a challenge, come up with out of the box solutions that resolve issues, then move right along to the next one.
Masterwork strings together all those creative concepts, then pulls together a plan that ultimately brings every facet together in the most efficient manner. This enables the entire team to fine tune its ideas, streamline its work processes and deliver the highest quality of work possible in the least amount of time.
In collaboration on the Westgate Office Park, Joe’s tenacity pulled extremely complicated regulatory requirements together through planning boards and government agencies. We received building permits in record breaking time, allowing us to meet or exceed all milestone deadlines and winning Orange County Partnership’s Land Use Award in the process.
On the Eastgate project, Masterwork created a pleasing architectural style while streamlining design and construction costs.
Collaborating together on the Seligmann Homestead, he empowered me to create a landscaped environment worthy of the artists’ home and studio. One I’ll always consider some of the best work of my career.I’m sure there will be many more collaborative projects in the coming years. I have no idea what they might encompass, but I’m positive they’ll be well planned, precisely executed and successful. That’s Joe.