Matthews was most recently CEO of the Reston Association in Virginia, which is "our sister organization," according to Andy Stack, chair of the board of directors for the Columbia Association (CA).
Related: Get to Know More About CA's New President
The Reston Association "deals with open space, lakes, watersheds, services like pools ... so that appealed to the board in the sense that Milton had already run an organization of that type," Stack said. "We could actually see what he did because he had been working with us."
The Reston Association covers more than 11.5 square miles and an area that is home to more than 65,000 residents, according to a statement from CA.
"Columbia has more people, a larger budget and more staff but it's very similar," Stack told Patch.
CA says it maintains 3,600 acres of open space and more than 90 miles of pathways in the city of 100,000 residents.
"I have known for a long time that Columbia is a special place," Matthews said upon accepting his new position this week. "Columbia Association has a reputation for providing quality, innovative and responsive services and programs, and I am honored to have been chosen to be a part of this exceptional organization."
Matthews—who currently resides in Rockville, where his wife is the city manager—will be relocating to Columbia soon, according to a statement from CA.
"I look forward to working with the CA Board of Directors and the staff at CA and the 10 villages, and becoming involved with the Columbia community and, in general, Howard County," Matthews said.
Matthews will take over as CA president on June 2, and his contract is effective for two years.
His base salary will be $200,000, according to Stack, with the possibility of a bonus not to exceed 7.5 percent of his salary.Until June 2, CA's Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Susan Krabbe is serving as interim president.