Today's post appears on behalf of Dan Biddle, CEO, Biddle Consulting Group, Inc.:
Our firm was deeply saddened to hear of the recent passing of Matt Halpern. Biddle Consulting Group, Inc. (BCG) had the privilege to work with Matt Halpern for over four years on multiple projects, including seminars, audits, and related work. I personally had the honor to co-present with Matt at a number of seminars across the country. I will miss him dearly. Matt provided our field with years of incredible service and I believe his contributions will last for decades more.
Matt was one of the few people I knew who could remember the days of “calculating eight-factor availability analyses” using hand-held calculators. Not only was Matt a competent professional, he was gracious, fun, and had an incredible dedication to the EEO/AA field. At last year’s NILG conference, Matt stepped into an “emergency” leadership role after the tragic loss of Lois Baumerich. I spoke with Matt during this process and he shared that he was overwhelmed at the amount of work it took to take up his new lead role as conference chair. He invested hundreds of hours to put together what was one of the best ILGs our industry has enjoyed to date. Knowing Matt, I believe he did this out of a concern for the EEO/AA industry, more than his desire to be well-known in the industry or drive more business to his successful practice. I think that Matt cared about this industry. I believe that he spent his life making an incredible impact in the field of EEO and diversity. He was one of the most balanced EEO/AA attorneys I’ve known, which is why I enjoyed doing so much work with his firm. While Matt represented employers in literally all of his work, he represented the best interest of the EEO field while doing so, and I had the privilege of watching Matt honor employees and potential litigant class members in ways that were clearly marked by dignity and true character. Matt went beyond his role as a legal counsel for employers. His decisions and advocacy had a “big picture” in mind—one that included diversity, fairness, and awareness that major decisions impacted the lives of people, not just companies. I really appreciated this about Matt. It was a legacy I strive to follow.
We often don’t realize how quickly life goes by, and it passes by sooner for some than others. We cannot know our time; we can only invest each of our days wisely, as each is truly a gift. I only wish I knew the last time I spoke with Matt that it would have been our last time to talk. I would have spent more time enjoying things besides work. I am glad, however, that I did get to know Matt as a person and not just as a professional. I knew that Matt loved his family and his children. He was in love with his wife Andrea and very proud of his three children Annabelle, Georgie and Maddie as he spoke of their accomplishments and talents. I know they will miss their dad greatly. We will miss our good friend greatly. The industry will have a vacuum to fill.
Dan A. Biddle, Ph.D.
CEO, Biddle Consulting Group, Inc. / FPSI
July 01, 2008