Managing partner, Blalock Walters
Blalock Walters Managing Partner Matthew Plummer believes it’s the job of attorneys to take their clients’ problems and make them their own. He learned that his first day at the law firm, when he met with past managing partner Cliff Walters. “I took it to heart and try to do it on a daily basis,” Plummer says.
At Blalock Walters, with offices in Bradenton and Sarasota, Plummer leads the firm’s staff members and its 26 attorneys. “I view myself as a captain trying to do what’s best for the team,” he says. “You’re only as good as your weakest link, so I’m trying to make sure everyone is rowing in the right direction.”
Nine or so attorneys in the office are millennials, and Plummer says he has an advantage when it comes to relating to them. “It’s a lot easier to connect with millennials when you are a millennial,” he says. “I have a different perspective than my predecessors because of my age.”
Across generations, law is a profession Plummer admits tends to have a stressful connotation, so he’s trying to build a strong sense of culture — and fun — into the atmosphere at the firm. “It’s more of a big family kind of culture I want to maintain,” he says.
Part of that is accomplished through the firm’s BeWell initiative, which focuses on the whole employee through events that relate to five areas of well-being — community, career, physical, financial and social. BeWell events have included sessions on 401k planning, nutrition and yoga.
Firm culture is also strengthened through fun events Plummer helps organize. The firm recently brought in an ice cream truck, and it’s hosted a bowling event for staff, attorneys and spouses.
Plummer’s most recent initiative was an in-office putt-putt golf tournament. The well-attended event involved a nine-hole course, complete with a working windmill down one hallway. The event involved some friendly team competition, with multiple awards for winners. “We already have a couple clients jealous,” he says. “They’re looking to do it at their offices.”
From ice cream to putt-putt, Blalock Walters’s events are also big morale boosters. “People want to do what’s best for the team and firm,” Plummer says. “It builds the commitment to do what’s right.”
ON THE RECORD: Matthew Robert Plummer
City of residence: Bradenton
Employer: Blalock Walters, P.A.
Title: Managing Partner
Birthplace: Hershey, Pa.
Years on the Gulf Coast: 36
Marital status/children: Married with two kids
Alma mater/degree: University of Florida: J.D., BSBA
Where is the best place to network? The soccer field
What's the best business lesson you've ever learned? As an attorney, I was taught early on that it is our job to take a client's problem and make it our own. Only then do you truly understand the importance of their issue, which helps bring out the best in you. I credit Cliff Walters for instilling this virtue in all of our attorneys, which helps us make a difference in our client's lives.
What's your top tip for being productive? Be organized. With so much going on, I find helpful to have lists, so that you don't let anything slip through the cracks, and so that you stay on task.
What's the weirdest job you've ever had? Moving company. You truly appreciate manual labor when you help carry a baby grand piano.
What community group or organization are you most involved with? Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium
If you could have a side hustle, what would it be? Real estate agent. I've already got my license, and I am member with the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee.
What's your favorite off-hours activity? Spending time with my family; Friday night is movie night.
What's your favorite board game or video game? Pac-Man
What's the top item on your bucket list? Kentucky Derby
Where is your happy place? CineBistro with my wife; and during football season, on the couch with the Red Zone channel on.
What's your favorite podcast? N?A
Who/what is your favorite musical artist/band? It varies; Pitbull, Macklemore, Green Day, Zac Brown Band, Carlos Santana are in the car now.
Who would play you in a movie about your life? Chris Evans
What was your first album/tape cassette/CD? Eminem
What was your first concert? OutKast
What's one song that will get you out on the dance floor? "Party Rock Anthem" — LMFAO
What's your favorite karaoke song? N/A
What instrument/role would you play in a band? Band manager
Please describe yourself in three words. Organized, kind and leader