The Philadelphia Bar Association’s new executive director said listening and learning are his key priorities as he begins leading the 12,000-member organization.
Harvey Hurdle first wants to learn about the priorities of the association’s members.
“I want to start off by exploring the needs of our members and really listening to what issues I should focus on and what matters most to the judges and attorneys who make up the organization,” said Hurdle, a former strategic-planning executive with more than 20 years of experience leading nonprofit and for-profit companies.
He added he also plans to focus on “making sure that we provide the right services and benefits to our members, helping the organization to continue to stand up for the rule of law and continuing to expand access to justice.”
Hurdle assumed the leadership role Jan. 1, following the term of interim executive director Mary F. Platt, Philadelphia Bar chancellor. Platt was appointed in July, after former executive director Mark Tarasiewicz announced his abrupt resignation.
“The association’s leadership and staff look forward to working with Hurdle because of his passion for the association’s mission,” Platt said in a statement. She added Hurdle would be a good fit for the position because of his “financial, managerial and operational skills and experience as well as his business acumen.”
Hurdle noted that his past experience with running a large, membership-based organization such as the Human Rights Campaign is “applicable” to his new position, but said he mainly wants to work on his “relationship-building skills, which was such a large part of my work at Sellers Dorsey and Leap Strategy.”
Hurdle was the founder and president of Leap Strategy, an operational and strategic planning company for nonprofits and small businesses. He also was the COO and then CEO of Sellers Dorsey, a healthcare consulting firm, from 2005-15. In addition, he served as the CFO and COO of Welcome America! in 2016 and COO of the Human Rights Campaign from 2001-05.
The Penn State graduate — a native of Delaware County who has lived in Queen Village for more than 30 years — said he wants to learn more about the Philadelphia Bar’s LGBT Rights Committee, which addresses the issues that are of importance to LGBTQ people in the legal profession.
“So many of the gains that we’ve achieved in the LGBTQ community have come through because of really smart lawyers and brave judges,” Hurdle said. “Marrying my husband or adopting my son wouldn’t have been possible without them.”
Rochelle M. Fedullo, who will lead the Philadelphia Bar Association as chancellor this year, said she looks forward to her partnership with Hurdle.
“His exceptional talents, experience, energy and passion for our mission will be tremendous assets to our association,” Fedullo said in a statement.
The Philadelphia Bar Association acts as a resource for attorneys, judges and politicians on controversial legal issues and serves as a meeting ground for legal professionals to share information. Non-lawyers can utilize the association for general information on how to address legal issues and where to seek assistance.