Mat  Martin


Managing Director

“The real money is in used cars” – Mat. Life maxim or just common sense advice from a former car salesman, we may never know.

Mat Martin was born into the legal world, but it took a long time for him to come around to it. The Wisconsin native’s father was a federal bankruptcy judge before the modern Bankruptcy Code was enacted. He spent his childhood and adolescence at bankruptcy conferences hobnobbing with luminaries of the bankruptcy bar and judiciary. Miraculously, he survived.

Mat did everything he could to avoid becoming a lawyer.  He was a food server, house painter, Zamboni driver, hotel front desk clerk, ski store manager, lobbyist for Colorado higher education, car salesman for John Elway, an expat in Costa Rica, and a nomadic kayaker and skier around the world.  But you can only escape the long arm of the law for so long – Mat eventually caved and went to law school.

When he got out, practicing bankruptcy law was a foregone conclusion. Mat tried both sides of the fence, a small debtor-focused practice and later creditor side.  The work was intellectually interesting but not emotionally fulfilling.  It turns out bankruptcy work is depressing—everybody is getting hurt. So what to do next?  Go in-house as a bankruptcy attorney?  Is that possible?  Of course, it was Mat’s recruiter who had the bright idea.  “Wait, you used to sell cars? Used cars? Man, if you can sell used cars, you can sell used people.”  Mat become a recruiter. 

But as luck would have it, the Great Recession hit right after he started as a recruiter.  “Ugh, great time to quit being a bankruptcy attorney.”  Call it what you will - midwestern stubbornness, midwestern craziness, but adversity just brought out the fight in Mat.  No associate jobs? Fine, I’ll place partners.  Mat jumped right in and started placing partners.

You never know when great business opportunities arise.  It was a total coincidence that Mat first noticed a recruiting shop named after his favorite mountain to ski.  Turns out we knew a bunch of people in common, and both Mat and Whistler shared the same common sense approach to recruiting - place attorneys at jobs you would want if you were still practicing.  Whistler already had its eyes on the growing tech scene in the midwest (Chicago, Cleveland, Ann Arbor!).  Just two quick phone calls, and the deal was made.  If there’s anything Mat and Whistler know, it’s a good opportunity when we see one. 

What do you like on your Pizza? Thin crust with sausage, mushrooms, spinach and hot banana peppers. (Ironic considering he lives in the mecca of deep dish.)

Favorite Historical Moment: The defenestration of Prague, not because anything good happened, but because I always thought that defenestration was a great word.             

Quote (unattributed): “Wait, he really spells his name with only one 't'?”

Is a hot dog a sandwich? Yes, based on the history of using bread in lieu of utensils to enable eating while playing cards. That being said, I really prefer to avoid unnecessarily restrictive labels or categories.



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