By Mitch Simmons
When I reflect on the friendship I have shared with Eddie Stephens, many words come to my mind:
Do any of those words define him? All of them? None of them? To know Eddie means that the answer to each of those questions is, at any given time, yes.
I have known Eddie Stephens since 1993. At the time, we both served our Delta Sigma Pi Fraternity as regional directors. We also served together as trustees for our fraternity’s Leadership Foundation. When I was Deltasig’s national president, Eddie was the president and chairman of our Leadership Foundation. Over a period of almost 30 years, we have been able to share much, and develop an enduring friendship that has helped each of us weather some significant storms. To paraphrase something he once said to me, it is the ability to tell someone what they need to hear rather than what they want to hear. When you have a friend like that, it helps you realize that you have the strength to survive the worst of ordeals, as well as a friend with whom you want to celebrate the greatest of successes (maybe even with a flaming cherries jubilee!)
Eddie applies a great passion for success to every project he takes on. I have seen that in his personal life and his professional life. He has a great heart for service and has demonstrated that in myriad ways. He once talked me into donning make-up to look like a vampire and crawling into a casket to support blood donations at a Halloween haunted house. I’ve seen him play a mean air guitar to raise money for an educational foundation. He rappelled down a high-rise office building to overcome fear and raise money for a charity.
While I have not been in the circumstance of needing the service of Eddie’s chosen field of work, I have witnessed him in action and I have seen the impact of the art of his trade on those he has represented. Eddie applies the same ardor in pursuing the best interests of his clients that he has demonstrated so admirably to community service and his own family. When it comes down to it, we all need someone to trust, someone who guards our confidences, someone who listens, and someone who cares; when it is needed, someone who gives you sound advice. For me, Eddie Stephens is that man.
While Stephens’ Squibs may have started to keep track of things for his personal growth, it has since become a standard for a certain group in the legal profession that is eagerly awaited each year. As you utilize this publication, I encourage you to emulate the personal characteristics of my friend. Eddie’s goal has always been to make a positive difference in the world. Or, as he puts it:
“Do something that matters.”