When ManTech International Chief Human Resources Officer Jeffrey Brody passed away Jan. 26, he left a void among family, friends and colleagues.
Brody was appointed chairman of WashingtonExec’s Human Resources Council in 2019, was a finalist in the 2020 Chief Officer Awards and led a distinguished career. Those who knew him describe him as a dedicated person who worked hard, played hard, loved his family, lived each day to the fullest, and enjoyed regaling others with stories and humor.
Brian McHugh, ManTech senior vice president of external affairs and chief of staff, described Brody as both a friend and colleague. Their offices were next to one another, and they often had deep conversations and worked together to solve problems. McHugh said Brody was “among the most respectful, ethical and generous people” he’s ever met.
“He has a big heart and made it a point to take care of the ManTech family,” McHugh said. “He treated every employee like family — personally supporting and seeking out assistance whenever and wherever they needed it.”
As he and Brody had adjoining offices, they would often find themselves lost in conversations about any and everything from work issues to family, skiing and the states of the country and world.
“On one occasion, what I remember most is how excited Jeff was when the situation was resolved to everyone’s great satisfaction and his reaction was, ‘I’ve never been more proud of being at ManTech than at this moment,’” McHugh recalled. “That was the quintessential Jeff. No matter how big or small the task, he was always passionate, always proud of the outcomes, and always sharing his enthusiasm with others.”
After growing up in Baltimore and graduating from the University of North Carolina, Brody obtained a law degree from Concord Law School and a master’s degree in organizational development from the University of Maryland. His career included time working at Northrop Grumman, Alliant Technologies and ManTech. He was also a visiting executive lecturer at the University of Virginia, Darden School of Business.
While Brody was known as someone with an innovative mindset, McHugh said his colleague’s greatest legacy is his family.
“While he loved his ManTech work, he looked forward every weekend to rejoining his wife, Lyse, and his children in Utah,” McHugh said. “Jeff loved the mountains and skiing, but nothing was more important to him than being with his family. Jeff was a man of great integrity and someone whom you could always count on. He was true to his family, friends and our employees.”
Kay Curling, managing partner of Curling & Associates and past chair of WashingtonExec’s HR Council, said she and Brody met as she was contemplating moving to a new health care management system. He was collegial and helpful and even had his team do an in-person demo of features she was most interested in seeing.
“That captures who Jeff was,” Curling said. “He chose to take time to benefit our profession and our industry. When seeking a new chair to take over my time as the HR Council chair, Jeff was the natural choice. His presence and contributions will live on through all he guided and supported.”
Deb Drake, chief people officer at Noblis, previously worked with Brody at ManTech as one of the vice presidents of HR. She considers him exceptionally passionate and a person who “embodied the meaning of excellence.”
“My greatest lesson from Jeff was the connection that he made through having dialogue about critical initiatives and actions,” Drake said. “He would always pick up the phone or show up at your door to have a discussion, ask questions, brainstorm or provide guidance.”
He also talked frequently about skiing in Utah and was known to provide tips on dressing for cold weather. When he talked about his family, his face would light up.
Jack Jackson succeeded Brody as vice president of human resources at DCS Corp. and engaged with him through the HR Council.
“He demonstrated his strong thought leadership and strategic mindset throughout many sessions aimed at sharing best practices and approaches for the betterment of the government contracting industry,” Jackson said. “He will be missed dearly by me, the DCS team and our broader HR community.”