Sen. Hatch convinced staffer to stay and it paid off in an unexpected way

May 6, 2022, 11:18 PM | Updated: Jun 10, 2022, 11:05 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — A former staff member’s decision to continue working with Sen. Orrin Hatch paid off in an unexpected way.

It was just one of the many good memories shared during the late senator’s final farewell Friday.

“Orrin was family,” said Matt Whitlock, who worked with Hatch during his final five years in office.

As his former deputy chief of staff, Whitlock could tell you all about the senator’s many bills on the Hill. He says during his last two years, Hatch passed more bills than anyone has done.

But Whitlock said, “it was just as amazing to see those little things behind the scenes that only Orrin could accomplish.”

“He was such a good boss. People wanted to stay with him for a long time. And that’s what made our team so good,” he said. “And it was all driven by Senator Hatch.”

Whitlock learned this from personal experience. At one point, a job opportunity came to Whitlock that would have taken him out of Hatch’s office. So, he talked it over with his boss.

“[Orrin] was trying to give me all the reasons I should stick around. And he got really serious for a second and he said, ‘Matt, if you stay in my office, you’re going to find your wife.’”

Whitlock laughs thinking about it today. But fast forward four months from that talk and Whitlock is seriously dating a member of the senator’s judiciary team. When he told Hatch, he remembers him saying, “Aha! I told you!”

Sure enough, Whitlock would go on to marry Liz. And he says Hatch took the credit.

Today, the Whitlocks are expecting a child. They were able to give the good news to Hatch before he passed away.

“You left the conversation with him feeling like you were his best friend and like he loved you,” Whitlock said of his boss. “And that wasn’t an act because he would keep a list of everything people needed from him, and he would go through and make sure he did that all.”

The days of watching Hatch meet people’s needs may be behind him, but for Whitlock and many others, the countless good memories with their friend and senator are just what they need right now.

“[It was] the most incredible professional experience I could ever have, and so, I’ll always be grateful for it.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Karah Brackin

Geneva Rock faces opposition in request to expand mining at Point of the Mountain Quarry

The conversation continued between Draper City and Geneva Rock about the request to expand mining operations.
14 hours ago
Andrew Adams

Public educators say $42M for voucher program could have been better spent elsewhere

A bill that establishes a student voucher or “scholarship” program while giving public school teachers a raise cleared its final legislative hurdle Thursday as educators continued to raise concerns over the measure.
14 hours ago
FILE: The Utah State Legislature...
Eliza Pace, KSL TV, & Aimee Cobabe, KSLNewsradio

Utah Senate approves changes to transgender care bill, passes on to Gov. Cox

A bill on transgender healthcare - banning transgender-related surgeries and puberty blockers for minors passed in the Utah House Thursday after last-minute changes.
14 hours ago
A photo of the U.S. Magnesium refinery in Tooele County on Jan. 27, 2017. The plumes from the plant...
Carter Williams, KSL.com and Adam Small, KSL NewsRadio

What’s behind northern Utah’s ‘brown clouds’? New study pinpoints a major source

A magnesium plant located near the Great Salt Lake is a major producer of chemical elements behind the "dense winter brown clouds" that sometimes hang over Salt Lake City and other parts of Utah's northern half in the winter, a new federal study determines.
14 hours ago
(Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)...
Tamara Vaifanua

Tips to start building an emergency fund

Could you cover the cost of an unexpected emergency today? If not -- you're not alone. More than half of Americans say they'd have to go into debt to pay for an unplanned bill of $1,000 or more.
14 hours ago
(Stuart Johnson/KSL TV)...
Josh Ellis

Two injured after explosion in Lehi house

Firefighters are investigating after an explosion at a home in Lehi left two people with minor injuries.
14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t Let a Ransomware Attack Get You Down | Protect Your Workplace Today with Cyber Insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Sen. Hatch convinced staffer to stay and it paid off in an unexpected way