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SSA Centennial Celebration
Profiles of Distinction Series

Bernard “Bernie” Dyme, A.M. 1979

President and CEO, Perspectives Ltd.

“SSA took what was already inside me — a passion to help others — and gave me ways to do it better,” says Bernard “Bernie” Dyme about his experience at SSA.

Mr. Dyme is the President and CEO of Perspectives, Ltd., a human resources firm specializing in the delivery of employee assistance programs, managed behavioral healthcare, work/life services, and organizational/management consultation.

Born and raised in Chicago, Mr. Dyme’s first exposure to the University of Chicago occurred at a young age, when he worked on campus during summers growing up. He majored in psychology and economics at the University of Illinois, and took a job at the Jewish Community Centers of Chicago. After two years of working there with preteens, adolescents, and young adults, Mr. Dyme decided to return to graduate school at SSA.

“In my first year at SSA, I met Dodie Norton (Dolores G. Norton Ph.D.). She was a mentor to me then, and is a mentor to me now. I was never a follower, and clinical work alone was not stimulating enough to me. I sought out Dodie to develop special projects and to create my own work. SSA allowed me to do that.”

Mr. Dyme also remembers classes with Peggy Rosenheim (Margaret K. Rosenheim, J.D.). In his first year at SSA, he took a class on social welfare and law. “In taking that class, I learned a whole new way of thinking and connecting things,” states Mr. Dyme.

Mr. Dyme started Perspectives with a friend in 1981 as a clinical practice, and since that time, it has grown into a national and international provider of workplace services. It is an organization that combines his entrepreneurial spirit with a desire to help others. “I am passionate about what I do. Through EAP, we are able to provide services to people who may not normally seek them.”

Another service that Perspectives provides is Critical Incident Stress De-briefings (CISDs), or on-site services to organizations when a tragedy strikes. When a social worker for Homewood-Flossmoor High School was killed in the recent shootings at a Lane Bryant store in a southern Chicago suburb, Perspectives provided on-site services.

Mr. Dyme also remembers Perspectives’ role on September 11, 2001. “Since a number of our companies were directly or indirectly affected, we were involved in providing support and assistance for them. It was quite intensive on the actual day of the terrorist attacks, but our role in coordinating support services lasted for months afterwards. Although exhausted and stretched both personally and as an organization, I was grateful to have had an opportunity to be available for our client organizations and their employees and family members. I was also proud of our staff for their passionate dedication to helping people and fulfilling Perspectives’ mission.”

Mr. Dyme has opened the doors at Perspectives for SSA students, enabling them to complete their field requirement at the organization. “I believe in the importance of mentoring. I had great mentors in my life, and feel that I should mentor others.”

In keeping with the organization’s goals, Mr. Dyme also knows the importance of maintaining a healthy worklife balance. He enjoys spending time with his family and the community, and serves on the Board of Directors at the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.

Mr. Dyme believes that SSA has remained a leader in social work education through sticking to its core mission — and by recruiting and retaining great faculty and administrative leaders who help further that mission of understanding people and their environments.

“SSA helped me because it gave me the freedom to figure things out, play around … SSA created many opportunities for me, and I hope it continues to create opportunities for me,” says Mr. Dyme.

Bernard “Bernie” Dyme Photo

Bernard Dyme, A.M. 1979