These words and the advice that came along with it were consistently echoed to me by a dear friend and colleague who always did what was right. It is my deepest regret, and with profound sadness, that I inform you of the untimely passing of Matt Halpern.
There is an old saying, “Who finds a faithful friend, finds a treasure”. Matt was a fierce friend to all who had the opportunity to meet him. As will be testified by the volume of condolences following his sudden and untimely passing, Matt had a vast network of clients and friends within and outside the legal profession. He had great warmth and generosity of spirit, a keen mind and a very well developed sense of humor. And in the modern era of political correctness, he was a breath of common sense and fresh air.
He will be missed as a leader, a consensus builder, and a person who brought out the best in all those around him. He was instrumental in building SHRM to what it is today. While his passing is a shock, and we will miss him terribly, the foundation that he has laid for SHRM will serve it well. He was an engaging and effective speaker who drew upon his litigation and client counseling experience to provide practical examples that were both useful and easily understood by listeners. We always appreciated “The Halpern Family Update” as he proudly spoke of his wife and children.
Matt’s was a life lived to the full; a professional life of fulfillment and high achievement and a personal life packed with action and enjoyment. He will be very sadly missed by his many friends. (Doug Silverman, Past President, SHRM-LI)
Matt Halpern, was a nationally-recognized authority on federal affirmative-action policy and related issues. Matt was known for the useful and practical advice he rendered to employers on all matters relating to the workplace. He was a senior partner at Jackson Lewis and headed the firm’s nationwide affirmative action practice group. Matt defended hundreds of employers in wage/hour, affirmative action, and FMLA audits and investigations over his nineteen years at Jackson Lewis.
Matt Halpern Memorial Scholarship
The Society for Human Resource Management – Long Island Chapter (SHRM-LI) has established the Matt Halpern Memorial Scholarship to help a student in their pursuit of obtaining an undergraduate or graduate degree in Human Resources or related field. The origin of the Scholarship is named for Matthew B. Halpern, Esq., a partner with Jackson Lewis LLP who passed away in 2008 and whose tireless efforts and constant source of education benefited the human resource industry for many years. The Scholarship is awarded without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin.