Stephen KoppekinCEO of Koppekin Consulting, Inc.
Stephen Koppekin is a seasoned professional in labor and employment matters, particularly in the entertainment industry. Stephen’s background in law and comparative economics make him a fair and well-informed expert on sensitive matters in contractual negotiations, safety issues, and all labor-related grievances.
Stephen Koppekin grew up in northern New Jersey. School took a backseat to financial hardship, and Stephen started working at a young age. He spent a few months working for an industrial oil plant before deciding that he needed to change his path, and with the help of a well-meaning teacher, Stephen applied to Fairleigh Dickinson University. He was accepted, and Stephen entered Fairleigh Dickinson as an Economics major.
As a student Stephen excelled, becoming the head of the Student Faculty Committee and creating the school’s first Economics Journal. He graduated in 1967 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and was offered a position to analyze comparative economic systems. After a few years of this, ready to sharpen the focus of his career, Stephen applied to Rutgers School of Law in Newark, New Jersey.
Alfred W. Blumrosen, the first Director of Conciliation and a law professor at Rutgers University, worked with Stephen during his tenure in law school there. Stephen Koppekin had great success working on a project with him and an associate. The project was a gravely important case backlog in the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights. Stephen wowed everyone as he trimmed a filer’s “waiting time” down to forty days. This is notable because it used to take nine months. This experience struck Stephen profoundly. He thought to himself, “There must be situations like these in every company and organization across the globe. Maybe I could make a deep impact on companies moving forward by streamlining the process of handling such cases fairly and efficiently.
Stephen Koppekin earned his Juris Doctor and graduated Rutgers School of Law in 1970. He became a member of the New Jersey State Bar and took a position at a small general practice firm, gaining experience in small claims, real estate and wills. Within six months Stephen began employment with the National Labor Relations Board where he tried numerous cases successfully. About six months later he was hired by CBS as an attorney in the company’s law department, and over the next thirteen years Stephen became chiefly responsible for any and all employment and labor disputes. He also negotiated collective bargaining agreements on behalf of the corporation. Stephen ultimately became the Vice President of CBS.
Coming from a broadcasting background, Stephen helped change the culture of the motion picture industry’s approach to labor relations. Stephen Koppekin was instrumental in establishing the first basic cable agreement as well as the new media template for the industry. As the Executive Vice President in Industrial Relations and Workplace Safety, Stephen was responsible for 30+ collective bargaining agreements that were constantly being negotiated and he oversaw a specialized staff of 12 employees.
Now Stephen utilizes a lifetime of industry experience as the Founder and CEO of Koppekin Consulting, Inc. He represents small to mid-sized production companies and solves labor and employment problems for them.
In this role, Stephen utilizes his vast arsenal of management and communication based skills to help solve problems that could end up costing both the employee and the employer time and money. At the heart of Koppekin Consulting, Stephen is a firm advocate that all challenges can be dissolved in ways that benefit both parties. To this degree, Stephen has made it a priority to connect with and forge lasting relationships with various union groups. This helps Stephen bridge the gap between employer and employee. As the nation shifts to accommodate a new era of employee rights, Stephen’s sharp insights serve him well to advise companies on how to best handle the changing regulations.
Beyond his professional focus, Stephen Koppekin is also a dedicated philanthropist who champions a number of important causes. He is a longtime member of the Anti-Defamation League, a nonprofit organization that fights anti-Semitism and bigotry. Stephen has also supported the Los Angeles Jewish Home, the California chapter of the Jewish Federations of North America, and he regularly attends his local temple, where he is an active member of the community.
Recently, Stephen Koppekin was named King—or chairman of the board—of the The Valley Jesters, an organization that sponsors social meetings, golf outings, and other events and donates the proceeds to charities, especially the Junior Blind of America. Additionally, Stephen is deeply involved with the Heartbeat of Hollywood Golf Event Committee, which organizes the annual Heartbeat of Hollywood Golf Classic to raise money for the Motion Picture and Television Fund (MPTF).