Michael Herz has passed away

M. Herz beside his car

It is with broken hearts that we let you know that a long-standing member of the UWSA executive and the Board of Directors Michael Herz has passed away on January 14, 2023; he was 59 years old. The news is devastating to his family, friends and colleagues, and also to the Staff Association as a whole.

Mike began his involvement with the UWSA in 2013 on the Nominating committee and was a constant presence in our Association for a decade. His many roles included: President Elect (2014), President (2015), Past President (2016), Board member (2017-2022) and Secretary (2021), member of the Staff Relations Committee, the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Staff Compensation, UW Pension and Benefits Committee, the Policy 33 Review and Development Committee, UWSA Member Advisory Committee to mention but a few. He was the driving force behind UWSA’s efforts to bring a new UW-UWSA Memorandum of Agreement to life, starting from writing the very first draft to his tireless, multi-year efforts to see it approved by UWSA membership and the UW Board of Governors.

We do not have the right words to express our personal and collective appreciation for Mike’s contributions to the Staff Association and the University as a whole. His service to the UWSA can only be described as tireless and passionate. He contributed an immense amount of time and energy to improving the working lives of UW staff. His fierce commitment to UW Staff, rock-solid presence, kindness, generosity and collegiality made Mike an absolutely invaluable member of our community who will be missed beyond words.

Just shy of one year ago (January 2022), Mike resigned from the UWSA Board of Directors for personal reasons and his voice and perspective were often recalled in our discussions. Those of us who had worked with Mike over the years have lots of anecdotes to share of Mike’s jokes, advice, his love of cooking and food, and many other passions he shared with us. He forged many friendships on campus with his smile, warmth, and a caring heart.

In the next few days, you will be receiving an invitation to join the UWSA executive and the Board in a special tribute event to Mike Herz. We hope many of you will join us in celebrating Mike’s life and his long and dedicated service to the Staff Association. If you would like to speak at the event to share your stories about Mike, please contact Agata Antkiewicz, UWSA Chair (ajantkiewicz@uwaterloo.ca).

Michael's family will receive relatives and friends from 12-12:45 pm on Sunday, January 22, 2023 at the Henry Walser Funeral Home, 507 Frederick St., Kitchener. The Memorial Service will follow in the chapel at 1pm along with a reception immediately after. As per Mike’s family’s announcement in the obituary, in lieu of flowers, Michael would have greatly appreciated donations to Homewood Research Institute.

Your sincerely,

on behalf of UWSA President, President-Elect, Past President, Board of Directors, and Staff - Agata Antkiewicz, Chair