Education Session Plenary

Thursday, September 26 |  10:00 - 11:00 a.m. 
Main Stage: Hope Ballroom DE 

Under Pressure:
Crisis Communications in the Digital Age

Corporate communications in crisis situations can preserve or destroy brand value. Our panel of experts will outline best communications practices in the digital age, address the impact of citizen journalism and social media on crisis communications strategies, review recent examples of communications failures, and prepare you for calls from reporters.

1.0 CLE accredited in Delaware, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas. Other jurisdictions pending.
1.2 CPE credits in Communications and Marketing

Prerequisites: Basic knowledge of financial and operational restructuring
Who Should Attend: All restructuring professionals are welcome
Advanced Preparation: None
Program Level: Intermediate
Delivery Method: Group Live

Refunds and Cancellation: Notification of cancellation must be submitted via email to Phone cancellations are not accepted. Cancellations received on or before Monday, September 9 will be refunded less a $250 processing fee. Cancellations received after September 9 will not be refunded.

NASBA CPE Registry logoTurnaround Management Association (TMA) is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State Boards of Accountancy have the final authority on the acceptance of individual course for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website:


Brenda Adrian, Sitrick and Company
Jennifer Mercer, Paladin Management Group
Andrew Scurria, The Wall Street Journal
Joe Solmonese, Gavin/Solmonese LLC
Moderated by Linda McDonough, 50 Words

Brenda Adrian, Sitrick and CompanyBrenda Adrian has been with the firm for more than 20 years.  Although she has been involved in various aspects of the firm’s work over the past two decades, she specializes in working with clients’ management and outside advisors to develop and implement communications plans to ensure successful financial and operational restructurings.  Her expertise includes the development of key messages, timelines and logistics and the timely dissemination of all internal and external communications to the media, employees, creditors, vendors, customers and other key constituencies.

During her career, she has provided strategic communication counsel in more than 200 in- and out-of-court restructuring, including Schwinn, Global Crossing, Hancock Fabrics and Delphi as well as Readers’ Digest, Laidlaw and Swift Energy.

In addition to her experience in restructuring matters, Ms. Adrian has developed and implemented communications plans in connection with IPOs, litigation support issues, high profile management changes, M&A projects and a number of other high profile cases.

Ms. Adrian has written and collaborated on a number of professional journal articles, including “Keeping Employees in the Loop: Communications Plan is Crucial to Smooth Restructuring,” Turnaround Management Association; “Proactive Campaign Can Influence Chapter 11 Coverage; Ignoring Media Interest is Naïve,” Turnaround Management Association; “Communications – What You Need and Why,” Financier Worldwide; and “The Media and Chapter 11: Necessary Evil or Useful Tool?” Daily Bankruptcy Review Small-Cap.

Ms. Adrian is also a frequent guest speaker at industry events including law firm retreats and the Kellogg Turnaround Management Conference – Leading Corporate Renewal, hosted by the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.  Her speaking engagements explore how companies in crisis manage the dissemination of information to their constituents as well as what types of messages are critical to convey.

She holds a BA degree in public relations from Pepperdine University.

Jennifer Mercer, Paladin Management GroupJennifer Mercer, Paladin Management Group
Jennifer E. Mercer has more than 20 years of experience providing strategic communications counsel to companies large and small. With a career rooted in financial and business communications, Jennifer is an expert at creating both internal and external communication strategies around important initiatives including corporate messaging, strategic planning, public relations, litigation support, reputation and crisis management. Jennifer excels at working closely with internal corporate teams and company advisors to develop and execute strategic communication programs that strengthen brands, minimize risk, and manage reputation.

A veteran of the communications field with both corporate and agency experience, Jennifer has led complex communication campaigns for numerous companies across a broad range of industries including energy, financial services, homebuilding, retail, media, non-profit, pharmaceuticals, professional services, restaurant, retail, and technology.

Prior to Paladin Strategic Communications, Jennifer served as Vice President and leader of the Strategic Communications group at Donlin Recano & Company and before that, she launched and led the Strategic Communications group at Epiq. Other experience includes developing and managing critical communications programs for clients at some of the world’s leading public relations firms, including MWW Group, Hill & Knowlton, and Sitrick & Company. She has also served as the Director of Public Relations managing the public relations for the CEO of Hitachi Data Systems and as the Director of Communications of a leading information-management and professional services firm.

Jennifer earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, San Diego. She sits on the board of the Turnaround Management Association (TMA) Southern California Chapter as the Communications Chair, is a board member of CARE (Credit Abuse Resistance Education), and is an active member of the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), and the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). She is a published author and frequent speaker on topics related to organizational change and crisis management.

Andrew Scurria, The Wall Street JournalAndrew Scurria covers financial distress and debt restructuring for The Wall Street Journal and WSJ Pro Bankruptcy, with an emphasis on energy companies, retailers and municipalities. He is based in New York.


Joe Solmonese, Gavin/Solmonese LLCJoe Solmonese leads the Gavin/Solmonese Corporate and Nonprofit Engagement practice located in New York City and Washington, D.C. As a proven Interim Executive Manager (IEM) and transformation consultant, Joe brings the right people and processes together to challenge established thinking and drive change. He believes the most effective way to bring value to a client is to become their partner. Large and small organizations alike, agree that Joe’s experience in transforming the mindset of all stakeholders to define and achieve their goals is his key strength.

Industry and government leaders praise his expertise in corporate strategy, organizational effectiveness, public affairs, and policy development. He also has significant experience advising political campaigns.

Prior to forming Gavin/Solmonese, Joe served as President of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and as CEO of EMILY’s List – one of the nation’s largest political action committees.

His work at HRC included championing the discriminatory Federal Marriage Amendment defeat in 2006, the passage of marriage equality in eight states, the repeal of the U.S. military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, and the passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. At EMILY’s List, he served in several senior leadership roles including CEO.

Joe is currently engaged by Planned Parenthood Federation of America as the Transition Chair, following the departure of Cecile Richards and appointment of Dr. Leana Wen as the new president.

Joe is the author of “The Gift of Anger” published in 2016. In his book, he shares numerous stories about harnessing anger – especially when dealing with complex, divisive issues – to achieve a stronger, more productive outcome.

Linda McDonough, 50 Words LLCIn leading 50 Words, Linda McDonough helps clients with communications, strategy and marketing challenges. She has particular depth working across the entire financial services and professional services industries, but draws upon a variety of cross-industry experience as well. She has assisted clients in all areas of corporate strategy development, market segmentation, marketing planning and implementation, new product development, sales force effectiveness, branding and business growth strategies.

She is a trusted advisor who has guided messaging and communications programs for clients in crisis situations, helping to strengthen stakeholder confidence and preserve value. Prior to founding 50 Words, Linda was Vice President for the Revolving Credit Group of Textron Financial, where she led a team of marketing, strategy and communications professionals.

Linda is a former President of the Philadelphia Chapter of the TMA. In addition, she serves on the board of the Greater Philadelphia Network of IWIRC and is a member of the Secured Finance Network, IFA, NYIC and ABI.

Linda earned her MBA and a Bachelor’s degree in finance from St. Joseph’s University.


Tuesday, September 24  
9:00-11:00pm Party in the USA – Pre-Show Party co-sponsored by TMA Ohio*
Eliot's Living Room (Hilton)
RSVP required
Wednesday, September 25  
7:30-8:15am  TMA Golf Scramble Registration and Breakfast 
Canterbury Golf Club
8:15am-12:30pm  Great Balls of Fire TMA Golf Scramble at Canterbury Golf Club**
11:00am-1:00pm  R.E.S.P.E.C.T. – Inaugural TMA NOW and IWIRC Lunch and Fireside Chat with the Judges**
Nuevo Cleveland (Sponsored by 50 Words LLC)
11:00am-1:00pm Hungry Like the Wolf Cleveland Food Tour**
West Side Market
1:00-7:30pm  Come Together Attendee Lounge Open
Hope Ballroom A-C & Foyer
1:00-7:30 pm Registration Open
Lakeside Foyer (Level 3)
2:15-3:00pm I Feel Good Mimosa Bar sponsored by FTI Consulting
Lakeside Foyer (Level 3)
3:00-4:30pm Main Stage: Opening Program: You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet – Mega Trends in the Economy 
sponsored by KeyBank
Hope Ballroom DE
4:30-5:30pm Into the Groove First-Time Attendee Reception sponsored by Melcap Partners
Center Street A
5:30-7:30pm The House is Rockin' Opening Reception sponsored by Huntington Business Credit and Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP
Hope Ballroom A-C and Foyer
9:00-11:00pm Forever Young TMA NextGen Late Night**
The Corner Alley

Thursday, September 26

6:00-6:15am Born to Run TMA 5K Run/Walk Registration brought to you by Fleet Feet Cleveland
Hilton Lobby (Ontario Side) | Sponsored by Newpoint
6:15-7:15am Born to Run TMA 5K Run/Walk** brought to you by Fleet Feet Cleveland
Downtown Cleveland | Sponsored by Newpoint
8:00am-6:30pm Registration Open 
Lakeside Foyer (Level 3)
8:00am-5:00pm  Come Together Attendee Lounge 
Hope Ballroom A-C & Foyer 
8:00-9:00am Walking on Sunshine Networking Breakfast sponsored by Gordon Brothers
Hope Ballroom A-C & Foyer
9:00-9:15am Main Stage: We Will Rock You Opening Remarks
Hope Ballroom DE
9:15-9:45am Main Stage: A Star is Born – Finding Your Firm's Next Rockstar
Hope Ballroom DE
10:00-11:00am Main Stage: Under Pressure Plenary: Crisis Communications in the Digital Age 
Hope Ballroom DE

Education Breakout: Spotlight – Turnaround Strategy in Sexual Abuse-Related Restructuring Cases
Center Street C

Education Breakout: Everybody Wants to Rule the World – Multilateral Negotiations sponsored by Riemer & Braunstein
Center Street B


Main Stage: This Is How We Do It – Luncheon Keynote: Dr. Dambisa Moyo***
Hope Ballroom DE

Education Breakout: ABC, Easy as 1,2,3 – ABCs vs. Bankruptcies vs. Article 9 vs. Receiverships sponsored by Candlewood Partners
Center Street C

Education Breakout: Welcome to the Jungle – Music, Entertainment, and IP
Center Street B

3:15-4:15pm Main Stage: Closing Program: We Are the World – International/Cross-Border Restructuring
Hope Ballroom DE
4:15-5:00pm Just What I Needed Moscow Mule Bar sponsored by Ashby & Geddes
Hope Ballroom A-C & Foyer
4:30-5:00pm Celebrate! LGBT Reception 
Eliot's Bar
5:00-6:00pm  We Are the Champions Chair's Reception* 
Eliot's Living Room
6:30-7:00pm Transportation Loading for Closing Reception sponsored by Ritchie Bros.
Hilton Lobby (Ontario Side)
7:00-9:30pm  Final Countdown Closing Reception at Rock & Roll Hall of Fame sponsored by Ritchie Bros.****
9:30-11:00pm Encore Performance: Pump Up the Jam TMA After Dark sponsored by Alvarez & Marsal
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (Upper Level/Patio)
Friday, September 27  
8:00-10:30am Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go Grab n' Go Breakfast and 1:1 Meetings 
Hope Ballroom A-C & Foyer
8:30-11:30am When I Ruled the World Joint TMA Executive Board/Board of Trustees Meeting*
Center Street BC

Agenda subject to change. View the full agenda

*Invite only 
** Extra cost to attend 


Due to a record-breaking number of registered attendees, the room blocks at The Westin Cleveland Downtown and The Hilton Cleveland Downtown are sold out. The following hotels are nearby and have availability during The Annual. We apologize for any inconvenience! 

Double Tree Hilton
Renaissance Cleveland Hotel
Hyatt Regency Cleveland at the Arcade

The Hilton Cleveland Downtown - SOLD OUT

The Hilton Cleveland Downtown
100 Lakeside Ave E
Cleveland, OH 44114
(216) 413-5000