The 2019 TMA Annual education lineup is packed with amazing speakers and industry experts! Register to attend and hear from these great professionals:Sergio Meneses, Alvarez & Marsal
Sergio Meneses is a Managing Director with Alvarez & Marsal in Mexico City. With 20+ years of financial and consulting services experience, he focuses on designing and executing large business transformations, performance improvement programs, and growth strategies. Mr. Meneses has significant experience in various industries including consumer and industrial goods, retail, food and beverages and pharmaceutical. He has worked in Mexico, the U.S., Andean Region, Central America, Southern Cone and the Middle East.
Prior to joining A&M, Mr. Meneses spent 12 years at PwC Strategy (formerly Booz & Co.) leading the Consumer and Industrial practice for North Latin America; five years at Oliver Wyman conducting large transportation and infrastructure projects; and three years at Salomon Brothers within the Latin-American Corporate Finance Group executing M&A, equity and debt transactions.
Mr. Meneses earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA from IESE Business School. He has lectured on corporate strategy and strategic planning in Mexican universities.
All businesses face financial and operational challenges – either their own challenges or those of a customer or supplier. For nearly two decades, David has advised clients on corporate insolvency, creditor rights, business reorganization, bankruptcy litigation, receiverships, and related transactions. David provides creative and impactful business solutions to these transactional and supply-chain concerns.
David is originally from Lexington, Massachusetts, and is a long-time resident of Olmsted Falls, Ohio, where his wife, Holly, was raised and where she now serves on the local school board. David has two daughters and is a proud and active member of the west-side Cleveland Jewish community.
Allen Wilen is a Partner and serves as the National Director of the Financial Advisory Services Group. In this role, he leads a team of over 100 professionals dedicated to assisting the firm’s clients through the litigation and restructuring process. Allen provides forensic accounting, valuation and litigation support services specializing in the areas of distress, debt restructuring, and business disputes. In addition, he provides analysis of insolvent and troubled companies, provides advice in turnaround and crisis situations, counsels purchasers in the acquisition of assets within the bankruptcy arena, and provides expert advice to parties in civil matters. He has more than 20 years of financial and accounting experience in both national and regional public accounting firms.
Allen has been involved in numerous complex matters requiring expertise in forensic accounting and operational analysis. He has been qualified as an expert in numerous state and federal courts throughout the United States. He testified on matters including commercial damages, lost profits, fraudulent transfer and actual intent to defraud.
Allen has represented numerous distressed businesses in navigating their path through the complexity and confusion of the turnaround, sale and liquidation processes. Allen has been appointed in numerous fiduciary capacities by both federal and state courts as a Receiver, Special Fiscal Agent, Liquidating Trustee, Examiner, Provisional Director, and Chief Restructuring Officer. In addition, he often represents court appointed trustees, receivers, and examiners, and has been involved in a large number of high profile cases.
Allen has written articles and industry journals, including a number of sections in the Turnaround Management Association’s Body of Knowledge and a chapter on Financial Reporting in Bankruptcy for the American Bankruptcy Institute’s CRO Handbook. He has also been a speaker on several topics, including director and officer liability in non-profit entities, prepackaged chapter 11s, valuation, professional ethics and distressed healthcare-related entities.Moderated by Sheila Smith, CTP, Gordon Brothers
Sheila serves as an advisor to Gordon Brothers. She has over 25 years of experience in financial advisory and restructuring services. Sheila retired in 2015 from Deloitte after serving in numerous leadership positions including Restructuring Service Line Leader for the Americas Region, Service Line Leader of the U.S. and the New England FAS practice. She has participated in hundreds of bankruptcy, restructuring, financial consulting, and §363 sell-side advisory engagements. She is considered a leading authority in the restructuring marketplace and has been recognized by numerous professional organizations including the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY), International Women's Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation (IWIRC), New York Institute of Credit (NYIC), and Turnaround Management Association (TMA). Smith began her professional career as a special education teacher moving to Boston to get her MBA in Public Management. Thereafter she was a senior finance officer of a building materials company that failed, resulting in her introduction to insolvency.
Elizabeth Green, Baker & Hostetler LLP
Elizabeth Green practices primarily in the areas of bankruptcy and restructuring, and has represented corporate debtors and secured creditors, unsecured creditors, committees, bondholders and trustees in bankruptcy cases of corporate and individual debtors. Elizabeth also has experience with out-of-court workouts, assignments and receiverships, and has represented numerous parties as buyers in 363 sales.
Elizabeth is the leader of the firm's national Bankruptcy, Restructuring and Creditors' Rights team and a member of the Policy Committee, our governing body. She has been inducted as a fellow in the prestigious American College of Bankruptcy, was named one of five Law 360 MVP’s in Bankruptcy in 2016 and is an adjunct professor at the University of Florida, Levin College of Law, where she teaches Advanced Bankruptcy.Twana Harris, Exude, Inc.
Twana Harris joined the Exude team as a full time Senior Consultant in 2018 after partnering with us for several years. Twana is a highly accomplished corporate executive with significant strategic and operational experience in learning & leadership development, global workforce and talent management, and inclusion & diversity. She is an expert trainer, leadership coach, and a dynamic keynote speaker. She has consulted, coached and presented to leaders at all levels of the organization and has been described by her clients as very knowledgeable, transformational and a pleasure to work with.
Twana has over 20 years of human resources experience and has held various senior leadership roles within Fortune 500 financial services corporations such as Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase.
She holds a Master’s degree in psychology and has completed course work for a Ph.D. in social psychology. She is a certified organizational development consultant and she has participated in coursework at Wharton Executive Education and Georgetown ABA Stonier Graduate School of Banking. Additionally, she was the recipient of an American Psychological Association research grant, has presented her findings at various scholarly conferences, and she is a published author in the Journal of Law and Human Behavior.
Twana is very passionate about people development and helping others uncover and fully utilize their talent in the workplace. She is active in her community, contributes pro bono career coaching and attempts to make a difference wherever possible.
Brenda Adrian, Sitrick and Company
Brenda 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, Donlin Recano
Jennifer Mercer serves as Vice President and leader of the Strategic Communications group at Donlin Recano. With over 20 years of industry experience, Ms. Mercer is a communications expert with extensive experience in promoting brands and protecting reputations. A specialist in transactional communications, she is knowledgeable in the many facets of crisis and corporate communications, employee and financial/investor communications, media relations, and program development including matters in the following industries: energy, financial services, homebuilding, retail, media, non-profit, pharmaceuticals, professional services, restaurant, retail and technology.
Ms. Mercer works closely with companies to conceive strategies and communicate business transactions. Working in tandem with internal corporate teams and company advisors, she is an effective collaborator and coach who consistently delivers world-class results.
Prior to joining Donlin Recano, Mercer launched and led the Strategic Communications group at Epiq. Her experience also 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.
In addition, she previously managed public relations for the CEO of Hitachi Data Systems, where she drove executive visibility, both internally and externally, through a multi-faceted communications program that generated extensive media interest and news coverage. Mercer’s operating experience also includes serving as Director of Communications of a leading information-management and professional services firm, where she was a member of the executive team and established the company’s investor relations practice.
Ms. Mercer sits on the board of the Turnaround Management Association (TMA) Southern California Chapter as the Communications Chair. She is an active member of the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), and the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). Ms. Mercer is a published author and frequent speaker.
Andrew 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 LLC
Joe 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.Moderated by Linda McDonough, 50 Words LLC
In leading 50 Words, Linda 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.
Scott Markowitz, Tarter Krinsky & Drogin LLP
Scott S. Markowitz co-chairs the Bankruptcy practice at Tarter Krinsky & Drogin LLP. His practice focuses on debtor and creditors’ rights, bankruptcy and out-of-court workouts. Scott counsels clients on:
• Chapter 11 reorganizations
• Complex individual Chapter 7 filings
• Strategies for dealing with financially-troubled entities.
• Buying and selling troubled entities in Chapter 11 and outside of bankruptcy.
• Out-of-court debt composition and settlements.
• Preference and fraudulent conveyance litigation.
• Dealing with leases and executory contracts in bankruptcy proceedings.
Before joining Tarter Krinsky & Drogin LLP in 2008, Scott was a Partner for 10 years at a boutique bankruptcy law firm of Todtman, Nachamie, Spizz & Johns, P.C. Scott was lead bankruptcy counsel to the Christian Brothers, a Catholic religious order in its chapter 11 case which was filed in order to resolve numerous sexual abuse lawsuits filed around the country.
In large corporate bankruptcies, certain individuals can be thrust into court-appointed roles for which the duties are as formidable as they are wholly unfamiliar. These individuals — often fiduciaries with no prior bankruptcy experience — welcome the counsel of Jim Patton in navigating the complexities of the restructuring process and their responsibilities within it. Jim helps them make informed decisions in what are, for them, novel and legally fraught situations.
He provides this counsel to individuals in three distinct positions:
- Future Claimants Representatives. Created in response to the proliferation of asbestos lawsuits in the 1990s, Jim was among the first to help guide these fiduciaries in acting on behalf of potential future claimants in mass tort litigation.
- Independent Board Committee Members. In bankruptcies where conflicts of interest on the board of directors are likely to taint the process, Jim helps guide members of the designated independent committee — often a single individual — who are given complete authority over the bankruptcy, advising them of their powers, duties, and legal responsibilities.
- Monitors of Civil Settlements. When the Department of Justice and the New York Attorney General reached massive settlements with three companies implicated in the financial crisis of 2008-9 — Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley — they appointed a single monitor to oversee all ongoing compliance. As counsel to that monitor, Jim advises on a set of responsibilities, procedures, and decision-making issues that are unlike any before.
These three esoteric niches are a culmination of nearly four decades in the forefront of bankruptcy practice. Jim has long been valued for his ability to develop and implement effective bankruptcy strategies, having represented both debtors and creditors in a wide range of restructuring contexts and day-to-day decision-making. He is also known for his capabilities in cross-border bankruptcies, in which he engages local lawyers and coordinates parallel proceedings in multiple countries to achieve favorable outcomes across jurisdictions.
- Representation of debtors, creditors’ committees, equity committees, future claimants representatives, and shareholder groups in out-of-court workouts, complex foreign and domestic restructurings, pre-planned bankruptcies and chapter 11 cases
- Ongoing involvement in complex asbestos bankruptcies
- Corporate restructurings, cross-border insolvencies, and mass tort insolvencies
Mr. Stang, a founding partner of the firm, has broad experience in bankruptcy reorganization. He has represented more than thirteen creditors' committees involving survivors of sexual abuse. Mr. Stang has lectured and written extensively on both bankruptcy and receivership issues. He is a graduate of UC Berkeley and received his J.D. from Hastings College of Law, where he was editor in chief of Hastings International and Comparative Law Review. He holds an AV Peer Preeminent Rating, Martindale-Hubbell's highest recognition for ethical standards and legal ability; has been named "Super Lawyer" in the field of Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights every year since 2005 in a peer survey conducted by Law & Politics and the publishers of Los Angeles magazine, an honor bestowed on only 5% of Southern California attorneys; and was selected by Best Lawyers in America. In 2010, the Century City Bar Association named him "Bankruptcy Lawyer of the Year" and in 2011 he was inducted as a fellow into the American College of Bankruptcy. Mr. Stang is admitted to practice in California, and is a resident in our Los Angeles office.
Catherine Steege, Jenner & Block
Catherine L. Steege is a partner and co-chair of the Restructuring and Bankruptcy Practice and co-chair of the Bankruptcy Litigation practice. Debtors, creditors, creditors’ committees, 1114 committees, trustees and other parties seek her representation before the bankruptcy courts. She also handles complex litigation arising out of bankruptcy cases and insolvencies.
Ms. Steege is a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy, an honorary organization of the country’s top insolvency lawyers. Since 2008, Chambers USA has recognized her as a leading lawyer in bankruptcy and restructuring law. In 2014, she was selected by Law360 as one of 10 “Bankruptcy MVPs." Best Lawyers In America has recognized her in bankruptcy and creditor-debtor rights law and litigation bankruptcy. Ms. Steege has spoken on bankruptcy law and other topics at seminars hosted by the American Bankruptcy Institute, PricewaterhouseCoopers, the National Association of Credit Management, the American Bar Association and the Chicago Bar Association. She is AV Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell’s highest peer recognition for ethical standards and legal ability.
Ms. Steege teaches bankruptcy as an Adjunct Professor at the John Marshall Law School and is a contributing editor to the National Institute of Trial Advocacy’s Commentaries to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure. She was also co-chair of the American Bankruptcy Institute’s Bankruptcy Litigation Committee.
Ms. Steege serves on the firm’s Policy Committee and is chair of the Finance Committee.
Lorie Beers, Cowen
Lorie Beers is a Managing Director and Head of Special Situations at Cowen. She has 28 years of professional experience that encompasses the full spectrum of restructuring. Previously, she was Managing Director and Head of Restructuring at StormHarbour Securities and served in a senior level capacity at firms such as Variant Capital Advisors, Seabury Group, KPMG Corporate Finance and Gordian.
Most recently, Ms. Beers was the recipient of the 2019 M&A Advisor Leadership Award. She began her career as a bankruptcy attorney and ultimately became a partner in the Bankruptcy Group at Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman. She also served as Chief Restructuring Officer and Chief Operating Officer for a middle market marketing and branding organization. Ms. Beers has a BA from Dickinson College and a JD from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.
Tom Waldrep, Waldrep Law
Prior to starting Waldrep LLP, Tom was a partner in the Winston-Salem, North Carolina office of Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP. Prior to that, Tom was a United States Bankruptcy Judge with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of North Carolina for nine years.
Tom represents secured creditors, debtors, unsecured creditors’ committees, and trustees in business bankruptcy cases. He has extensively represented buyers and sellers of assets in bankruptcy. Tom has noteworthy experience in cases involving healthcare debtors, especially hospitals, and regularly represents private equity groups and other financial institutions in buying and managing distressed healthcare assets, particularly in the Southeast. He also represents healthcare providers, particularly those looking to purchase or sell assets in or out of bankruptcy.
Tom served the North Carolina Bar Association in several different capacities, including as Chair of the Bankruptcy Section and as a member of the Board of Governors. Tom is a frequent lecturer at continuing legal education seminars and law schools, and he has authored articles on insolvency issues.
Moderated by C. Edward Dobbs, Parker, Hudson, Rainer & Dobbs LLP
Ed Dobbs is the founder and architect of the Parker Hudson commercial finance, debt restructuring, and ADR neutral services practice areas. As a result of his focus in these practice areas over his 45-year career, Ed has acquired considerable knowledge about commercial matters generally and developed extensive transactional and litigation experience.
As a commercial lending attorney, Ed represents some of the largest financial institutions in the country in structuring and documenting commercial loans, including asset-based lending, factoring and receivable purchase arrangements. As a debt restructuring attorney, Ed has participated in some of the largest bankruptcy cases in the country, both as counsel for bank groups, individual lenders, Chapter 11 debtors, and creditor committees. As part of his Chapter 11 practice, Ed is often called upon by clients to defend them in litigation involving alleged fraudulent conveyances, voidable preferences, and lender liability claims.
In addition, Ed is an accomplished mediator and, in that role, has assisted parties in resolving sizable commercial disputes with significant complexity. His leadership skills, client focus, and encyclopedic knowledge of his areas of practice drive strong confidence in his clients and aids in his coaxing parties to the settlement table in mediations. Ed serves on the American Arbitration Association (AAA) panel of neutrals for complex commercial cases in both arbitrations and mediations and on the Delaware bankruptcy court's roster of neutrals. Having developed a national reputation in his commercial lending and debt restructuring practices, Ed is frequently called upon to mediate complex disputes, sometimes involving billions of dollars, in civil suits in state or federal courts or in adversary proceedings in bankruptcy cases throughout the country.
Ed is committed to assisting both clients and third-party disputants in resolving their differences and reaching their commercial goals as expeditiously and economically as possible. His experience, gravitas, and persuasive bargaining and communication skills help clients and mediation participants resolve what often appear to be intractable disputes. As a result of his past litigation experience and work as an arbitrator and mediator, Ed is able to assist clients in understanding the litigation risks and potential benefits of settlement, while at the same time prepared to put in play his considerable litigation experience for matters that a client is unwilling to settle.
Geoff Berman, Development Specialists, Inc.
Mr. Berman served as the President of the American Bankruptcy Institute from April 2011 to April 2012 and Chairman of the Board from April 2013 to April 2014. He also served as ABI’s Vice President of Publications, with oversight of the ABI Journal and other publication projects, and as a member of ABI’s Executive and Management Committees. He chaired the ABI Task Force on General Assignments and wrote the ABI manual on general assignments, The ABCs of ABCs, which is now in its third edition. He has served as contributing editor and co-Executive Editor to the American Bankruptcy Institute Journal and has authored a law review article on general assignments published in the ABI Law Review. Geoff served as an ex-officio member of ABI’s Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11 as well as an ex-officio member of ABI’s Ethics Task Force.
Mr. Berman, a certified mediator, is on the Bankruptcy Mediation Panel for the Central District of California as well as the Register of Mediators for the District of Delaware. He is a member of the Los Angeles and Bay Area (CA) Bankruptcy Forums, and AIRA. He speaks frequently on out-of-court and post-confirmation case administration issues.
Prior to joining DSI, Mr. Berman was with Credit Managers Association of California for 11 years, where he was the Manager of the Adjustment Bureau and a member of the Association’s senior management. Mr. Berman has previous experience with Union Bank (of California) and Mitsui Manufacturers Bank.
Eric Goldberg represents debtors both in and out of court, as well as creditors and other stakeholders, including lenders and funds, in a variety of transactions. His practice involves complex bankruptcy-related litigation, including contested confirmations, termination of collective bargaining agreements and all types of adversary proceedings. Eric also has extensive experience working with hedge funds, institutional lenders, bondholders and buyers of distressed assets.
Steven Mitnick, SM Law, PC
Steven Mitnick specializes in representing creditors and trustees in cases involving business insolvency, bankruptcy and liquidations. He also provides services in the areas of debt collection, assignments for benefit of creditors and receiverships.
In practice since 1981, he has:
- Served as a Chapter 11 trustee, receiver, special fiscal agent, and assignee for the benefit of creditors in hundreds of cases.
- Led more than 200 wind-down proceedings for wide-ranging corporate entities and businesses.
- Recovered millions of dollars for creditors in cases that involve Chapter 11 and Chapter 7 bankruptcies, assignments for the benefit of creditors, state court receiverships, and out-of-court settlements.
Before founding SM Law, Steven was the founding principal of Mitnick & Malzberg, P.C., a boutique law firm that he founded in 1986. Steven also serves as Secretary of SM Financial Services Corporation, which invests in and manages the purchases of financial assets from trustees and others, especially judgments, notes, mortgages and preferences; as well as supervises the wind-downs of all forms of corporate entities.
Steven is a sought-after lecturer on corporate liquidation topics, especially assignments for the benefit of creditors and state court receiverships, and he has authored related course materials.Drew Parobek, Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP
Drew is a partner in the Vorys Cleveland office and a member of the finance, energy and real estate group. He is the firm-wide chair of Vorys’ bankruptcy and restructuring practice. Drew focuses his practice in the areas of bankruptcy, restructuring and workouts, commercial finance, commercial transactions and business law, with a strong emphasis on the representation of banks and other financial institutions. He has considerable experience and expertise in complex bankruptcy cases, reorganizations and restructurings, creditors’ rights, commercial lending, asset-based lending, secured transactions, the Uniform Commercial Code, collections, foreclosures, and liquidations.
Career highlights include:
- Representing lending institutions, landlords, creditors’ committees and other creditors in a number of major bankruptcy cases for a variety of corporations, including those in the energy, manufacturing, retail, health care, high tech, automotive, and food industries
- Representing national, regional, local and community banks in a wide variety of commercial and industrial and real estate restructurings and workouts and lending transactions
Drew is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association, the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, and the Turnaround Management Association.
Drew has spoken to the Cleveland Bar Association, the William J. O’Neill Great Lakes Regional Bankruptcy Institute, the Ohio State Bar Association CLE Institute, the Turnaround Management Association, the Risk Management Association, and other legal and professional groups on a variety of topics including bankruptcy law, commercial transactions and alternatives to bankruptcy.
Drew received his J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School, where he was the associate editor of the Vanderbilt University Law Review. He received his B.A. summa cum laude from Vanderbilt University and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
Drew clerked for the Honorable J. Craig Wright of the Supreme Court of Ohio.Amanda Vintevoghel, The Dragich Law Firm PLLC
Amanda C. Vintevoghel is an associate with The Dragich Law Firm and focuses primarily on bankruptcy reorganization, corporate restructuring, commercial litigation and business transactions.
Amanda received her juris doctor, cum laude, from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. During school, Amanda was a member of the Moot Court Board of Advocates and was a quarterfinalist at the NYU Immigration Moot Court Competition. She also was a member of Law Review, a Co-Chair of the Race for Justice Committee, and a member of the Business Law Association.
Amanda graduated from Northwood University, magna cum laude, with a degree in International Business and Business Management. At Northwood, she was a member of the cross-country and track teams and was the recipient of the Excellence in Management Award.
Amanda was admitted to the State Bar of Michigan in November 2012. She is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute and the Turnaround Management Association, where she is serving a member of the TMA Board of Directors. Amanda also volunteers with the Special Olympics of Grosse Pointe/Harper Woods.
Amanda’s article Pending Proceeding Rule: An Exception to a Rule 2004 Examination was published in ABI’s Unsecured Trade Creditors Committee Newsletter in October of 2014.
Amanda regularly presents on bankruptcy and restructuring topics. She has served as a panel moderator at the 2017 TMA Mid-Atlantic Restructuring Conference and the TMA NextGen Signs of Distress Program – Spring 2017.
Amanda continues to compete as a distance runner, winning the 2010 Charlevoix Women’s Half-Marathon, the 2013 Sault Ste. Marie Women’s Marathon and the 2016 Back to the Beach Women’s Half-Marathon at Stoney Creek Metropark. Amanda is also a two-time Boston Qualifier and she competed in the 2015 Boston Marathon.Moderated by Diana Peterson, AW Properties Global
Diana M. Peterson, President and CEO of AW Properties Global (AW), has 20+ years of experience in law, real estate brokerage and auctions.
Prior to founding AW, Peterson co-founded AuctionWorks, an online real estate auction platform. Peterson build the auction platform for AuctionWorks utilizing her prior auction expertise and her experience founding and operating a real estate brokerage, PMD Realty, LLC, for over a decade.
In 2001, seeing an opportunity to provide homeowners an alternative disposition strategy, Peterson established PMD Realty. As a result, PMD Realty quickly became the leading local provider of flat-fee MLS listing services, dominating the emerging flat-fee market for several years. During that time, Peterson was recognized by the Chicago Association of Realtors as one of the top 5 producing real estate brokers, having closed +$130M in residential sales and negotiated +500,000 SF of commercial lease and sale transactions.
Prior to starting PMD Realty, Peterson worked for U.S. Equities Realty and JLL providing strategic planning and tenant representation services to office tenants nationwide.
In addition to her client-focused philosophy, Peterson is known for her exceptional negotiation and legal skills, honed during years of practice as an attorney with D'Ancona & Pflaum and Hedlund Hanley & John. Peterson draws on these experiences in upholding her commitment to provide only the highest level of service to her clients.
Peterson earned a law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School, where she served as an editor of the Minnesota Law Review, and before that, acquired a Bachelor of Arts (with honors) from the University of Chicago. Apart from her Illinois law license, she holds an Illinois real estate managing broker's license and an Illinois auction license.
Frequently quoted in the news, Peterson has been featured in DS News, GlobeSt.com, Crain's, Illinois Real Estate Journal, Real Estate Executive magazine and many other publications. Peterson is often engaged as a speaker at real estate conferences as well.
Peterson is a member of Turnaround Management Association (TMA), American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), International Women's Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation (IWIRC), Illinois CCIM Chapter, Chicago Association of Realtors (CAR), National Association of Realtors (NAR) and the National Auctioneers Association (NAA).
Active in the community, Peterson devotes time to serving on local non-profit boards. Peterson currently serves on the board of Northwestern University Settlement House and recently served on the boards of True Mentors, The Goldie B. Wolfe Miller Women Leaders in Real Estate Initiative, The Auxiliary Board of the Art Institute of Chicago, PAWS Chicago, The Poetry Center of Chicago, and The Young Leaders Fund of the Chicago Community Trust.
Mark Avsec, Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff, LLP
Mark E. Avsec is a partner and Vice Chair of the Innovations, Information Technology & Intellectual Property (3iP) Practice Group. He is also Co-Chair of Benesch’s Sports and Entertainment Group and leads Benesch’s 3D Printing Legal Team.
A copyright, trademark, and media lawyer by trade, and a litigator and business attorney, Mark focuses his practice on “old” and “new” media issues, consumer products, technotainment (including music and other entertainment-related technology licensing matters), and general mobile commerce. Mark provides general legal support to various types of museums, technology and software companies, consumer products companies, and media, music, film, creative content, and content distribution companies. His practice focuses on complex technology licensing deals involving creative content, 3D-printing industryrelated counseling, copyright, trademark, and trade dress litigation, copyright and trademark prosecution, fair use and rights of publicity/privacy counseling, celebrity endorsements, and an expertise in privacy and data security compliance. Before becoming a lawyer, Mark earned a living as a studio musician, producer and songwriter, writing over 500 songs and producing or performing on more than 35 albums for, among other artists, Carlos Santana (“Angel Love”), Bon Jovi (“She Don’t Know Me”), Donnie Iris (“Ah! Leah!” and “Love Is Like A Rock”), Mason Ruffner (“Gypsy Blood”) and Wild Cherry (“Play That Funky Music, White Boy”).
Mark is an American Music Award winner and has been nominated for two Grammy Awards. He was a member of Wild Cherry and is the founding member of Donnie Iris and the Cruisers. As keyboardist for Wild Cherry, Donnie Iris, Breathless, and Mason Ruffner, Mr. Avsec performed in concert with, among others, Carlos Santana, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Average White Band, Loverboy, Bon Jovi, Nazareth, Ted Nugent, Joan Jett, Cheap Trick, The Commodores, Earth, Wind and Fire, The Isley Brothers, George Benson, Chuck Mangione, Journey, Brothers Johnson, Chaka Kahn and Rufus, Natalie Cole, Graham Central Station, The Ohio Players, Tower Of Power, ABBA, George Clinton and the Funkadelics, Bootsy Collins, The O’Jays, KC and the Sunshine Band, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Dr. John, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Foreigner, UFO, The Romantics, Hall & Oates, KISS, The Iron City Houserockers, Foghat, Triumph, Huey Lewis and The News, and Eddie Money. He has performed on many television shows, including The Grammy Awards, Midnight Special, Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert, The Merv Griffin Show, and The Dinah Shore Show.
Mark regularly teaches and is a frequent speaker on entertainment, intellectual property, and media topics. He serves as an Adjunct Law Professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, where he has taught “Law of the Music Industry” since 2003. He is also a faculty member at the Great Lakes Sports and Entertainment Academy, a joint program of Case Western Reserve University School of Law and Cleveland Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State University, where he has taught music and entertainment law since 2012. He has participated as a faculty member for the Federal Judicial Center and the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology where he has presented on copyright law basics and infringement analysis to federal judges with Professors David Nimmer and Peter Menell at the University of California, Berkeley, Boalt School of Law.
Mark has served the Cleveland community in the past as a chairperson of The Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts section of The Cleveland Bar Association, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Contemporary Youth Orchestra, and a member of the Cleveland Foundation’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation Scholarship Fund Selection Committee. Mark is currently a member of ASCAP, the Dean’s Visiting Committee of Cleveland State University’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, and the Board of Trustees of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association. He was recently appointed by Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish to serve on the Cuyahoga Arts & Culture’s Board of Trustees.
Mark earned his B.A. summa cum laude in 1992 and his J.D. magna cum laude in 1994 from Cleveland State University. He is a ranked lawyer in Chambers USA 2015 and Chambers USA 2016, and has been named an Ohio “Super Lawyer” for Intellectual Property several times. He is a member of the Leadership Cleveland Class of 2014. He was named one of Cleveland State University’s most fascinating alumni in conjunction with the school’s 50th anniversary celebration.
Melissa Hager, Kelley Drye & Warren LLP
Melissa Hager has extensive experience advising a wide array of clients in complex business reorganizations, debt restructurings, asset sales, and insolvency matters throughout the country. Her clients include official and ad hoc creditors’ committees, unsecured and secured creditors, debtors, lenders, landlords, and financial institutions in numerous industry sectors including energy, oil and gas, retail, real estate and real estate development, manufacturing, food service, and telecommunications. Melissa also advises bankruptcy examiners, bankruptcy trustees, liquidating trustees, and other post-confirmation creditor fiduciaries.
Melissa received her B.A. cum laude from Providence College and her J.D. magna cum laude from Quinnipiac School of Law. Melissa is admitted to practice in New York and Connecticut, the Southern, Eastern, Western and Northern Districts of New York and the District of Connecticut.
Melissa serves as the U.S. Networks Director for the International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation and the President of workOUT Professionals.
Andy Mitchell, Lantern Capital Partners
Andy Mitchell is the Founder, CEO and Managing Partner of Lantern Capital Partners. Mr. Mitchell brings over twenty years of investment management, financial advisory, capital markets and restructuring experience. His professional investment and advisory experience includes Cerberus Capital Management, Centerbridge Partners, Ally Financial’s Global Special Assets Group, Houlihan Lokey’s and PricewaterhouseCoopers’ restructuring groups. He serves on several boards including, among others, American Zinc Recycling (specialty zinc business), Goodbulk, Ltd (shipping and transportation), Lantern Entertainment (media and entertainment) and Bluejack National (hospitality).
Prior to joining Lantern, Mr. Mitchell led Ally Financial’s Global Special Assets Group (SAG) and served as President of the Business Capital Group, where he led the turnaround and management of non-performing portfolios in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom. During Mr. Mitchell’s tenure, these divisions managed more than 300 investments including approximately $5 billion of debt and equity positions. As part of Ally’s transformation to a bank holding company, Mr. Mitchell led the creation of the SAG and policies related to the management of special assets and watch-list credits. He also chaired Ally’s SAG Investment Committee and worked with the Federal Reserve and other regulators on related compliance issues.
Mr. Mitchell joined Ally from Cerberus Capital Management where he focused on originating and managing distressed or opportunistic investments across the entire capital structure, including both debt and equity.
He also worked for the financial restructuring group of Houlihan Lokey and PricewaterhouseCoopers as financial and operations advisor (including interim management) to middle market companies both in and out of court.
Mr. Mitchell has led and assisted in numerous major and middle market transactions across a variety of industries including: complex restructurings, recapitalizations, private placements, distressed mergers and acquisitions and valuations of distressed and healthy companies. He has been a speaker on restructuring topics at several conferences and universities and is a member of the Turnaround Management Association.
Mr. Mitchell has a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a double major in finance and accounting from TCU. He lives with his wife Kristin and four children in Dallas, Texas.
Joshua Pichinson, Sherwood Partners
Joshua Pichinson is the Managing Director of agencyIP; a sister company of Sherwood Partners, Inc. which is a leading corporate advisory and restructuring firm since 1992. Since 2013, Joshua has actively lead agencyIP’s IP due-diligence, licensing, sales, and commercialization efforts. With a focus on maximizing value of assets in a variety of industries and with a diverse set of clients, including individual inventors to Fortune Companies. He has been able to deliver winning strategies for both tangible and intangible assets including patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade-secrets and software.
Joshua has negotiated sales and licensing deals of a wide range of technologies across a diverse set of industries, keeping him in constant demand. Joshua has been on numerous panels, focusing on intangible assets, and was recently acknowledged by IAM Strategy 300 as one of The World’s Leading IP Strategists, in 2019.
Moderated by Allen Kadish, Archer & Greiner, P.C.
Allen G. Kadish practices in the areas of business law, corporate crisis management, complex transactions, Chapter 11 restructurings, workouts, creditors’ rights and business litigation. His clients have included distressed and non-distressed businesses in transition, corporate borrowers in debt transactions, debtors, creditors, lenders, vendors, fiduciaries, purchasers, investors, committees and others in- and out-of-court. Allen has represented parties involved with reorganization and restructuring issues in a wide range of industries, including airline, arts and entertainment, automotive, communications, construction, e-commerce, electronics, energy, environmental, fashion, financial services, gaming, healthcare, investment capital, jewelry, manufacturing, media, oil and gas services, real estate, retail, sports, technology and transportation.
Allen was a member of the global Board of Directors of the Turnaround Management Association for 2017-2018 and was 2016 Chairman and 2015 President of the TMA – New York Chapter. Allen serves as a co-chair of the TMA Global-2019 Annual Conference Planning Committee, and as a co-chair of the TMA Global – 2019 Turnaround and Transaction Award Committee. Allen is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, the New York State Bar Association and the American Bar Association. He is a member and board member emeritus of WorkOUT Professionals.
Allen received his B.A. in 1983 from Rutgers College and his J.D. in 1986 from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University. Allen is admitted to practice in New York and New Jersey, the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, the District of New Jersey, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Allen served as law clerk to the Hon. Manuel D. Leal, Jr., of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas at Houston (1986-88).
Allen represents or has represented, among others, several troubled privately held businesses in various industries; an Illinois school district in the Sears Chapter 11 cases; a fashion manufacturer and retailer in the acquisition, through Chapter 11, of a couture brand; the lead transaction party and secured creditor in an oil and gas production restructuring; a not- for-profit New York office building in Chapter 11; an international high-end jewelry business in distress; a lessor of cell towers in two national media buildings restructuring; the ownership entities of 12 rent-stabilized buildings in Chapter 11; a distressed monthly subscription-box business in an out-of-court private sale; a high net worth individual in Chapter 11; a mechanic’s lien-holder in a Chapter 11 case; the official committee of unsecured creditors of New York City taxi medallion owners in Chapter 11; purchasers of New York City real estate out of Chapter 11; a not-for-profit healthcare organization in an acquisition of a community healthcare facility; lenders to a medical device manufacturer; the official committee of unsecured creditors of an environmental not-for-profit; a real estate consultant to a bankruptcy trustee; the official committee of unsecured creditors in a New York real estate reorganization; a large, wholesale travel agency in a claim dispute in the American Airlines bankruptcy; a group of former partners of a distressed law firm; the acquirer of rural New York real estate in a Delaware bankruptcy; a financial services firm in financing transactions; a jewelry retailer in business expansion; a healthcare consulting practice in financial distress; a Florida bank in the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy with a multi-million dollar swap investment; the receiver of distressed real estate in bankruptcy cases; a Florida Jai Alai enterprise in New York litigation with lenders; a commercial landlord in the Chapter 11 case of its restaurant tenant; the CEO of a multi-billion-dollar education publisher in the publisher’s Chapter 11 reorganization; the mortgage holder in the acquisition through Chapter 11 of New York commercial real estate; a national passport expediting business in obtaining reversal of the suspension by the U.S. State Department of authority to operate; institutional investors with respect to bankruptcy issues implicated in a wind-farm acquisition; an international media conglomerate in respect of the financial distress of a domestic cable television subsidiary; a tech business on restructuring issues in bet-the-company litigation; the BVI liquidator of an international chemical manufacturer through a Section 363 sale and plan in Chapter 11; a national retailer as purchaser of apparel brands and mall leases out of Chapter 11; an international performing arts organization in structuring financing transactions; a financial services business in receivership and Chapter 11; the secured lender in a contested, involuntary, single-asset real estate case; an umbrella, not-for-profit arts organization in creating bankruptcy materials for members; a Florida medical group in bet-the-practice litigation with former partners; a New York City taxi industry contractor in the bankruptcy of a direct competitor; a New York restaurant group as defendant in complex avoidance actions; a post-confirmation plan fiduciary in claim and other post-effective date litigation; fiduciaries in assignment proceedings; receivers; and standing and specially appointed trustees and examiners in scores, and a wide variety, of cases.
Allen is also a qualified mediator having been certified by the American Bankruptcy Institute 40-hour bankruptcy mediation program at St. John’s University School of Law and is an approved mediator for the United States Bankruptcy Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.
Tin Dolički, Bogdanović, Dolički & Partneri
Tin Dolički is a partner at Bogdanović Dolički & Partners with more than 25 years of experience in representing and advising domestic and foreign clients on corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, banking and finance law, capital market law, procedures before regulatory bodies as well as commercial dispute resolution.
Nicholas Grossi, CTP, Alvarez & Marsal
Nicholas Grossi is a Managing Director with Alvarez & Marsal North American Commercial Restructuring in Chicago.
Mr. Grossi specializes in cash flow forecasting and cash monitoring program development, business plan preparation and review, solvency analysis, evaluation of operational and organizational issues, stakeholder negotiations, debt capacity analysis and recapitalization alternatives.
Mr. Grossi has represented clients in various stages of the restructuring process, including Chapter 11 and out-of-court restructurings. He has assisted clients across a range of industries, including oil and gas, automotive, manufacturing, energy, financial services, transportation, homebuilding, chemical, education and healthcare.
Most recently, Mr. Grossi advised a top global offshore oil and gas driller, headquartered in London and listed on the NYSE and OSLO stock exchanges. He led operational contingency planning to support a Chapter 11 filing, developed and maintained a global 13-week cash forecast, devised the company’s post-petition cash management system consistent with security and collateral requirements of key stakeholders and the operational requirements of the company, assisted management in establishing processes and controls around its treasury function and supported the negotiation of a restructuring support agreement that served as the framework for the plan of reorganization.
Previously, Mr. Grossi advised a $3 billion leading lead-acid battery manufacturer through a Chapter 11 restructuring. He identified the sources of the company’s negative cash drain and provided assistance to management with corrective actions, led capital planning efforts, developed revenue enhancement strategies, directed the development of the company’s global business plan, created confidential information memorandums for various divisions as part of a potential sale process and managed reporting obligations and diligence with various committee members, creditors, bidders, governmental agencies and other key stakeholders.
Mr. Grossi’s notable assignments include Seadrill Ltd., UCI International, Verso Corporation, Exide Technologies, Bank of America, Chemtura Corporation, the New York Department of Education, Global Power, Envision Hospital Systems and Kimball Hill Homes.
Prior to joining A&M, Mr. Grossi served as a market maker with Lakota Trading, an equity options trading firm on the floor of the Chicago Board of Options Exchange.
Mr. Grossi earned a bachelor's degree in management from Purdue University and an MBA from DePaul University. He has been recognized as a Certified Turnaround Professional by the Turnaround Management Association (TMA).Kelsey Meyer, Bennett Jones LLP
Kelsey Meyer advises and represents clients with respect to commercial litigation matters, with a particular focus on bankruptcy, insolvency, and restructuring matters. She also represents clients with respect to property tax assessment complaints.
Kelsey's practice encompasses a broad range of commercial litigation, including energy litigation, fraud litigation, product liability litigation, debtor-creditor disputes, construction, contractual disputes, professional negligence matters, environmental regulation litigation and foreclosures.
With respect to insolvency matters, Kelsey acts for creditors, debtors, and court-appointed monitors, receivers and trustees in bankruptcy in large and complex insolvencies and restructurings, including proceedings pursuant to the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (Canada), the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (Canada), and cross-border insolvency proceedings.
Kelsey appears before all levels of Court in Alberta, and has appeared before the Assessment Review Board, the Energy Resources Conservation Board (now the Alberta Energy Regulator), the Alberta Utilities Commission and the National Energy Board.
Kelsey is a member of the Canadian Bar Association, the Calgary Bar Association, the Turnaround Management Association, the International Women's Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation, and the Turnaround Management Association Network of Women ("TMA Now") Global Committee. Kelsey also volunteers with the Alberta Lawyers' Assistance Society (Assist).
Kelsey has presented to clients on insolvency, administrative law, and energy issues, and has authored articles regarding insolvency, administrative law and environmental matters. She has a proven track record of hard work, dedication and commitment to her clients, and she consistently works to achieve the highest standards of client service. Kelsey takes a practical approach to litigation, and advises her clients with a results-based approach, focusing on the most pragmatic, timely and cost-efficient means of achieving the clients' goals.
Kelsey has been recognized in the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as a Leading Lawyer to Watch – Insolvency & Financial Restructuring – Insolvency Litigation, and in the Lexpert Guide to the Leading U.S. / Canada Cross-border Litigation Lawyers in Canada as a Litigation Lawyer to Watch. Kelsey joined Bennett Jones as an articling student in 2002.Dr. Wolfram Prusko, Kirkland & Ellis International
Dr. Wolfram Prusko is a restructuring partner in the Munich office of Kirkland & Ellis International LLP.
His practice is focused on the representation of investors, debtors and creditors with respect to cross-border acquisitions, restructurings — particularly financial and bond restructurings — and insolvency proceedings. Wolfram has also extensive experience in international bank restructuring.
IFLR1000 recognizes Wolfram in its Financial and Corporate Guide as a highly regarded lawyer for Restructuring (2018 and 2019 edition). Wolfram is initiator and co-chair of TMA NextGen Germany.
Moderated by Milly Chow, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
Milly has extensive expertise in complex and multi-jurisdictional financial restructurings, distressed mergers and acquisitions and debtor-in-possession (DIP) financings involving restructuring matters across Canada and abroad.
For more than 20 years, Milly has been providing advice to debtors, purchasers, lender syndicates, secured creditors, monitors, receivers, trustees and other stakeholders in a wide range of industries, including oil and gas, mining, retail, manufacturing, forestry, airline, automotive, environmental, telecommunications, media, marketing, financial services, information technology and biomedical.
Milly currently serves as 2019 Immediate Past TMA Global Chair and Chair of the Nominations Committee. She is also a member of the TMA International Presidential Working Group. Prior to this, she served as 2018 TMA Global Chair and 2017 TMA Global President. TMA Global is an association of turnaround and corporate renewal professionals with more than 8,300 members in 55 chapters worldwide (32 in North America and 23 internationally). Prior to joining the TMA Global executive board, Milly was past president of the Toronto chapter of the Turnaround Management Association (TMA Toronto) (2012-2013) and a member of the TMA Toronto board of directors for five years.
She is also the founding co-chair of TMA Toronto's annual Spring Gala, which honours the contributions of women in the Toronto turnaround community and raises funds for local women's charities that demonstrate a strong commitment to turning around women's lives. The Spring Gala has raised approximately C$330,000 for local women's charities since 2011.
Milly is a member of the 2019 ABI Cross-Border Program Advisory Board. Milly is also a member of the Insolvency Institute of Canada, an association of senior insolvency professionals. In addition, Milly is currently serving as a member of the IIC Symposium Committee.
Milly was a member of the Advisory Council for the 2017 and 2018 M&A Distressed Investing Summit.
As an active participant in legal education, Milly has authored and co-authored, since 2004, several chapters of the Business Law Reference Materials for the Law Society of Ontario lawyer licensing process in the areas of debt financing, secured transactions and insolvency.