As we prepare to host the TMA Network of Women (NOW) Summit in Chicago on May 16, I thought it was appropriate to reflect on the TMA NOW initiative. Established in 2013, TMA NOW fosters female leadership by creating the premier business development and networking group for women in the turnaround community. It does so by providing substantive education and networking opportunities to promote career growth to assist women in breaking through the glass ceiling.
I was one of the original members of the TMA NOW Committee, which was spearheaded by the inimitable Teresa Kohl of SSG Capital Advisors LLC and supported by TMA Global leadership, including CEO Greg Fine, then-President Kevin Carey, and then-Chairman Tom Kim, CTP. Shortly after the committee was established, the annual TMA NOW Summit was launched. Its main goal was to bring together female leaders from TMA chapters across the U.S. and abroad.
In my first Reflections article earlier this year, I wrote about the benefits of the TMA community. My journey in TMA started when I volunteered for a local Toronto Chapter committee. I went on to serve on the chapter board of directors, eventually becoming chapter president. Shortly after that, I joined the TMA Global family.
Throughout my TMA journey I have frequently received support and encouragement from incredible people, both men and women from TMA headquarters and volunteer leadership alike, to seek out leadership positions. Through TMA NOW, I have met, gotten to know, worked with, and become friends with a number of truly phenomenal women with whom I have shared stories of frustration but (thankfully) mostly of inspiration, including current TMA NOW Committee Co-Chairs Amy Edgy and Sharon Kopman.
Each person’s perspectives are largely shaped from his/her experiences. I have practiced as an attorney in the turnaround industry for more than 23 years. During that time, I have had opportunities to work and/or speak with hundreds of women in the industry, ranging from those just starting out to others in the twilight of their careers, in a variety of professions and from different jurisdictions around the world, about the unique professional challenges they face. Those issues have intensified as a result of the challenges facing the turnaround industry more generally as opportunities for traditional turnaround work have contracted. Based on my experience and the perspectives that I have shared with other women, I have been and remain a strong sponsor of women in the turnaround profession and TMA NOW.
To me, TMA NOW is a community of women that supports, encourages, and empowers women with tools and opportunities so that they can elevate themselves to their fullest potential and assume leadership positions within their own companies, TMA, and the turnaround industry. I have very fond memories of TMA NOW Summits past, and I am excited and honored to be participating again in this year’s gathering. This year’s TMA NOW Summit is open to all TMA NOW members and will focus on the themes of unconscious bias and rainmaking/networking.
We are excited to have Dawn Sweeney, president & CEO of the National Restaurant Association, who as one of our keynote speakers will address unconscious bias. Dawn recently participated in the White House roundtable discussion on empowering women in business. I encourage those who are able to attend the TMA NOW Summit to do so. I am confident that you will find the experience and connections you will form there to be invaluable.