Happy Saturday and welcome to CEO Speaks for Saturday, August 6, 2022.
This week marked my fourth anniversary as CEO of the Turnaround Management Association. And to celebrate the occasion I wanted to pause, reflect, and share a few highlights from the glorious journey that is all about each of you.
When I first took pen to paper in this role, writing my first JCR Column for TMA, I started by saying that the foundation of this house is strong, its pillars rich with knowledge, experience, and potential. I went on to say, that on this strong foundation, we are building a great house that welcomes a diverse community of professionals from near and far. It is a place that all from our community can call home. And with all of your help, this is exactly the house we have built and continue to build.
The road to where we are, has not been easy, and the challenges we’ve overcome from time to time great, but hand in hand with our leaders and members, we have built something innovative, groundbreaking, steady and strong. I have had the privilege of working with five presidents since taking on this coveted role: Kevin Krakora, Jeffrey Hampton, Derek Meek, Matthew English and Janey Mitnick, each making a mark that continues to pave the way for an even stronger foundation of the house we continue to build.
Kevin Krakora’s International Strategy Working Group created the pathway to global connectivity that had long evaded the organization and the vision he set in 2018 and 2019 pays dividends today. With the addition of six international chapters, a reconstituted TMA Europe Board and global dedicated support of our international community, the value of being a member of TMA and our worldwide brand power and reach has never been stronger.
Jeffrey Hampton’s focus on education and elevating what that means particularly around major conferences, set in stone what it means to be an education relevant organization, that in the last four years has offered more education and professional credit opportunities than ever before. With Jeffrey at the helm, we created an unprecedented 10 educational opportunities at our Annual Conference in Cleveland in 2019, and that has ignited a spirit that unleashed other opportunities that would follow.
Derek Meek, who may have had the greatest challenge of all when in 2020, following the close of one of our most successful Distressed Investing Conferences, and with high hopes of bringing a fresh perspective to our members worldwide, the world shut down, a pandemic created a new paradigm, and TMA having to re-think its model to assure, member value at this unprecedented time.
Dare I say Derek probably holds the record for most events attended by any global president zooming into almost every North American chapter and many across the world, being the glue that motivated, invigorated, and helped keep our members connected and strong. We took the virtual and made it our oyster from the creative and connected experiences built in this strong house from that we elevated what it means to be a member of TMA.
While Matthew English, knew he was stepping into the end of a pandemic at the beginning of his presidency with a steady hand, Matthew supported the slow emergence back to in-person programming while launching our DE&I initiative via a presidential working group that a year later is an engaged standing committee, creating pathways to opportunities to a group of future professionals and leaders first learning about our profession.
And our current president, Janey Mitnick, the fifth woman president of TMA, has taken this house and secured its pillars to be stronger, but in addition to that she’s raised the bar on our future by advancing two ambitious projects in our strategic planning initiative and governance task force, all while evangelizing worldwide with grace and charm, showing what it means to be TMA Proud. From free student memberships to free trial memberships, enhanced member value through webinars, TMA Learning Link™ and certification opportunities that continue to expand and grow, there has never been a more defining time to be part of TMA.
It continues to be a privilege and honor to lead the defining organization in the corporate restructuring, renewal and corporate health space, a testament to the people and power of TMA, now nearly 10,000 worldwide members strong. Each and every day, I am awe struck by the inspiration our engaged volunteers bring to the forefront for each other, for those new to our professional and organization and always with a view towards the future; a future that shines strong; a future that shines bright.
This house is strong and this journey just at its beginning. And as I said in that first JCR column four years ago this week, with words that are as meaningful today as they were when I first wrote them...
"As we journey into the next chapter of TMA, know that this house is your house. It is a house where there are no walls. It is a house in which we welcome an exchange of ideas a dialogue that brings together our membership worldwide. It is a place where the power of knowledge will assure the strength of our profession for generations to come."
As always, thanks for taking the time to listen today. In this year of Innovation through Disruption, your input is critical, your contributions paramount and your engagement the foundation that will create a better TMA for all of our members.
Until next time, I’m Scott Stuart. Be safe, resilient and TMA Proud.