Welcome to the first TMA Talks, a regular series of podcasts hosted by TMA Global CEO Scott Y. Stuart, Esq. Each segment will feature prominent TMA members, industry experts, and other special guests. These exchanges will offer insights into key markets, forward-thinking economic outlooks, insider thoughts on industry trends, and much more. Each podcast will be printed in the JCR as well as made available on the TMA podcast channel. Subscribe to our channel wherever you find your podcasts.
Scott Stuart: Welcome to TMA Talks. This is the first in a series of podcasts where we’ll be talking about the Turnaround Management Association and topics related to its members and leadership. I’m TMA Global CEO Scott Stuart, and today I’m here with 2018 TMA Global President Kevin Krakora.
Kevin A. Krakora, CTP: Thank you for inviting me.
Scott: Let’s talk about your year as president and some of the things that you’ve wanted to accomplish and share with our listeners.
Kevin: One of the first initiatives that I implemented when I became president earlier this year was the Chapter Health Working Group. The mission of that group was to, first, identify those areas where we could support the chapters so that they could fulfill their own goals and drive value to members, and then, identify what resources we at TMA Global could offer and bring to the chapters.
Members have the greatest connection with TMA through their local chapters, so it’s really important for us to make sure that we’re providing the best support available to the chapters. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. We have large chapters, small chapters, and medium-size chapters. Some are doing extremely well in different areas compared to other chapters.
For this, we have been using technology and data to tailor our programs. With data we collect, we can thoroughly analyze trends. We can clearly see areas where some chapters may have trends with regard to their NextGen members or with their NOW members, even diversity amongst professions and specific areas like that. For the trends that aren’t positive, we want to try to identify some initiatives that might help those chapters out.
Scott: Essentially cross-chapter connectivity—share learnings from one chapter with the other chapters. Share programming, share professional backgrounds, let people connect, and use data to understand where our members are going. What are they doing? What are they looking at? What are they attending? We’re in a data-driven era, and we are embracing it.
I think TMA is unique in that it’s ahead of the data curve, but I know we can utilize it at an even higher level. I feel that the use of technology and data is going to be a central part of this organization going forward. All in all, we want to help the chapters fulfill their own missions. If we can help them succeed at the local level, that’s just driving added value to the members, which helps all of us connect.
Now, let’s talk a little bit about you, Kevin. How did you get involved in TMA?
Kevin: I’ve been a TMA member for almost 20 years now. I’ve really grown up in this industry, and it became very apparent to me early on that TMA was the place to be to increase my own connections and my relationships within the industry. So, I went up through the ranks of the local chapter, becoming president of the Chicago/Midwest Chapter in 2013, and then I naturally got more involved on the global level.
TMA has become an important part of my career. I’ve now been a turnaround and restructuring professional for almost 28 years, and it has been a real pleasure to be the president of TMA here in 2018. I’m really looking forward to continuing on with my term this year, and next year serving as chair.
Scott: One of the things that I’m excited about here at TMA, is the recognition that comes with being a CTP, both professionally and in the community throughout the judiciary. You have one of those special designations that we at TMA are so proud of.
Kevin: It has been rewarding for me to have received the certification as a Certified Turnaround Professional. The CTP designation has been an important part of my career. I tend to focus on assisting companies on the debtor side, in both in- and out-of-court situations, as well as representing senior lenders. Having that credential certainly helps, especially when you’re in court before a bankruptcy judge. I think it helps establish additional credibility when you have a recognized credential like the CTP.
Scott: It’s a very meaningful distinction. Here at Global, we’ve shared the Body of Knowledge books with the judiciary, and they are offering them to their law clerks so that they have the same level of knowledge and understand the power and importance of the CTP. As a matter of fact, North Carolina recently rolled out a statewide Worker Retention Program, where they’re specifically looking for our CTPs, our unique designation, to serve in that role. Some of our members have taken the bull by the horns and have gone into other states seeking similar programs.
The power of the CTP is improving. Here at Global, we want to enhance the value of it by introducing it at the graduate school and business school level. I think it’s onward and upward for CTP.
It is. I think it’s becoming more and more recognized. Certainly, the rigor around the certification process is very important. The Body of Knowledge materials are great training and resource materials for our members and for our member firms that are involved in TMA. They contain important principles and content for younger professionals trying to get into this industry.
Scott: One of the other things I know that you wanted to focus on is putting extra attention on our international chapters. Why don’t you talk a little bit about what your vision has been there and where it’s going.
Kevin: Here at TMA, we are truly a global association of turnaround and restructuring professionals. How can we really take advantage of that? How do we drive those connections amongst all of our chapters internationally?
We have such a robust group of international chapters, and it became very apparent to me when I was over at the TMA Europe Annual Conference in Amsterdam a few months ago just how much they are looking to not only connect with us here in North America but also with each other in Europe and in other countries as well. Soon, I will be forming a Presidential Working Group to review and revamp our international strategy as it relates to our international presence and how we can develop those connections. For starters, we are adding international content in our next Journal of Corporate Renewal.
We are members of TMA because we all ultimately want to drive business for ourselves and for others, and so the connectivity is just a natural part of that. We’re in this profession because we’re passionate about it and we want to do good work. We drive business and do business with people that we know and trust, and that’s why TMA is here. TMA is here to facilitate those connections, and then as part of that comes the education, the programming, and all of the other bells and whistles that go along with membership.
Scott: You mentioned that in the next issue of the JCR, we will have international content which will help educate our North American chapters about the power of our international chapters. In addition to that, we will be rolling out TMAConnect for our international chapters. TMA Global wants to bring everyone together. We want to make sure that TMA knows—all of our members know, and all of our chapters know—that this is their home. We want to find ways to continuously create connectivity among all of our chapters and all of our members.
We hope that people will come to see that is why Global is here. We’re here to help. We’re here to enhance. We’re here to teach. We’re here to learn. We’re probably the most unique organization in the corporate renewal and restructuring space because of the diversity of our membership. That’s something that I’m proud of, and I know you certainly are.
Kevin: I agree with you completely. I see it firsthand when I go to chapter events, no matter where they are—here in the United States or in Canada or across the globe, as we see in our international conferences. It’s a shared vision that members have across the world. They come to TMA for the connections and for everything else that we provide to them related to turnaround and restructuring.
Scott: That’s terrific. Kevin, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts today at this inaugural TMA Talks podcast. We’re going to have many more. For anybody who is listening, tell us what topics you want to hear about. Tell us who you want to hear from. The more we hear from you, the better these podcasts will be. Thanks again, Kevin. This was great, and I look forward to the next TMA Talks.
Tell us what you want to hear on upcoming TMA Talks. Send your thoughts, ideas, and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.