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There’s a Reason We’re Overusing Words Like ‘Uncertain’

Leader Board: Jeffrey C. Hampton

If there are overused words and phrases for 2020, they are understandably “new normal,” “pivot,” and “uncertain.” If you are looking for alternatives to “uncertain,” I suggest the following substitutes: unsettled, unresolved, unsure, unpredictable, and, my personal favorites, irregular, hairy, and fluctuant. Your next email that replaces “uncertain times” with “in every sense of the word, hairy times” will be a hit.

As various parts of the world dip a toe into the waters of “reopening,” we are (and I can’t avoid it) still uncertain about how best to do it. Even if the world reopened tomorrow completely, which it obviously won’t, what does this unprecedented (also overused) time mean for governments, lenders, borrowers, equity holders, retailers, landlords, individuals, and—this page isn’t long enough for me to keep going. We’re all asking the same questions, but we are uncertain as to a unified answer.

What is certain, however, is that the global economy is indomitable, and it will bounce back. What is also certain is that turnaround professionals, our members, will be a material part of that recovery effort. There is a front line of dedicated professionals saving lives and interacting with individuals to treat and prevent the spread of this insidious virus, and for them we are all grateful. Immediately behind them are turnaround professionals, ensuring that jobs, livelihoods, and enterprise value are also protected and saved, as well.

With the projected wave of restructuring activity already hitting and with much more on the horizon, membership is no longer an option, it is a requirement.

Now more than at any time since its inception, your TMA is ready to equip, connect, and distinguish you as a professional dedicated to the industry and this cause. As members, I encourage each of you to take advantage of the many professional and personal benefits TMA has to offer. Now more than ever, membership in TMA is critical. With the projected wave of restructuring activity already hitting and with much more on the horizon, membership is no longer an option, it is a requirement.

I am continuously amazed at how well TMA has shifted to address the issues presented in this environment. The staff and volunteers have all adjusted quickly and seamlessly, and despite not being able to shake hands and see our members in person, it appears that the mission of TMA is running strongly and as smoothly as it always has. My heartfelt gratitude goes to those who continue to perform in the face of adversity.

Please stay safe in the coming days, weeks, and months, and I look forward to continued connectivity through TMA with each of you.

Derek Meek

Derek F. Meek

Burr & Forman

Derek F. Meek is the 2020 TMA Global President. He is a partner at Burr & Forman in the firm's Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama offices with a focus on bankruptcy and commercial litigation matters. Derek regularly represents debtors, creditors, committees, asset purchasers and other clients in matters related to insolvency, financial distress, and bankruptcy, both in and out of court. Derek also regularly advises clients in and around the automotive manufacturing space, including OEMs, tier-suppliers, financiers, and transportation providers.

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