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What a ‘Highlight’ Reel 2020 Has Provided

Leader Board: Jeffrey C. Hampton

One of my favorite pastimes at the end of the year is perusing retrospective reviews of noteworthy and historical events from the prior 12 months. Even back when I was in elementary school, I loved to review the various Top 10 lists on television and radio (the internet was not quite a thing yet) at year-end from the likes of Casey Kasem and Tom Brokaw, because it was a good way to remember all of the events and milestones for the year.What a “highlight” reel this year has provided in every aspect of our lives. TMA’s highlight list for 2020 is both inspiring and also, if I am honest, a little sad for me. It is sad because we all missed the opportunity to interact with each other in person on a one-on-one basis (which I look forward to as much as any TMA member). And it is a little sad because my year as TMA Global president is winding down, and it was nothing like I thought it would be.

But, I am also invigorated and inspired, because my year as TMA Global president is winding down (ha!), and the year was even better than I thought it would be. I am inspired by how well we performed and transitioned as an organization to a purely virtual environment in a way that still allowed us to advance the goals of our organization. I am inspired that the most important parts of TMA membership flourished, notwithstanding the environment in which we all were forced to operate.

I am inspired by how well we performed and transitioned as an organization to a purely virtual environment in a way that still allowed us to advance the goals of our organization.

Recall that we started the year with the Distressed Investing Conference, in person, in Las Vegas. It was our largest DIC ever, and it was amazing. But once the coronavirus took hold a month later, we had to adapt. Every TMA volunteer and staff member reevaluated the path forward to accomplish our goals and aspirations, and we retooled the entire organization, piece by piece.

Our Annual conference, IMPACT 2020, was the culmination of many of those efforts, and it resulted in outstanding networking, education, and, most importantly, the closest thing to a “normal” conference I have seen anywhere in our industry. I am still awestruck, and grateful, at how well everyone performed at every position. I would be remiss if I didn’t thank a few people specifically, including every vice president on this year’s Executive Board, Jeffery Hampton, Kevin Krakora, Matthew English, and every single member of the TMA staff, including Scott Stuart and Laura Caputo.

This year’s retrospectives will be unlike any before. There are many reasons to remember 2020 with varying feelings of sadness, regret, and fear. Yet, some may feel that 2020 had a silver lining for them in the form of more time with family, different work opportunities, and a welcome change of pace. Wherever you are on the spectrum, we are all inspired by the prospect of a new year and a new start, and TMA is no different.

A new TMA Global president will take over in the new year in the form of Arch + Beam’s Matthew English, CTP, and he, along with next year’s Executive Board and Board of Trustees, will be fantastic stewards of the organization. I cannot guarantee much about 2021, but I can guarantee this: TMA will continue to thrive as an organization, as will your professional opportunities in connection with your membership. Thank you for your TMA membership and your contributions to our organization. It has been a pleasure serving as TMA Global president.

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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