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Hope of Putting the Pandemic Behind Us Is Blooming

Leader Board: Jeffrey C. Hampton

Greetings! I hope this issue of the JCR finds you vaccinated or well on the path toward it! Spring is in the air, and the whole world seems to be blooming with the hope of putting COVID-19 behind us. Even with the overwhelming amounts of pollen we have where I live, the air smells fresher, birds are singing louder, and my arm is still only slightly sore from that shot.

As positive as it all seems, we will not see rainbows and flowers sprouting overnight. Many industries will need the knowledge and skills of TMA members to assist them in their respective recoveries. I cannot imagine an industry that suffered a greater impact from the coronavirus than the one that is the focus of this issue of the JCR. Tourism, hotels, and hospitality were ravaged from the sudden shutdown brought on by the global pandemic.

I recently listened to a podcast with a renowned international chef, who said he expected that only 10-15% of independent restaurants will survive the pandemic. As hotels, restaurants, and the world generally reopens more and more each day, the industry is already showing signs of recovery. But only time will tell if it will be enough.

Given that many businesses, including TMA, have successfully pivoted to various online platforms, I suspect leisure travel and hospitality will be the segment of the industry that leads the recovery in the hospitality sector before business spending catches up. If the pent-up demand for both personal and business travel from my family is any indication, I suspect the industry will be back sooner than we think. But like you, I look forward to reading the remainder of this issue to see what the real experts think.

At whatever pace the industry recovers, each incremental improvement brings us closer to the day when we can be back together in person as an organization to network, learn, and improve the turnaround industry through TMA membership. Every individual has their own COVID story to tell and a bond to share going forward. The members of TMA have not only that bond, but also the bond that will follow as we, together, help our clients worldwide to recover. As each chapter’s online and in-person activities continue to thrive, and as we welcome new chapters regularly, your TMA membership continues to provide the greatest return on investment your membership dues can provide.

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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