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All Things Considered, I Wouldn’t Change a Thing

Leader Board: Jeffrey C. Hampton

Greetings, and welcome to my last official piece as Global Chair for this publication. Trust me, the quality of writing every other month is about to vastly improve!

I hope each of you were able to enjoy The TMA Annual in Nashville. The near-record turnout was especially impressive given the COVID climate we were in, and I feel so fortunate to have witnessed firsthand the first in-person TMA Global conference since early 2020. A word that I heard often repeated was “energy,” and it was true—there was vibrant energy at every turn.

Writing this is a bittersweet exercise. Many have asked me if I am bitter about having lost so many opportunities as TMA Global President and Chair during the pandemic due to travel restrictions, the Zoom calls, and everything else the last two years have brought, but I honestly would not change any part of it for anything. Both years have flown by, and while I was not able to take part in as many in-person events, I was able to participate in many more events overall. But for the advent of online meetings, it would not have been feasible for me to attend so many chapter and regional events over the past two years. I consider myself lucky to have been a part of the high level of participation by TMA members across vast geographic distances during the pandemic.

Seeing TMA operate at the global and chapter levels during these challenging times again proved to me the value of the organization and our restructuring community as a whole. I could not be prouder of the organization, and I count being able to witness our community coming together as one of the greatest moments of my professional career. To each of you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Membership in TMA has been the most rewarding professional decision I have ever made. Not just for the inbound and outboard referrals, but the friendships and relationships that have been forged during my years in the organization are one of the main reasons I love what I do so much and why TMA is such a material part of that love. Every goal and initiative achieved by TMA has proven to me the value of what we do as volunteer leaders, and being part of these developments has been helpful professionally and personally satisfying as well.

We have seen our footprint grow significantly, even during the pandemic, a period many considered to be a down market for our industry, thus proving what we do provides value to our members. The various initiatives established over the past few years by TMA, including this year’s DE&I goals set by Global President Matthew English, have enhanced TMA and have been a real pleasure in which to participate. Thank you, Matthew, for your continued leadership and friendship, and best of luck next year as Global Chair.

Special thanks to Jeffrey Hampton for leading this year’s TMA Nominations Committee. Under his guidance, an impressive leadership team has been assembled for 2022. I want to offer my best wishes to Jane Mitnick, who will be a fantastic Global President next year, and to thank Jonathan Reimche and Bill Henrich for their time and efforts on the Operations Committee. TMA could not be in a better position for a bright future with its existing and future leadership structure. Thank you all for your continued leadership and friendship.

It has been an honor serving TMA, and I look forward to continuing to do whatever I can to make both the organization and our membership engagement and experiences better. So many people have been important to me during my TMA journey that I cannot begin to enumerate them all. It truly feels like a family to me. And special thanks to the TMA staff, including Scott Stuart, because without them, there would be no TMA.

Finally, thank you to my law firm, Burr & Forman LLP, for its ongoing support, and thank you to my lovely wife Lani and my sons Tucker and Hudson, who all gave up some family time to allow me to pursue my TMA passion.

The best for TMA is yet to come. I hope you will continue to be a part of it.

Thank 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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