your career. Is there anything you
wanted to add on that topic?
to be a little older as an industry, but I
think you’re starting to see that students
are aware of turnarounds and
restructuring as a career option, and
companies are becoming aware of
students as they look for entry level
people. As more universities engage with
the industry, you’re going to find some
Q What might people who know you only in your professional capacity
be most surprised to learn about you?
together as a family. I don’t play golf
or tennis. Family has been our focus.
The TMA membership
here is very engaged. They want to
contribute to academia, both writing as
well as teaching. They’ve been very open
to new ideas. We started this scholarship
program. All these things, we’ve done
collaboratively. TMA here has been very
open to new ideas and suggestions. It’s
been quite rewarding to me to be
engaged with this group.
Q What advice do you have for someone who is new to the
industry or is thinking about getting into
the industry? You’re in a unique position
to field that question more often than
most TMA members.
For example, FTI has hired four people
from the University of Denver in the
last two years. They’re beginning to
engage students at a very early age
rather than have the students go work
for a consulting company or work
for a company for 10 years and then
find their way into the industry.
Probably most would not
know that I used to be a New York City
cab driver. As I was finishing my master’s
and doing PhD work, I drove a cab in
New York. For our family business, I used
to drive a truck. Driving a cab in the city
was just a little more complicated. I’ve
been involved in some consulting
projects with the taxi industry here in
Denver. I haven’t driven here, but it’s
always held a fascination for me.
We see it as students try to
sort out careers, asking, “What should I
do?” In addition to that, students who’ve
gone through the courses where we
have the turnaround module find that it’s
very interesting because it brings
together everything that they’ve
learned—their finance skills, their
accounting skills, and their business
management skills. They get really
excited about it and say, “What can I do
I think part of it is the overall
awareness and then the networks
that we’ve built. If people have hiring
needs at the entry level, they will
think of the local universities and
we’ll get more people involved.
We’ve had the good fortune that several
students have been hired right out of
our classes, as we’ve had TMA members
come in and work with them. But what
I encourage students to do is, if there’s a
specific opportunity, go ahead and jump
in and get involved, and if there isn’t an
opportunity, then maybe join TMA as a
student member, begin to network a bit,
and look for internship opportunities.
We had one student who was in the early
program and got an internship with a
turnaround company and then had a
career in investment banking. He now
works with a private equity firm that
focuses on distress. He’s a member of
TMA’s board here. So he’s really a case
of somebody who grew out of these
relationships. Then we’ve had some
other folks who’ve been hired directly by
TMA members as well. They’ve been in
the industry now for five or six years.
You meet some unique people. With
some of them, during your 10-minute
cab ride you think, “Gee, I could really
get to know these people.” For others,
10 minutes of a lifetime is sufficient
to have spent with that person. One
example of the unique experiences I
had was when I picked up this blind
guy in Midtown who was going to the
Bronx, near Yankee Stadium. I didn’t
know my way around the city very
well from a driving standpoint. I didn’t
know how to go, but he knew. He’s
blind, and he’s giving me directions.
Then, when we got there, he then gave
me the directions back. You have some
amazing experiences driving a cab.
Q Did you have any famous fares?
Q What do you do outside of the office? What are you
But then I also caution the students
that, because turnarounds require some
experience, you may need to make it
your second stop. You might go into
banking and get some grounding in
lending and maybe through that learn
about turnarounds and workouts. Then
use that to go directly with a turnaround
group. My best advice is, jump in.
It’s a great area. Then just figure out
how to go ahead and get involved.
The family. We have four
children who are in various stages of
their careers—two who are in college and
two who are out. Our oldest is expecting,
so we’ll be grandparents. Between work
and family—whether it was soccer teams
and swim teams when they were
younger, or now as they work in
establishing their careers—that’s really
my wife’s and my focus.
I never did have anyone
famous who I picked up. I ran into some
celebrities as I was dropping folks off—
George Burns, Mohammed Ali—but I
never had a famous fare when I was
driving a cab.
Q What items are at the top of your bucket list?
Q Do you sense that, even though turnarounds take a certain amount
of experience to handle, the industry is
getting younger? I’m wondering if
people are getting interested in it earlier
in their careers.
We have two who are working full-
time. One’s a CPA and one’s an
engineer, and then two are in college.
One’s in grad school in New York at
Fordham University, and one’s an
undergrad at SMU. The one who’s at
Fordham is in school counseling; the
one at SMU is in accounting. She’ll
go on one more year for her master’s
degree in accountancy. We participate
in the things that they do and travel
My wife and I and family
have a lot of traveling that we want to do
throughout the U.S. and the world. We’ve
done a lot of traveling, but there are lots
of other places we want to go. Then we
want to help the kids get started, and I
guess we’ll learn how to be good
We probably haven’t
moved the needle too much. It still tends
From a professional standpoint, I’m not
looking to retire, and there’s a lot more
writing that I want to do, both in the
cable industry and in the turnaround
arena. I may not be teaching in 10 years,
but I’ll be doing lots of other things
that keep me gainfully employed. J