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and learned from all my experiences
and developed long-term friendships
at each of my stops. You try to make the
best and right career decisions based
on the information you have at the
time. Bottom line, I think things worked
out pretty OK for me. I’m good with
the way it went—no major missteps,
and if I made missteps, I learned
from them, so they were beneficial.
Q What advice would you have for someone who was new to the
industry or was thinking about getting
into the industry?
First of all, I think you need
to be an advocate for your client, but
you need to do so in a collaborative
fashion with the other stakeholders.
Certainly you need to do the right thing
the first time and every time. You
should surround yourself with
One key thing, which took me a
little while to learn, as hard as it may
be, you have to try not to get too
emotionally invested in your clients.
Sometimes they listen, but sometimes
they’ll just not listen to good advice.
As the saying goes, you can lead
a horse to water. That’s always a
tough thing, when you give good
advice and they just don’t take it.
My management philosophy is life’s
too short. You can’t worry about the
things you cannot change. You ought
to do what makes you happy. Don’t
defer things until tomorrow—a day
that may never come. Those are all
key things, but one of the last things
I’d say is certainly get to know other
service providers in the turnaround
industry and joining TMA would, I
think, be a very positive thing to do.
Q What role has your TMA membership played in your career?
It’s played quite a number
of roles, but one in particular is it’s
allowed me to provide a higher level of
service to my clients. Let me give you
an example. I had one client where
both the debtor’s and creditors’
attorneys, the banker, the other
financial advisor, and myself just all
happened to be on TMA Ohio’s board at
the time. We all knew each other really
well and knew that we could trust each
other. As a result, there were little or no
adversary moments. We got right to it,
and focused on what we needed to do.
The bottom line in that situation, we
were able to bring the case to resolution
much faster as a result.
Getting to know other folks in the
turnaround industry is really important
because you’re dealing with tough
times, and knowing the other party on
a personal level really helps you deal
with them on a professional level.
Q Is it as important today as it was five years ago to develop those
kinds of relationships through an
organization like TMA?
I think it’s perhaps more
important because the world has
changed for turnarounds. Things have
to go faster. There’s less patience. You
need to get to it without a lot of
preliminaries. If you’re going into a
situation where there’s going to be a
363 sale or a receivership sale and you
need to get it done quickly, if you’re
spending a lot of time trying to sort out
the other party, there’s a problem. So
knowing the folks on the other side and
being able to get to a quick resolution is
even more important.
Q What are you passionate about outside the office? You had
mentioned that you had bought
I am passionate about my
lakeside property that I purchased about
1½ years ago. When I was a kid, I spent
many summers on Lake Michigan and
spent a good bit of time with, and have
a lot of fond memories, of my
grandparents. Since then, I’ve always
wanted to live near the water, but I
never have until recently.
I was very happy when we were able to
purchase a three-acre parcel. It’s on a
point jutting out into Lake Erie, so we
have a 180-degree view of the water.
It’s just fantastic. There’s one house on
the property for an office and another
one is used for the home. As I sit right
now, I can look out and see the lake.
There are apple trees, cherry trees,
and pear trees, and we just planted
some peach trees. There’s a walled-in
garden and a grape arbor. There’s also
a large deck right next to the lake.
I’m finding myself doing all the things
I never did when I lived in the suburbs,
including running a lawn tractor,
figuring out how to get my garden to
grow, running a chainsaw, and so on.
All new experiences, so I’m building
hobbies for the future. You work in the
yard on a hot day and at the end of it,
you can go jump in the lake and cool off,
or sit on the beach and have a beach fire
at night. It’s just a fabulous place. The
bottom line is this property will allow me
to create memories for my grandchildren
just like the great memories I have of my
grandparents. It’s kind of a full circle.
Q Does it get a little windy there during the winter?
In the winter time,
depending on which way the wind is
coming, the wind travels 50 to 100 miles
across the frozen lake without hitting
anything. The next thing it hits is you, so
it can be, let me say, invigorating at
times. But, sitting in the house and
looking out, we can see approximately
60 square miles of water. In the
wintertime, when the sun rises or sets
and the ice turns pink or blue, it’s
absolutely a fabulous sight. And of
course we have wonderful sunsets
during the warmer months as well.
Q How long did it take you to find the place? How patient did you
have to be?
I used all my analytical
skills. Going back to my early days, I
wanted something with a definite beach
feel, so I started looking at the lakefront
and saw that it was mostly break wall
and cliffs. I used Google Earth to look
about 30 miles to the west of Cleveland
and went along the shoreline to about
30 miles east of Cleveland. I didn’t find
many areas with a tremendous amount
of beach until I got to our area. When I
saw all the beach in this area, I said this
is where I want to live.
I ended up contacting friends to
find out who had relationships with
people in this area and ultimately
found someone who was potentially
interested in selling the property but
hadn’t really pushed it to the forefront
yet. The property never went on the
marketplace. I ended up negotiating
with them. I ended up studying the
property values in the area and put
together a presentation of relative value
for lakefront property. Ultimately I was
able to convince him to sell the property
at a price that I think both of us thought
was reasonable. It took perhaps a year
from inception to getting the deal done.
The other cool aspect of it is he also
has property a few doors down from