David F.W. Cohen, President, Turnaround Management Association Global
David F.W. Cohen, President, Turnaround Management Association Global

A handshake remains important. In all of my career and my TMA involvement I have observed one critical business practice: face-to-face interaction is the foundation for creating, maintaining and growing deep and resilient business relationships. If you want to grow and sustain your business, you must establish and foster trusted personal relationships. The majority of TMA members believe this as well.

Doubling Down on Networking

According to a recent comprehensive survey of TMA members and prospective members, networking is the No. 1 benefit associated with joining our organization. Based on these survey results and TMA’s recent and ongoing strategic planning process, we are doubling down on networking as TMA’s most valued offering, immediately followed by TMA’s education offering. We are expanding networking opportunities at the chapter, regional and global levels.

Face-to-Face Connections at the TMA Annual

Spending time with someone at a conference does not replace the experience of bonding while working on a deal together. That said, breaking bread and exchanging business knowledge and perspective at a conference does lead to working together on deals. Being pen pals does not cut it. The 2016 TMA Annual, which will be held November 2 through November 4 at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort in Lake Buena Vista, FL, will offer attendees myriad opportunities for face-to-face contact that will strengthen existing business relationships and expand networks. Opportunities will abound at this conference to meet key contacts at pre-arranged meetings and dinners, informal social gatherings, formal receptions and coffee breaks.

Proprietary Deal Flow

As a part of our dedication to amplify networking, we are premiering the TMA Deal Room at the Annual. This event will be filled with capital providers ranging from banks to private equity investors. If you want to have an opportunity to meet one-on-one with these capital sources, you must bring a qualified deal. Be sure to bring a loan request, a mezzanine need or an equity investment opportunity to the TMA Deal Room and start networking.

TMA is a Watering Hole

The TMA is the only association in our industry that, by the very nature of its multidisciplinary membership, brings together a wide range of professionals and investors under a single banner. More than 100 turnaround consultants from 24 states and 64 firms attended the 2015 Annual. More than 100 attorneys from 30 states and 80 firms were there as well, along with more than 100 lenders and investor/capital providers from more than 30 states and 35 firms.

Even if it could be arranged on a one-by-one basis, can you imagine having to travel to meet all those people in their home states? How much time and money is saved by meeting with even a handful of these individuals at the Annual rather than traveling to meet them? It is not hard to justify the expense or time for attending the conference if you consider the alternative means of meeting prospects or reconnecting with existing contacts.

Meet Our Namesake Professionals

Turnaround management is also a profession. TMA is home to two unique certification programs for turnaround professionals: the Certified Turnaround Professional (CTP) and the Certified Turnaround Analyst (CTA). These designations, not comparable to any others, are objective measures of the experience, knowledge and integrity that is necessary to conduct corporate renewal work.

The CTP is the turnaround industry’s most recognized certification, and is an exclusive designation for seasoned practitioners. CTPs must have a proven track record and years of experience working with companies or large business units that are in financial crisis. The CTA is a knowledge-based certification that is able to serve as an interim step in obtaining full certification for individuals who have not yet acquired the necessary experience, or for non-practitioners looking to equip themselves with the skills essential for corporate renewal work.

To meet the largest concentration of CTAs and CTPs, come to the TMA Annual. These professionals are uniquely qualified and experienced in helping troubled companies in the early and late stages of challenging situations.

Finally, if the Annual doesn’t fit your schedule, I would encourage those who haven’t attended a TMA event at the chapter, regional or global levels to give these conferences a try. Chances are you already know more than a few existing members. Reach out to them and expand your network today.