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Director's Column

From the Director Written by:
Samuel J. Gerdano
Executive Director

Copyright © June 1, 2002, American Bankruptcy Institute.

Endowment Nears $1 Million

fter a successful spring fundraising campaign, ABI's Endowment Fund now has more than $985,000 in cash and pledges. Vice President-Development Michael P. Richman (Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw; New York) saluted those present who made recent substantial contributions during a ceremony at the Annual Meeting. At the Benefactor level (contributions of at least $5,000) are Atlas Partners; Prof. Jack F. Williams; Douglas Jessop; Harvey Tepner; Joseph S.U. Bodoff; High Ridge Partners; Bridge Associates; Cohn, Kelakos, et al.; Patricia Redmond; Edward P. Bond; Steven G. Golick; Robert Dangremond; Philip J. Hendel; Foothill Capital Corp.; and Anthony H. Schnelling. At the Sustaining Member level ($2,000) are Salomon, Green & Ostrow; Joel H. Levitin; Paul Bennett Bran; Stephen D. Wheelis; Peter Gilhuly; Hon. Eugene R. Wedoff; Jean K. FitzSimon; Jonathan Reich; Hon. John K. Pearson; Josefina Fernandez McEvoy; Thomas M. Messana; Allan Friedman; James Sprayregen; and Prof. Daniel Bussel. The fund supports scholarly research projects, including funding for the Robert M. Zinman Resident Scholar. The fund will also support a planned academic symposium on the 25th anniversary of the Bankruptcy Code, planned for October 2003. ABI appreciates all levels of supporters, including the more than 700 members who have contributed $30 each via the membership renewal process.

New Staff Update

Kimberly Hay joined the staff on a full-time basis in May as a membership retention specialist. Kim has worked on a part-time basis for several months. In addition to handling membership renewals each month, Kim will be doing the data entry for this year's membership directory. Kim has 10 years of experience in membership services. She holds a B.S. in mass communications from Towson State University.

Nominating Committee Named

ABI President Andrew W. Caine named the 2002-03 nominating committee to consider candidates for the Board of Directors and officer positions. The committee consists of John Ames, Andy Caine, Hon. David Houston, Jim Markus, Keith J. Shapiro, Bettina Whyte and Deborah D. Williamson. Members with suggestions for Board nominees should contact any member of the committee.

Fishman to Chair New Advisory Board

Robert M. Fishman (Shaw, Gussis, Domanskis, Fishman & Glantz; Chicago), a past ABI president and chairman of the Board, has been named chair of a new ABI Advisory Board. The Board is made up exclusively of a number of past ABI presidents, including Richardo I. Kilpatrick, Keith J. Shapiro, Ford Elsaesser, Deborah D. Williamson, Robert M. Zinman, Robin E. Phelan and L.E. Creel. Taking advantage of its broad knowledge of ABI's history as an organization, the Board will meet periodically with the Executive Committee and advise current leadership on a variety of long-term and strategic initiatives. The Board's first meeting with the Executive Committee will occur at this fall's planning meeting in California.

Indiana State Court Program Well-received

ABI provided its educational program for Indiana's state court judges on April 19 in Indianapolis. The program focused on the relationship between bankruptcy and family law, including child support, liability of the non-debtor spouse for marital debts, dischargeability, jurisdiction and the impact of the stay on state court proceedings. The faculty included Judges Basil H. Lorch and James K. Coachys and practitioners Mark Zuckerberg and Deborah Caruso.

Judge Brown Elected

Hon. William H. Brown (W.D. Tenn.; Memphis) has been elected to serve on the 16-member ABI Executive Committee for a two-year term. Judge Brown is a co-chair of the Consumer Bankruptcy Committee and has been very active as a speaker at programs on the pending bankruptcy legislation. He has served on the ABI Board of Directors since April 1998.

Preference Handbook Published

ABI's newest publication covers the legal and practical issues surrounding preference law. Written by David Wheeler (Moore & Van Allen; Charleston, S.C.) with help from members of the Unsecured Trade Creditor Committee, the handbook is an ideal resource for creditors and those who must deal with this most litigated of the avoiding powers. The 80-page handbook is just $7 for members ($5 for bulk orders) and can be ordered by calling (703) 739-0800, mailing, faxing to (703) 739-1060 or via our web site at


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