Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients

SAMUEL J. GERDANO is Executive Director at American Bankruptcy Institute. In more than a quarter century of his leadership, ABI membership grew from less than 3,000 to more than 13,000, while the professional association became the most respected voice in the insolvency space. The largest provider of continuing legal education in the field, ABI annually offers more than 30 live and online programs.

ABI's thought leadership grew during his tenure in areas of empirical and scholarly research, such as the landmark 2014 ABI Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11, cited last year by the U.S. Supreme Court. In the area of publishing, he serves as editor-in-chief of the monthly ABI Journal and semi-annual Law Review, both frequently cited by courts and scholars. He is regularly called on by the local and national media as an expert on bankruptcy-related matters and cited as an authority on commercial and consumer insolvency. He has authored numerous articles on bankruptcy and appears regularly as a presenter or panelist at programs in the U.S. and internationally. Click Here to Read Full Bio

James H.M. Sprayregen is a Restructuring Partner in the Chicago and New York offices of Kirkland & Ellis LLP and serves on Kirkland’s worldwide management committee. Mr. Sprayregen is recognized as one of the outstanding restructuring lawyers in the United States and around the world and has led some of the most complex Chapter 11 filings in recent history. Mr. Sprayregen has extensive experience representing major U.S. and international companies in restructurings out of court and in court around the globe. He has handled matters for clients in industries as varied as manufacturing, technology, transportation, energy, media, and real estate. He has extensive experience advising boards of directors, and generally representing debtors and creditors in complex workout, insolvency, restructuring, and bankruptcy planning matters worldwide.

Chambers & Partners has praised Mr. Sprayregen for his “outstanding reputation for complex Chapter 11 cases” noting he is a “great clients’ lawyer, admired for his unflustered ways.” Chambers said that clients it spoke to noted that he is “probably the best restructuring lawyer in the world.” Most recently, the 2015 edition of Chambers USA described Mr. Sprayregen as “a world-class practice leader,” one of the “deans of the Bar,” and “one of the guys you would go to if you have one of the biggest cases.” In 2014, Mr. Sprayregen was described by Chambers USA as “the godfather of restructuring” and “one of the major stars of the industry.” Prior editions of Chambers recognized Mr. Sprayregen as “a restructuring genius and one of the best strategists in the country” noting that clients look to him as someone who is “providing leadership and strategic guidance on the big issues.” Click Here to Read Full Bio

Leadership Award Recipients

John Bolduc is an Executive Managing Director of H.I.G., having joined the firm in 1993. He is responsible for leading H.I.G.’s Credit Platform, which manages approximately $9 billion of capital across multiple investment funds. John has more than 25 years of experience focused on credit investments, including primary loans and distressed debt, as well as private equity investments. He currently serves on the board of several privately held companies. Prior to joining H.I.G. in 1993, he was at the management-consulting firm of Bain & Company, a leading worldwide management-consulting firm, where he directed domestic and international assignments for Fortune 500 clients. Prior to joining Bain & Company, he worked for three years as the Assistant to the President of Chemed Corporation (NYSE: CHE), a specialty chemical company.

John is a graduate of Lehigh University with a B.S. degree in Computer Science and earned his M.B.A. from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business.

KEITH MAIB is a Senior Managing Director with Mackinac Partners and co-leads the firm’s practice providing restructuring, turnaround, financial advisory and interim management services. For the past 10 years, Keith has worked closely with Jim Weissenborn, the firm’s founder and managing partner, building Mackinac into one of the preeminent organizations serving middle market distressed companies and the financial community that provides their capital.

Over his 30-year career, Keith has played a lead role in the restructuring and turnaround of many high profile companies through complex transactions, including Colt Defense, Logan’s Roadhouse, AgFeed Industries, Zale Corporation, Lomas Financial Corporation, Lincoln Financial Corporation, Acordia, PennCorp Financial Group, RSL Communications, Sunterra Corporation, Norwood Promotional Products and Playpower. Click Here to Read Full Bio

PATRICK M. O’KEEFE is Founder and CEO of O’Keefe. Patrick has been active as a financial consultant and turnaround advisor to under-performing businesses for over 30 years in various industries including, retail, construction, automotive, manufacturing, agriculture, and real estate, and has successfully completed assignments in out-of-court and Chapter 11 restructurings. He is an advisor to financial institutions in complex workouts and asset recovery strategies.

He is currently a receiver appointed by the Securities and Exchange Commission over a large portfolio of real estate assets in Flint, Michigan. Mr. O’Keefe is also the CEO of Glycadia, a diabetes research company and CEO of Grow Michigan, Inc., a junior lien lender supported by the State of Michigan and nineteen financial institutions to lend money to growing businesses. Prior to forming O’Keefe, Mr. O’Keefe was a former partner at Deloitte & Touche where he was in charge of the Detroit offices’ Middle Market department. Click Here to Read Full Bio