College Columns May 2016 Issue | Page 2


G. Christopher Meyer


Marc A. Levinson


Hon. Mary Grace Diehl


Grant T. Stein


R. Patrick Vance


Thomas E. Lumsden


Susan M. Freeman


Board of Directors

Marc Abrams

Francis X. Buckley, Jr.

Daniel C. Cohn

Dennis Connolly

Lawrence D. Coppel

Jeffrey H. Davidson

Karen A. Giannelli

Annette W. Jarvis

Eric W. Lam

Stephen D. Lerner

Patrick Thomas McCarthy

Claudia Z. Springer

Catherine Steege

Jane L. Vris

Howard J. Weg

Deborah D. Williamson

Ex Officio Directors

Michael L. Cook

Mark D. Bloom, Chair, ACB Foundation

Board of Regents

Richard E. Mikels

Chair, Board of Regents

Mark N. Berman (1st Cir.)

Dennis F. Dunne (2nd Cir.)

David B. Stratton (3rd Cir.)

Richard L. Wasserman (4th Cir.)

Berry D. Spears (5th Cir.)

Taft McKinstry (6th Cir.)

Kenneth J. Malek (7th Cir.)

David A. Warfield (8th Cir.)

Thomas E. Patterson (9th Cir.)

Carl A. Eklund (10th Cir.)

Sarah R. Borders (11th Cir.)

Timothy R. Coleman

At Large

Hon. Joan N. Feeney

At Large

Prof. Melissa B. Jacoby

At Large


Prof. Bruce A. Markell


William J. Perlstein

Executive Director

Shari A. Bedker

American College of Bankruptcy

P.O. Box 249

Stanardsville, VA 22973


Email: [email protected]

President's Column

Marc A. Levinson, President

Induction Ceremony and Distinguished Service Award

The highlight of the Annual Meeting is the

induction ceremony at which the incoming class of Fellows is formally admitted and welcomed to the College, and the Distinguished Service award is presented. This year’s ceremony, attended by over 450 Fellows and guests, was once again held in the spacious and beautiful atrium of the Donald W. Reynolds Center or American Art and Portraiture in Washington, DC.

The event began with a welcome extended by Michael Cook, Chair of the Board of Directors, and his introduction of Professor Alan Resnick, who in turn introduced each of the two recipients of the Distinguished Service Award. Before describing these two worthy recipients, it might be helpful to summarize the criteria established by the board of directors for the DSA:

• She must be a Fellow of the College, and must have made significant accomplishments in improving the administration of justice in the insolvency field;

• The recipient must have provided distinguished service consistently rendered over a considerable period of time or a single outstanding achievement in a particular year;

• Excluding academics and judges, her accomplishments must arise from voluntary activities rather than for services

rendered to a client as a paid professional; and

• The recipient must distinguish herself or her institution in a manner and in matters consistent with the goals and purposes of the College.

Both Henry Sommer and Professor Jay Westbrook, the 2016 DSA co-recipients, have exceeded each of these lofty requirements. Henry is the country’s preeminent voice for consumer debtors, having devoted his 40+ year career in Philadelphia to helping the poor. He currently serves as the Supervising Attorney at the pro bono Consumer Bankruptcy Assistance Project of Philadelphia. Jay has been a member of the University of Texas Law School faculty for over 35 years. In addition to being one of the most popular professors there, he is widely recognized as an expert in international insolvency as well as in consumer and business insolvency law. He is the co-author of a popular textbook with Senator Elizabeth Warren. I am proud to be a member of an organization that counts Jay and Henry among its members.

Following the inspiring remarks from Alan, Jay and Henry, I addressed the attendees in my capacity as the outgoing Chair of the Board of Regents. Thereafter, each new Fellow was called to the stage by the President of the College, Chris Meyer. Each of the 31 members of Class 27 is a truly outstanding bankruptcy professional deserving of membership in the College. The members of Class 27 reside in Canada, Greece and 19 states. They range in age from 42 to 68; ten of the 31 are women (32%). The inductees include two bankruptcy judges, 24 attorneys,

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