College Columns May 2019 - Page 4

One of the many great things about working so closely with our Chair Marc Levinson is that he’s not the kind of leader who hogs all the good stuff for himself. And so it is with appreciation and excitement that I get the pleasure to devote the first part of my Column to a report

on the College’s first-ever Annual Meeting and Induction Ceremony held outside of Washington, D.C.

The venue for the March 14-16 meeting was the iconic Hotel del Coronado, located across the beautiful bay from San Diego, California. For some of the 204 Fellows who attended (and brought 203 guests!) the festivities began early, with a separate international program co-sponsored with the USA/Canada Regional Committee of the International Insolvency Institute on Thursday afternoon. By all accounts, both the international program – and the College’s first-ever Clambake on the Beach -- were a great success, and the College is grateful to Ninth Circuit Fellow Robbin Itkin for organizing the joint event with the III.

Taking full advantage of San Diego’s reliably magnificent Spring weather (bright sunshine after a full week of rain, the locals told us), we held as many of our traditional events as possible outdoors. Highlights included the Distinguished Law Students Reception on Thursday evening, where we welcomed this year’s impressive crop of future bankruptcy practitioners from the First, Third, Fourth, Ninth and Eleventh Circuits; the Champagne Reception for our new International Fellows on Friday afternoon; and the Grand Reception in the Del’s lovely courtyard honoring our diverse and talented new Class XXX Fellows on Friday evening.

We moved indoors for the Induction Ceremony for those Class XXX Fellows, and for presentation of the Distinguished Service Award to our esteemed past Chair and President Jan Baker . The special venue for this crowning event was the Del’s legendary Crown Room, named for the crown chandeliers designed by Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum. The Del boasts that this special venue seats up to 450 guests, and the 443 Fellows, inductees and guests (exceeding our 2018 turnout in Washington!) filled it to joyous capacity. As Stephen Lerner, Chair of our Board of Regents, discusses the Induction Ceremony in his Column, I will focus on the Distinguished Service Award.

The difficult task of selecting each year’s recipient from among so many Fellows of the College falls to the Distinguished Service Award Committee, chaired for the past four years by Ninth Circuit Fellow Howard Weg. As modified by the Board in October of 2018, the rigorous criteria for the Award bear repeating here:

The recipient must have made significant accomplishments in improving the administration of justice in the insolvency and bankruptcy field:

1. The recipient must have provided distinguished service consistently rendered over a considerable period of time or a single outstanding achievement in a particular year. (The fact that a single achievement may have occurred before the year of recognition is not material.);

2. The accomplishments must arise from voluntary activities rather than for services rendered to a client as a paid professional. (This is not intended to exclude members of the judiciary, Congress, or the academic community.);

3. The recipient shall be a member of the American College of Bankruptcy;

To Coronado... And Beyonnnd!!!

(But Not Without Our Patrons and Sponsors)

Mark D. Bloom, Greenberg Traurig, LLP

President, American College of Bankruptcy

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