Meet The Speakers
Emilio Amendola is one of the most sought-after professionals in the commercial real estate industry because of his experience, tenacity and track record of success. Amendola founded A&G Realty with 20-year business partner Andy Graiser in 2012. He has extensive knowledge of the industry, having assisted with the full spectrum of retailers, from troubled to healthy, with generating successful outcomes for their property portfolios. Amendola has successfully executed numerous out-of-court transactions that have allowed more than 35 companies to avoid filing for Chapter 11 protection, and has helped more than 100 healthy retailers dispose of or restructure real estate assets, make acquisitions and perform non-core divestitures. In addition, he has assisted more than 150 troubled retailers to dispose of or restructure their real estate.
Before accumulating a quarter of a century’s experience in the world of commercial real estate, Amendola worked in finance for more than a decade. He began his career as a certified public accountant and continued in investment banking at Thomson McKinnon Securities, where he became the Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Real Estate Investment Banking. There, he was in charge of a group of 35 professionals that joint-ventured, acquired, or partnered in the acquisition of more than 100,000 apartment units, more than 25 million feet of retail space, more than 35 million feet of office space, and more than 10,000 hotel units.
Moving laterally into real estate development, Amendola spent five years running a $500 million company that owned over 12 million square feet of office and retail properties across the U.S., where he was responsible for the management, leasing, redevelopment, and sale of all the company's assets.
Amedola formed DJM Realty in 1992 with partners Andy Graiser and Mario Ciampi. Amendola was responsible for all client management and managed every major project, leading and overseeing the team in disposition, lease restructuring, and real estate valuations – mitigating over $4.5 billion of lease liability, restructuring more than 10,000 leases and selling more than $1 billion of owned real estate.
Amendola is an experienced speaker and panelist, and frequently serves as a media commentator.
Jamie Baird is a Partner in the Restructuring and Special Situations Group, based in New York. Prior to joining PJT Partners, Mr. Baird spent 13 years in Blackstone’s Restructuring & Reorganization Group. Mr. Baird has advised companies, municipalities, creditors and sponsors in restructurings and special situations involving over $150 billion of liabilities. He has worked across numerous industries including municipals, gaming, media/telecom, retail, automotive, industrials, forest products, aerospace, financials, real estate, insurance and oil and gas. Examples of Mr. Baird’s public assignments include AGF, AIG, Cumulus Media, Detroit, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Gibson Brands, Houghton Mifflin, Hovnanian Enterprises, iHeartMedia, ILFC, J.Crew, Noranda, Puerto Rico and Sequa. Mr. Baird is a frequent panelist at conferences and speaks at various schools on restructuring-related topics. In addition, he is a member of the Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital Council. Mr. Baird received an AB from Bowdoin College and an MBA with honors from Columbia Business School.
Kenneth H. Eckstein, co-chair of the Bankruptcy and Restructuring department, has played a prominent role in many of the largest and most complex Chapter 11 reorganizations over the past 30 years. Ken represents creditors’ committees, bondholders and other stakeholders in both in- and out-of-court restructurings, as well as trustees, examiners and third parties seeking to acquire the assets or businesses of financially troubled companies. He also counsels and represents debtors in the complex legal, financial and operational issues arising in reorganizations, including obtaining debtor-in-possession financing; negotiating forbearance agreements; negotiating plans of reorganization with secured lenders, creditors’ committees and other stakeholders; and conducting sales of businesses.
Richard Goldman is a Senior Legal Content Specialist with Debtwire where he is responsible for tracking dozens of high profile in-court and out-of-court restructurings across various industries and sectors,including retail, E&P, healthcare, minerals and mining, and automotive. In his role, Richard is responsible for analyzing the reorganization and litigation strategies, as well as key judicial opinions, that shape today’s Chapter 11 landscape. Prior to joining Debtwire in 2015,Richard was a restructuring and litigation attorney, practicing in the New York offices of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Togut, Segal & Segal LLP, where he represented debtors, official committees,lenders, purchasers and trustees in several high-profile restructurings. Richard holds a BS from Cornell University and earned his JD from Brooklyn Law School where he graduated cum laude.
Adam C. Rogoff is a partner at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel. Adam provides senior corporate governance advice to boards and C-level executive management in all aspects of restructuring, whether in court or out of court. Adam counsels and represents a diverse range of corporate debtors; official and ad hoc creditors’ committees; secured creditors, including debtor-in-possession financing lenders; distressed asset purchasers; and other significant parties in complex transactional, litigation, corporate governance and advisory matters relating to restructuring, Chapter 11 bankruptcy, “prepackaged” Chapter 11 cases and out-of-court workouts.
Adam received his B.A. from Northwestern University and J.D. from the New York University of Law.
Steven Simms is a Senior Managing Director at FTI Consulting and is based in New York. Mr. Simms is the Co-Leader of the New York Metro Region within the Corporate Finance & Restructuring segment. Mr. Simms has been involved in engagements assisting clients with financial restructurings, mergers, acquisitions, debt and equity financings, strategic planning and business valuation. He has served clients in a variety of industries, including retail, consumer products, restaurant and general manufacturing.
A representative list of companies that are part of Mr. Simms’ extensive experience include BI-LO, Calpine, Cengage, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Energy Future Holdings,First Energy, General Growth Properties, Outcome Health, Real Mex, Rue21,Samson Resources, Toys “R” Us, Walter Investments, Washington Mutual and Winn Dixie.
Prior to joining FTI Consulting, Mr.Simms was a Managing Director with the Ernst & Young Corporate Finance practice. Before that, he worked in the Middle Market Banking Division of a NewYork-based money center bank, providing financing to companies in various industries for acquisitions, recapitalizations, capital expansion and internal growth.