The California Receiver’s Forum means something different to each one of us. For some, it is a part of their life’s work, like Jeanne Sleeper who was the driving force behind CRF for over 25+ years.  Or, our current operations manager, Amy Olson and her team at Olson and Associates, who have taken the reigns. For some of our members, CRF is a biennial Loyola Symposium conference, where we come together for educational panels, network with new colleagues, as well as reconnect with old ones. While this is the landmark event for our organization, it is but the tip of the iceberg of membership benefits.  

For brand new members, joining CRF is their first foray into an industry organization that they may or may not know much about. Normally this occurs through an invitation from one of our current members. However, for new members who found CRF on their own, learning about receiverships can be overwhelming. I ask you all to take a walk down memory lane and remember who it was that first introduced you to the world of receiverships? What was that like when you were learning about this remedy and how did you come to learn about this organization?  Did someone take you under their wing, or help guide you through the nuances? 

For these new members, their experience may be quite similar to yours. What is a receiver? How do they get appointed? What does ex-parte mean? Who are all these attorneys? How are judges involved? What is the difference between a state vs federal receivership? What is the difference between post-judgment, rents and profits, or health and safety receiverships? Who can guide me? How do I learn about the process? And, why does the word “bankruptcy” elicit a reaction akin to saying Voldemort in Harry Potter?  

It is amongst the new members, where the veterans of CRF shine brightest, as the collegiality shared amongst this group is one that I have not found elsewhere. For a new member, there is an opportunity to create relationships, learn about the nuances of this powerful enforcement remedy, as well as those that are involved/retained and their areas of expertise. For veterans, it is the opportunity to not only maintain existing relationships, but also to mentor those they want to help or in whom they see a bit of themselves.  

No matter the reason why we are members, there could not be a better time to be one. Why is that you may ask? Someone far wiser than I once told me, “Timing is everything in life.”  

The initiatives that have taken place amongst the CRF board over the past few years will change the landscape of our organization for years to come. The uniting of the different CRF chapters into one centralized group throughout the state allows for more transparency, greater communication, and the sharing of ideas to better serve not only individuals, but our entire organization. These resources are not limited to the current calendar year, but also include the digitization of prior years of Receivership News as well as educational materials from Loyola Symposiums I-IX. This includes digital downloads and, for those who need them, CD-ROMs, Floppy Disks, and even the collection of binders on Richard Ormond’s dusty bookshelf.  

While COVID may be a lingering concern, it is one that hopefully will continue to dissipate and be put in our rearview mirror. For those who are ready, our programming is back, in person, and better than ever. The calendar year is lined up to feature each of our regional groups with industry experts and case study examples. If you are unable to attend in person, you can stream live by Zoom or watch a past presentation through online recordings. These regional events are not limited to educational events but also include social gatherings and happy hours, building upon the camaraderie which is the basis of this group.  

The beauty of this organization is that as the cracks in the economy begin to show and our phones begin to ring, it is the time when all hands are on deck, and this group begins to show its true strength in numbers. Matters come across desks, decisions are made about whom to hire and, more often than not, it is those of us who are members, who sponsor, who educate, and who are active participants that receive the first call.   

We all are going to get a lot busier over the next 12-24 months and while our membership numbers are strong and have rebounded quite well in the 2022 calendar year, there are still some missing faces who were once staples of this organization. It is time to not only reengage those who were once active but to also think about who we would like to bring into the CRF fold and educate about the world of receivership. I challenge you to reach out to some of your local colleagues and peers, as well as those rising in the ranks at their firms to join CRF in 2023 and beyond. It is on us as existing members to guide new members to the organization, and with the addition of every new member, our collective knowledge and expertise can grow. 

*Daniel Miggins spearheads the business development and client relations efforts at Douglas Wilson Companies. Mr. Miggins engages with creditor’s rights and debtor’s counsel, special asset groups at banks, private credit lenders, and special servicers within commercial mortgage-backed securities with a particular focus on commercial real estate assets.