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2011 Symposium – The Big Squeeze: Small Business Financing During the Great Recession

March 10, 2011 | Saxbe Auditorium

“Small businesses are central to creating jobs in our economy …. The formation and growth of small businesses depends critically on access to credit. Unfortunately, those businesses report that credit conditions remain very difficult.”

Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, the Federal Reserve Meeting Series: “Addressing the Financing Needs of Small Businesses,” Washington, D.C., July 12, 2010

Small business owners are facing an extraordinary crisis. The current economy has forced lending institutions to constrict access to capital, which has the most severe impact on the backbone of the American economy: small business owners. As lending institutions have decreased credit, many entrepreneurs struggle to make ends meet. Even with the influx of capital from the bailout, many small businesses are financially distressed. Most policy-makers recognize that until small businesses are stabilized and revitalized, the economy will continue to struggle. But how to actually accomplish that goal remains a contentious issue.

The Ohio State Business Law Journal, in conjunction with U.S. Bankcorp and the Columbus Bar Association, is proud to present its 6th annual symposium to provide a platform for gathering information and perspectives to address the immediate and longer-term credit needs of small businesses. The Symposium will gather a national group of key decisionmakers to speak, including leaders from academic institutions, regulators, and community leaders.

Presenter Biographies

Andrew E. Doehrel has served as President of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce since April 1993. Prior to his position as president, Doehrel was the executive vice president and general counsel for the organization, in which he directed the Chamber’s full-time legislative team.

In addition to his responsibilities as president, Doehrel works with legislators, business leaders and government officials every day on issues affecting Ohio Chamber member companies. Doehrel also specializes in labor issues including workers’ compensation, product liability law, civil justice reform and regulatory practices. He has played a primary role in the passage of several key Ohio workers’ compensation reform laws over the years and continues to be a key figure in refinement of the program.

Prior to joining the Chamber in 1983, he was a partner in an occupational safety and health consulting firm. He also served as program director for Ohio’s OSHA on-site consultation program and spent four years as staff legal counsel for the Ohio Department of Industrial Relations. In 1991 he was appointed to the Unemployment Compensation Advisory Commission in Ohio where he continues to serve as co-chairman of the commission.

Doehrel graduated from Capital Law School in 1977 with a juris doctorate degree.

Karen Kerrigan is president and CEO of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council. Kerrigan regularly testifies before Congress on key issues impacting small business and the economy. She has been appointed to numerous federal advisory boards including the National Women’s Business Council. Among other accolades, Inc. Magazine named Kerrigan to its Small Business Best Friends in D.C. in 2006; Fortune Small Business added her to its Power 30 list in 2000; and The Hill newspaper added Kerrigan to its Most Influential Small Business list in 2006, as it described her as “the hardest working woman in show business.” In November 2009, she was presented with Small Business Advocate of the Year by the NY Enterprise Report. She is a board member of the Center for Private Enterprise and a founding member of the World Entrepreneurship Forum.

Professor Esther Barron is a graduate of Brandeis University and Northwestern University School of Law. Currently, Ms. Barron is a clinical professor in the Bluhm Legal Clinic’s Small Business Opportunities Center at the Northwestern University School of Law. She also co-teaches a class on entrepreneurial law.

Mr. Alan Berkeley is a corporate and securities regulatory lawyer whose practice encompasses corporate, Board and management counseling and crisis response, corporate transactions (including mergers, acquisitions, financing transactions for privately-held and public companies), regulatory and enforcement matters before the Securities and Exchange Commission and other securities regulatory bodies, and other corporate governance and compliance matters.

Dr. S. Michael Camp is a Professor at the Ohio State University, Fisher College of Business where he teaches classes in entrepreneurship, venture capital, and technology. In addition, Dr. Camp is the Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship.

David Donner Chait is a policy advisor/associate in the Office of the Administrator at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), where he focuses on key policy issues, including the small business economic and credit environment, international trade and exports, and agency analytic issues among other topics. Prior to joining the SBA, Chait worked as a consultant for McKinsey & Company in its New York Office. At McKinsey, Chait worked with Fortune 500 companies, governments, and nonprofits to help define strategies and improve operations. Chait graduated with honors from Columbia College with a B.A. in economics-political science and is currently on leave from the M.B.A program at Columbia Business School for an appointment to the Obama Administration.

Professor Michael Chasalow directs the USC Small Business Clinic, where students gain hands-on experience handling transactional legal problems and providing basic corporate legal assistance to small businesses, entrepreneurs and nonprofit organizations. Prof. Chasalow received his J.D. from Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law and his M.B.A. at the University of California, Los Angeles. Prof. Chasalow’s scholarly interests involve the development and structure of business ventures as well as corporate governance issues and issues relating to the governance of partnerships and LLCs.

Mr. William “Denny” Dennis is currently a Senior Research Fellow at National Federation of Independent Business Research Foundation in Washington, D.C., and directs its activities. He has been employed since 1976 in various research capacities by NFIB, the nation’s largest small business trade association.

Professor Michelle Harner is an alumna of Boston College and The Ohio State University, Moritz College of Law. Currently, Professor Harner is a member of the University of Maryland faculty. She teaches courses in Bankruptcy and Creditors’ Rights, Business Associations, Corporate Finance and Governance and Professional Responsibility. She also serves as the co-director of the business law program. Professor Harner is widely published and lectures frequently on various topics involving financially distressed entities and related legal issues. Her current research interests include shareholder and creditor activism and its impact on corporate value; legislative responses to serial business failures and related implications for discrete industries; and the ethical implications of insolvency for directors, officers and other fiduciaries.

Dale Oesterle is a professor of law at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law where he teaches the law of business associations, mergers and acquisitions, securities regulation, and law and finance for entrepreneurs.

Dr. Michael Sykuta is a professor at the University of Missouri and the Director of the Contracting and Organizations Research Institute. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri-St. Louis and received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington.  Dr. Sykuta’s research focuses on the organization and governance of economic enterprise, including the choice, design and structure of governance mechanisms and organizational forms. His scholarship in the field ranges from the economic structure of contracts to corporate governance and includes issues from law and economics and political economy.

Dr. James Thomson is a vice president and research economist in the Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. Dr. Thomson received his PhD and M.A. in economics from the Ohio State University and his bachelor’s in economics from Georgia Institute of Technology. Prior to joining the Bank in 1986, Dr. Thomson worked as a financial economist at the U.S. General Accounting Office. He is currently a member of the American Finance Association as well as the Financial Management Association. He has published numerous papers on federal deposit insurance, bank structure, and bank capital regulation, including articles in the Journal of Finance, Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking, and Journal of Small Business Management.

Professor Dana Warren is a member of the faculty at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles where he teaches business planning and is the Patrick J. McDonough Director of the Business Law Practicum. Professor Warren is a graduate of Stanford Law School. Following law school, Professor Warren has been involved in the public and private issuance of debt and equity securities from both the issuer and investor sides; acquisitions representing both buyers and sellers; capital restructuring transactions; management and employee incentive programs; and the legal issues arising from the development, manufacture, and distribution of a wide range of high-technology products.

Mr. Gregory Yadley is a former Managing Partner of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP. He currently is Co-Chair of the firm’s Corporate Practice Group. His principal areas of practice are securities, mergers and acquisitions, corporate and general business law. Before entering private practice, Mr. Yadley served as Assistant General Counsel, Finance and Securities, for the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation in Washington, D.C. and Branch Chief in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Market Regulation, also in Washington. Mr. Yadley served as a panelist and moderator for the SEC Government-Business Forum on Small Business Capital Formation since 2006.