Selected Guest Speakers

Our Keynote Speakers represent each of the three industry focuses that this year's WST Case Competition spotlights: Retail, Gaming/Lodging and Real Estate. Our Distressed Panel focuses on current industry trends in the world of distressed investing. Please see our agenda for more information on the Conference & Final Round event. Judge bios may be found below as well.

Peter Cuneo (Retail & Turnaround)

Peter Cuneo is currently serves as Managing Principal of Cuneo & Company, LLC, a private investment management company. He is a recognized leader in business turnarounds, having led over seven turnaround efforts in consumer products companies with globally known brand names including a successful turnaround of Marvel Entertainment. He joined Marvel as CEO immediately after their exit from bankruptcy and completed a successful multiyear restructuring of the firm.

Matthew Kenagy (Gaming & Lodging)

Over the last decade, Matthew Kenagy has been involved in nearly every aspect of the gaming industry. From devising casino tourism programs for Native American casinos in the Midwest to dealing Blackjack on ships off the coast of Florida, he now serves as Executive Director of Premium Marketing Strategy for the Las Vegas Sands Corporation. In his current role, Matthew develops and implements strategic programs focused on the acquisition and retention of the company's Premium and Premium Mass casino players not only in Las Vegas, but around the world. He also assists Senior Management in strategic preparations for Quarterly Earnings calls by providing marketing and operational insights into the company's Global Gaming Operations.

Mr. Kenagy holds a Master's Degree in Business Administration from the University of South Florida. He is a certified Corporate Speaker and enjoys speaking to audiences about the personal and professional benefits of strategic thinking, planning, and goal-setting. He currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Michael Brennan (Real Estate)

Michael W. Brennan is Co-Founder, Chairman, and Managing Principal of Brennan Investment Group. Prior to forming Brennan Investment Group, Mr. Brennan co-founded First Industrial Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE:FR) in 1994, and served as President, Chief Executive Officer, and a member of the Board of Directors until late 2008. Under his direction, First Industrial assisted many of the nation's largest industrial users in completing complex supply chain reconfigurations, and attracted investment partners including The Carlyle Group, Kuwait Finance House, Union Bank of Switzerland, ING, and the California State Teachers' Retirement System.

Before co-founding First Industrial, Mr. Brennan was President and Partner in The Shidler Group, a nationally recognized real estate firm specializing in value-add real estate transactions. He was a founding investor of Tri-Net Property Trust and Co-Founder and Member of the Board of Directors for Pacific Office Properties (AMEX:PCE), an office REIT that owns institutional quality properties in Honolulu, California, and Arizona. Mr. Brennan is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Chicago Public Library Foundation and sits on the board of Pacific Office Properties Trust in a non-executive capacity. Additionally, he is an Executive Director with the James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate at the University of Wisconsin.

Steven Davidoff (Distressed Panel Moderator)

Professor Davidoff is an influential professor in law and finance at Ohio State University's Mortiz College of Law. He graduated from the Columbia University School of Law in 1995, practicing with Shearman & Sterling and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer for about a decade before entering academia. He specializes in corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions and securities law.

Named one of the 100 most influential governance professionals in the country by the National Association of Corporate Directors, Mr. Davidoff focuses his research on financial regulation, hedge funds and private equity, deals and deal theory, and jurisdictional competition with a particular interest in international issues. He details the recent events that have forever changed the world of deal-making in his book, Gods at War: Shotgun Takeovers, Government by Deal and the Private Equity Implosion, published in October 2009.

John-Paul (JP) Hanson (Financial Restructuring)

JP Hanson is a Managing Director for the Financial Restructuring Group in Houlihan Lokey. Mr. Hanson has worked on numerous restructuring, financing and M&A engagements in a variety of industries; he has advised companies, secured and unsecured creditors and other stakeholders in both out-of-court and in-court restructurings, including "pre-packaged," "pre-arranged" and "free-fall" chapter 11 bankruptcy cases. Mr. Hanson has extensive experience in the gaming and lodging sectors.

Mr. Hanson's prior experience includes alternative lending at Commonfund Mortgage Corp and Moneyline Lending Corp and trading fixed income securities at NNJ, a private family wealth fund. He graduated from Brigham Young University and has an MBA from the University of Maryland.

Tony Hokayem (Distressed & Special Situations)

Tony Hokayem is currently a Director at PNC Capital Markets responsible for the valuation, scenario planning, and strategic disposition of stressed/distressed situations. Mr. Hokayem is heavily involved in all parts of the capital structure including debt (DIP, senior, and junior leveraged loans and bonds) and equity (preferred, common). He actively provides guidance regarding restructuring/bankruptcy, valuation, and trading commentary. Most situations he focuses on are private middle market companies which are inherently illiquid. Prior to distressed, Mr. Hokayem was an integral member of private debt originations, risk management, and contract finance at his institution.

Mr. Hokayem holds a degree in Economics from Centre College and is a highest-distinction graduate from New York University's Stern School of Business. Mr. Hokayem sits on the Stewardship Council at the Westchester Mission and active contributor to ABANA (Arab Bankers Association of North America, LIFE (Lebanese International Finance Executives), and New York University's Westchester Alumni Group.

Michael Mansouri (Tech & Telecom)

Michael Mansouri has developed expertise through principal investment and management of companies in several high tech industries, including software, data communications, telecommunications, and information systems. After more than a 10-year career in senior management positions for Sprint International, he served as VP of Advanced Data Services for Intermedia Communications where he lead the acquisition of Digex, a leading internet service provider. Intermedia's shares rose from $14 to $83 the first year after the acquisition.

Mr. Mansouri then became the Chairman and CEO of iPass, Inc., a provider of global remote access services. In this position, Mansouri grew the company's revenue from $3mm to over $50mm in just over two years, raised $75mm, with a successful IPO in 2003 for nearly $1.8bn. He was later named President and CEO of OmniTrust Security Systems, a leading provider of content security products, where he launched the commercial product in the US and Asia, raised over $7mm, and later sold the company to Heisie Dendon of Japan.

Afterwards, as Chairman and CEO of Avalon Global Solutions, a merger of ATI and NRG, providing managed mobility services and telecom expense management. Mr. Mansouri successfully turnaround a distressed situation caused by one of the founders, secured the company financials personally and through bank loans backed by him, acquired a profitable company on the West Coast in May 2011 through personal finances and personal bank loans and sold the company to Widepoint Communications in December of 2011.

Currently, he is CEO of WidePoint Solutions Corporation, a subsidiary of Widepoint which acquired Avalon. Mr. Mansouri holds degrees from Utah State in Computer Science, George Washington University in Management Sciences, and MIT's Sloan School of Management.

Alan Tantleff (Distressed Consultant)

Alan Tantleff is a senior managing director of FTI's Corporate Finance/Restructuring in New York, where he leads FTI's Hospitality, Gaming and Leisure practice. With 25 years of diverse, hands-on experience in lodging and real estate investment and development, workouts and restructuring, asset management, structured debt and equity financing, and acquisitions and dispositions, Mr. Tantleff remains active in various segments of the hospitality industry.

His representative engagements include the restructuring of Hooters Casino Las Vegas, Four Seasons Resort & Club Las Colinas Dallas, Red Roof Inns and more. Mr. Tantleff has sold or financed more than $4 billion of hospitality assets and also stays active in real estate company restructurings, earning Real Estate New York's Top "40 Under 40" and National Real Estate Investor's "Exit Strategy Guru."

Paul Triggiani (Distressed & Special Situations)

Paul is a Managing Director of Bayside Capital. Currently, he is responsible for all aspects of the investment process, including sourcing, transaction structuring, financing and post-closing growth strategies. Paul has over 18 years of private equity and special situations investing experience.

Prior to joining Bayside, Paul was a Managing Director of Strategic Value Partners with responsibility for distressed and special situations investments in general industrials, oil & gas, building products, homebuilding, infrastructure, gaming and financials. He was a member of SVP's investment committee, which approved distressed for control and private equity investments and served as a director on several portfolio company boards. Prior to Strategic Value Partners, Paul was a Partner of Heartland Industrial Partners LP, a leveraged buyout firm focused on industrial companies. He began his career at Lehman Brothers as an analyst on the mortgage-backed securities desk and subsequently worked at Goldman, Sachs & Co. as an investment banker in the Corporate Finance and Real Estate departments.

Paul received a B.A. in English Literature from Northwestern University and a M.B.A. from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

Matthew Vacca (Bond Trader)

Matthew Vacca is currently a corporate bond trader at Credit Suisse covering the banking, brokers and auto sectors. Previously, he was trading distressed debt and par loan investing at CIT Group. Mr. Vacca has also worked at Bank of America as a High Yield Summer Analyst. He attended Fordham University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance.

Competition Judges

Ming Dang

Mr. Dang joined Apollo in 2012. Prior to that time, Mr. Dang was a member of the Mergers and Acquisitions group at Morgan Stanley. Mr. Dang graduated from Cornell University with a BA in Economics. At Morgan Stanley, Mr. Dang provided analytical and execution support for domestic and international transactions including acquisitions, divestitures, mergers, joint ventures, corporate restructurings, recapitalizations, spin-offs, exchange offers, leveraged buyouts and takeover defenses as well as shareholder relations.

Eric De Santis

Eric De Santis is a Director at CIBC and serves as a relationship manager with the bank's Special Loans team located in New York City. The team manages the bank's U.S. portfolio of special supervision accounts which includes large non-performing corporate and commercial real estate loans. Since joining the group in 2009, Eric has been involved in a variety of in-court and out-of-court restructuring cases, all with the primary objective of restoring deteriorating loans to health, maximizing recovery of non-performing loans, and preserving the bank's capital. Eric attended University at Albany, SUNY where he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance. He is also a candidate for the Level 3 CFA examination being held in June 2013.

Michael Livanos

Michael Livanos is a Vice President at Barclays in the Restructuring and Finance Group. He advises debtors and creditors, arranges DIP and rescue financing, and advises buyers in distressed M&A situations. Michael works across industries, but has developed specialties in advising power companies and financial institutions.

Recent public engagements include: AES Eastern (debtor), Residential Capital (DIP), South Bay Expressway (DM&A), Saint Vincent's Medical Centers (creditor), Centro (DM&A), Landsbanki (resolution committee), Central Bank of Ireland (broad mandate). Prior to joining Barclays, Michael worked in the Financial Restructuring Group at Houlihan Lokey where he advised the unsecured creditors committee of Lehman Brothers and, prior to business school, at Citigroup where he worked in the office of the CFO.

Tony Hokayem

Please see Mr. Hokayem's bio above.

Richard Taddonio

Richard Taddonio has a broad background in sales & trading, investment banking, and private equity, with deep experience in distressed & turnaround investing, mergers & acquisitions and special situations investing.

Mr. Taddonio has closed on over 25 transactions and has diverse industry experience spanning multiple industries, with a track record of success in complex, distressed, highly-regulated and other special situations. His investment and transaction experience has encompassed all aspects of the transaction process, from deal sourcing & origination, research & analysis, transaction structuring & negotiations, hostile & bankruptcy acquisitions, financial models & valuation, operational & strategic plan development & improvement, and horizontal & vertical add-on acquisitions & divestitures.

Mr. Taddonio has founded or assisted in the founding of multiple successful start-ups and has held Board of Directors Observation positions at six companies with an aggregate annual revenue exceeding $1 billion.

Paul Triggiani

Please see Mr. Triggiani's bio above.