American Bankruptcy Institute to Launch Pilot Mentorship Program

American Bankruptcy Institute to Launch Pilot Mentorship Program

Alexandria, Va. — The ABI Diversity and Inclusion Working Group will launch a Mentoring Program on March 4 to connect active or recently graduated business and law students with past ABI presidents who are offering professional development guidance. Throughout the program, mentors and mentees will discuss ethical issues, common malpractice risks and traps, career goals, debt-management, client confidentiality, timekeeping and client-billing, maintaining good client communications, client development, negotiating with other parties, and information related to bankruptcy-related disclosures under Bankruptcy Rule 2014.

The inaugural group of mentees includes:

  • Tiara Seals of Jackson Walker (Houston)
  • Melissa Martinez of Saul Ewing (Philadelphia)
  • Rahmon Brown of Hogan Lovells (New York)
  • Danisha Brar of Keller Benvenutti (Oakland, Calif.)
  • Varinder Singh of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Michigan (Grand Rapids)

Past ABI Presidents volunteering to serve as mentors include:

  • Patricia Redmond of Stearns, Weaver, Miller, Weissler, Alhadeff & Sitterson, PA (Miami)
  • Richardo Kilpatrick of Kilpatrick & Associates, PC (Auburn Hills, Mich.)
  • Jim Shea of Shea Larsen PC (Las Vegas)
  • Ted Gavin of Gavin/Solmonese (Wilmington, Del.)
  • Alane Becket of Becket & Lee LLP (Malvern, Pa.)

ABI’s Mentorship Program will hold bi-monthly meetings to discuss a variety of topics with ABI and members of the reorganization community, including judges, trustees, attorneys and accountants. The group meetings will provide an opportunity to interact with other experienced insolvency professionals while providing an educational program and fostering opportunities to discuss important topics regarding mentees’ professional development. Mentors and mentees would then meet every other month to discuss such topics as courthouse decorum, attorney/firm interactions, work/life balance, networking, time-management, and any other topics that the mentors/mentees choose.

The Mentoring Subcommittee of the Diversity and Inclusion Working Group developed this program. Subcommittee members include Sonia Colón of Ferraiuoli, LLC (Orlando), Shanti Katona of Polsinelli PC (Wilmington, Del.), Zhao Liu of The Rosner Law Group (Wilmington, Del.), Bankruptcy Judge Daniel P. Collins of the District of Arizona (Phoenix), Allen Kadish of Archer & Greiner PC (New York) and Eve Karasik of Levene, Neale, Bender, Yoo & Brill, LLP (Los Angeles).

The overall mission of the ABI Diversity and Inclusion Working Group, co-chaired by Michael Bernstein of Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP (Washington, D.C.) and Shanti Katona of Polsinelli PC (Wilmington, Del.), is to develop recommendations to increase diversity within ABI and its leadership, to help create opportunities for diverse ABI members, and otherwise to promote diversity within ABI and our professions.


ABI is the largest multi-disciplinary, nonpartisan organization dedicated to research and education on matters related to insolvency. ABI was founded in 1982 to provide Congress and the public with unbiased analysis of bankruptcy issues. The ABI membership includes nearly 11,000 attorneys, accountants, bankers, judges, professors, lenders, turnaround specialists and other bankruptcy professionals, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and information. For additional information on ABI, visit For additional conference information, visit