International Women's Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation (IWIRC) Announces 2017 Founders Awards Winners

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Beth E. Hansen and Karen Fellowes Take Top Individual Honors; Outstanding Network Goes to the New York Network

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"IWIRC is so grateful for the contributions of our 2017 awards recipients," said Nancy Valentine, Esq., the IWIRC Chair and a partner with Ice Miller in Cleveland, Ohio.

The International Women's Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation ("IWIRC") is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2017 Founders Awards. Beth E. Hansen, Senior Corporate Counsel at Red Ventures, will be awarded the Melnik Award for exceptional contributions by an IWIRC member. Karen Fellowes, an associate with DLA Piper (Canada) LLP in Calgary will receive the Fetner Award for exceptional contributions by an international IWIRC member. The New York Network is the winner of the Ryan Award for outstanding IWIRC Network.

"IWIRC is so grateful for the contributions of our 2017 awards recipients," said Nancy Valentine, Esq., the IWIRC Chair and a partner with Ice Miller in Cleveland, Ohio. "Beth and Karen are dedicated members who have not only worked to grow the organization, but have also mentored members, taken leadership positions, planned significant events and fostered the mission of IWIRC. We laud the New York Network for its accomplishments in revamping a network over the last three years through growth initiatives and expansive educational and social programs for IWIRC members."

Beth Hansen currently serves as IWIRC's Past Chair and has dedicated countless hours and resources to IWIRC's growth and presence around the world. Beth "has devoted herself to improving [IWIRC], increasing membership and helping us to develop internationally. We all know there is no greater ally in the workforce for women promoting women than Beth Hansen," stated her nominator. In addition, Hansen's efforts earlier in her career helped build NEON (Northeast Ohio Network) and more recently her efforts have led to the formation of a Malaysia Network. Beth has been a tenacious supporter of IWIRC, frequently traveling internationally at personal expense to make sure IWIRC was represented at foreign conferences. She also serves as a delegate to the UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), Working Group V. Beth Hansen's nominator said it best - she is "an incredibly impressive hard working woman, supporter of women, developer of international networks, who has moved this organization in directions we could not have gone without her." In addition to her many professional accomplishments and contributions to IWIRC, Hansen is a devoted mom to four children: Trevor (14), Jonathan (12), Savannah (10) and Evangeline (2).

Karen Fellowes currently serves as the Canada Networks Director on the IWIRC Board and is the Past Chair of the Western Canada Network. "She has been at the heart of [the Western Canada Network] since its inception in 2011, serving as a unifying force for a network spread across 1.1 million square miles. Throughout her tenure on the Western Canada Network Board, and particularly during her terms as Chair and Past Chair, Karen has exemplified IWIRC's commitment to the connection, promotion and success of women in the insolvency and restructuring professions," stated her nominator. In addition, Karen has fostered strong ties with other networks, particularly the Ontario Network, capitalizing on IWIRC's broad reach to connect women in the insolvency field across the country and around the world. Karen's efforts to connect women worldwide go far beyond her involvement in IWIRC though; this month she is traveling to Nepal to teach women law students as part of DLA's New Perimeter pro bono program. In addition to her many contributions to IWIRC, Karen is a very involved mom to two boys.

The New York Network is over 125 members strong and continues to grow because of its creative and broad programming and networking opportunities, its involved Board and active subcommittees and the support of the New York restructuring community. The New York Network reconstituted its board in 2013, and since that time has become a model network for programming and sponsorship. The network hosts approximately eight to ten events each year and has done so consistently over a multi-year period. In 2016, the New York Network hosted a variety of events - ranging from substantive programming on the oil and gas industry to fun networking events for its members such a Ladies' Poker Night and a Hudson River cruise. While the network typically sees fifty to sixty members at any given event, the network continues to garner support and grow its membership. In addition, the New York Network successfully hosted the 2015 Leadership Summit and has co-sponsored the regional IWIRC at the Shore conference since its inception. "The IWIRC New York Network's growth and efforts over a multi-year period are clearly worthy of recognition," stated the Network's nominator.

To register for the 14th Annual Spring Meeting and join IWIRC in congratulating the winners of its 2017 Founders Awards, please click here.

For More Information Contact:
Jennifer B. Kimble, IWIRC Communications Director
Prime Clerk

About International Women's Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation (IWIRC):
IWIRC is committed to the connection, promotion, and growth of women in insolvency and restructuring professions worldwide. Since 1994, IWIRC has been connecting women worldwide through a global membership of more than 1,400 attorneys, bankers, corporate-turnaround professionals, financial advisors, and other restructuring practitioners. The organization provides its members with relationship-building, educational, career enhancement, and promotional opportunities. For more information, visit us at

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