The company behind Scaling New Heights has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Accountex Report will provide ongoing coverage and analysis of this important development, however we wanted to inform the Accountex membership regarding the basic facts immediately.
As many Accountex members know, Canton, Georgia-based Woodard Events LLC, founded in 2012 by CEO Joe Woodard, is the company that organizes the annual Scaling New Heights conferences. Woodard Events LLC also provides Intuit-centric training and coaching for accounting professionals through a variety of entities, including Woodard Network, Woodard Groups, and Woodard Institute, with a focus on fostering a global online community platform to promote professional development, practice development, and high-value client services.
Woodard Events LLC has expanded very rapidly in a relatively short period of time, adding staff and launching webinars, road shows, the trade show, a membership group and more — possibly diluting the company’s focus, spreading it too thin, and contributing to its present financial woes. Over-reliance on a single major partner, Intuit, may have also helped to place the company in a more vulnerable position.
According to court records, a Voluntary Chapter 11 Petition was filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, on March 1. The filing, signed by Joe Woodard, states that, “After any administrative expenses are paid, no funds will be available to unsecured creditors.” The filing estimates the assets of Woodard Events LLC as being between $100,000 and $500,000 and its current liabilities as being between $1 million and $10 million.
Names of key creditors and the related unsecured claims listed in the filing include Hyatt Regency Atlanta ($1,165,350), Audio Visual Services Group Inc. ($571,151.79), Disney Destinations ($496,377), and Hyatt Regency New Orleans ($314,015) — along with 14 more entities with claims of between approximately $5,000 and $44,000 each.
The law firm of Paul Reece Marr P.C. is representing Woodard Events LLC in the proceedings. A Chapter 11 Plan and Disclosure Statement are due in the Bankruptcy Court by June 29, 2018.
An initial hearing is to be held March 9 in Courtroom 1402 in Atlanta. A Meeting of Creditors is scheduled for April 10 in Atlanta.
The next Scaling New Heights conference is scheduled for June 17-20 in Atlanta. The conference organizers announced March 5 on Twitter that the conference venue had been moved from the Hyatt Regency Atlanta to the Cobb Galleria Centre in Northwest Atlanta. However, the Centre announced on March 9 that it had withdrawn its bid for the show. Woodard Events states that it still hopes to negotiate mutually agreeable contract terms with the Centre but that if this is not possible they are confident they can negotiate an arrangement to host the show with another regional convention center in Atlanta.