Spirit Harley-Davidson, Inc.
Representation: Operating Receiver
At 4:00 p.m. on a Monday afternoon, Bob Bernstein was told he had just been appointed by the local family court to run one of the area’s largest Harley-Davidson dealerships as a result of a divorce dispute between the owners. His charge (and his goal) was to operate the dealership and keep it thriving while the owners resolved their dispute. Using his experience as a reorganization lawyer and crisis manager, Bob went to the dealership that same evening to meet with the staff (although the management team had already resigned or been fired). He assessed the situation, arranged to put a couple of his own temporary employees in the business office, and began learning about and operating the motorcycle dealership. During his three-and-a-half weeks (until control was returned to the wife under a consent order) at the dealership, Bob dealt with issues such as: floor plan financing, other lenders, creating and implementing an advertising campaign, staff cuts, hours reductions, plumbing repair, and a myriad of other issues. Bob left the dealership better than he found it. More importantly, he maintained the business during a crisis period so the principals could come to terms and come back in to operate the business they had built over twenty years.