Deborah Hicks Midanek

Deborah Hicks Midanek

Governance Expert. Turnaround Executive. Serial Entrepreneur.


Deborah Hicks Midanek

Founder of Solon Group, Inc. and author of The Governance Revolution

Deborah is an accomplished corporate director and turnaround executive who has diagnosed sources of difficulty for over 60 corporations, helping them develop robust business solutions. Having served as chief executive, strategic advisor, independent director and chairman of public and private companies for more than three decades, Deborah writes, speaks and advises on corporate governance matters and effective board behavior.

Deborah’s published work includes her award-winning book, The Governance Revolution, as well as contributions to publications including Financier Worldwide, Turnarounds & Workouts, Risk & Compliance, Directors & Boards, The Journal of Private Equity, Private Company Director, The Corporate Governance Review and The Conference Board. A serial entrepreneur, Deborah is the founder of strategic advisory firm Solon Group, Inc. in addition to several investment businesses. She earned her MBA from the Wharton School and AB from Bryn Mawr College.

Deborah combines the steady hands of experience, the attitude of an owner, and the compassionate detachment of an outsider in every role she accepts.


Via Solon Group, Deborah provides advisory services and has served as a trusted advisor to many clients, helping management and board members navigate difficult transitions. She loves helping identify the root cause of challenges, and helping the people dealing those challenges to grow in capacity as they succeed. In some of her favorite assignments, her role was completely invisible as she helped steer the ship while growing board and management capabilities.


The Governance Revolution; What Every Board Member Needs to Know, NOW!

Corporate boards are under increasing scrutiny, yet there is little common understanding, even among board members, of their critical role. Written in an accessible and human voice, The Governance Revolution provides information and context essential to anyone seeking to understand how corporations and their stewards—the board of directors—can and should function in the volatile world we inhabit. Directors, aspiring directors, investors, and students of corporate behavior will benefit from this highly readable description of the cloistered boardroom.



Deborah has built and sold multiple businesses, both inside of larger entities and as standalone endeavors, including:

  • Solon Asset Management Corporation, an institutional investment management firm focused on structured products, which she built with her own funds and grew to over $1B in assets managed on behalf of blue chip clients, based on cold calls.

  • Montgomery Asset Management, where she founded The Montgomery Funds and grew them to over $1 billion in assets in 11 months, then the fastest growth recorded by Lipper Analytics.

  • Glass & Associates, where she started its flagship New York office, expanded international activities, doubled the size of the firm and tripled its profit while serving as President.

  • Drexel Burnham, where she built the Interest Rate Swap Department from 0 to $40B in contracts outstanding.

  • Prevail Investments, which is renovating and repurposing 22 late 19C buildings as part of a downtown revitalization strategy.

  • First & Green Celebrations, her collection of hospitality businesses.


Deborah Hicks Midanek is an experienced independent director, and has served as chairman and committee chairman for multiple companies, large and small, healthy and distressed, public and private. She is comfortable guiding companies and their executives through crises, and has often worked with new boards, formed to guide family companies as they grow, or following emergence from bankruptcy.



Deborah’s unflinching support to the development of Glass’s European team was pivotal in the development of its international capabilities and reputation.
— Alan Tilley
Deborah is extremely adept at balancing others’ priorities and personalities in order to achieve a common goal. Her expertise and successful track record in building profitable relationships benefited us greatly, as did her deep experience in the many facets of the restructuring sector.
— Amanda Sturdevant
Deborah’s entrance at Standard Brands resembled that of a “lightning rod”. She demonstrated an intellectual curiosity that allowed her to quickly assimilate the strengths and opportunities of a fractured organization and quickly ‘fix the bicycle, while riding it’.
— Robert Campbell, Jr.
If turnaround professionals received the same recognition as rock stars, Deborah Hicks Midanek would have a whole wall filled with platinum records. If anyone in the restructuring world has plenty of experience handling complex cases, it’s her.
Ms. Midanek’s background is unique in that she also brings investment banking experience to the table.
— Nina Novak, Turnarounds and Workouts