Region VIII
Holds 2017 Annual Conference

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From left: Natalie Richardson, John Estes, Andre When, Scott Wiles, Dean Rohrbaugh, Owen Autry, Steve Taplits, Marcus Shore, Janet Ingle, Stran Summers, Thomas Bynum, Lynn Liu, Heike Massengale, and Mitch Trager.
From left: Myron Vansickel, Experis; Knox Teague, PwC; Mitch Trager, Georgia-Pacific; Sue Bauer, RGP Inc.; Mark Trivette, Alvarez & Marsal; and April Estes, PwC.

The 2017 TEI Region VIII Annual Conference was held from June 7 to 10 at the beautiful Westin Hilton Head Island Resort. The conference was attended by 110 TEI members, thirty-five speakers, many sponsors, and family members. TEI members came from chapters as far away as Orange County, California; Indiana; New Jersey; and Dallas. Twenty-four sessions on a wide variety of timely topics, many in subject areas members had requested, filled the schedule.

Highlights included:

  • an awesome session on corporate transactions led by an experienced and seasoned team of speakers, including Eric Solomon from Ernst & Young, Mark Silverman from Steptoe & Johnson, and Larry Axelrod from Ivins, Phillips & Barker;
  • technology-driven sessions from David Greaves and a great KPMG team and from Mike Monahan of Grant Thornton, including one on the changing cultures of the tax department;
  • an update on tax reform led by Andrew Prior of PricewaterhouseCoopers and Patti Burquest of RSM US LLP and a lighter look at Washington and tax reform from blogger and writer Laura Davison of Bloomberg BNA;
  • several state sessions, including one led by Eric Tresh and Jeff Friedman (yes, he really made it this year) of Eversheds Sutherland, and a timely and valuable planning session presented by Matt Polli of Deloitte, Kelly Smith of PwC, and Greg Abbott of Alvarez & Marsal;
  • a session on dealing with the IRS and litigation from Matt Lerner of Sidley Austin and Scott Stewart of Mayer Brown, as well as TEI and TEI Region VIII veterans Mike Dolan of KPMG, Shelly Kay of Crowe Horwath, and Patti Burquest of RSM on the latest IRS and Appeals highlights; and
  • a session on fringe benefits and employee benefit plans (without which no conference is complete), presented by Handy Hevener of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius and Andy Gibson of BDO.

What’s more, BDO, KPMG, PwC, Deloitte, Thomson Reuters, Grant Thornton, Duff & Phelps, Experis, Bloomberg BNA, EY, and Alvarez & Marsal hosted great family events and member functions. Region VIII thanks them and the many other sponsors that made this a wonderful event for the over 400 attendees.

TEI’s next Region VIII Conference will again take place at the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort from June 6 to 11, 2018. All are welcome. If you are outside Region VIII and want to be included in mailings, please email Mitch Trager, conference organizer, at

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