A Look Back at 2017—and Ahead to 2018

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From left: Rebecca Kelley, TEI Chicago; Jibu Vergis, TEI Philadelphia; and Jonnell Quarrie, TEI Seattle.

Welcome to 2018 and the first installment of Emerging Tax Professionals (ETP) Update.

We are thrilled to have been given the opportunity to share with you the latest news from the ETP subcommittee in this recurring column in Tax Executive. As we sat down to write this inaugural column, we were struck with emotion at the realization that we have seen this subcommittee grow from a past president’s initial suggestion and its two nervous appointed co-chairs’ hopes for success into a thriving committee of more than forty members in less than four years. This growth is a real testament to the drive, motivation, volunteer spirit, and dedication of so many TEI members, including past presidents, executive committee members, Board members, and TEI Executive Director Eli Dicker. Thanks to all who have accompanied us on this journey; your time and talents are much appreciated.

A Look Back at 2017

Before we look ahead to what the ETP subcommittee has in the works for 2018, let’s take a quick look at some key events the ETP subcommittee participated in during the last quarter of 2017.

We should start with the first-ever half-day emerging tax professionals event held in Chicago in September. Coordinated by subcommittee member Rebecca Kelley of Cushman & Wakefield and sponsored by McDermott Will & Emery, the event included sessions on all major tax areas, a career development session, and a networking reception.

The event was well attended and received lots of positive feedback. “We were very excited to have the opportunity to partner with MWE on this ETP event. The broad range of M&A topics, from sales and use tax considerations to international issues, helped to engage everyone in the session,” Kelley said. “MWE’s career panel gave some great feedback to the up-and-coming ETPs on what Chicago tax VPs are looking for in the next great candidate. And who doesn’t love a Chicago skyline view while talking tax?” Kudos to the Chicago Chapter for such a great event and helping lead the charge on ETP program development.

TEI’s Annual Meeting in Toronto saw the ETP subcommittee in full swing. On Sunday evening, subcommittee members tapped into their inner Picasso by hosting a wine and art event that including painting and nail art. Who knew we had so many talented artists masquerading as tax professionals? The group hosted a session on Tuesday afternoon centered on professional brand development. The session was presented by Barrie Sanderson, the managing partner at Pure Search in New York. Participants were engaged in the discussion and had a chance to ask questions about how to develop a unique brand and what traits and skills are most sought after in the tax market. Finally, the group led TEI conference attendees in assembling welcome packages for a local Toronto charity, the Red Door Family Shelter. The welcome packages contained combs, deodorant, toothbrushes, and other items to be given to people seeking shelter at Red Door’s facility in Toronto. This type of charity event has become synonymous with the ETP group over the last few years as it has hosted similar events at the Midyear and Annual Conferences. These events are a great way for TEI members to give to the communities where the national meetings are held and for members to interact socially.

In November, Emily Whittenburg (ETP subcommittee co-chair) presented a session on generational differences in the workplace, one of the meeting-in-a-box presentations developed by the ETP subcommittee, to the Baltimore-Washington Chapter. By all the accounts, all participants enjoyed the session. A special thanks to Kevin Mallett, Baltimore-Washington Chapter president, for the invitation.

A Look Ahead to 2018

So, what’s planned for 2018? A lot more fun! The subcommittee is already working up ideas for the 2018 Midyear Conference in Washington, D.C. As always, you can expect a networking/social event for Sunday night and a charity event on Tuesday evening. The subcommittee has also been invited to present a session to the Minnesota Chapter in the spring.

In addition, talks and plans are underway for ETP events at the Region III and Region IX/X conferences to be held this summer. We also have subcommittee members serving on various Institute task forces, including the membership and nominating committees.

Our subcommittee continues to thrive, and we look forward to (we hope) turning over the reins to new leaders later this year. If you are interested in joining the committee or just want to hear more about what the group is doing, please reach out to us. We are always seeking new ETP ambassadors.

TEI members hard at work—and having fun!
From left: Jonnell Quarrie, TEI Seattle; Emily Whittenburg, TEI Houston; and Nicole Curran, TEI Philadelphia.

Emily Whittenburg and Kris Rogers are co-chairs of the emerging tax professionals subcommittee.

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