Although the twentieth anniversary of the Iowa Chapter occurred in April, celebrations of this milestone were delayed so as not to interfere with the wind-down of FY 2016. Over the summer, the Chapter planned a special kickoff celebration meeting for FY 2017, which was held in late September. Chapter President Audrey Kobus, assistant tax director at Principal Financial Group, presided over the meeting. Following opening comments, she recognized outgoing Chapter President Gary Hart of Dice before introducing the speakers—Janice Lucchesi, 2016–17 TEI international president, and Eli Dicker, TEI’s executive director.
Janice provided historic information on the formation of the Iowa Chapter and highlights from her FY 2017 goals and initiatives, including emphasis on the importance of engaging TEI’s emerging tax professionals. Eli supplemented her presentation with an overview of TEI’s advocacy efforts and the opportunity for every member to engage at the level most comfortable for them. Eli reminded attendees that TEI is a member-based organization, and this member involvement drives advocacy initiatives and, ultimately, its success.
Eli was on hallowed ground, the Iowa Field of Dreams. (No, Eli, you were not in heaven, you were in Iowa!) The meeting was held at Principal Park, the home field of the Iowa Cubs, a Triple-A minor league baseball team affiliated with the Chicago Cubs. Janice, a member of the TEI Chicago Chapter, was presumed to be a Cubs fan and (one hopes) felt right at home. The pleasant weather allowed the group to enjoy refreshments and great conversations outside on the Cub Club patio. The chapter invited Eli and Janice back for an Iowa Cubs game next year. The Iowa Chapter appreciates their making the opening meeting of the twentieth anniversary celebration.