In his column in this issue, Paul O'Connor emphasizes that, while TEI rightly prides itself on its conferences, seminars, and courses, the bulk of the Institute's educational activities occur at the local level. The numbers are impressive: Including regional events held this year in Gatineau (outside of Ottawa) (Region I), Atlantic City (Region II), Hilton Head (Region VII), and Dubai (Region IX), "local" TEI events numbered nearly 600. Indeed, our Houston Chapter alone held more than 50 events, with registrations totalling around 4,000. One meeting--the "Compensation and Benefits" module of the Houston Chapter Tax School--attracted 309 registrants.
Believe it or not, however, that wasn't the most highly attended chapter event this year. That honor belongs to the Minnesota Chapter, whose 2011 President's Seminar--a two-day program held in April--garnered a record attendance of 525. When Chapter President Tony Valento called me to report, I had three reactions: (1) Wow! (2) That's more people than attended the Midyear Conference. (3) I'm sure glad the chapters are part of TEI, because they offer us our toughest competition. My congratulations to the Minnesota, Houston, and all the chapters--and regions--for the exemplary job they do in holding educational events for their members' benefit.
July 1 marked the beginning of TEI's membership year, and hence the transition date for chapter officers and other leaders. I offer thanks to last year's Chapter Presidents, and congratulations to the 56 men and women who have agreed to lead their chapters for the next 12 months. We on the staff fully appreciate that the demands of their "day jobs" are not insubstantial, and we are in awe of the time and energy they have already devoted to TEI. The next time you attend a chapter meeting, I urge you to let them know that you appreciate their efforts, too. Indeed, better than saying "Thank you," think about saying, "What can I do to help?" In the current business environment, it takes a special person to raise his or her hand to volunteer, but as Paul O'Connor also says in his column, TEI has a lot of extraordinary people in its ranks. Please consider joining them; you'll be glad you did.
In late April, I was honored to make an ethics presentation to the Nashville Chapter as part of its Spring Seminar. The full-day program was organized by Lee Grubbs of HCA, and it featured excellent presentations by Loren Chumley of KPMG, Karen Boucher of...