Choosing the Path Forward.

Date01 September 2020
AuthorKennedy, James

I am honored to serve as TEI's international president during its 75th Annual Conference year. The opportunity to help shape and guide the leading association of in-house tax professionals world-wide is one that provokes a great sense of gratitude and duty. I am humbled but delighted to take on the challenge.

As I began thinking about how to frame my presidential term, my thoughts centered on the need for the Institute to take stock of its past and begin to build plans for the next seventy-five years. The Institute's most recent strategic plan--Vision 20/20, developed under the leadership of my colleague and 2011-2012 predecessor as TEI's international president, David Penney--was completed nearly a decade ago, with various goals and objectives pursued and implemented by past TEI presidents. Thus, I thought TEI's 75th Annual Conference-year milestone was the appropriate time to recognize the past and plan for the future, mindful of business changes and professional challenges. The convergence of demographics, business consolidations, technological innovation, and outsourcing trends required a fresh look--a new strategic plan.

And then came COVID-19.

Pre-COVID-19, TEI was poised to focus on current, prospective trends affecting the long-term ability to deliver excellence in education, networking, and advocacy to its members around the world. The near-term impact of COVID-19 on the business environment has dramatically affected TEI, its members, and the companies they serve, with significant uncertainty remaining.

As stewards of TEI, officers, board members, and leaders, our current focus is and should be on those steps necessary to preserve our ability to deliver on TEI's mission for the benefit of our members.

But why a strategic plan?

A strategic plan provides the opportunity to commence constructive dialogues among key Institute stakeholders and leaders around identified work streams. In these, we will solicit and consider everyone's ideas, build a framework based on multiple interdependent work streams, and then, ultimately, produce a road map to help guide the Institute, its leadership, and its membership into the next decade and beyond.

Having reflected upon the lessons of the past and the challenges of the future, as well as on my own experiences over thirty-five years as a member and then a leader of TEI, I focused on the following priorities:

* serving members;

* excellence in education, networking, and advocacy;

* networking...

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