Chris Tressler: DETROIT CHAPTER.

PositionOf the Tax Executives Institute

This is the first in a series of profiles of TEI chapter leaders. Without vibrant chapters and dynamic chapter leaders, we would not be able to provide our members with as many rewarding opportunities and networking connections as they have come to expect from TEI for decades.

Chris Tressler is senior director, tax and asset accounting, at Wacker Chemical Corporation as well as the chapter representative and a director of TEI's Detroit Chapter. He is also the vice president of Region V. Tressler has been a member of the Detroit Chapter for more than two decades, prior to which he was a member of TEI's Chicago Chapter for four years (after leaving public accounting).

With about 100 members now and about 140 pre-pandemic (with expectations to return to that number), the chapter has been resilient in the last two years, Tressler says. While virtual meetings have allowed the chapter to reach a wider audience, the remote format has been less engaging than when members could meet face-to-face and share stories and department news after the main program. "We have tried to continue providing as many of our regular meetings as possible," Tressler says, "but the focus has been on providing CPE in two- or three-hour blocks for our members." He is thankful to TEI Detroit Chapter's committee chairs for coordinating a variety of speakers.

Tressler looks forward to more in-person sessions and social interactions in 2022. "Hopefully there will be interest in a couple of less technical [and] more social and networking-focused sessions after the last couple of years of virtual meetings!" he says. Detroit also hosts three all-day sessions in a typical year, and the chapter hopes to return these to the schedule when in-person meetings resume.

Importance of Chapters

The chapters are an integral part of TEI's networking effort, Tressler notes. "One of the best parts of being an active TEI member is connecting and networking with fellow chapter members as well as with others from around the country at the Annual and Midyear Conferences," he says. "Networking and interactions with other tax professionals at the local level give everyone the chance to build deeper relationships and share work and life experiences. From recommendations on local consultants (to hire or steer clear of) to information on local audit teams, I feel the chapter provides a great opportunity to make TEI feel more like a small, close-knit group," Tressler explains.

What does he like best...

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