TEI Presents Awards.

TEI presented the Distinguished Service Award to Deborah K. Gaffney, TEI's director of conference planning for thirty-five years until her retirement, at TEI's Midyear Conference. The award recognizes outstanding service to TEI and the tax community. In his nomination of Gaffney for the award, TEI's international president, Mitch Trager, detailed her accomplishments as follows.

Gaffney joined the Institute's staff in March 1985. As the Institute's very first director of conference planning, she professionalized TEI's approach to planning events, traveled extensively for TEI, and personally ensured that TEI's conferences, seminars, courses, and meetings were organized, hospitable, and effective. She built strong relationships with hotels, conference centers, and other vendors, and through her experience, knowledge, and integrity, she made TEI a sought-after customer in the conference-planning arena. She also served as an effective teacher and mentor to other members of the staff (and, through her own volunteer efforts, other rising meeting planners) as well as TEI's chapters and regions.

Gaffney was also instrumental in designing and implementing TEI's successful sponsorship program, which has provided the Institute with a stable source of revenue for funding for close to thirty years (and which forestalled increases in dues and program fees). Every single member has benefited from those efforts, even if they have never attended an Institute-level program.

For more than three decades, Gaffney made TEI's conference-planning train run on time; she worked tirelessly to ensure that every detail was addressed during the planning process, and she was unflappable under pressure. All the while, she provided care and attention to TEI's leaders and made TEI's members, speakers, and sponsors feel welcome and part of the TEI family.

Without question, Gaffney was an effective ambassador for TEI. Her professionalism, decorum, and grace brought honor to the Institute and enabled TEI and its members to accomplish their education, networking, and advocacy objectives in a hospitable and conducive environment.

James A. Kennedy

TEI presented an honorary membership to former TEI international president James A. Kennedy at TEI's Midyear Conference. The award recognizes outstanding service to TEI and the tax community. In his nomination of Kennedy for the award, current TEI international president Mitch Trager detailed Kennedys accomplishments as follows.


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