Vision 20/20: defining the ideal TEI.

Author:Penney, David M.
Position:Tax Executives Institute

There are likely few members of TEI today who exhibited bravery when joining the Institute. When today's leaders (at the chapter or Institute level) raise their hand and saying, "Yes, I'll step forward," they do this knowing they will benefit immensely--personally and professionally--from enthusiastic engagement in TEI. This is not to diminish my appreciation to the individuals who pay their dues or my gratitude for the hundreds of women and men who serve the Institute in a variety of roles in 2011. Rather, it is to draw a contrast with those who came before us--the 15 individuals who gathered in 1944 to form TEI and the countless members who in the early days of the Institute found the time--away from work, away from family, away from other commitments--to help a fledging organization known as Tax Executives Institute first become viable and then grow into the preeminent association of business tax professionals worldwide.

When I left government service in 1991 to join General Motors Canada, TEI was a well-established force in North America. The Toronto Chapter had been chartered in 1956, and it did not take enterprise or clairvoyance to see the value in becoming a member. It only took common sense. The low-cost, high-quality education, the unsurpassed networking, the ability to work collaboratively to improve tax law and administration--all these things were evident 20 years ago. I quickly learned, moreover, that as great an organization that TEI is to receive from, the sense of satisfaction and accomplishment you get from becoming involved and giving back is ever greater. That's true whether you're serving on a chapter committee, helping line up speakers for a seminar or conference, meeting with government officials as part of a TEI delegation, or picking up the phone to share insights with members you didn't know until you met them at a TEI meeting.

TEI has been the single most rewarding professional association I have experienced, and I have enjoyed my participation in the organization immensely throughout my career. I count TEI members--in Toronto, yes, but around the world--among my very best friends, and cannot imagine being as effective a manager or tax professional without the assistance I've received from TEI and its members along the way. Hence, I feel privileged to have been installed as TEI's International President at the Institute's 2011 Annual Meeting of Members in August. I pledge my best efforts to enhance TEI's...

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