President's Note, May 2022

Hi everyone,

This is my last note to you as TEI’s International President. It has been my privilege to lead this incredible organization for the 2021-2022 fiscal year. I want to thank TEI members, staff, sponsors, and other officers for their support during my tenure.
I am writing this letter in May, concluding my term a little early, and joining the firm of Dixon Hughes Goodman (DHG). The timing of this decision was driven by an upcoming merger in June between DHG and BKD to form a new combined firm, FORVIS. As you can imagine, leaving the ranks of my fellow in-house tax professionals to join a professional services firm was not an easy one, but I am excited about my new adventure!  
Rest assured, however, that I expect to be interacting with you in my new role.  Most importantly, I am confident that I am leaving TEI in very capable hands, with my good friend, Wayne Monfries, the current TEI Senior Vice President, who took over as acting International President on May 23.
I am so proud of all we have accomplished during my term. One of the most important accomplishments this past year involves our staff, as TEI reinvents to deal with a post-pandemic world. Christine Hayes Botts, formerly our Publications Manager, took over as our Marketing and Communications Manager last August. Sona Camara joined TEI as our Membership and Chapter Relations Manager last August, and has tremendously improved the processing of new member applications and reinstatements. Todd Lard joined TEI in January 2022 as our new Tax Counsel, assuming responsibility for state and local tax and tax technology education and advocacy initiatives. KerryAnn Bolton joined in February 2022 as our new Digital Education and Events Manager, with responsibility for building TEI’s online learning management system.  And most recently, as discussed below, we have created two new roles: Tanya Coogan joined us as Director of Membership and Chapter Relations and Martin Schuebel came aboard as our new Director of Marketing Communications and Events. These additions, along with our current staff under Pilar’s leadership, make TEI well-prepared to address the opportunities TEI sees before it.
We have also returned to in-person meetings, held a fully hybrid Annual Conference and Midyear Conference, automated CPE tracking and certificates, supported chapters with Zoom and hybrid meetings, and identified how TEI’s business model has changed in a post-pandemic world and positioned TEI for greater outreach and connections moving forward..

We have also made enormous progress on my presidential goals:

  • Conducting a membership survey, the results of which were presented to the TEI leadership on May 25,
  • Launching a monthly CTO discussion series to connect and offer targeted content to this important part of our membership,
  • Conducting a comprehensive review of our sponsor program and making adjustments to the program to create more value for members and the firms supporting TEI,
  • Holding three Town Hall meetings and monthly chapter roundtable events to connect and support our chapters, and
  • Reinvigorating our Diversity and Inclusion Working Group, with monthly meetings, a regular column in TEI’s monthly member newsletter, and consistent DEI content at our events.

Again, I would to thank you all for your support, but this is not a “good bye.” It’s much more of a “see you later”—because I definitely will.
Best regards,

Mitch Trager
TEI International President