Annual Meeting Highlights

2024 Annual Meeting Sponsor Highlights


Over 1,070 Fellows, spouses, guests, and sponsor representatives met at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge in Phoenix, Arizona, March 6-10, to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the College. A record number of supportive sponsor companies attended offering services from appraisals and valuations to tax and charitable planning. All attending sponsors had the option of attending the robust Professional Programs. ACTEC thanks our sponsor companies for their support.

Annual Meeting Sponsors

Sponsor Perspective: Deborah Schmidt Robinson

During the 2024 Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Deborah (Deb) Schmidt Robinson, shared her unique experience as a representative at the first ACTEC Annual National Meeting to allow sponsorships. Deb explained how her first Annual Meeting sponsorship came to be, what that first experience of sponsoring an ACTEC Annual Meeting was like, and why she continues to sponsor.

How did your first Annual Meeting sponsorship come to be?

Prior to 2003, the College only offered sponsorships for State and Regional Meetings. ACTEC Fellow Carlyn McCaffrey, who was ACTEC President at the time, called and offered me (with Sotheby’s at the time) the opportunity to be one of the first sponsors of an ACTEC National Meeting. She invited us to sponsor the 2003 Annual Meeting in Puerto Rico and laid out clearly what the sponsorship would include: Three sponsor representatives only could attend; the cost was $25,000; we would only be able to participate in the event we sponsored (where we would be thanked as the sponsor of the event); there was no sponsor table; and no signage or literature was allowed. She also offered that many in the College did not wish to have sponsors at the meetings so our participation would be watched closely. Without hesitation, I said, “We’re in!”

Despite not having a table and minimal exposure, was the opportunity worthwhile for you?

Absolutely! We ended up sponsoring the President’s Welcome Reception. There was no sign—Carlyn thanked Sotheby’s and that was it! And I was seven months pregnant—in hindsight, maybe not the best timing to travel so far but I would not have missed it.  (That’s how I remember it was 2003, because my son was born in May 2003.) Only four companies were sponsoring the 2003 Annual Meeting in Puerto Rico: Sotheby’s (the company I was with at the time), Empire Valuation ConsultantsHSBC, and Merrill Lynch—and look where we are today! While having a table is beneficial for visibility, networking with colleagues nationwide was the real value to that initial sponsorship. I knew that from the start, and it continues today. Having the table is great because people know where to find me, but the important thing is seeing the Fellows we know and meeting new Fellows.

Have you attended all of ACTEC’s Annual Meetings since 2003?

Initially, competitive companies could not attend the same ACTEC meeting. We alternated years with our competitors. For instance, Christie’s and Sotheby’s would take turns. After leaving Sotheby’s in 2016 to start my own boutique art market consulting firm, I missed attending the Annual Meetings and seeing all the Fellows and spouses annually, at a minimum. So, I brought my new company, Art Market Advisors, and secured our table at the 2018 Annual Meeting. Attending the Annual Meeting is a great touchpoint for me—this is the one event I seriously look forward to all year long as I share many career and personal milestones with this exceptional group of professionals.

75 Years of ACTEC

75th Anniversary History Book

Fellows and attending sponsors received the 2024 Annual Meeting ACTEC 75th Anniversary History: An Update, Adding Twenty-Five Years to the 1999 History, an important update to the 1999 History.

Commemorative Video

The commemorative video, 75 Years of ACTEC, was played during the Annual Business Meeting on Friday, March 8. The College shares the video below in which Past Presidents share their unique thoughts and perspectives on the organization’s history.

Farewell Dinner 75th Anniversary Celebration

This celebratory event was held on Saturday, March 9, sponsored by Christie’s.

Pictured (L-R): President-Elect Peter S. Gordon, President Susan D. Snyder, Immediate Past President Kurt A. Sommer, Treasurer Melissa J. Willms, and Vice President Margaret G. Lodise.

ACTEC’s Past Presidents celebrated with Fellows during the Dinner Dance. (Back row L-R): Robert W. Goldman, Bruce S. Ross, Ronald D. Aucutt, Duncan E. Osborne, Robert J. Rosepink, John A. Terrill, II. (Front row L-R): Stephen R. Akers, Cynda C. Ottaway, Mary F. Radford, Louis A. Mezzullo, Karen M. Moore, Kathleen R. Sherby, Charles D. Fox, IV.

Annual Business Meeting & Gavel Ceremony

Immediate Past President Kurt A. Sommer called the Annual Business Meeting to order on Friday, March 8, and “passed the gavel” to President Susan D. Snyder.

Summary of Professional Program

The Annual Meeting programs covered timely T&E topics, such as retirement plan distributions after the SECURE Act, planning ahead of expected exemption decreases, and the Corporate Transparency Act.

The College thanks the Program Committee, with special thanks to Immediate Past Chair Lauren Y. Detzel, for their dedication to making the Professional Program a success. ACTEC welcomes the new Program Committee Chair, Stephanie Loomis-Price.

Symposium: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Artificial Intelligence

In this Annual Meeting Symposium, Artificial Intelligence Task Force Members (L-R) Margaret Van Houten, Professor Gerry W. Beyer, Chair Tracy M. Potts, and George L. Smith provided practical takeaways Fellows can utilize in the ever-evolving quest to use AI efficiently. Tracy shares, “The task force thanks the Program Committee for the opportunity to present, and hopes Fellows found that the presentation will help them to immediately start using AI in their practice, and how to efficiently work with a third-party provider.”  

Hot Topics: The Hottest Topics That Aren’t Too Hot to Handle

On Sunday, March 10, Fellows (L-R) Kelly M. Preteroti, Justin Miller, and Stephen R. Akers examined “the hottest” recent tax and non-tax developments from 2023 and early 2024 that impact the T&E practice, addressing recent legislation, regulations, rulings, and cases and their impact on strategic planning techniques in the current economic environment. Showrunner Andrea C. Chomakos (far right above) closed the session, expressing, “I want to thank this all-star panel for their time and efforts in putting together this amazing presentation. It is a daunting task to summarize a year’s worth of tax and fiduciary cases, and they did an excellent job of presenting with technical expertise and entertaining the audience!”

The Corporate Transparency Act (CTA)

On Sunday, March 10, Fellows (L-R) Raj Malviya, Kevin Matz, and Glenn Fox welcomed attendees to the last Seminar of the Annual Meeting, which followed the Hot Topics panel. Kevin opened the session, stating, “Welcome! We are happy to follow the Hot Topics panel with a presentation on the CTA, and it doesn’t get any hotter than this!” He was then joined by Glenn and Raj to give an overview of the CTA’s provisions, addressing recent developments, including the “elephant in the room” of the March 1 Federal District Court decision of the Northern District of Alabama declaring the CTA unconstitutional. They then proceeded to drill down on several “burning questions” under the CTA that affect estate planning, focusing extensively on who is deemed to be a “beneficial owner” with respect to trusts and the availability of exemptions including for tax-exempt entities.

Receptions and Tours

Over 150 New Fellows, International Fellows, and First Time Attendees were present at a special reception held for them on Thursday, March 7. (L-R) New Fellows Steering Committee Chair Amanda M. Gyeszly, International Membership Committee Co-Chair Suzanne L. Shier, and Immediate Past President Kurt A. Sommer welcome attendees to the New Fellows, First Time and International Attendees Reception.

Amanda shared, “I thank all of our New and International Fellows and First Time attendees for coming to the Annual Meeting, and especially thank Suzanne for her extraordinary efforts to welcome our International Fellows and encourage their meaningful participation in the College’s activities.”

(L-R) Communications Committee Chair Natalie M. Perry with New Fellow Christiana M. Lazo (elected in 2020) and International Fellow Patrick Francis Harney (London, England) network during the New Fellows, First Time and International Attendees Reception.

On Friday, March 8, New Fellows, International Fellows and First Time Attendees had the chance to go to a Spring Training Baseball Game! (L-R) New Fellows Steering Committee Chair Amanda M. Gyeszly enjoys the game with New Fellow and First Time Attendee Lauren Davis Hunt and New Fellow Arielle Prangner.