2024 Summer Meeting Highlights

2024 Summer Meeting Sponsor Highlights


Fellows and sponsor representatives met at the Fairmont Royal York in downtown Toronto, June 19-23, to attend CLE programming, Committee Meetings, tours and a unique Saturday night event at the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Summer Meeting Sponsors

ACTEC Fellows welcomed 13 sponsoring companies to Toronto. ACTEC appreciates our sponsor companies for their support! Sponsor representatives were invited to attend Professional Programs, open Committee Meetings, and tours to connect with Fellows and fully experience the Summer Meeting.

(L-R) ACTEC’s State Chair of Arizona, Lauren Garner, and Jason Mendelsohn of Ashar Group braved the EdgeWalk at the CN Tower!

Sponsor Perspective: Ellen Kratzer

During the 2024 Summer Meeting in Toronto, Ellen Kratzer, Managing Director in Fiduciary Trust International’s New York office, shared her unique perspective as one of the first sponsors of an ACTEC Summer Meeting. Ellen expounded on how Fiduciary Trust International came to sponsor the 2003 Summer Meeting and highlighted the importance of the Joseph Trachtman Memorial Lecture to their organization.

How did your company become one of the first sponsors of the ACTEC Summer Meeting? 
Our colleague at the time, Henry Ziegler, was an ACTEC Fellow. He attended the Annual Meeting in Puerto Rico in 2003, and came back and said, “News flash—ACTEC now has sponsors at their meetings!” Shortly after, we were invited to sponsor the 2003 Summer Meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota, when Ron Aucutt was ACTEC President.

How was your first experience sponsoring an ACTEC Summer Meeting?
It was a great experience! I particularly remember a dinner cruise on the Mississippi River, where I was sitting next to Rodney Houghton, a Past President of ACTEC (1991–1992), and who was a great friend of our firm. We had the most wonderful time floating around the riverfront and catching up with everybody at our table!

Do you sponsor ACTEC meetings other than the Summer Meeting?
Yes, we have sponsored the Annual Meeting every year since 2004; I have attended every Annual Meeting since 2004, so this is our 21st year as a sponsor! We have sponsored some regional meetings as well, such as the Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting and the Southeast Regional Meeting, and we just sponsored the Connecticut Fellows Dinner this past May.

Why do you continue to sponsor ACTEC meetings? Is there a difference in sponsoring a national meeting versus a regional or state meeting?
The national meetings are wonderful because we have clients in all 50 states and it’s a fabulous opportunity for us to get to know practitioners in all of the 50 states, as we are sometimes asked for recommendations for trust and estate attorneys. You really do get a sense of who the Fellows are and what their practices are like from attending ACTEC meetings. Likewise, we get to make deeper connections with the attorneys that partner with Fiduciary Trust International to support their client’s investment needs, specific philanthropic goals, unique collections, broad real estate assets, or families with special needs or complex family dynamics. By sponsoring a regional or state meeting closer to one of our offices, we can get to know the “local” ACTEC Fellows in a different way when they are in a smaller group. Both are very valuable!

Fiduciary Trust International has sponsored the Joseph Trachtman Memorial Lecture multiple times in the past. What inspired you to sponsor this event?
The Trachtman Lecture is such a fabulous tradition, and I think it really highlights the thoughtfulness and creativity that go into the work of practitioners in the trust and estate field. It is always exciting to see someone at the top of their game giving a capstone lecture on a topic that is near and dear to their heart. Joe Trachtman (ACTEC President 1966) was very well regarded in the trust and estate community in New York. He was a partner at Hughes, Hubbard and Reed, one of the major law firms; he was an adjunct professor at New York University for many years; and when he passed away in 1975, Fiduciary Trust International was the administrator of his estate—we took this as a great compliment that he had named us in his will and feel a special connection to the Trachtman Lectures!

Each of the Trachtman Lectures has left a lasting impression on me. Two of them particularly stand out. In 2014, ACTEC President Duncan Osborne invited Ethan Nadelmann to speak. His topic was “Drugs…What Are We to Do?” He talked about the evolution of social biases toward drugs and other substances in our culture. It was fascinating and highly thoughtful, and sadly, it is an issue that affects so many of our clients and even some of our peers. It was an eye-opening talk. And second, in 2019, Mary Radford (ACTEC President 2011–2012) gave a talk titled, “What If Granny Wants to Gamble?” It was about the way that older people and vulnerable people—in particularly women—are treated in our society. I often think about both of these lectures.  

The College thanks Ellen for her insightful interview. Sponsors are invited to listen to the 2014 and 2019 Trachtman Lectures:

Drugs…What Are We to Do?

What If Granny Wants to Gamble?

Special Events

Presidents Welcome Dinner

400 Fellows, guests and sponsor representatives attended the President’s Welcome Reception on Friday evening.

During the reception, ACTEC President Susan Snyder welcomed attendees, recognized Juneteenth National Independence Day, and invited Fellow Terry Franklin to join her onstage to provide remarks on the significance of the holiday. Susan shares, “I extend special thanks to ACTEC Fellow Terry Franklin for joining me on Friday evening for the President’s Welcome Dinner to acknowledge Juneteenth and its significance. I echo Terry’s sentiment: ‘Juneteenth is all about freedom for all.'”

(L-R) Terry Franklin and ACTEC President Susan Snyder

Sponsor Recognition Reception

A Sponsor Recognition Reception was held on Saturday evening. During the reception, ACTEC President Susan Snyder expressed, “To our sponsors here this evening, we appreciate your support on every level, and your commitment to ACTEC is greatly valued. We hope your conference experience is a positive one and cultivates lasting connections with ACTEC Fellows!”

New Fellows Events

Toronto Island Adventure Tour

74 New Fellows attended the Summer Meeting. On Friday afternoon, they had a special opportunity to meet up with International and First-time attendees for a tour of the Toronto Islands.

(L-R) Tour attendees Betty Hillman with husband New Fellow Ben Hillman, International Fellow Patrick Harney, New Fellows Deb Polly and Rust Tippett, New Fellow Steering Committee Vice Chair Elizabeth Carter, New Fellow Lisa Shearman with husband, Jim Shearman, New Fellow Megan Wernke, International Fellow Cheyenne Reese, and New Fellow David Kunes with daughter, Elizabeth

Saturday Night at the Hockey Hall of Fame

Fellows and sponsors had the opportunity to explore the Hockey Hall of Fame all on their own on Saturday night! The Hall was closed for this special event, that included interactive hockey games and dinner.

ACTEC Fellow Anne Coventry and husband Greg Miller represent their teams!

Summary of the Professional Programs

Stand-Alone Program: Conquering the Slopes of Subchapter J

The Summer Meeting offered a Stand-Alone Program on income taxation of trusts and estates. On Wednesday afternoon, speakers dove into the topics of taxation of non-grantor trusts and hot topics on income taxation of trusts and estates, and on Thursday morning, the program continued with discussions on modern planning with grantor trusts and planning for partial non-grantor trusts.

Guest Attendees

Registration for the Stand-Alone Program was available to sponsors and guest attendees. Many guest attendees were students or graduates of an ACTEC Fellows Institute or the Dennis I. Belcher Young Leaders Program or are associates or colleagues at an ACTEC Fellow’s firm.

(L-R) Stand-Alone Moderator ACTEC Fellow Amy Kanyuk with guest attendees Carla DeLoach (Florida Fellows Institute, Class I Graduate), Alexander Lyden-Horn (Mid-Atlantic Fellows Institute, Class III Graduate), Justin Larson, (Florida Fellows Institute, Class IV Graduate), Jennifer MacLeod, (Southeast Fellows Institute, Class I Graduate) and Jolyon Acosta (Florida Fellows Institute, Class I Graduate)

Summer Seminar

Sponsors were welcomed to attend the Summer Seminar sessions on Saturday, June 22. Topics covered settlement issues in fiduciary litigation, disputes regarding charitable gifts, and balancing the interests of family members in planning for the vacation home.

(L-R) ACTEC Fellows Jared Cloud, Nancy McLaughlin, and Jeff Thede explored disputes involving charitable gifts and bequests, discussing recent cases and controversies in “Charitable Gifts Gone Awry.”