Director of Tax Services, Principal
What do you value most in your client relationships?
I get a great deal of satisfaction helping clients feel at ease about staying on good terms with the IRS and state taxing agencies. Tax reporting (not to mention tax payments!) can be stressful for many people, and I’m glad to have the opportunity to relieve some of that stress. At the same time, I enjoy employing whatever tax strategies are available to help people save taxes. This is particularly true with regard to various approaches to charitable giving – both the charity and the client win.
What’s a particularly rewarding example of how you helped to create impact for a client?
In one situation, a client was able to utilize the conservation easement deduction rules to create a legacy of scenic beauty and recreation with family land – and receive a significant tax benefit. The IRS closely scrutinizes these transactions and the rules are quite detailed, so working through the process was challenging but also very satisfying.
What’s the best career advice you ever got?
My first job was for an entrepreneur in New Orleans, who had converted the stables behind his Garden District house into offices. He taught me two valuable lessons:
- Always bring a pad of paper and a pen to any meeting, no matter how brief, how few people, and whatever role you play.
- When asking a supervisor a question, make every attempt to think the question through in advance so you can ask it as a “yes” or “no” question.
How do you do good in your community?
I have been a board member and treasurer for an Asheville-based non-profit, Serve To Lead, for nearly a decade. This is an extremely efficient charity that provides first-time employment opportunities and training to Asheville youth in schools and low-income communities in Asheville. In addition, the organization has made a massive impact in impoverished villages in the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Sri Lanka by employing local workers from their own communities in water, sanitation, and housing development projects.