Live Stream: Tennessee Federal Tax Conference
815 | Livestream | Update | Scheduled
This event is now Live Stream only
The Tennessee Federal Tax Conference brings together national and local tax leaders to provide you with updates and analysis on the major developments in taxation from Washington, D.C. Co-sponsored by the Tennessee Federal Tax Institute, this three-day virtual event offers sessions on timely issues like the CARES Act, estate planning, the SECURE Act and federal income taxation. Join your colleagues and increase your confidence in your knowledge of the latest developments in federal tax.
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Hale E. Sheppard, JD, LLM
Hale E. Sheppard is a Shareholder in the Tax Dispute Section and Chair of the International Tax Section of Chamberlain Hrdlicka. He defends individual and businesses with IRS problems, particularly those involving international issues.
Hale holds five college degrees. At the University of Kansas, he earned a B.S., with distinction, M.A., with honors, and J.D. He later received an LL.M. degree in international law, with highest distinction, from the University of Chile. Finally, he obtained an LL.M. degree in tax from the University of Florida, where he was a graduate tax scholar. During his studies, Hale served as a graduate editor of the Florida Tax Review and member of the Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy.
Hale ranks among the most active tax writers in the country, publishing over 150 major articles in some of the nation's top law reviews and tax journals, including Journal of Taxation, International Tax Journal, The Tax Adviser, Journal of International Taxation, Journal of Tax Practice and Procedure, Taxes Magazine, Practical Tax Lawyer, Journal of Passthrough Entities, Tax Management International Journal, Journal of Multi-State Tax & Incentives, Tax Notes International, Practical Tax Strategies, Journal of Real Estate Taxation, Journal of Taxation of Financial Products, and Corporate Business Taxation.
Hale has participated in over 120 cases before the U.S. Tax Court, with recent rulings including Landow v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo 2011-177 (Tax Court case regarding employee stock ownership plans and taxpayer rights in cases of involuntary conversations), Virginia Historic Tax Credit Fund v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo 2009-295, rev’d 639 F.3d 129 (case of first impression regarding federal tax treatment of state tax-credit partnerships), Topping v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo 2007-92 (hobby loss case in which the Tax Court ruled in favor of the taxpayer on all major issues), Vines v. Commissioner, 126 T.C. 279 (case of first impression involving use of mark-to-market accounting by securities traders).
Hale has also obtained over 20 favorable Private Letter Rulings for clients from the IRS National Office on assorted procedural, tax, and international issues.Back to Speakers
Justin W. Follis
Justin W. Follis, CPA, is a shareholder with the LBMC tax practice. Having more than 13 years of experience in taxation, Follis has diverse experience consulting multi-national corporations and partnerships in the areas of tax compliance, ASC 740 accounting, and tax transactional structuring. Follis understands at a deep level the importance of planning and execution. When he isn’t diligently navigating his client’s to their goals, he’s at the controls of an airplane as a licensed pilot since 1998.
Follis brings to LBMC the experience of his prior role with Deloitte’s National Federal Tax Services, Partnership Solutions Group, where he consulted corporate joint ventures, publicly traded partnerships, and financial services clients on partnership transaction and compliance matters.
As a shareholder in the firm’s Tax Outsourcing Group, Follis serves clients ranging from global private equity groups, and private equity backed portfolio companies, to publicly traded corporations in industries such as financial services, healthcare, and manufacturing and distribution.
Follis earned a B.S. in business administration from the University of Alabama and a Master of Accountancy with a concentration in taxation from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. HE is active with TSCPA, AICPA and the Association for Corporate Growth.
Originally from Huntsville, Ala., Follis now makes his home in Knoxville, Tenn. with his wife and three young children. He has been a licensed pilot since 1998 and when not occupied at the office, he spends every justifiable moment flying for pleasure and travel.Back to Speakers
Lawrence H. Chlum, CPA/PFS, CFA
Originally from the Chicago area, Larry began his career in public accounting in the tax department of a major CPA firm. He subsequently spent several years in the banking industry, where he served as president of two community banks and a university credit union. He also managed the investment portfolio for a life insurance company.
Larry obtained his MS in Taxation from DePaul University and BS in Accounting from Benedictine University. He received the Elijah Watts Sells Award for the successful completion of the CPA examination. He is a CPA, Personal Financial Specialist and a CFA Charterholder.
Larry and his wife, Debbie, enjoy spending time with their six children and grandchildren. He enjoys following capital markets, daily exercise, golf and is an avid Chicago Cubs and Tennessee Titans fan.Back to Speakers
Josh Edwards, CPA
Josh is a public and middle market partner for HORNE LLP and the firmwide director of HORNE Capital Strategies. He specializes in navigating the complexities of mergers and acquisitions including strategic, private equity and venture capital investments by working hand-in-hand with clients to transform strategic growth objectives into lasting M&A successes. He also provides assurance, internal audit and transaction related consulting services to clients in the manufacturing, distribution, technology and gaming industries.
As a licensed investment banker, he leverages his experience to identify and build value drivers as he leads HORNE’s strategic response to the COVID-19 regulatory environment, particularly SBA Loan Programs. He guides individuals and businesses through the challenges of the Paycheck Protection Program to maximize opportunities for funding and forgiveness.
Josh joined HORNE in 2007 and has a Bachelor of Accountancy from Mississippi College.Back to Speakers
Mark C. Patterson, CPA
Mark Patterson, a member (owner) with KraftCPAs and co- practice leader of the KraftCPAs manufacturing, wholesale, distribution (MWD) industry team, has been working in public accounting since 1985. Prior to joining KraftCPAs, he worked with local and national public accounting firms. Mark's responsibilities include tax research and planning, reviewing income tax returns and supervising tax professionals. He provides tax compliance and planning for middle- market companies and their owners.
Mark has experience with the manufacturing, transportation and service industries including tax consulting and compliance for American subsidiaries of foreign owned companies. His expertise has helped numerous clients reduce their tax burden through the identification of various state and federal tax credits, deductions and other incentives, including but not limited to the Tennessee Jobs Tax Credit, the federal research and development (R&D) credit, IC-DISC for exporters, the domestic manufacturing deduction and cost segregation studies.Back to Speakers
As the SB/SE Deputy Commissioner for Collection and Operations Support, Darren provides executive leadership for over 10,600 employees. He directs the design, development and delivery of Collection programs and policy in support of comprehensive tax administration and oversees civil investigations and enforcement affecting millions of taxpayers with delinquent accounts. In Operations Support his responsibilities include providing expertise and direction for special projects covering major segments of SB/SE’s mission and the division’s $2.2 billion budget. He also has oversight of Service-wide disaster assistance and the Fraud Enforcement Office in providing support and coordination for all IRS efforts in detecting and deterring tax fraud.
Darren’s prior positions included serving as director of the following: Field Collection Operations, Enterprise Collection Strategy, Appeals Field Operations, ACA Compliance Strategy and Policy, and Midwest Area Collection. He began his IRS career as a revenue officer and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Holy Cross, is a Fellow of the Loyola University Institute of Politics and was awarded the Certificate in Public Leadership by the Brookings Institution.Back to Speakers
Turney P. Berry, JD
Turney P. Berry concentrates his practice in the areas of estate planning, fiduciary matters, and charitable planning. Mr. Berry is Chair of Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs’ Trusts, Estates & Personal Planning Service Team and a past member of the firm’s Executive Committee.
Mr. Berry is active in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), currently serving as Chair of the Estate & Gift Committee and State Chair for Kentucky, and is a past Regent of the College, former President of the ACTEC Foundation, and previous chair of the Charitable and Tax Exempt Committee.
As a Uniform Law Commissioner, Mr. Berry currently serves as Chair of the drafting committee for the Uniform Fiduciary Income and Principal Act (a revision of the principal and income acts), Vice-Chair of the drafting committee for the Uniform Directed Trust Act, Vice-Chair of the Drafting Committee on Electronic Wills Act, and Vice-Chair of the Study Committee on Trust Management of Funds Raised through Public Fundraising. He has served as chair of the Uniform Power of Appointment Act and as a member of the drafting committee for Uniform Acts on the Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets (revised act), Decanting, Insurable Interests, Premarital and Marital Agreements, Transfer on Death Deeds, and the Uniform Probate Code Artificial Reproductive Technology provisions.
For the American Bar Association, Mr. Berry serves as Co-Chair of the Charitable Planning Committee for the Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law and on the Conservation Easement Task Force.
Mr. Berry is a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel, a member of the American Law Institute, a member of the Advisory Council of the Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, a Member of the Advisory Board of Trusts and Estates Monthly, a member of the Joint Editorial Board for Uniform Trust and Estates Act, and a member of the Bloomberg BNA Tax Advisory Board (Estates, Gifts, and Trusts). He serves as Adjunct Professor at the University of Miami Estate Planning LLM Program (Business Succession Planning), and has served as Adjunct Professor at Vanderbilt University, the University of Missouri, and the University of Louisville, and regularly speaks at the nation's leading estate planning conferences. Since 1996, Mr Berry has served as Co-Chair of the Midwest/Midsouth Estate Planning Institute at the University of Kentucky (the longest continuously run CLE event in Kentucky).
Mr. Berry has been certified as an Accredited Estate Planner® (AEP®) by the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils and is a member of its Estate Planning Hall of Fame [Kentucky does not recognize legal specialties]. He is listed in Woodward/White’s The Best Lawyers in America® and in the Kentucky Super Lawyer Magazine in the area of Trusts and Estates.
Mr. Berry is the author or co-author of three Tax Management Portfolios: Estate Tax Deductions - Sections 2053 and 2054; Private Foundations - Self Dealing - Section 4941; and Taxable Expenditures - Section 4945. In addition he is co-author of Trust Law in Kentucky (in progress) and his frequent articles have appeared in numerous journals and magazines. Mr. Berry received the Texas Bar Foundation Outstanding Law Review Article award for an article he co-authored with Paul Lee titled “Retaining, Sustaining and Obtaining Basis” which was published by the Texas Tech Estate Planning and Community Property Law Journal in January 2015
Mr. Berry has been an Articles Editor of The Tax Lawyer and a past chair of the Louisville Bar Association Probate and Estate Planning Section (1989 Section of the Year). He is a member of the Louisville Estate Planning Council, Kentuckiana Planned Giving Council, and an adjunct member of the American Association of Life Underwriters.
A native of Tennessee, Mr. Berry received his B.A. and B.L.S. in 1983 from the University of Memphis and his J.D. in 1986 from Vanderbilt University.Back to Speakers
Bryan Howard is a founding member of Howard Mobley Hayes & Gontarek, PLLC. He assists high net worth families with wealth transfer planning, tax reduction planning, charitable giving and asset protection planning. He also advises the owners of closely-held businesses with respect to tax and business succession issues and represents fiduciaries and beneficiaries with regard to trust and estate administration and litigation issues. Bryan is an ACTEC Fellow, a certified Estate Planning Specialist in Tennessee and is listed in Best Lawyers in America.Back to Speakers
Melissa M. Labant, J.D., CPA/PFS, CFP, CGMA
Melissa M. Labant is the Director of Tax Advocacy & Professional Standards of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) in Washington, DC.
In this role, she leads the development and implementation of the AICPA’s tax advocacy strategy which centers on the review, formulation and submission to Congress, Department of the Treasury, and the Internal Revenue Service of policy and technical recommendations. She also plays a key role in the development of AICPA testimony for tax-related Congressional hearings.
Ms. Labant is also a member of the board of trustees of the American Tax Policy Institute, a non-profit organization which promotes and facilitates non-partisan scholarly research and discussion of U.S. federal, state and local tax policy issues.
Ms. Labant obtained her law degree and B.S. in Business Administration (with an emphasis in accounting) from St. Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and has earned the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designation from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. Ms. Labant has also earned her Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) and Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designations M
Ms. Labant has appeared on Fox and Friends, Fox Business, and Al Jazeera America and has been quoted in several business and trade publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Wall Street Journal China, USA Today, NY Times, Chicago Tribune, LA Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Huffington Post, among others. Ms. Labant is a frequent speaker at national and state society tax conferences and webcasts.
James B. Bristol, JD
James Bristol has more than 30 years of experience representing businesses, governmental entities and nonprofit organizations in all areas of executive compensation and benefits, including ESOPs and ERISA.
His vast experience includes advising healthcare companies, financial institutions and other entities on matters ranging from employment and separation agreements to complex ERISA litigation. Clients value his experienced and practical approach to resolving conflicts and complex issues.
From startup ventures to publicly traded companies, James advises clients on all types of compensation and benefits.Back to Speakers
J. Leigh Griffith, JD, LLM, CPA
In his more than 35 years of practicing tax and business law, Leigh Griffith has helped clients grow their businesses from the start-up stage to billion-dollar corporations. Transaction-oriented businesses, healthcare companies, private equity firms, Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), and partnerships rely on Leigh's experience and counsel to structure their tax matters, which can range from a few million dollars to over $1 billion.
Colleagues and clients regularly turn to him for his deep knowledge of tax at the state, national and global levels as well as the intersection of non-profit tax law, for-profit tax law and healthcare regulatory law.
Leigh’s background as a certified public accountant has contributed to groundbreaking legal work, including: creation of the first LLC in Tennessee; development of the Double Holdco LLC structure for the home healthcare industry; being named principal draftsman of the Tennessee LLC Act; participating in the first life insurance/annuity combination securitization, recognized by the rating agencies as a new security and a new asset class; American Bar Association Tax Section Advisor to National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws - Series of Unincorporated Business Entities Drafting Committee. One of approximately 650 Fellows of the American College of Tax Counsel, Leigh is also a sought-after seminar leader for continuing professional education programs. Leigh contributes a bimonthly column, "The Pass Through Partner," in Taxes Magazine, published by CCH Tax and Accounting.
Leigh has been recognized for his vast tax law experience in The Best Lawyers in America since 1995. A partner in the Nashville office of Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP, Leigh earned his J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School. He holds an LL.M. in Taxation from New York University and earned his B.A., magna cum laude, from the University of Virginia.Back to Speakers
Dr. Chris Kuehl is a Managing Director of Armada Corporate Intelligence. He provides forecasts and strategic guidance for a wide variety of corporate clients around the world. He is the chief economist for several national and international organizations – Fabricators and Manufacturers Association, National Association of Credit Management, Finance, Credit and International Business and the Business Information Industry Association. He is also the economic analyst for several state accounting societies – Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee and Kansas.
Prior to starting Armada in 1999 he was a professor of economics and finance for 15 years – teaching in the US, Hungary, Russia, Estonia, Singapore and Taiwan. He holds advanced degrees in economics, Soviet studies and East Asian studies.
Chris is the author of Business Intelligence Briefs and Executive Intelligence Briefs - both publications from Armada. He is also responsible for the Credit Manager’s Index from NACM and Fabrinomics from the FMA.Back to Speakers
Marilyn Young, CPA
Dr. Marilyn Young is a Professor of Accounting at Belmont University. She joined the faculty in 2001. She has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Master of Tax Accounting from the University of Alabama, and a Ph.D. in Accounting from the University of Mississippi.
Her industry experience includes work as a Tax Accountant for Deloitte and Frasier, Dean, and Howard and as a Tax Specialist in Corporate Finance at Empire Berol Corporation. Before coming to Belmont University, she taught at Lipscomb University. Her teaching experience at Belmont includes both undergraduate and graduate classes in taxation and financial accounting. Dr. Young also helps non-accounting students prepare to enter the Master in Accountancy program by teaching in the Summer Accounting Institute. She has presented her research at various regional and national conferences and published articles in Tax Adviser, Journal of Accountancy, State Tax Notes, Strategic Finance, Issues in Accounting Education, Tennessee CPA Journal, Economics and Politics, and Journal of S Corporation Taxation.
Dr. Young holds membership in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants (TSCPA), American Accounting Association, and American Taxation Association. She is currently a member of the AICPA IRS Advocacy and Relations Committee and a member of the TSCPA Nashville Chapter Board. The AIPCA has twice awarded her honorable mention for the Bea Sanders/AICPA Innovation in Teaching Award. She received an Outstanding Teaching Award from Lipscomb University and Outstanding Teaching Award from the Jack C. Massey College of Business at Belmont University. Named multiple times as the Most Inspirational Professor of The Jack C. Massey Graduate School of Business and the Faculty Member of the Year by the Beta Alpha Psi chapter in the Jack C. Massey College of Business, Dr. Young was presented with Belmont’s highest faculty honor, The Chaney Distinguished Professor Award, in 2005.Back to Speakers
Stephen A. Turner, CPA
Stephen Turner is a Shareholder in the LBMC Tax practice.
He primarily focuses on the issues facing partnerships and joint ventures.
Stephen has extensive experience serving venture capital, mezzanine debt, and private equity clients as well as clients in the healthcare, pharmaceutical, technology and real estate industries. He has served clients in all aspects of partnership and joint venture formations, operations, acquisitions, monetizations, compensation matters, use of Up-C structures and other exit strategies. He has significant experience in partnership structuring, partnership diligence and partnership tax compliance.
Stephen has also assisted many clients with the review of term sheets and letters of intent for acquisitions and joint ventures, the review of operating agreements and partnership agreements, and the review of private placement memorandums.Back to Speakers
Kathy D. Aslinger, Esq.
As a leader of Kennerly Montgomery’s pension and employee benefits practice, Kathy D. Aslinger assists public and private employers, plan fiduciaries, trustees, third party administrators, and advisors maneuver through the complex world of audits, fiduciary liability issues, DOL and IRS compliance and correction, and state law obligations, as well as the design, implementation and maintenance of retirement and health and welfare benefit plans.
For an ERISA attorney, Kathy has an unusual background. She spent the first 11 years of her career as a government attorney and prosecutor. During that time, she worked as a judicial clerk for judges on the Tennessee Court of Appeals and Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals, as an appellate attorney for the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office, and as an Assistant District Attorney. She has tried cases before judges and juries and handled approximately 200 appeals before the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals, the Tennessee Supreme Court and the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. She credits the research, writing, and advocacy skills she gained during these years for her continued success in the realm of employee benefits, and while she works hard to keep her clients out of the courtroom, she is grateful that she has the experience and ability to assist them in the courtroom if needed.
In addition to her ERISA practice, Kathy serves as one of the managing shareholders of the Firm. This role enables her to lead, mentor and guide the Firm in a positive direction.Back to Speakers
Bruce A. McGovern, JD, LLM
Bruce McGovern is a tenured member of the faculty at South Texas College of Law Houston, where he also serves as Director of the school’s Low Income Taxpayer Clinic. Previously, he served for many years as the school’s Vice President and Associate Dean for Academic Administration. He received his undergraduate degree from Columbia University and his law degree from Fordham University School of Law. After law school, he served as a judicial clerk for Judge Thomas Meskill on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York. He then practiced law with the law firm of Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C. He subsequently earned an LL.M. in Taxation from the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he taught as a visiting faculty member before joining the faculty at South Texas College of Law Houston.
Professor McGovern teaches and writes in the areas of business organizations and taxation. His courses include Federal Income Taxation, U.S. Taxation of International Transactions, Partnership and Subchapter S Taxation, and Federal Tax Procedure. He frequently speaks on recent developments in federal income taxation. Professor McGovern is a member of the Council of the State Bar of Texas Tax Section, a former Chair of the Houston Bar Association Section of Taxation, and a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel.Back to Speakers
Steven Wlodychak, JD, LLM
Steven Wlodychak is retired principal and contractor with Ernst & Young LLP’s Indirect (State and Local) Tax practice in Washington, DC. Steve is a member of its National Tax Department, is a leader of its state and local transactions practice and serves as the state and local director of its Center for Tax Policy. He specializes in the state and local tax aspects of business transactions including not only advising on the state and local income tax consequences of transactions but also the effects of other indirect taxes, such as sales and use, property and employment taxes on business combinations.
He has assisted in the structuring and due diligence investigations of numerous transactions both for private equity and strategic investors and has addressed state and local tax considerations in all 50 states and on well over 900 different transactions.
Steve previously served in EY’s Los Angeles and New York offices, was a state and local tax attorney for one of America’s largest insurance companies and an associate attorney with a major regional law firm and worked in state government in New Jersey, including for the Governor of the state. He has published extensively on various aspects of state and local taxation, most recently as the co-author with Bruce Ely, Esq. of Bloomberg Tax’s Pass-through Entity Tax Navigator, an electronically based resource that provides coverage of the state taxation of partnerships, S corporations and other pass-through entities. In 2017, Steve and Bruce were honored by being named “authors of the year” by Bloomberg Tax for their efforts.
A frequent speaker, Steve hosts EY’s popular quarterly State and Local Tax webcasts and has led seminars on state and local tax matters throughout the US on a wide range of state and local tax topics. He has also been a guest lecturer on state taxation at the LL.M. in taxation programs at Georgetown University’s School of Law in Washington, DC. In June 2018, Steve was honored with EY’s first Lifetime Achievement Award for his education efforts for its tax professionals and, in 2020, with a Lifetime Achievement Award from its Indirect Tax Practice.
Steve received a B.S.F.S. degree (cum laude) from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, a J.D. (cum laude) from Seton Hall University’s School of Law (where he was an associate editor of the law review), and an LL.M. (Taxation) from New York University. Steve is a member of the ABA, the New York Bar Association, the District of Columbia Bar and the New Jersey Bar.Back to Speakers
Mark B. Burnette, CPA, CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC
Mark Burnette is the Shareholder-in-Charge of LBMC’s Information Security practice. He possesses 22 years of experience in information security and risk management. Mark’s background includes extensive experience in security program strategy and development, regulatory compliance, security policies and procedures, risk assessment and management, penetration testing, and security function design, development, and staffing. Mark is particularly passionate about cybersecurity leadership and growing the profession.
During his decorated career, Mark has served as the President and Global Practice Leader for a national information security consulting company and built and led information security functions for two major publicly-traded corporations. He worked for several years in key leadership roles with two of the Big 6 (now Big 4) accounting firms where he specialized in developing, implementing, assessing, and securing information technology solutions for companies in the healthcare, retail, manufacturing, banking, and insurance industries. In 2005, while serving as the Global Information Security Officer for international insurance broker The Willis Group, Mark was named the Information Security Executive of the Year at the ISE Southeast Awards. In 2008, while serving as the Executive Director of IT Operations and Security for hotelier Gaylord Entertainment Company, he was named one of Information Security Magazine’s “Security 7” top seven security leaders, and was chosen by ComputerWorld Magazine as one of the Premier 100 IT Leaders for 2009. In January 2011, the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA), the international trade association for information security professionals, named Mark a Fellow. This prestigious honor, which has only been granted to a handful of individuals worldwide, is bestowed by the ISSA Fellow Program for distinguished accomplishments in the field of information security, leadership, and future service to the association and profession. Mark’s unique background allows him to bring a “walk a mile in the shoes” perspective to all of LBMC’s security engagements. His experience building and running information security functions allows him to develop solutions that are relevant, practical, and actionable.
Recognized as an IT security expert by technology think-tank Gartner, Mark has repeatedly been featured as a subject matter expert on ABC and CBS television affiliates been published in print media such as CSO, Secure Enterprise, Information Security, and ComputerWorld magazines, and quoted by ABCnews.com, among many media appearances. Mark’s engaging style has made him a popular and highly-requested speaker for international conferences and specialty groups around the world. Mark’s book, “Risky Business: Cybersecurity Leadership The Right Way” provides practical insights on cybersecurity leadership and was published in August 2019.
Mark currently serves on the American Institute of CPAs’ national Cybersecurity Working Group. That group of cybersecurity experts has worked on behalf of the AICPA to update existing cybersecurity control descriptions for the CPA profession and to develop a new cybersecurity risk management attestation standard that was published during 2017. The AICPA also tapped Mark to develop a cybersecurity toolkit for its member firms that provides guidance on how CPA firms can develop and staff a cybersecurity consulting function that will allow them to offer cybersecurity services to their clients. Mark also led the development of the AICPA’s official training curriculum on cybersecurity risk assessment and consulting services. These new training courses, delivered for the first time in 2017, are training the next generation of cybersecurity auditors and assessors in the proper scoping, evaluation, execution, review, and reporting of an entity’s cybersecurity posture. In January 2019, Mark was recognized as one of the cybersecurity industry’s 75 “Pioneers”, having been one of the first enterprise CISOs, and, in so doing, laying the groundwork for today’s CISO role. In March 2019, Mark delivered a wildly-popular TED talk at TEDxNashville titled “The Humanity Behind Cybersecurity Attacks”.
Mark earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Carson-Newman College, where he graduated summa cum laude while serving as a placekicker for C-N’s nationally ranked NCAA Division II college football team. He earned his Master of Accountancy degree from the University of Tennessee, where he served as a graduate teaching assistant.
For his cumulative efforts as a security leader serving his community and his State, on September 11, 2008 Mark was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation from Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen in recognition of outstanding service in the best interests and highest traditions of the State of Tennessee.Back to Speakers
Anna Falkenstein represents the IRS for Face-to-Face and Virtual taxpayer educational and outreach events working with tax professionals, payroll providers, industry and trade associations, small business owners, as well as in conjunction with other Federal, State and local government agencies.
Anna has been employed with the IRS since 1988. Prior to her work in Stakeholder Liaison Division, she held positions as a Field Revenue Officer and Offer-in-Compromise Specialist in the Collection Division. Anna regularly speaks at organization meetings, conferences, seminars and workshops, both face-to-face and via webcast, on tax related topics that are relevant to the given tax professional, payroll or small business audience.Back to Speakers
Claude E. Blankenship, CPA, CGMA
CJ Blankenship is the Managing Partner at the firm and consults with clients and the BCPAG team on the most challenging tax, accounting, management and financial matters. He is a National Merit Scholar and received his Bachelor of Business Administration with honors in Accounting from Belmont University.
He has over twenty years of management experience in a variety of industries and service sectors and had worked at Crowe Chizek (currently Crowe Horwath, LLP) and RSM McGladrey, Inc. prior to joining the firm in 2007. CJ was admitted as a partner in the firm in February of 2009 and has served as the managing partner since.
Over his career CJ has performed a variety of consulting services for hundreds of clients, including serving in an outsourced CFO capacity for an international manufacturing and distribution company with operations and customers around the globe.
CJ spends his workdays on mergers and acquisitions, not-for-profit consulting and compliance matters, planning (particularly with tax favored investment strategy), management consulting, tax compliance, accounting systems and matters for businesses, not-for-profits and individuals, and manages the day to day processes and strategic direction of the firm.
CJ has a heart for Christian ministries and is the Founder and President of Christian Recovery Houses, Inc., and consults with several not for profit boards. He has also served the TSCPA Nashville Board and Federal Tax Committee, and has served as the Treasurer at the Tennessee Christian Chamber of Commerce. He used to spend a lot of hours with the guitar and Christian song-writing, playing golf, camping, hunting, fishing, writing and exercising. Now, he is blessed to have married up to his lovely wife Amanda, and spends most of his free time as a father of two wonderful sons and a sweet little girl to round out the brood.Back to Speakers
Christopher A. Wilson, JD, LLM
Nonprofit organizations and companies in a wide range of industries such as manufacturing, retail, cable television, real estate, professional services, waste management, and software, rely on Chris Wilson for assistance with a range of state tax planning and state tax litigation matters.
With litigation experience covering a broad range of trust, probate and estate administration matters as well as conservatorship proceedings, Chris has represented financial institutions, particularly their trust and wealth management officers, in matters involving allegations of breach of trust and breach of fiduciary duty. He has also represented trust and estate beneficiaries in matters involving will contests, breach claims, and other claims involving fraud and undue influence. Clients count on Chris to develop strategies to resolve disputes within the applicable terms of trust instruments or estate planning documents while also seeking to minimize the impact upon client and family relationships.
Additionally, Chris represents both petitioners and respondents in conservatorship actions, and understands the legal complexities, family dynamics, and individual desires for autonomy involved in conservatorship proceedings. Clients rely on him to navigate these complexities while also focusing on reasonable solutions to preserve individual autonomy, ensure the receipt of necessary care and management for disabled individuals, and to maintain family harmony.Back to Speakers
Stephen J. Jasper, JD
As businesses encounter disputes or potential disputes with the state of Tennessee and other taxing authorities, Steve Jasper makes sure those businesses receive fair tax treatment and the full tax savings they are entitled to receive. Steve represents his clients in negotiations with taxing authorities and, as necessary, guides businesses through administrative proceedings or trials. Steve provides counsel with special attention to clients' business objectives, and in the past five years alone has successfully received over $200 million in tax savings on behalf of his clients. As a reflection of his specialized experience in state tax matters, on multiple occasions Steve has been selected by the Tennessee Department of Revenue to help draft major rewrites to significant portions of Tennessee's tax statutes.
Steve's clients include multi-national Fortune 500 companies with locations and business operations across the globe, as well as Tennessee-based companies with a single business location.Back to Speakers