32nd Annual Spring Institute

Date: Wednesday, May 8, 2024
Time: 7:30am - 5:00pm
Location: Amarillo Area Foundation Building, 919 S Polk St, Amarillo, TX 79101

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Amarillo Area Estate Planning Council's Thirty-Second Annual Spring Institute

Wednesday May 8th, 2024

Amarillo Area Foundation Building

919 S Polk St, Amarillo - Decoursey (West) Conference Room

Please join us for our 32nd Annual Spring Institute for a day of engaging speakers and meeting your fellow AAEPC members.

7:30 am – Registration and light breakfast

8:00 am to 12:20 am – Morning session

12:20 am to 1:20 pm – Lunch

1:20 pm to 5:00 pm – Afternoon session


Featured Speakers:

John Strohmeyer, is the proprietor of Strohmeyer Law PLLC in Houston where he guides individuals through the maze of estate planning, tax, and probate law to help them leave No Unfinished Business®.  John is board certified in both Tax Law, and Estate Planning and Probate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.  John is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (“ACTEC”, the cool-kids club for estate planners). When he’s not practicing law, he spends his time with his wife Emily and their rescued mutts Griswold, Molly, Billy, and Tank; running marathons (50 as of October 30, 2023); and homebrewing beer.

Tiffany Dowell Lashmet, is an Associate Professor and Extension Specialist in Agricultural Law with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. She focuses her work on legal issues affecting Texas agricultural producers and landowners.  Tiffany grew up on a family farm and ranch in Eastern New Mexico, received her Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness (Farm and Ranch Management) summa cum laude at Oklahoma State University, and her law degree summa cum laude at the University of New Mexico.

Amy Florian, is the CEO of Corgenius and an expert in life transition. She is an acclaimed speaker and author, and has published over 250 articles and the multi-award-winning books No Longer Awkward: Communicating with Clients through the Toughest Times of Life and A Friend Indeed: Help Someone You Love When They Grieve. She has been honored with many awards for her ground-breaking work, including; LUMINARIES Class of 2021 from ThinkAdvisor, The 20 Most Creative People in Insurance and Financial Services from LifeHealthPro, Influential Woman in Business from the National Association of Women Business Owners, Women of Influence from the Chicago Business Journal, List of 25 FrontRunners and Influencers from Investment Advisor Magazine. Amy holds a Master’s Degree and is a Fellow in Thanatology (the highest level of certification in the field of grief studies). She taught a graduate class at Loyola University of Chicago for almost 10 years, she has worked with over 2,500 grieving people, and she consults with firms, corporations, and individuals across the country and the globe.

Melanie Smoot, was the Development Director for a non-profit in Frisco, Texas prior to joining Amarillo Area Foundation in 2021. She began her career in the non-profit field 19 years ago in Amarillo and has raised funds for various non-profit organizations throughout the state of Texas since then. Melanie grew up in the Texas Panhandle and graduated from West Texas A&M University with her Bachelor of Music and Master of Business Administration degrees.

Jesus Cañas, is a senior business economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas where he analyzes regional economic growth. His research also focuses on issues pertaining to the Mexican economy, the U.S.–Mexico border economy and cross-border manufacturing. He has written articles for academic journals such as Annals of Regional Science and Growth and Change and co-edited Ten Gallon Economy: Sizing up Economic Growth in Texas. His publication "Texas Border Cities Illustrate Benefits and Challenges of Trade" has been mentioned in the Wall Street Journal as well as in all major Texas newspapers. Cañas is a member of the Mission Foods Texas–Mexico Center Faculty Advisory Board at Southern Methodist University, charged with the task of improving the Texas–Mexico relationship in its economic, political, social and cultural aspects. He is also an adjunct professor at Texas Christian University. He holds a BA in economics and finance and an MS in economics from the University of Texas at El Paso.

State Representative Walter T. “Four” Price, a fourth generation Texan from Amarillo, has the privilege of advocating for constituents residing in eight Texas Panhandle counties. In 2022, Price was re-elected to his seventh term in the Texas House of Representatives where he continues to vigorously advocate for the betterment of the Texas Panhandle and the entire Lone Star State. Representative Price has served on and chaired numerous committees in the Texas House. He presently serves on the House Public Health Committee, the House Select Committee on Health Care Reform and the House Natural Resources Committee. 

Kit Mac Nee, CFP®, CRPC®, AEP®, served a community foundation in Southern California as its Director of Gift Planning. She worked with donors and local charitable organizations to gain philanthropic assets that would provide a legacy of financial resources. Today, she uses her financial-planning proficiency to serve as a volunteer, board member, and consultant to guide families and charities toward more secure financial futures.  Kit raised three children, all now grown and leading fulfilling lives in different parts of the United States. She loves traveling to visit family, including trips to Detroit, her original hometown. She lives in Los Angeles and travels throughout Southern California and the U.S. to support clients as well as the community groups she works with. Her volunteer work continues as a board member for the NAEPC and St. Barnabas Senior Services. Kit is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management, earned the Certified Specialist in Planned Giving® from California State University Long Beach, American Institute of Philanthropy in 2001, and became a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and Accredited Estate Planner® designee in 2013.



John R. Strohmeyer - Apres BOI Le Deluge: Beneficial Ownership Reporting to FinCEN Required by the Corporate Transparency Act: Back in 2020, Congress enacted the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA), which requires every business entity formed or registered to do business in the US to provide information about the people who ultimately own or control the entity to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN, which is part of the Department of the Treasury). Starting on January 1, 2024, "Reporting Companies" (entities subject to the CTA) must file a “beneficial owner report” with FinCEN. Nearly every business will be affected. The reporting requirements will apply to almost every small business that is not a sole proprietorship or general partnership—over 30 million in all.

Tiffany Dowell Lashmet - Considerations in Farm and Ranch Estate Planning: It is no secret that those involved in the agricultural industry have a different way of life.  This is true, as well, when it comes to specific estate planning needs.  This session will discuss agricultural-specific considerations when helping a client prepare an estate plan.

Amy Florian - Understanding and Communication through Loss, Aging, Illness, & Dementia: Whether it's personally or in their families, you meet with clients experiencing loss, aging, illness, and dementia every day. How do you understand, support, and communicate with them in ways that other professionals can't because they haven't been taught? Come for this overview presentation on situations you face. We'll start with a review of grief education and how it applies in each of these situations, and then go on to information and examples specific to these situations. Gain basic knowledge and actionable skills you can implement immediately. Leave with information that makes a difference. 

Melanie Smoot- Philanthropic Approaches to Preparing for the Unpreparable in Disasters: In times of disaster, philanthropy plays a crucial role in providing aid and support to affected communities. However, traditional philanthropic strategies often struggle to anticipate and respond to the unforeseeable nature of disasters. This presentation explores innovative philanthropic approaches to preparing for the unpreparable in disasters. We will explore the intersection of philanthropy and disaster preparedness, including fostering collaboration and partnerships between philanthropic organizations, government agencies, and local communities, while also working with donors who value disaster philanthropy.

Jesus Cañas - Texas Economic Update: Texas economic update per the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. The presentation will describe current trends in manufacturing, service sectors, and payroll employment. Jesus will also talk about inflation and wage growth in the state of Texas.

Four Price – Texas Legislative Session: Mr. Price will discuss an overview of the 88th Texas Legislative Session, along with specific discussions bills filed and passed. There will be a focus on how Texas legislation is impacting estates, with an update of the State's economy and budget. Mr. Price will also highlight future consequences, expectations, and how to get involved.

Kit Mac Nee - 529 Planning: Transferring Millions of Dollars to Your Family: 529 Plan Myths Debunked 529s Plans are very versatile. They can offer tax deferred or tax free growth, assets can be moved outside of an estate without an attorney while maintaining control of the assets, tax-free savings for college, and can be used for much more than tuition payments. We will walk through a number of myths and opportunities for using 529 Plans to execute an estate or gift plan for our clients, no matter the size of their estates.

CE has been approved for for ABA (3.75 credits for CRSP & 8.5 credits for CTFA), 8.5 credits for CPE, 6.75 credit hours for TX MCLE, and 7.30 credits for CFP.



Members - $250

Non-Member - $350

Questions, please contact Sheena Martinez at 757-714-4276 or aaepc1@gmail.com

Please Note: We will not be able to provide refunds for cancellations after May 1st or for no-shows.

Related Document(s):

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