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TEI honors Betty Wilson, Pam Olson during New Orleans conference.

TEI President Judith Zelisko presented two awards during TEI's 59th Annual Conference in New Orleans.

On October 19th, TEI awarded honorary membership to Betty Wilson, who recently retired from MGM MIRAGE. (Ms. Wilson is currently affiliated with Net Profit, Inc.) In presenting the award during the Institute's traditional Tuesday night banquet, TEI's current president saluted Ms. Wilson for her "long and distinguished career as a tax executive and a member of TEI, including service as Institute President and one of TEI's representatives on the IRS Advisory Council."

Ms. Zelisko explained that during her 28 years of membership, "Betty was an advocate for breaking down the barriers between the Institute's leadership and the membership at large, and when she became 2000-2001 International President, she acted upon the principles she had long advocated." Ms. Zelisko noted that Ms. Wilson moved forward to restructure the Institute's Annual Conference by reducing reduce formality and encouraging greater networking between the leadership and rank-and-file members. TEI also eliminated conference sessions on Sunday to better address work-life balance issues. Ms. Zelisko observed that "Betty said her goal in pushing these changes was 'to have a ball.' Both she--and everyone else in attendance--clearly did."

Ms. Zelisko also noted that Ms. Wilson was the first TEI representative to testify before the IRS Oversight Board. Another milestone during Ms. Wilson's term as president was the effective implementation of a new "association management system" at TEI, with a fully integrated e-commerce module that enabled members to register for programs and pay dues online. "We are continuing to benefit from her leadership," Ms. Zelisko concluded.

During the four-day conference, the Institute also presented former Assistant Treasury Secretary Pamela Olson with its Distinguished Service Award. During the October 18th luncheon, Ms. Zelisko singled out Ms. Olson for "the dedication, the tirelessness, and the innovation that she brought to government service." Ms. Olson, who is currently affiliated with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, served as both Deputy Secretary and Secretary of the Treasury for Tax Policy.

Ms. Olson continually proved herself open to new ideas and a powerful agent for change, TEI's president stated, referring to three areas where she left her mark: tax shelters--where she worked to balance the government's need for more information with the burdens that enhanced disclosure and penalties would impose on compliant taxpayers; capitalization--where she pressed for the adoption of broad-based rule to reduce the controversy that has swirled since the INDOPCO decision; and simplification--where she has been a tireless advocate and has pursued both incremental and structural change.

"Throughout her career," Ms. Zeilsko concluded, "Pam Olson has been guided by uncommon common sense, an unfailing sense of humor, and a solid sense of the doable. Taxpayers, the tax community, and TEI have benefitted from her service."

Additional information about TEI"s Annual Conference may be found on page 436.
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Title Annotation:Tax Executives Institute
Publication:Tax Executive
Date:Nov 1, 2004
Words:472
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