2019 American Institute for Federal Taxation Speakers 

Speaker Biography

David Aughtry headshot

AUGHTRY, DAVID D. – David Aughtry is the managing partner in the Atlanta Office of Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White and Aughtry. David practices in the area of civil tax controversy, and he taught tax controversy as an Adjunct Professor at Emory University School of Law and served as an instructor for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, "Litigating before the United States Tax Court" program. He is a Fellow in the International Society of Barristers and in the American College of Tax Counsel. Mr. Aughtry has served as the president and chairman of the Southern Federal Tax Institute.


Aurther Auerbach headshot

AUERBACH, ARTHUR - Art Auerbach is an independent tax consultant located in Atlanta, GA., specializing in tax consulting and estate and financial planning for individuals and closely held businesses. He is affiliated with the Asbury Law Firm as a consultant.  He is a member of the Georgia, Virginia, New York and Greater Washington CPA societies.  Art was appointed to the AICPA Tax Executive Committee for a term beginning February 1, 2018 ending May 31, 2020. As an active member of the Georgia Society he serves on the Georgia Department of Revenue Commissioners Advisory Group, the Financial Literacy Task Force and Chairs the GSCPA Federal State Tax Task Force.  He has served as an advisor to the District of Columbia Office of Tax And Revenue and the Tax Commissioners Advisory group in Virginia. Art is currently on the editorial board of the Journal of Accountancy and serves as a member of the Ethics Committee of the Virginia Society of CPA’s.

David DeJong headshot

DEJONG, DAVID – David DeJong is a principal of the Rockville, Maryland law firm of Stein Sperling Bennett De Jong Driscoll PC, and he concentrates his practice in tax planning and controversy, estate planning, business transactions and valuations. An adjunct professor for over 30 years at five universities, he currently teaches part-time at the Washington and Lee University School of Law. For 16 years he coauthored J. K. Lasser’s annual tax planning book. David has litigated cases in each federal tax forum and has testified as an expert witness over 50 times in court, arbitrations and before disciplinary panels. Active in many professional groups, David is a Past President of the American Academy of Attorney-Certified Public Accountants. In 2006, he was listed as one of the Top 100 Attorneys in the United States by Worth magazine; he has received additional accolades from Washingtonian Magazine, Washington Smart CEO, Best Lawyers in America, Super Lawyers and CPA Magazine. 

Bruce Ely headshot

ELY, BRUCE P. – Bruce Ely is a partner in the Birmingham office of Bradley, Arant, Boult, and Cummings, LLP.  His more than 30 years of experience have allowed him to handle projects as diverse as serving on the recruiting teams that successfully induced both Mercedes-Benz and Hyundai to locate their first U.S. manufacturing plants in Alabama to representing taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service, the Alabama Department of Revenue and local taxing authorities. His practice focuses on three concentric areas: representing taxpayers in federal, state and local administrative and judicial forums; advising companies on choosing the proper form of entity through which to conduct business in the southeast and potential tax incentives; and advising companies and various trade and professional organizations regarding state and local tax legislative matters. 

Charles Fox headshot

FOX IV, CHARLES D. – Skip Fox is a partner in the Charlottesville office of McGuireWoods LLP and chair of the firm’s Tax and Employee Benefits Department. Skip concentrates his practice in estate planning, estate administration, trust law, and charitable organizations, and he has been on the faculty of the American Bankers Association’s National Trust School and National Graduate Trust School since 1987. Skip was an Adjunct Professor at Northwestern University School of Law where he taught from 1983 to 2005, and he has been an Adjunct Professor at the University of Virginia School of Law since 2006. He speaks extensively around the country on estate planning topics, and he is the co-presenter of the long-running monthly teleconference series on estate planning and fiduciary law issues sponsored by the American Bankers Association. Skip has contributed articles to numerous publications and is a regular columnist for the ABA Trust Newsletter on tax matters. He is the author or co-author of seven books on estate planning topics, and he is a Fellow and President-Elect of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.  

Joe Garrett headshot

GARRETT JR., JOE W. – Joe Garrett is an attorney in the Commissioner’s Office of the Alabama Department of Revenue, where he serves as Deputy Commissioner of Revenue. His primary responsibility is to help shape the Department’s business tax policy through the Department’s legislative, regulatory, audit and litigation functions. Before joining the Department, Joe was a manager with PricewaterhouseCooper’s state and local tax group in Atlanta, Georgia, where he worked as a state tax consultant after graduating from the University of Florida College of Law’s graduate tax program in 1998. Joe is a member of both the Georgia and Alabama Bar associations, and he is a regular speaker at state and local tax conferences.

Kelly Henry

HENRY, KELLY S. - Kelly Henry is a partner of Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP, and she is a member of the firm’s Estate Planning Practice Group. Kelly concentrates her practice in the areas of estate and charitable planning, and estate and trust administration. She is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, and she is a frequent speaker on various estate planning and administration topics. Kelly is a graduate of Smith College and the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law.

Sasha Klein

KLEIN, SASHA – Sasha Klein is Special Trusts and Estates Counsel for Proskauer, an international law firm. Sasha counsels affluent individuals and families in personal tax and estate planning, and she guides clients on structuring wealth to achieve their goals, including protecting against risk and minimizing income and transfer taxes over multiple generations. She also has extensive experience in advising on trustee and family governance structures to preserve business enterprises and manage potentially sensitive family dynamics. She also advises the Firm's litigators on tax, trust and estate matters. Sasha holds both a post doctorate degree in tax law and an Accredited Estate Planner® designation. She was recently awarded “2018 Trust Member of the Year” by the Florida Bankers Association.  Kelly has been a visiting professor at The University of Florida Levin College of Law on post mortem tax planning and holds numerous leadership roles in professional organizations, including in the trust and estate sections of the American Bar Association and Florida Bankers Association. 

Sharon Klein headshot

KLEIN, SHARON L. - Sharon Klein is President of Family Wealth, Eastern Region, for Wilmington Trust, N.A.  Sharon is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and a member of New York Bankers Association Trust & Investment Division Executive Committee, The Rockefeller University Committee on Trust and Estate Gift Plans, the Professional Advisory Council of the Anti-Defamation League, the Estates, Gifts and Trusts Advisory Board for The Bureau of National Affairs and the Thomson Reuters Trusts & Estates Advisory Board. She is a past Chair of the New York City Bar Association’s Trusts, Estates and Surrogate’s Court Committee, a past Chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Trusts and Estates Law Section Taxation Committee, and a member of the New York City Bar Association’s Matrimonial Committee. Sharon is on the Board of Directors of the American Brain Foundation, and a member of its Finance Committee. 

Robert Keatinge headshot

KEATINGE, ROBERT R. - Bob Keatinge is Counsel to the Denver law firm of Holland & Hart LLP.  He practices in the areas of business organizations, taxation, and professional responsibility.  Bob has represented a wide variety of business organizations and their owners from small start-up companies to publicly traded corporations.  He has written and spoken nationally in the areas of business law, taxation, and professional responsibility.  Bob has been a Visiting Associate Professor at Suffolk University School of Law  and Professor of Law  LLM. in US Law for International Business Lawyers at  the Eötvös Loránd University Faculty of Law, Budapest, Hungary and the Center for International Legal Studies Salzburg, Austria, 2008 (teaching U.S. Business Organizations) and an adjunct professor at the University of Denver College of Law and the University of Miami School of Law.  He is a fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel; a member of the American Law Institute; and is listed in the current Best Lawyers in America in three specialties (Corporate Governance and Compliance Law, Corporate Law and Tax Law) and has been named the Best Lawyers’ 2012 Denver Corporate Law Lawyer of the Year; and listed in Who’s Who in America and other publications.  He is chair of the American Bar Association Business Law Section Committee on Professional Responsibility and a member of the ABA Cybersecurity Legal Task Force.  

Daniel Kowalski headshot

KOWALSKI, DANIEL - Daniel Kowalski has 30 years of experience in fiscal policy at the federal, state, and local levels of government.  Secretary Steven Mnuchin appointed Dan to serve as Counselor to the Secretary in March 2017.  Previously, Dan served as Deputy Staff Director of the Republican staff of the Senate Budget Committee.  He also served as the Director of Budget Review for the Republican staff of the House Budget Committee.  In those two positions, Dan helped shepherd several balanced budgets through the U.S. Congress.  In state government, Dan worked as Director of the Legislative Budget Office for the Missouri General Assembly and as the senior individual income tax analyst with the Republican staff of the Finance Committee for the New York State Senate. 


LAMAR-HART, CYNTHIA G. - Cynthia Lamar-Hart is the Chair of Maynard Cooper’s Estate Planning, Fiduciary Advisory Services and Fiduciary Litigation practice groups. She provides comprehensive representation for her clients, including serving as legal counsel, strategic advisor and fiduciary litigator. Her Estate Planning practice is focused on counseling individuals and families with regard to estate and gift tax planning, charitable planning and a variety of wealth transfer techniques. In her Fiduciary Advisory practice, she serves as the primary outside counsel to corporate fiduciaries, advising on all matters of policy and procedure, trust and estate administration, business acceptance, fiduciary risk, pre-litigation and fiduciary litigation matters. She also regularly advises large public universities as well as large and small public charities/private foundations. In her Fiduciary Litigation practice, Cynthia regularly advises trustees and executors in pre-litigation, mediation, trial and appellate proceedings, and she frequently serves as a mediator in trust and estate disputes.  Cynthia holds a Band 1 ranking by Chambers and Partners in the area of “Private Wealth Law,” and she is consistently recognized as a leader in her field by The Best Lawyers in America© and Super Lawyers. A Fellow of the American College of Trust & Estate Counsel since 2002, Cynthia serves on the ACTEC Nominating Committee, Fiduciary Litigation Committee and Diversity Committee, and is a past Director of the ACTEC Foundation. She is a member of the Estate Planning Council of Birmingham and a former Chair of the Probate Section of the Birmingham Bar Association. Cynthia serves on the Board of Directors of the YWCA of Central Alabama.

Ronald Levitt headshot

LEVITT, RONALD A. - Ron Levitt is a shareholder at the law firm of Sirote & Permutt, P.C. Mr. Levitt earned his BS, cum laude, in 1979, MBA in 1983 and J.D. in 1983 from the University of Alabama (Roll Tide!), and his Master’s in Taxation from University of Florida School of Law in 1984. Ron counsels clients in business planning, succession planning, entity formation, acquisitions, dispositions, redemptions, liquidations and reorganizations. He also handles federal and state controversy matters, and charitable deduction planning, including planning and defending conservation easements. Ron taught Partnership Taxation for Cumberland School of Law and for the University of Alabama School of Law's LLM in Taxation Program. He serves as a Council Director of the ABA Tax Section and is a former chair of the S Corporation Committee of the ABA Tax Section, and of the Alabama Bar Association's Tax Section. An AV rated Martindale-Hubbell attorney, he was recognized by Best Lawyers in America as Birmingham's "2012 Best Lawyer of the Year" for Tax Law. Best Lawyers in America has recognized Mr. Levitt for more than 20 years in the areas of Tax, Litigation & Controversy-Tax, Corporate Law and Health Care Law. Additionally, Ron has been recognized by Alabama Super Lawyers for Tax, Closely Held Business and Health Care and by the Birmingham Magazine as Top Attorney, Tax for 2009-10. Ron is a Fellow and former Regent in the American College of Tax Counsel, and he is a frequent speaker for the New York Institute on Federal Taxation and other tax conferences and has published articles on taxation issues in Tax Notes, Journal of Taxation, Business Entities, The Journal of S Corporation Taxation, Taxation of Exempts, and other tax journals. 

Stephen Looney headshot

LOONEY, STEPHEN - Stephen Looney is the Chair of Dean Mead's Tax Department. He represents clients in a variety of business and tax matters including entity formation (S and C corporations, partnerships, and LLCs), acquisitions, dispositions, redemptions, liquidations, reorganizations, tax-free exchanges of real estate and tax controversies. His clients include closely held businesses, with an emphasis on medical and other professional practices. He is a former Chair of the S Corporations Committee of the American Bar Association’s Tax Section. He is Board Certified in Tax Law by the Florida Bar, as well as being a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Charles Redd headshot

REDD, CHARLES A. – Clary Redd is a partner in the St. Louis, Missouri, office of the law firm of Stinson Leonard Street LLP. He has extensive experience and expertise in: the drafting of wills, trust instruments, durable powers of attorney, marital agreements and other estate planning documents; pre- and post-death tax planning for individuals, trusts and estates; preparation and filing of estate tax returns, gift tax returns and fiduciary income tax returns; representation and filing of estate tax returns, gift tax returns and fiduciary income tax returns; representation of individual and corporate fiduciaries; and litigation in the Probate Division and other equity divisions of the Circuit Court.  

James Sowell headshot

SOWELL, JAMES B.  – Jim Sowell is a partner with KPMG. He is a former chairman of the Real Estate Committee of the American Bar Association (Tax Section) and a former vice chairman of the Tax Policy Advisory Committee of the Real Estate Roundtable. He is a member of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, where he is an active participant on the Government Relations Committee. Jim also is on the Board of Trustees for the Southern Federal Tax Institute, where he formerly served as President.

Curtis Stewart headshot

STEWART, CURTIS E. – Curtis Stewart was appointed a Deputy Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Revenue in 2013.  He has twenty-four years tenure with the Department, including recently serving as the Director of Tax Policy and Research.  Curtis has also been appointed by Governor Bentley to the Board of Control of the Employees Retirement System of Alabama.  The 13-member Board of Control is responsible for overseeing the operations of the ERS and protecting the benefits provided to its members.

Don Susswein headshot

SUSSWEIN, DONALD B. - Don Susswein leads the firm’s partnership and pass-through consulting group and is a member of its Washington National Tax office.  Recently, through his membership in the Tax Policy Advisory Committee of the Real Estate Roundtable, he played a leading role in developing private sector comments that provided significant input into the pass-through provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and in developing the major private sector response to proposed partnership audit legislation, the push-out method and related provisions, which culminated in substantial liberalizations being adopted in the final legislation enacted in 2015, in technical corrections legislation, and in final regulations. Don’s consulting experience before RSM includes seven years as a tax partner in the Washington National Tax offices of two “Big Four” firms and over a decade as a partner in a Wall Street law firm with a market-leading practice in the field of structured finance. Don’s government experience includes serving as majority tax counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance.  Before working in the Senate, Don briefed and argued the government’s position in tax controversies before the United States Courts of Appeals as an attorney in the Honors Program of the Appellate Section of the Tax Division of the Department of Justice.

Nancy Welber headshot

WELBER, NANCY H. - Nancy Welber is an attorney and CPA Of Counsel at Ferguson, Widmayer & Clark.  She concentrates her practice in the areas of estate and retirement planning, and probate and trust administration. In the retirement realm, she assists clients and other attorneys with difficult planning issues for families with significant retirement benefits, including families with special needs or younger beneficiaries and charitably inclined clients with large retirement accounts, with drafting trusts and custom beneficiary designations for complex retirement planning situations, and rectifying insufficient required minimum distributions by the account owner or beneficiary. Nancy works with families and consults with other attorneys on postmortem issues, including disclaimers of retirement benefits, administering trusts with problematic beneficiaries for retirement benefits such as charities, and distributing retirement accounts from trusts to the beneficiaries without triggering income tax.  She has been named a Michigan Super Lawyer, including Super Lawyers’ Best Lawyer (Detroit and Troy), and one of Michigan’s Top 50 Women Lawyers.  Nancy has also been listed in “The Best Lawyers in America” since 2003, among other publications. 

 Howard Zaritsky headshot

ZARITSKY, HOWARD – Howard Zaritsky is a retired partner in the law firm of Zaritsky & Zaritsky, in Fairfax, Virginia, where his practice was limited to estate planning and administration and related tax matters. He has been a lecturer at most tax and estate planning institutes, including the University of Miami (Heckerling) Estate Planning Institute, where he is a member of the advisory committee. He is the author or co-author of numerous articles and treatises, including; Tax Planning for Family Wealth Transfers during Life, and Tax Planning for Family Wealth Transfers at Death, both published by Thomson-Reuters/WG&L. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, a member of the Virginia State Bar, and former Chair of the Virginia Bar Association Section on Will, Trusts & Estates. Mr. Zaritsky lives on a farm with his wife and several groundhogs, near the thriving metropolis of Rapidan, Virginia.


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