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Proud to Have Served

Shawn P. Wolf
Dear colleagues, partners, and friends,

As my tenure as Chair of the Tax Section of the Florida Bar nears its end, I want to reach out, first to thank you for your indispensable support in making my chairmanship productive and rewarding, and secondly, to offer some food for thought on important issues that surfaced during my term that you may find insightful and helpful. 

Thought leadership is center stage: Building on prior years, the past year has been filled with important legislative, regulatory, and courtroom developments, which is in turn a reflection of the increasingly complex tax-planning environment we find ourselves practicing in. In such a rapidly evolving environment, the thought leadership of the Tax Section is more critical than ever before. Whatever challenges may come, I am certain that the intellectual firepower of the Tax Section of the Florida Bar will be indispensable in the shaping of tax policy and the evolution of our profession in the years ahead. Just as I have made thought leadership a cornerstone of my leadership of the Section, I look forward to continuing to be actively involved as a past-chair in pushing the envelope on producing and disseminating vital information relevant to practitioners in our field.

Diversification of CLE: As in previous years, the Tax Section continued its robust continuing education offerings. Notwithstanding the importance of traditional technical CLE trainings, this past year the Section began offering a wider thematic selection of courses, such as the highly popular "Navigating Burnout and High-Conflict People for Professionals." I believe that such a holistic approach to CLE in our Section will become only more important in the coming years as the practice of tax law becomes ever more challenging- the successful professional will be increasingly defined by soft skills and resilience, in addition to legal acumen. 

No substitute for in-person interactions: In the aftermath of the ‘COVID years’, so much of our work and our professional interactions remain remote. While this adaptability and the increased technological proficiency it has brought about certainly has its benefit, my chairmanship has greatly impressed upon me the importance of in-person gatherings among practitioners. As Chair, I witnessed first-hand, more than ever before, the robust knowledge sharing and powerful trust that is built when we all get to know each other face-to-face on the levels of professional, peer, and friend. 

Our Amelia Island meeting this year once again brought together friends and families. Although there were new faces this year, there were many members, their children and their children’s children that have maintained a generation of friendship and comradery. Our Fall meeting brought people together to celebrate the Tax Attorney of the Year, but also provided a unique opportunity for several of us to experience some chills and thrills together at Halloween Horror Nights.  

Finally, nowhere was this deepening of bonds and knowledge more apparent to me than during the Section’s annual meeting in May at The Atlantis, in the Bahamas.  We made great connections with Bahamian lawyers who joined us for the CLE and came back on Saturday to talk to us during the International Tax Division’s meeting. As to the comradery, well, if you weren’t there then you missed out (what happens in Atlantis stays in Atlantis!). There is no doubts in my mind that the professional relevance of, as well as the personal bonds of friendship created by being a member of, the Tax Section are as strong as ever and will continue to be so into the foreseeable future. 
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