2024 Conference Speakers (UPDATED SPEAKER LIST TO COME)
Mary B. Foster — 1031 Services, Inc.
Mary B. Foster (Conference Co-Chair) is currently President of 1031 Services, Inc., in Seattle, Washington. She has been involved in numerous exchanges as attorney and intermediary and she frequently lectures before professional groups and investors on the topic of tax-deferred exchanges. Ms. Foster is co-author of Tax-Free Exchanges under § 1031, published by Thomson Reuters/West. She is past President and Board Member of the Federation of Exchange Accommodators, a member of the ABA Tax Section Tax Council and former Chair of the Committee on Sales, Exchanges and Basis, a member of the Washington State Bar Tax Section, and a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel. Ms. Foster is a contributing author to Real Estate Taxation, Matthew Bender’s Federal Tax Service, Real Estate Tax Digest, Journal of Passthrough Entities, Business Law Today, NYU Tax Institute, and Journal of Accountancy. She received her B.A. from the University of Michigan and her J.D. from University of California, Berkeley Law.
Louis S. Weller — Weller Partners LLP
(Conference Co-Chair) is Managing Partner of Weller Partners, LLP in Sausalito, California. Lou is a retired Principal of Deloitte Tax, LLP, where he served as National Director, Real Estate Transaction Planning and led the firm’s Like-Kind Exchange practice group. He is co-author of Real Property Exchanges, 3rd edition, published by California Continuing Education of the Bar, is the Real Estate department Editor of the Journal of Taxation and serves on the Advisory Board for the Journal of Passthrough Entities. Lou is a past Chair of the ABA Tax Section’s Real Estate Committee, aa past Chair of the Taxation Section of the Bar Association of San Francisco, past member of the Executive Committee of the State Bar of California Taxation Section and is a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel. He received his B.A. cum laude from Yale University and J. D. and Masters in Public Policy degrees from the University of California, Berkeley. In his spare time Lou continues to struggle to become a barely adequate golfer.
Michael Alfano — Computershare Corporate Trust
Michael Alfano is a vice president and business development officer with
Computershare Trust Company, N.A., representing 1031 Like Kind Exchange
Services and Conventional Debt/Specialized Services products in the United
States and Bermuda. Michael has a broad background in corporate trust sales,
business development, and document review and negotiation.
Before joining the sales team, Michael negotiated governing documents for
bonds issued by state and local housing finance agencies for the purpose of
financing both single-family and multifamily mortgage loan programs. Prior to
joining Computershare Corporate Trust, he performed various roles in business
development and relationship management across various products in BNY
Mellon’s U.S. Corporate Trust division. At BNY Mellon, Michael was among the
top 1% of relationship managers in revenue generation.
Michael graduated from the University of Florida and received a B.A. and M.B.A. in Business
Administration. He also holds a J.D. from Samford University. Michael is in Jacksonville, FL.
Anne E. Andrews — PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC
Ms. Andrews is a Federal Tax Partner in the San Jose office of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP who specializes in federal tax planning and large-scale project implementations. Throughout her 20+ years with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Anne has gained deep technical and practical expertise in a variety of specialized tax areas, with primary focus on Sections 1031 and 1033. She worked for three years with PwC’s Washington National Tax group where she focused on developing and delivering tailored solutions to help clients solve complex tax-related challenges.
Anne currently serves as PwC’s National Like-kind Exchange Leader, responsible for planning and executing innovative consulting solutions to facilitate complex like-kind exchanges. She had developed and delivered tailored exchange solutions involving numerous characteristics including: partial and whole trade or business transaction exchanges; reverse and forward parking of leased and acquired replacement property, including construction options under the safe harbor, Bartell and build-to-suit structures; reverse LKE Programs; liability-netting; IRC section 338(h)(10) elections; property ownership and entity re-structuring pre- and post-exchange, and IRC section 1060 allocation complications; and under pre-2018 tax law: LKE Program exchanges; mass asset/multiple exchange group transactions; and intangible exchanges. Anne also focuses on assisting companies with the technical and procedural analysis and reporting of real, personal and intangible property involuntarily converted under Section 1033.
Additionally, Anne advises her clients on the characterization of tangible assets and associated expenditures; tax accounting for tangible property transactions; evaluating fixed asset accounting methods to maximize cash flow; claiming repair deductions and segregating costs for accelerated depreciation deductions; and defending the qualification and quantification of Domestic Production Deductions claims related to on-line software under former Section 199. Anne’s focus on planning, implementation and audit defense of complex, coordinated projects spans a wide array of industries including real estate, retail, technology, telecommunications, leasing, healthcare providers, utilities, oil and gas, financial services and consumer & industrial products manufacturing.
Anne is a regular instructor at conferences on like-kind exchanges, accounting methods and fixed asset related subjects. She received a B.A. from Michigan State University, and is a licensed CPA in California and Michigan.
Stephen M. Breitstone — Meltzer, Lippe, Goldstein and Breitstone
Stephen M. Breitstone is the Chairman of the Private Wealth & Taxation Group at Meltzer, Lippe, Goldstein & Breitstone, LLP. His practice focuses upon high net worth clients and their businesses, with a special emphasis on tax aspects of real estate. His clients include private domestic and international real estate owners and developers, closely held businesses, public companies, private equity funds, trusts, estates and charitable organizations. Stephen has the rare combination of skills as a transactional income tax attorney and as an estate planner. This combination enables him to effectively advise his private clients on their individual needs and those of their businesses. Stephen also serves as general counsel and financial and business advisor to a number of clients. Stephen has also served as an expert witness in litigation over 1031 exchange transactions. Stephen currently teaches as an adjunct professor a course in Tax and Business Planning for Real Estate Transactions at Cardozo Law School. Stephen has lectured at the NYU Institute on Federal Taxation, Practicing Law Institute, Notre Dame Tax and Estate Planning Conference, Bloomberg BNA Tax Management, National Multi-Housing Conference, Jeremiah Long Section 1031 Conference, Federation of (1031) Exchange Accommodators and for many more organizations. Stephen’s style of practice is personal, not institutional; and his clients’ goals and objectives are his priority. Stephen has been interviewed on tax and financial topics by a number of media outlets including CBS, ABC, Fox, Fox Business News and News 12 Long Island.
Christopher A. Cunningham — Elliott, Thomason & Gibson, LLP
handles a wide array of tax issues for a spectrum of clients, from highly sophisticated international investment funds to family-owned businesses and the families behind them. He has practiced in most areas of business tax law but has developed a particular expertise and reputation in complex like-kind exchanges, Qualified Opportunity Zone investments, and taxation of real estate investments. He is actively involved in the Dallas Bar Association’s Peer Assistance Committee and Tax Section, as well as the ABA Tax Section’s Sales, Exchange and Basis committee.
Before practicing law, he earned a B.S. cum laude in Computer Science and Math from the Vanderbilt University School of Engineering, a J.D. with honors from the University of Texas School of Law, and his LL.M. in Taxation from New York University.
Outside of his practice, Christopher enjoys astronomy and runs a historical European martial arts school where students practice medieval and renaissance sword fighting, studying directly from original period fighting manuals.
Todd D. Keator — Holland and Knight
is a partner in the Dallas office of Holland & Knight LLP. He has an L.L.M. in Taxation from NYU and is a former Chair of the Real Estate Committee of the American Bar Association Tax Section. His practice focuses primarily on U.S. transactional tax issues, with an emphasis on partnership, real estate, and oil and gas transactions. Recent practice highlights include 1031 exchanges involving real estate and oil and gas assets, private REIT formation and acquisitions, partnership formations and recapitalizations, debt workouts, and transactions involving “tracking” stock.
Matthew E. Rappaport — Falcon Rappaport & Berkman PLLC
Matthew Rappaport is Vice Managing Partner of Falcon Rappaport & Berkman PLLC, and he chairs its Taxation and Private Client Groups. He concentrates his practice in Taxation as it relates to Real Estate, Closely Held Businesses, Private Equity Funds, and Trusts & Estates. He advises clients regarding tax planning, structuring, and compliance for commercial real estate projects, all stages of the business life cycle, generational wealth transfer, family business succession, and executive compensation. He also collaborates with other attorneys, accountants, financial advisors, bankers, and insurance professionals when they encounter matters requiring a threshold level of tax law expertise. Mr. Rappaport graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2007, cum laude, with an undergraduate degree in Political Science. He received his Juris Doctor and Master of Laws in Taxation from Georgetown University Law Center in 2011. Mr. Rappaport is licensed to practice in New York and is an active member of the American Bar Association Section of Taxation, where he serves on the Sales, Exchanges, and Basis committee. Mr. Rappaport has authored articles for Thomson Reuters’ Journal of Real Estate Taxation, The Tax Adviser, Bloomberg BNA’s Tax Management – Real Estate Journal, and the Journal of Taxation of Investments. He has spoken at the request of the American Bar Association, the National Conference of CPA Practitioners, Strafford Publications, Brooklyn Law School, the School of Accounting at LIU Post, and a wide variety of law, accounting, and wealth advisory firms.
Robert Schachat — BDO, USA LLP
Bob has more than 40 years’ experience advising clients in all federal income tax aspects of real estate, including REIT, partnership, limited liability company and S corporation formations, acquisitions, like-kind exchanges, development, leases, financings, workouts, dispositions and liquidations. He has also advised clients on a regular basis in monitoring federal legislative and regulatory activity in the real estate area.
Bob joined BDO in 2021 after 23 years in the National Tax Real Estate Group of a big four accounting firm and 12 years as a partner in a Manhattan law firm practicing in the taxation of real estate. Bob has published many articles and lectures frequently at many real estate industry and tax conferences. He is co-author with Jim Lowy of the CCH treatise, Taxation of REITs and UPREITs.
Bob has served as Chair of the Real Estate Committee of the ABA Section of Taxation, Vice Chair of the Tax Policy Advisory Committee of the Real Estate Roundtable and co-chair of the Cost Recovery Committee and as a member of the Executive Committee of the NYSBA Tax Section, and he continues to serve as a member of the Government Relations and Real Estate Committees of the ABA Section of Taxation.
David Shechtman — Flaster Greenberg, PC
Mr. Shechtman has developed a national practice structuring and documenting like-kind exchanges of real estate and other assets for real estate investors, exchange intermediaries, and major corporations. He is the former Chair of the Committee on Sales, Exchanges and Basis of the American Bar Association’s Tax Section. He is a regular speaker at ABA Tax Section meetings and other tax conferences and has published articles in the Journal of Real Estate Taxation, Journal of Taxation of Investments, Tax Notes and the NYU Institute on Federal Taxation. He received a B.A. degree, with high honors, in Economics from Swarthmore College in 1974, and a J.D. degree from Cornell University Law School in 1977. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Tax law at the Temple University Law School.
Kevin Thomason — Elliott, Thomason& Gibson, LLP
is a Partner in Elliott Thomason & Gibson, LLP, in Dallas, Texas. Kevin focuses on the representation of clients in tax matters. He provides advice and counseling on partnership, corporate, and real estate tax issues, with an emphasis on like-kind exchanges including creative uses of tenant-in-common and Delaware Statutory Trust (DST) structures. He also advises on wealth preservation and estate planning matters and provides general counsel to businesses in multiple sectors. He is a Past Chair of the Section of Taxation of the State Bar of Texas, the Section of Taxation of the Dallas Bar Association and the Real Estate Committee of the Section of Taxation of the American Bar Association. He is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Texas Federal Tax Institute and is a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel. While Chair of the State Bar Tax Section, Kevin drafted legislation to ban tax strategy patents and had such legislation approved by both the Council of the Tax Section of the State Bar of Texas and the Board of Directors of the State Bar of Texas, a first. All you really need to know about Kevin is that he was the starting catcher on the 1972 State Champion Ardmore Tigers Baseball Team. It has all been downhill from there.
Martin E. Verdick — RSM US LLP
is a partner with RSM US LLP, based in Champaign, Illinois, with over 30 years of experience in the field of real estate taxation. Mr. Verdick serves as the firm’s lead specialist for like-kind exchanges. He has been an instructor at RSM’s national tax conference on the topic of advanced concepts in like-kind exchanges and is a visiting lecturer in the Finance and Accountancy departments at the University of Illinois and at the University of Illinois School of Law. Mr. Verdick has been a speaker for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education on the subject of like kind exchanges. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Joyce L. Welch — Deloitte Tax LLP
is a Managing Director in Deloitte’s Washington National Tax – Federal Tax Accounting, Periods, Methods and Credits Group, based in San Diego. Her professional practice emphasizes tax planning for acquisition/disposition of highly appreciated assets. Ms. Welch has practiced accounting and tax services for over 25 years and has been involved in complex partnership tax structuring and the development and implementation of deferred and reverse like-kind exchanges, sale-leasebacks, and other capital gain preservation strategies for REITs, private equity funds and other public and private owners of real estate and other tangible property. Ms. Welch has been a featured speaker at several real estate industry conferences and has published articles in Journal of Taxation, Real Estate Tax Digest and Tax Management Memorandum and was a contributing author of the treatise, Real Property Exchange, 3rd edition, published by the Continuing Education of the Bar of California. Ms. Welch received her B.S. in Accounting at Arizona State University. She holds her CPA in Arizona, California and Hawaii.