The Greater Houston Partnership’s next Houston Young Professionals and Entrepreneurs (HYPE) event, “Explore Your Passion,” is coming up on February 20, 2019.

The event, sponsored by PKF Texas, is designed PechaKucha style where young professionals can meet, talk and interact with various not-for-profit and volunteer organizations. Young professionals will have the opportunity to network and find their purpose to make a difference in Houston – whether it’s in youth development, education, health, social services, crisis services, family services and more.

For more information and to register, visit www.houston.org.

Stay up to date with more Houston events at our website: www.PKFTexas.com/Calendar.

Now that the new year has started, what’s next for Houston? The Greater Houston Partnership is hosting its first event of the year – its Annual Meeting – and is celebrating its 30th anniversary throughout 2019.

Current GHP Chair, Marc Watts, President of The Friedkin Group, will recap 2018 before passing the torch to the Partnership’s incoming Chair, Scott McClelland, President of H-E-B Food and Drug, and Partnership President and CEO, Bob Harvey, who will address the organization’s priorities moving forward for 2019.

This event is for GHP members only and will serve as an opportunity to network and learn what’s next for the city.

For more information and to register, visit www.houston.org.

Jen: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Jen Lemanski, and I’m here with Martin Euson, a director on our tax team. Martin, welcome back to the Playbook.

Martin: Thanks, Jen. I’m glad to be here.

Jen: So, I’ve heard a little bit about the Opportunity Zone Program. What is it?

Martin: The Opportunity Zone Program is a new program that was created as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that, as we know, was signed into law last December, and the program is really aimed at encouraging private investment and development into areas that are historically distressed communities or low-income communities across the United States. And in exchange for that, investors are given some pretty significant tax benefits.

Jen: We’re in Houston – are there areas where we can feel the impact locally?

Martin: Oh, absolutely. In Houston, alone, there are more than 100 Opportunity Zone designations. If you look at a map of inside the Beltway, most of Downtown Houston has the Opportunity Zone designation and much of the area to the east of Downtown. So, more than 100 areas inside of Houston, across the state of Texas more than 600 areas were designated Opportunity Zones, and so, it should have a very significant impact at the local level.

Jen: So, Martin, what kind of incentives exist for investment in these Opportunity Zones?

Martin: So, the incentive, Jen, really is a tax incentive. Investors who invest in Opportunity Zones can benefit from three different types of tax incentives:

  • The first one being deferral of gain from a recent sale or exchange transaction when that gain is reinvested into an Opportunity Zone area. And that gain can be deferred as long as December 31 of 2026, and so, that’s a pretty significant deferral just that length of time.
  • The second tax benefit comes from investors being able to eliminate up to 15% of the gain on the investment or the gain that they’re reinvesting into a qualified Opportunity Zone.
  • And the third tax benefit that investors can receive is avoiding tax on the gain associate with the investment in the Opportunity Zone and avoid paying tax all together if the investment’s held for at least 10 years.

Jen: So where can our viewers find out more information about where these Opportunity Zones are?

Martin: The IRS website has put together a very comprehensive FAQ section that addresses a lot of questions associated with the program. There’s also a map of the United States, and it can be scaled down to Texas and down to Houston.

Jen: Okay, perfect.

Martin: That provides a lot of good information, and as always viewers can go to the PKF Texas website for more information or connect with me directly on LinkedIn.

Jen: Sounds good. Now is there any specific industry that this impacts, or it’s pretty much anybody can invest in these Opportunity Zones?

Martin: There are some prohibited investments when you get into recreation and entertainment, things like that, and there are a lot of nuances that go along with it from a tax perspective and from the type of investment perspective. So, the best thing to do would be either to check out the FAQ sections or to consult with your PKF tax advisor.

Jen: Come talk to you. All right, perfect. We’ll get you back to talk a little bit more about it, sound good?

Martin: All right, thanks, Jen.

Jen: This has been another Thought Leader production brought to you by PKF Texas The Entrepreneur’s Playbook. Tune in next week for another chapter.

We are excited to share two of PKF Texas’ Directors have been recognized within the Houston community and the accounting profession.

Chief Culture Officer and Audit Director, Sonia Freeman, CPA, was named as one of the Houston Business Journal’s “Women Who Mean Business.” She will be honored with the award on October 18, 2018 at the Hilton Americas-Houston, followed by a special edition of the HBJ weekly edition on October 19.

In addition, Entrepreneurial Advisory Services (EAS) Director, Danielle Supkis Cheek, CPA, CFE, CVA, was recognized by CPA Practice Advisor, as well as Accounting Today. CPA Practice Advisor named Supkis Cheek as a “40 Under 40” honoree, and Accounting Today named her as a “Top 100 People: Ones to Watch,” which landed her a featured spot at the top of the website’s home page.

As Sonia and Danielle continue to see success in their careers, they’re paving a prosperous career path for fellow team members at PKF Texas.

Recently, the Houston Business Journal published an article on their website authored by PKF Texas Tax Director, Martin Euson, JD, about Houston’s designated “opportunity zones.”

What are opportunity zones?

According to Euson’s article, opportunity zones are part of the U.S. Treasury Department’s new program, which was created by the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). These zones were created to “encourage private investment and development in certain distressed, low-income areas across the United States in exchange for significant federal tax benefits.”

Euson then goes into detail to identify and share insight about three ways investors can gain federal tax benefits investing in a “qualified opportunity fund.”

For the full article, visit www.bizjournals.com/houston/news/2018/09/05/investing-in-houston-s-opportunity-zones-provides.html

To learn more information, contact Martin Euson at meuson@pkftexas.com.

Jen: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Jen Lemanski, and I’m here with Brian Baumler, the Energy Practice Leader at PKF Texas and the Chair of the 16th annual Houston CPA Society Energy Conference. Also with us is Jennifer Poff, the Executive Director of the Houston CPA Society. Welcome to The Playbook, Jennifer and Brian.

Brian: Thank you, Jen.

Jennifer: Thank you.

Jen: So, Jennifer, tell us a little bit about the Society.

Jennifer: The Society has been around for 90 years, and one of the things we’ve done for 90 years is we’ve been the local organization for CPAs to get their continuing education, to share ideas with other people in the profession and just to have an area where they can come network together. One of the things we do for our continuing education is the Energy Conference, and we’re in the 16th year of doing that. With 7,700 members, we have about 350 who attend this conference, making it one of our larger events.

Jen: That’s really great. So, Brian, you’re the Chair and you’ve been the Chair for the past several years. Tell us what you’ve got planned for this year.

Brian: We have a great lineup. As we’ve had in the past, The Big Four are all represented, giving various presentations on technical topics – accounting and reporting, SEC compliance. We’re also covering M&A trends and also taxation. It’s going to be a great event and is going to be well attended.

We also have various panels throughout the day. One is covering the E&P and trying to give everybody perspective on what’s going on in that space. We also have a panel that’s discussing capital markets; we have Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. and other home-grown folks represented in that panel. We also have an exciting panel on technology and what trends are shaping the industry within technology and also changing us in our workforce.

Jen: Perfect. Now, I know you’ve had several really big name keynotes in the past. Who is your keynote speaker this year?

Brian: We have Ryan Sitton, who is the Texas Railroad Commissioner. He’s got a lot of energy, is a great presenter and I’m sure is going to have everybody’s attention.

Jen: Perfect. So, when is this conference, where is the conference and what time does it start?

Brian: This year, the conference is going to be on August 29th. It’s going to be at Hilton Americas downtown. The registration starts at 6:45 a.m., the conference actually kicks off at 7:45 a.m. and lasts until about 5:00 p.m. We have a special session at the end – we have John Garrett, who is a recovering CPA, and he’s actually going to talk to us about how we brand ourselves outside of the workforce.

Jen: Perfect. I’ve seen his Green Apple talk – it’s really great. Now, Jennifer, where would somebody go to register for the conference?

Jennifer: They can go to our website www.houstoncpa.org.

Jen: Is there an energy page that they should be looking for?

Jennifer: There are two ways to get the energy page: you can access it through the course catalog, or it’s right on the homepage. When you see the banner at the top, just click the arrow and you’ll see the Energy Conference right there.

Jen: I know you guys can’t do this all by yourselves with the Society. Are there sponsors this year?

Brian: Yes, we have almost 30 sponsors this year. Our underwriting sponsor is WG Consulting, so we’re very excited to have them this year.

Jen: Perfect. Well, thanks, and we’ll see you guys on the 29th.

Brian: Thank you.

Jen: This has been another Thought Leader Production brought to you by PKF Texas The Entrepreneur’s Playbook. Tune in next week for another chapter.

Russ:  This is PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook.  I’m Russ Capper, this week’s guest host, and I’m coming to you from the Gulf Coast Regional Family Forum, and my guest is Renée Wizig-Barrios, Senior Vice President and Chief Philanthropy Officer of the Greater Houston Community Foundation.  Renée, welcome to the show.

Renée:  Thank you, Russ. Good to be here.

Russ:  You bet.  So tell us about the Greater Houston Community Foundation.

Renée:  Well the Greater Houston Community Foundation is a public charity, and we work with high net-worth individuals, families, businesses and foundations to help them make the most of their philanthropy.  We have been around Houston for more than 21 years as a non-profit, and we have the joy of working with people to make Houston a more vibrant place through really generous acts of philanthropy.

Continue Reading How the Greater Houston Community Foundation Makes Charity Dollars Productive

In order to allow families and businesses to heal and recover after Hurricane Harvey, the 2017 Soiree is postponed until October 12, 2017.

 

Greater Houston Partnership’s premiere event of the season, the Soiree, is just around the corner. With the theme this year being “Houston and Beyond”, this event is sure to be out of this world. It will celebrate Houston’s interstellar legacy, the diversity of our global industries, and our future status as an innovative city propelling beyond barriers with advanced technology.

At this event, you will have the chance to mingle with Houston’s top business professionals in an upscale setting with food, drink, and conversation at the Hotel ZaZa.

Do you want to get involved? We don’t blame you! There are plenty of ways to access this VIP event while getting your company’s name out there. As the Menu Underwriter, PKF Texas knows the value of being involved in the Soiree! Take a look at the Soiree sponsorship opportunities or donate goods to the silent auction.

https://vimeo.com/121468283

Karen: This is PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook and I’m Karen Love, I’m the host and Co-founder. So today I’m here with Frank Landreneau, one of our international tax directors, so I’d like to welcome you to the Playbook Frank.

Frank: Thank you Karen, it’s great to be here.

Karen: Thank you. Well you know we’re in Houston, international city and U.S. manufacturers and exporting, there may be some things that they need to know about that they’re not doing that you could share with us.

Frank: Right. Well one of the best kept secrets is a tax incentive that’s been around for a while but it’s gotten increased popularity over the last few years and it’s called the IC-DISC.

Karen: Wow. Okay, now that sounds very, very, very complex. So tell me about that.

Frank: It’s an acronym for Interest Charged – Domestic International Sales Corporation and it’s a tax incentive that allows tax payers to convert income at a lower tax rate.

Karen: Wow, now that sounds really complex, as I thought it was going to be.

Frank: It can be, it can be.

Karen: I would love for you to come back and do a series with us and explain how we can help companies do that at PKF Texas.

Frank: I’d love to. I’d love to talk about it in more detail.

Karen: Fantastic, look forward to having you back Frank.

Frank: Thanks Karen.

Karen: Thank you. We’ll talk more next week about the IC-DISC and for other international topics you can visit PKFTexas.com/InternationalDesk. This has been another Thought Leader production brought to you by the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook.

Join the Greater Houston Partnership at Hotel Zaza on Saturday, August 27 for the 2016 Soiree. This event is an annual gala showcasing the Houston region as a center of commerce, influence, arts and culture and PKF Texas is proud to be involved every year through various leadership roles and sponsorships. Attended by more than 600 of Houston’s dignitaries, consular corps and business leaders, Soiree offers a night of entertainment, culinary delights and a world-class silent auction. Click here to register and learn more.

There are still opportunities for silent auction items to be donated. This is a great way to spotlight your company and it’s services. If you and your company are interested in donating items for the silent auction, please review and complete the following form: Soiree-Silent Auction Form

This year’s theme, Inspiring Innovation, will showcase Houston’s creativity and ingenuity in an immersive experience you won’t forget.

If you have any questions about the Soiree, contact Kristin Culwell, kculwell@houston.org. We hope you’ll be able to join the region’s local and international business, government and economic development leaders in supporting and attending this extraordinary event!