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Kosair Charities grant supports SIEF

The Shriners International Education Foundation (SIEF) was created to support and expand educational opportunities and leadership development of our fraternity members and allied organisations. Since establishing SIEF, we’ve expanded offerings to include distance learning programs via live webinars and on-demand video training, and enhanced program content at our seminars.

Kosair Charities also believes that education is a critical component to the success of our fraternity and we are pleased to announce their support of SIEF, through a generous grant of $50,000 to further enhance training programs for current and future fraternity leaders – helping to provide the necessary tools to more effectively lead our hospitals and temples.

John Piland, executive vice president of Shriners International, accepted the grant on behalf of Shriners International at the Shriner Appreciation Reception hosted by Kosair Charities on Oct. 3. The evening celebrated the history of both organisations, while providing an update on grant recipients, future goals, and recognising key honorees.

“Shriners International Education Foundation is extremely grateful to Kosair Charities,” said Piland. “This partnership will allow the fraternity to make a sustaining impact by providing education, training and leadership development at the 2020 Assistant Rabban Seminar, and strengthening other efforts.”

Representatives of Kosair Charities will attend the 2020 Assistant Rabban Seminar in Tampa, Florida, March 9-11, 2020, and the closing reception will be named in their honor.

“We are proud of this grant and are looking forward to great impact with it as we help future Shrine leaders better understand leadership, responsibility and our mission to help children,” said Keith Inman, president of Kosair Charities.

We thank the board of Kosair Charities for their support of Shriners International and their commitment to preparing future leaders of the fraternity.

About Kosair Charities

Kosair Charities enhances the health and well-being of children by delivering financial support for healthcare, research, education, social services and child advocacy. We envision a word in which children in need live life to the fullest.

Duane Morris bolsters international trade capabilities

Geoffrey M. Goodale has joined Duane Morris LLP as a partner in the firm’s Corporate Practice Group in the Washington, D.C., office. The addition of Goodale enhances the firm’s international trade capabilities. Prior to joining Duane Morris, Goodale was a partner at FisherBroyles, LLP.

“Geoff is a key addition to our Corporate Practice Group,” said Matthew A. Taylor, CEO and Chairman of Duane Morris. “His extensive experience in the significant and always-evolving area of international trade is a crucial advantage for our global clients.”

“Geoff’s practice brings a key component of strength to our clients as they run their businesses in an increasingly interconnected world,” said Brian P. Kerwin, chair of the firm’s Corporate Practice Group. “His experience will be invaluable to our clients as they navigate the intricacies of a global supply chain.”

“We’re excited to have Geoff join us in Washington, D.C.,” said Patrick D. McPherson, managing partner of the Duane Morris Washington, D.C., office. “He will be a great addition to our office and the firm.”

For over 17 years, Goodale has assisted U.S. and non-U.S. entities of all sizes and in many industries in achieving their international business objectives in cost-effective ways. His practice focuses on export controls, economic sanctions, import compliance, trade litigation, international intellectual property rights protection, foreign direct investment, cybersecurity, anti-corruption, and government contracting matters.

Goodale counsels companies on a wide range of issues relating to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) enforced by the U.S. Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), and the economic sanctions laws and regulations administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Additionally, he conducts internal investigations and audits to assess compliance in these areas.

Goodale also advises clients on all aspects of compliance with U.S. import laws and regulations, including those relating to determining the proper classification, valuation and country of origin of merchandise. He regularly represents clients in matters involving U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), including assisting clients in preparing for and undergoing CBP audits. He also assists clients in developing duty-savings strategies through the effective use of duty drawback, foreign trade zones and subzones, preferential duty programs, and free trade agreements, including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Dominican Republic Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR).

Goodale’s experience also includes representing both U.S. and non-U.S. companies in all manner of anti-dumping duty and countervailing duty cases before the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), including investigations, administrative reviews, scope ruling requests and anti-circumvention proceedings, as well as in appeals of certain DOC and ITC decisions to the U.S. Court of International Trade and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. He also has represented complainants and respondents in trade-related intellectual property rights cases filed with the ITC under Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, and appeals of certain such decisions to the CAFC.

Additionally, Goodale possesses extensive experience in advising clients on international mergers and acquisitions. With respect to acquisitions by foreign entities of U.S. companies, this experience includes, among other things: taking actions necessary to clear proposed deals through the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS); filing required submissions with DDTC and/or BIS when export-controlled products and technologies are involved; and structuring transactions so as to mitigate foreign ownership, control or influence (FOCI) in a way that is acceptable to the Defense Security Service (DSS) in order for the U.S. company to maintain its Facility Security Clearance (FCL).

Goodale also provides compliance counseling to government contractors on a wide range of matters covered by the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS). In addition, he provides counseling to clients relating to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and conducts internal investigations to ensure that clients comply with the requirements of the FCPA and other anti-bribery laws, such as the UK Bribery Act.

A long-standing and active member of the American Bar Association (ABA), Goodale currently serves as co-chair of the ABA Section of International Law’s National Security Committee and vice-chair of the ABA Intellectual Property Law Section’s Business and Trade Division. He also currently is the chair of the Virginia State Bar’s International Practice Section and co-chair of the D.C. Bar’s International Trade Committee.

Goodale is a graduate of the George Washington University Law School (J.D., 2001), where he was a Dean’s Fellow and a notes editor for the American Intellectual Property Law Association Quarterly Journal. Prior to obtaining his J.D., Goodale obtained a M.A. in Government and a B.A. in Russian Studies and Government (with honors) from the College of William and Mary.

About Duane Morris

Duane Morris LLP provides innovative solutions to today’s multifaceted legal and business challenges through the collegial and collaborative culture of its more than 800 attorneys in offices across the United States and internationally. The firm represents a broad array of clients, spanning all major practices and industries.

Baker Tilly named Great Place to Work® for 4th Consecutive Year

The Great Place to Work® organisation recertified leading accounting and advisory firm Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP (Baker Tilly) as a great workplace.

The Great Place to Work designation is the gold standard in workplace recognition and is a special achievement determined by responses and opinions that randomly selected employees provide in a comprehensive, anonymous survey.

“Validation from our team members is an especially high honor and reflects our dedication to creating an extraordinary culture,” Baker Tilly Chairman and CEO Alan D. Whitman said. “People are the underpinning of our entire strategy as we create the advisory CPA firm of the future, today.”

Baker Tilly team members scored the firm positively with the following top survey statements:

  • 99 percent – this is a safe place to work
  • 96 percent – people are treated fairly regardless of race or sexual orientation
  • 95 percent – management is honest and ethical
  • 94 percent – people are given a lot of responsibility
  • 94 percent – our clients would rate our service as “excellent”
  • 93 percent – you feel welcome when you join the firm

A full 89 percent of Baker Tilly employees said taking everything into account that the firm is a great workplace, according to the survey. That ranking is similar to that of the country’s most respected employers.

“We’re humbled to again be nationally recognised as a Great Place to Work,” said Todd Stokes, managing partner – people. “Our team members bring our culture to life. This honor belongs to them.”

About Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP

Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP (Baker Tilly) is a leading advisory, tax and assurance firm whose specialised professionals guide clients through an ever-changing business world, helping them win now and anticipate tomorrow. Headquartered in Chicago, Baker Tilly, and its affiliated entities, have operations in North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Baker Tilly is an independent member of Baker Tilly International, a worldwide network of independent accounting and business advisory firms in 145 territories, with 34,700 professionals. The combined worldwide revenue of independent member firms is $3.6 billion. Visit bakertilly.com or join the conversation on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP is a member of the Baker Tilly International network, the members of which are separate and independent legal entities. Baker Tilly refers to the global network of accounting firms of Baker Tilly International Limited. Each member firm is a separate legal entity. Baker Tilly International Limited does not provide services to clients.

How a Trade War with China is impacting Natural Stone Prices

The Trump administration has announced this year that the US will impose a tariff on a massive amount of imported goods from China. Many of these goods fall into the home improvement category in the American market. Things like stone tile, natural stone slabs, hard surfaces and there is no telling on how high the retail price will go for American consumers as the tariffs continue to stay in place. This all comes at a time when China has very lax laws on who and how natural stone can be mined, China has a large amount of undeveloped land with natural stone able to be harvested and they are able to meet the growing demand of natural stone seen in American consumers.

One of the largest questions is how much the price of natural stone countertops will rise within the next year. One particular stone concern is granite, and how much it will cost to purchase and install depending on what project you’re working on. For most questions the answer is to purchase now because the cost of granite is only expected to rise. Using this useful reference, currently, prices for granite countertops start at around $35 per square foot installed, and can go well beyond $100 per square foot for exotic and rare materials. With trade negotiations continuing as they are now it has been projected that the price per square foot of granite is expected to increase to over $200 per square foot by early 2020.

When purchasing your stone, it is also important to research the seller. Big box retailers that provide countertops won’t be as detail oriented as their local counterparts mainly due to the lack of knowledge of the staff that will be assisting you. This is because a big box store has a higher turnover of staff and less of a risk to damage their reputation. Also a large retailer will typically have a more limited selection of stone and a more rigid outline of their services, typically a price is set and adhered to in a large retailer. A local fabricator, more often than not, will negotiate pricing, accommodate specific requests, and handle customers with a higher degree of quality solely based on the fact that they are trying to compete with not only other local business but the large retailers as well. It would be advantageous to look into your local options and weigh them against large retail stores, depending on what you’re looking to have done one might be more beneficial than the other!

Knowing what you’re paying for will also be beneficial as the price of the stone increases with the tariffs. There are a lot of factors that make up the final price of your countertop including, the cutouts, edging, backsplash, finish, and color of the stone. By limiting the extra details you’re able to keep the overall price lower. The type of sink you install has an effect of the type of cutout which then has a price on the slab. Edging the counter will have an effect on the final bill as well because the more decorative the final edge look the higher the cost per foot will be! Some styles can rise as high as $10/foot. Choosing to have a matching stone backsplash obviously will heighten the price of your stone bill, but there are other ways to design a backsplash if this puts your costs too high. Tile is a great alternative or a shorter four or five-inch backsplash can help protect your walls against stains. The color of the actual stone can also play a factor in pricing as blue granite is often more expensive than other colors and marble with a more intricate or unique pattern can fetch a higher price. These are all things that, regardless of the trade war with China, will affect your final budget and should be considered!

These tariffs are not expected to go away anytime soon so if you’re planning a renovation or are in the middle of one currently and have yet to purchase your counters, do it! Having a plan of attack and being in the right place to order them will save you money before the end of the year as natural stone prices continue to rise. Removing your old counters as a DIY project might be a good idea as well in order to save even more in a pinch. There are many ways to try to circumvent these price increases and DIY-ing as much as possible is one of them, don’t hesitate to consult a professional but remember that most home jobs can be done with a little research! However, as long as this trade war holds out between the US and China, expect any and all renovations that involve products made or refined in China to be on the retail mark up until early 2020.

Lower Taxes Without Renouncing Your American Citizenship

Being born in the United States comes with many privileges. But it also comes with many responsibilities. According to Fortunly’s insightful infographic, the United States is one of two countries in the world that implement citizenship-based taxation. The only other one is the northeast African nation of Eritrea.

Interestingly enough, America’s citizenship-based tax system doesn’t only affect its natural-born citizens. Foreigners may also be held liable for income tax if they meet the country’s residency requirements. Spending too much vacation time is a common reason why non-Americans might need to hand over some cash to Uncle Sam.

But, there are legal ways to beat America’s citizenship-based income taxation system.

The most obvious way is to renounce your US citizenship. But this is a major decision that could lead to dramatic consequences. An alternative to such a drastic measure is filing for tax exemptions. The Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE) is a viable option for American professionals who intend to make a living outside of any US territory.

With the FEIE, a portion of a citizen’s total active income can be excluded up to a certain limit, which changes every year. To increase the excludable amount, a foreign housing credit can be added into the equation.

When it comes to income from passive activities like stock trading, the United States considers them taxable as usual. However, there are ways to classify passive incomes as active in order to render them partly excludable.

In addition, using an offshore company to run a business may provide an income-tax reduction. This move can legally separate an American-citizen owner and a business entity for tax purposes.

Pursuing every allowable avenue to minimize citizenship-based income tax liabilities is more practical than unpatriotic.

HealthTrust Honors Members for Excellence and Community Service

HealthTrust today recognised five member organisations with its most esteemed honor, the Member Recognition Award, during the annual HealthTrust University Conference under way at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center. HealthTrust established the Member Awards in 2009 to acknowledge outstanding contributions of organisations and individuals who demonstrate excellence in supporting providers, patients and their communities. HealthTrust president and CEO, Ed Jones, presented awards to the following HealthTrust members.

Outstanding Member – Atlantic Health System, Morristown, N.J., for exceptional fiscal improvements by leveraging HealthTrust initiatives, maintaining contract compliance and adopting new contract categories.

  • Kevin Lenahan, SVP, chief financial and administrative officer
  • Stephen Albanese, director, strategic sourcing
  • Adisa Mesalic, manager, strategic sourcing
  • Dawn Petronio, MAS, BSN, RN, clinical consultant, strategic sourcing
  • Drew Douglas, strategic sourcing analyst

Operational Excellence – OU Medical Center, Oklahoma City, Okla., for integrating physicians, nurse leaders, executives and supply chain in value analysis disciplines and other best practices to streamline operations and maximise savings.

  • April Imel, BSN, RN, director of value analysis
  • Dee Cross, MSN, RN, administrative director of value analysis
  • Casey Woods, MHA, COO
  • Michael S. Cookson, MD, MMHC, physician chairman, value analysis committee

Clinical Excellence – HCA Healthcare Continental Division, Denver, Colo., for executing a laboratory stewardship process leading to improvements in operational efficiencies, financial performance, care outcomes and physician engagement, and expanding the program to other hospital divisions.

  • Heather Signorelli, DO, chief laboratory officer, Clinical Services Group, HCA Healthcare
  • Gary Winfield, MD, division CMO

Social Stewardship – Scripps Health, San Diego, Calif., for deploying volunteer medical response teams and providing non-clinical support to thousands of residents displaced by the Camp Fire in Paradise, Calif.

  • Debra McQuillen, RN, BSN, MAS, VP and chief operations executive, Scripps Mercy Hospital
  • Steve Miller, RN, MS, FACHE, senior director, clinical services, Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas
  • Mike Godfrey, ABC, senior director, corporate communications
  • Jay Larrosa, MSN, RN-BC, ACM-RN, PHN, FACDONA, project manager, system care management

Pharmacy Excellence – Community Health Systems, Franklin, Tenn., for innovative quality and control measures in mitigating pharmacy drug spend resulting in operational efficiencies and sustained cost savings.

  • Jerry Reed, MS, RPh, FASCP, FASHP, VP of pharmacy
  • Heather Weese, PharmD, MSHI, BCPS, BCPPS, senior director, pharmacy services

In addition to being honored at the conference, award recipients will be featured in the fall issue of The Source magazine for HealthTrust members.

About HealthTrust

HealthTrust (Healthtrust Purchasing Group, L.P.) is committed to strengthening provider performance and clinical excellence through an aligned membership model and the delivery of total spend management advisory solutions that leverage operator experience, scale and innovation. Headquartered in Nashville, Tenn., HealthTrust (https://healthtrustpg.com/) serves over 1,600 hospitals and health systems, and more than 40,000 other member locations including ambulatory surgery centers, physician practices, long-term care and alternate care sites. On Twitter @healthtrustpg.