Interviews with NABL Members from NABL News
November 2018 Spotlight Elizabeth Walker, Hall, Render, Killian, Heath & Lyman, P.C. Indianapolis, IN
You are the Chair of NABL’s new Governmental Affairs Committee; tell us more about the committee, why it was established, and what you hope to accomplish in 2019?
The Committee was an idea that arose from the aftermath of the tax reform bill that passed at the end of 2017. NABL realized that many Members of Congress (MOC) didn't know about tax-exempt bonds, and all the things built by bonds in their communities. NABL also realized that the time to educate MOC about bonds was not in the midst of passing major tax reform legislation. The Governmental Affairs Committee is an effort to educate Senators and Members of the House of Representatives, and their staff, about tax-exempt bonds, and bring to their attention when bond-financed projects are built in their communities. We want to encourage and facilitate members of NABL to visit their representatives' offices, whether in D.C. or in their districts, and to make it easy to share projects built by bonds with representatives on social media.
What would you say to other NABL members to encourage them to become involved in NABL’s advocacy efforts and tell their story to congress?
I think it is not the norm to have a profession that is intellectually engaging, pays well, and where you can be proud of what you do at the end of the day. That's what I enjoy most about working in the tax-exempt bond community, and I think many of us feel that way. So, if we want to keep doing what we do, we should be talking about it. Sharing with representatives and the public when bond-financed projects come online is one of the better ways to remind people how much of our nation's infrastructure is built by bonds.
When and how did you first become involved in NABL?
I went to TSLI in 2011 in Austin, and overheard Cliff Gerber talking with a group of people about some esoteric tax topic around a firepit, and I said, "These are my people."
How has your NABL membership helped your career?
NABL has allowed me to get to know people I work with in new ways as well as people I have yet to work with who face similar issues. As a tax lawyer, usually no one wants to get into the weeds with you, so it's exciting to have people that have seen some of the same issues, though often from a different perspective. NABL has helped me be more efficient and confident in my work as well as helping me make connections to develop new work.
From the questionnaire made famous by Bernard Pivot and James Lipton, "What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Perhaps a landscape architect. I love art, engineering, and growing things. You could do major projects, like Frederick Olmstead, or there are some British estates that hire master gardeners and give them cottages to live in.