I grew up in Mesa, Arizona. During my senior year at ASU, despite being a referee for church basketball, I joined the LDS Church. This led to some last-minute adjustments in my law school plans. I decided to attend the BYU law school where I met my wife and future law partner, Sara. We opened our firm in Logan, Utah in 1996. We have four children, three of whom are still at home. One is currently attending Utah State. They are really the joy and focus of our lives. While I love to golf, run, and hike in the mountains around our Lewiston home, we are really focused on them right now, attending a variety of school, sports, and musical events.
Originally, we had a somewhat general practice, but about ten years in we felt inspired to focus our practice on estate planning. Now we practice exclusively in the areas of estate planning and family business succession planning, with a particular emphasis on helping farm and ranch families. In looking for CLE opportunities that would help us grow our skills, we came across an announcement for the NPGC annual conference. Attending that first conference was something completely unexpected. Not only was the technical training great, but the spirit was unlike anything I had felt in my professional career. It validated the inspiration we had received about our practice and provided evidence to me of the possibilities that existed in helping families draw closer to their Savior through charitable planning. I haven't missed a conference since. I feel my attendance is always rewarded one hundred-fold.
One of my favorite things about being involved with the Gift Planning Council is the friendships I have made with the people at Gift Planning Services as well as other professionals from around the country. I really look forward to renewing those relationships.
Participating in the conference and on the Board has increased the opportunities I have had to help Clients give to Philanthropies. In part because I have become better aware of the resources available from LDSP, but also because of a greater awareness of the diverse giving opportunities that will resonate with individual clients. One example of this is the presentation that was given on the LDS Church’s FamilySearch project. We learned that the volume of records available far exceeds the capacity of FamilySearch to preserve them. But, we were taught that a donation of just $1.00 can preserve 10 records and that $20,000 to $40,000 will support a camera team for one year. This alone could preserve nearly 1.2 million records. Before the conference I had no idea about this need. Leaving the conference inspired, I knew a specific individual I had to share this with. That individual felt inspired to begin gifting to FamilySearch and has committed to leave a portion of her estate to FamilySearch. But, it didn't end there. She shared it with her family and now they are making similar giving decisions.
I think this story really shows the power of the GPC and the opportunity it provides to turn individuals and families to giving. I have been so grateful for the chance I have had to participate and hopefully play a small part in making it a success.