Music and tax law don’t seem to have much in common. But Jessica Allen, who earned a bachelor’s degree in flute performance, thinks otherwise.
“When I took a basic federal income tax course in law school, I noticed that there were similarities between analyzing musical chord progressions and working through the complexities of taxation,” Jessica says.
This realization as an undergraduate piqued her interest in the tax field. Eventually, she went on to earn a law degree from Gonzaga University in 2007 and a Master of Laws in Taxation from University of Florida in 2008. Today, she is a partner at Workland Witherspoon in Spokane, where she advises clients on estate planning, tax issues and more.
“When I counsel my clients, it is my practice to ask about charitable giving,” she says. “It’s about opening the dialogue and planting the seed. Sometimes, they have not thought about charitable giving as an option until you ask.”
This strategy, she says, goes hand-in-hand with the work of the Inland Northwest Community Foundation.
“The Community Foundation is an excellent resource,” Jessica says. “I really appreciate how flexible they are. Whether my clients want to give to a specific nonprofit organization, or they have a general interest, such as helping animals or children, the Community Foundation can educate them and help facilitate that giving.”
Jessica says she enjoys connecting clients to opportunities through the INWCF, and it is satisfying to see the positive change that her clients’ philanthropy can bring.
“There’s a lot of need in every community. Through the Community Foundation, my clients can be confident that their dollars are helping to make good things happen right here in our region,” she said.
Robert Patrick has a long history with charitable giving and the city of Pullman. A member of the Kiwanis Club since the early 1970s, Patrick has lived in Pullman since 1968 and been an attorney for 51 years. In March 2009 he began his second round as an advisor on the INWCF Pullman Advisory Committee.
Patrick’s involvement began with the transfer of assets from the Pullman Community Foundation to INWCF. Many of the community leaders who started the Pullman Community Foundation were Kiwanians. As a Kiwanian and an active legal participant, it was natural for Patrick to be one of the first members on the Pullman Community Foundation board.
When they determined more expertise was required to manage these assets, they chose INWCF to manage their funds. Patrick’s firm, Aitken, Schauble, Patrick, Neill, Ruff & Shirley, handled the transfer.
“As a resident of Pullman I have an interest in the welfare of the community,” says Patrick. “I enjoy working with the people on INWCF’s board. I think our country as a whole has a history of community giving. Look at all the libraries, hospitals, and colleges funded through private giving. You can’t help but have some pride in being a part of that.”
Patrick has assisted many Pullman families wishing to endow their legacy, including Barbara Jean Collins who was featured in INWCF Spring/Summer 2009 newsletter and Dr. B. Rodney Bertramson, now deceased. Bertramson, a member of the Pullman Community Foundation Board, founded the Bertramson Family Fund in 1994to provide grants in the Palouse region.
Bertramson brought Patrick into the Kiwanis Club.
“He was an extremely community-minded person. He was Mr. Pullman,” says Patrick of Bertramson. “If it was something that would help then he would be the first on board. He was probably the most community-spirited person I’ve ever met. It wasn’t just a question of money – he’d also roll up his sleeves.”
Patrick continues in the same vein, helping his philanthropic clients channel their funds to charitable projects.