On May 30, Los Angeles-based partner Elizabeth Bawden was honored with the 2019 Distinguished Service Award at the Western Regional Planned Giving Conference (WRPGC). Elizabeth is part of the private client and tax team at Withers and focuses her practice on estate planning, planned giving and tax exempt organizations. She has been a member of the Los Angeles Council of Charitable Gift Planners (LACGP) for 15 years and has served in a number of roles at the organization over those years, most notably as president, conference chair and frequent speaker. The award was presented at lunch during the conference by LACGP president, Allyson Simpson.
"In every way, Elizabeth Bawden is a leader and an exemplary representative of the gift planning community," Allyson said in her remarks.
Allyson also shared comments from clients about Elizabeth's work. "She is fiercely intelligent, thoughtful, principled, and has a remarkable ability to solve problems and offer effective and elegant solutions," one client said about Elizabeth according to Allyson, who emphasized the word elegant and how that stood out to her.
Other comments by Elizabeth's clients that the conference president shared in her presentation of the award highlighted Elizabeth's "tenacious and skillful" problem solving, her "strong personal and professional integrity," her ability to "anticipate and mitigate issues before they arise," and her excellent communication skills, in that "she explains complex legal, tax and charitable giving situations in a way that even non-lawyers can comprehend."
Elizabeth attended the Western Regional Planned Giving Conference with partner Steven Chidester from Wither's Rancho Santa Fe office. At the conference, she presented at two sessions on the final day, including, "Navigating the Twists and Turns of Testimentary Gift Annuities" and the closing keynote titled, "Lessons Learned from a Collective Century of Planned Giving Experience."
A premier planned giving conference in the US, the WRPGC is attended by financial planners, accountants, gift planning and major gift officers, and vice presidents and directors of development. Elizabeth comments: "Giving back is an important personal value for me. I am greatly appreciative of this honor."