Take Control of Your Legacy!
Saturday, October 16, 2010
9:00 am - 10:00 am
Upjohn Library Commons, Room 213

Ready to leave your mark, but not sure how to make it happen? Thinking about how to plan strategically for your future, but afraid of making mistakes? Confused by how changes in the economy will affect your plans?

During Homecoming 2010, come learn from your fellow Kalamazoo College graduates and members of the "K" community who have expertise in estate planning, tax law, trust services, and more. Their stories of what works-and what to watch out for-will precede an opportunity to pose your own questions about creating a will or making arrangements for your estate, so start formulating them today.

Learn more about making Kalamazoo College a part of your estate plan.

by Caitlin Paynich

Meet the panelists

David M. Thoms '70, Principal, Miller Canfield
Thoms earned his bachelor's degree (history) at "K," studied abroad in Caen, France, and completed his senior individualized project on London urbanization and development of working man's architecture. He and his wife Susan (Stuckey) '70 are members of the Stetson Society, which honors those who have included the College in their estate plans, as well as the 1833 Society honoring donors who give $1,000 or more annually. Thoms earned an L.L.M. in taxation from Wayne State University School of Law, a juris doctor from the University of Detroit-Mercy, and a master's degree (urban planning) from Wayne State University. He concentrates his practice in estate planning and tax, non-profit organizations, business entity planning and tax, succession planning, and real estate. Among other professional activities, he is a member of the American Bar Association, State Bar of Michigan, Probate and Estate Planning, Real Property, Tax, Corporate and Environmental Law Sections. He also serves in many civic roles including as planned giving advisor for the Ford Health System, Detroit Institute of Arts, and Detroit Chamber Music Society. He is listed in the Trusts and Estates and Non-Profit/Charities Law sections of The Best Lawyers in America.

Regg Wilson '70, Founder of Cultivating Your Legacy
As part of his "K" experience, Regg Wilson studied abroad in Sierra Leone. He also traveled across the Sahara during the Biafra War. Through these experiences he came face-to-face with stark inequities, and to this day he continues to believe in the responsibility of all persons to address these issues. His business, "Cultivating Your Legacy," offers people a unique experience to explore their deepest values, including matters of paramount importance and how to plant the seeds and nurture their legacies. He has more than 30 years of experience as an entrepreneur, investor, and advisor, and is a frequent speaker on the issues of legacy, meaning, purpose, and philanthropy. He owns and invests in a number of financial services-related companies.

James P. Spica, Member, Dickinson Wright PLLC
Spica specializes in estate and tax planning for private clients requiring sophisticated wealth management, advises corporations and individuals in the formation and operation of tax-exempt organizations, provides general and special representations to bank trust departments, private trust companies, and public charities, and serves as expert witness in litigation involving estate administration and tax planning issues. Spica earned his bachelor's degree from University of Michigan, a juris doctor from the University of Detroit, and an LL.M. (in taxation) from New York University. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America, is co-author of the Michigan Estate Planning Handbook, is a member of the Council (governing body) of the Probate and Estate Planning Section of the State Bar of Michigan, and is a consultant to the Trust Counsel Committee of the Michigan Bankers Association. He serves on a number of non-profit boards and advisory committees, including for the Interlochen Center for the Arts, the Detroit Institute of Arts, and the Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival. He is no stranger to the Kalamazoo College community. His father-in-law, Dean Richardson, served on the College's Board of Trustees for over a decade, and his brother-in-law, John Richardson, and sister-in-law, Margaret Richardson, are both from the Class of 1988. So far, two of Spica's five children are carrying on the family tradition. His son James, Jr., will graduate from "K" in June 2011 with a bachelor's degree in biology, and his daughter Helen started her sophomore year this fall.

Kelly S. DeRidder '91, CTFA / Vice President, Comerica Bank
Stories of what works--and what to watch out for

Kelly DeRidder brings to the workshop more than 20 years of financial services industry experience, specializing in trusts and estates. At "K" she majored in economics and political science and studied abroad in Munster, Germany. DeRidder is a Trust and Estate Advisor with Comerica Wealth and Institutional Management. Her role is that of a generalist who can help with meeting a variety of trust and estate needs, whether simple or complex in nature. She also has access to a wide range of products and services including investments, deposits, loans, insurance, personal trust services, tax knowledge, and financial planning techniques. DeRidder graduated with honors from the National Graduate Trust School at Northwestern University in (1999) and holds a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor designation (CTFA) from the Institute of Certified Bankers.

James Burkett '76, Investment Executive, Michigan Commerce Bank
James Burkett earned his degree at "K" in English and studied abroad in Strasbourg, France. Burkett has worked in financial services for over 15 years. His experience includes retirement income and asset management through the use of mutual funds, stocks and bonds as well as annuities and insurance products. Burkett is also a 35-year resident of the Kalamazoo/Portage area. As a former chef and restaurant owner he volunteers his cooking skills in support of many charitable and non-profit organizations in the community.

William Venema '59, M.D., Retired Kalamazoo Pediatrician
Bill Venema and his wife Carrie are members of the Stetson Society and have worked with gift officers at Kalamazoo College to make arrangements to leave a legacy that allows others to benefit from their family's love of learning. Bill and Carrie have created two deferred charitable gift annuities and made other gifts during their lifetimes to support the Venema Family Scholarship Endowed Fund. Established in 1999 by Bill's father Charles Venema '33, the scholarship has already provided more than $26,000 in scholarships to "K" students. Bill earned his degree at "K" as a biology major and his medical degree from the University of Michigan.

Picture 1
David Thoms

Picture 2
Regg Wilson

Picture 3
James Spica

Picture 4
Kelly DeRidder

Picture 5
James Burkett

Picture 6
Bill Venema

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