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The Charitable Estate Planning Institute is led by nationally recognized speakers, together bringing more than 140 years of their day-to-day work responsibilities in the field of charitable gift and estate planning. Gain the benefit of their practical experiences and apply them to your own real-life situations.

William R. Gustoff, J.D., FCEP

William R. Gustoff, J.D., FCEP

Johni Hays, J.D., FCEP

Johni Hays, J.D., FCEP

Jeremy Pharr, J.D., FCEP

Jeremy Pharr, J.D., FCEP

Charles Slamar, J.D., LL.M., FCEP

Charles Slamar, J.D., LL.M., FCEP

Bill G

Bill Gustoff, J.D., FCEP

Bill's career began in 1995 and, in addition to his years in private practice, included serving nearly four years as General Counsel of a national nonprofit organization dedicated to estate planning, planned giving, and assisting other nonprofit organizations with planned giving and tax issues.  Bill most recently worked for the BrownWinick law firm in Des Moines, Iowa, where he oversaw their nonprofits and planned giving practice group.

Bill has worked primarily in the areas of trusts and estates, business planning and transactions, nonprofit organizations, and real estate. He has assisted businesses and individuals from around the country with their transactional, real estate, and estate planning matters. Bill has worked on transactions and estates ranging from the very modest and simple to the very large and complex to help clients minimize or eliminate taxes and administration expenses, meet their philanthropic goals, and plan for the passing of business and personal assets to future generations.

Bill received his B.A. from the University of Iowa and his J.D. degree, with distinction, from the


University of Iowa through its two-year accelerated degree program. He is licensed in the states of Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska. Bill has been a frequent speaker at locations around the country for both professional and nonprofessional groups on estate planning and nonprofit organization topics, and he has written several articles and brochures on such topics.

In addition to being a member of the Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska State Bar Associations, Bill is also the Membership Chairman of the Mid-Iowa Planned Giving Council and a member of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners (formerly the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning), International Association of Advisors in Philanthropy, Mid-Iowa Estate and Financial Planners, and the Christian Legal Society. Bill currently serves on the Nonprofit Corporation Committee of the Business Law Section for the Iowa State Bar Association, and his past bar association activities have also included involvement with sections on Wills, Trust and Probate Law and on Taxation Law, the Committee on Services to the Elderly, and committees for Professionalism and for Public Relations of the Legal Profession.

Each year Bill attends several hours of advanced and comprehensive continuing legal education courses focused on estate planning, nonprofit organizations, and planned giving.  He lives with his wife and three children in the Des Moines area and is active in local political and civic activities, including current and past service on the boards of directors and in other leadership capacities with various nonprofit organizations, local business leagues, and his local church.


Johni Hays, J.D., FCEP

Johni Hays is the author of the book "Essentials of Annuities" and co-author of the book "The Tools and Techniques of Charitable Planning." Johni serves on the Editorial Advisory Board for the books Tax Facts on Investments and Tax Facts on Insurance and Employee Benefits. She serves as a charitable planning author of Steve Leimberg’s electronic newsletter service, LISI, found at Johni has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal and has published articles in Estate Planning Magazine, Planned Giving Today, Fundraising Success, Life Insurance Selling and the National Underwriter.

Johni frequently lectures on a national basis to groups on estate and charitable planning, probate, living wills, annuities, life insurance, retirement planning and IRAs, as well as income, estate and gift taxation. Johni has been engaged in the practice of law with an emphasis in charitable and estate planning since 1993.



Prior to joining Thompson & Associates, Johni served as the Senior Gift Planning Consultant for The Stelter Company and prior to that as the Executive Director of the Greater Des Moines Community Foundation Planned Giving Institute. In addition, Johni practiced estate planning with Myers Krause and Stevens, Chartered law firm in Naples Florida, where she specialized in estate planning. She also worked with the insurance industry helping agents with estate and charitable plans for their clients.

Johni graduated cum laude with a Juris Doctor degree from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1993. She also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Drake University and graduated magna cum laude in 1988. She is a Fellow in Charitable Estate Planning (FCEP) from the Institute of Charitable Estate Planning.

Johni is a member of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners (formerly Partnership for Philanthropic Planning)  and a charter member of NACGPs Leadership Institute. She is also a member of the Mid-Iowa Planned Giving Council and the Mid-Iowa Estate and Financial Planners Council (president 2007-2008). Johni has been a member of both the Iowa Bar and the Florida Bar since 1993.


Jeremy Pharr, J.D., FCEP

Jeremy earned a Doctorate of Juris Prudence from Vanderbilt University Law School. He earned his undergraduate degree from Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, where he graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in Political Science.

Each year, Jeremy plans and assists with hundreds of estates across the country.  In addition, he has served on nonprofit boards and committees, assisting them with endowment building and planned giving.  He also serves as an adjunct professor in the M.B.A. program at David Lipscomb University. 

Jeremy and his four children make their home in Nashville, Tennessee.  They are active in their church and local community.


Charles Slamar, J.D.,LL.M., FCEP

Charlie is an attorney whose private practice includes advising individuals on tax, estate, and charitable planning; charitable organizations on governance, gift planning, and litigation; and corporate fiduciaries on tax exemption.

Prior professional experience includes eighteen years at Bank of America, where he was a Philanthropic Regional Executive working with individuals and charitable organizations to maximize their resources to strengthen their communities; and nine years as Director of Estate Planning Services for Children’s Memorial Medical Center, where he designed and implemented their planned giving program.

​A founding member of the Chicago Council on Planned Giving and two-time past President, Charlie was awarded its Russell V. Kohr Memorial Award for Excellence in Planned Giving in 2011.  He served on the Board of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners  (formerly the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning) and has spoken at four of


of its annual conferences.​


Charlie received his B.A. from the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana) and is currently a member of the Board of Visitors for its Department of Political Science; J.D. from Loyola Law School (Chicago); and LL. M. (Taxation) from John Marshall Law School (Chicago). 


In addition to his other philanthropic activities, Charlie is currently Secretary and Director of The Chicago High School for the Arts, the city’s only public school offering college-preparatory and pre-professional arts training.  This high school has its genesis in a foundation Charlie administered.

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