Inside Swenson - Summer 2021 - Issue 15

A quarterly glance inside Swenson Advisors, LLP

Welcome to the Summer edition of our Inside Swenson newsletter. We are pleased to provide you with the latest news and update you on some of the exciting happenings at Swenson.

Welcoming our New NonProfit CLients

Rescue, Heal, Protect and Adopt for Life

The Humane Society of the Desert, located in North Palm Springs, CA, was founded in 1961 “to help those who cannot help themselves.” Today, it’s one of the largest animal sanctuaries in Southern California, with a nine acre scenic facility that provides state of the art services for orphaned, abandoned and neglected dogs and cats until they find their permanent homes.

Purpose: To encourage mothers and others to meet and to pray regularly for children and schools.

Moms in Prayer International was founded in 1984 by Fern Michaels and impacts children and schools worldwide for Christ by gathering mothers to pray. Its vision is that every school in the world would be “covered with prayer.” Moms in Prayer is headquartered in Poway, California and has praying moms in more than 150 countries with volunteer leadership throughout the world.

Assisting and supporting congregations to become communities of faith, hope, love, and witness.

The Presbytery of San Diego was established in 1968 as a regional body of the Presbyterian Church. For 50 years, it has been helping local Presbyterian congregations to witness to the love of God in their communities, serve the forgotten, and grow disciples of Jesus. It includes 31 congregations (large and small) and over 12,000 members throughout San Diego and Imperial Counties.

Empowering Tomorrow’s STEM (Science,Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Leaders Today

San Diego Squared’s mission is to develop interest in and facilitate education in the minority communities for STEM school related degrees and training. Some of the ways in which San Diego Squared plans to accomplish its goals are by offering student scholarships, funding students’ school supplies and equipment, and providing funding for housing and food while students are attending school and training. San Diego Squared also plans to develop a library of STEM content for use by the community via website and to sponsor events promoting the project and STEM education and opportunities.

Mission: “We are dedicated to curing hereditary childhood blindness and vision disorders.”

The Vision of Children Foundation was established by Sam and Vivian Hardage and is dedicated to curing childhood hereditary blindness, including ocular albinism and other related genetic vision disorders. The Foundation sponsors genetic research to gain scientific understanding and develop therapies and cures for these conditions. It provides information and support to families of blind and visually impaired children and to other organizations and service providers.



Fennec Pharmaceuticals is a specialty pharmaceutical company headquartered in Durham, NC and dedicated to improving the lives of children with cancer who experience hearing loss as a result of chemotherapy.

On May 28, 2021, Fennec announced the resubmission of its New Drug Application (NDA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for PEDMARK™ (a unique formulation of sodium thiosulfate) for the prevention of ototoxicity induced by chemotherapy. “We are pleased to have resubmitted the NDA for PEDMARK™ and look forward to working with the FDA through the review process,” said Rosty Raykov, Chief Executive Officer of Fennec. “We remain committed to reducing the risk of life-long hearing loss for children receiving cisplatin chemotherapy. If approved, PEDMARK™ stands to be the first FDA approved therapy to reduce the risk of cisplatin induced ototoxicity in pediatric patients.”

Fennec is continuing to work on its go-to-market strategy in preparation for the potential approval by the FDA and the company’s commercial launch of PEDMARK™.

Fennec is a public company, whose stock is traded on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol FENC.


Fennec Pharmaceuticals has named the company after the fennec fox, a small fox native to the Sahara Desert and other parts of North Africa whose most distinctive feature is its unusually large ears with highly sensitive earing. Their characteristic ears serve a dual purpose: they are sensitive enough to hear prey underground and also help dissipate the hot desert heat.

Children undergoing chemotherapy are going through an extraordinarily challenging time, and the loss of hearing only compounds the difficulty. Fennec Pharmaceuticals, named after that resourceful and determined fennec fox, anticipates that PEDMARK™ will allow these children to keep their hearing and prevent permanent disability.

supporting the vision of children foundation’s upcoming event

Swenson Advisors and the Swenson Children’s Foundation are pleased to be sponsors of The Vision of Children Foundation’s A Night for Sight and to be supporters of its vital research into curing hereditary childhood blindness and related vision disorders. The event is scheduled for Saturday, August 28, 2021 at Fairbanks Ranch Country Club in Rancho Santa Fe and will include a Reception with Silent Auction, Dinner, Live Auction, and Opportunity Drawing. It will feature a special concert by A.J. Croce, who has been visually impaired since childhood. “Croce Plays Croce” will pay homage to the legacy of A.J.’s father, the legendary Jim Croce.

Learn more at


Stephen G. Austin and Joel C. Colbourn were co-presenters at The Knowledge Group’s webinar on June 16 on the subject “GASB 87 Is Here . . . What you Should Know”

Steve Austin, CPA, MBA
Firm Managing Partner

Joel Colbourn, CPA, MBA
Lease Accounting Director

Key Topics:

  • The New GASB 87 Lease Accounting Standard: Sweeping Implications
  • New Criteria for Determining a Lease
  • How a Lessee Records a Lease; How a Lessor Records a Lease
  • What Are Lease Components and Why Are They Important?
  • Implementing a Technology Solution

View the complete presentation here.


The San Diego Rescue Mission hosted a Zoom Roundtable on June 2. Steve Austin joined Stephanie Downer and Chau Lai as panelists.

The roundtable explored “how to Leave a legacy for the people and causes you cherish the most.” It was an educational and valuable session for those who attended on how to protect what they have been blessed with and protect their futures and legacies.

Steve Austin discussed upcoming proposed tax changes under the Biden administration, specifically The American Families Plan and The American Jobs Plan and the associated key proposed tax increases and provisions. Chau Lai focused on affected assets and analyzed which assets are best to spend during one’s lifetime and which should be left to heirs or donated to charities. Stephanie Downer examined current and possible changes to gift and estate taxes, how the changes could impact estate planning and how they might provide possible opportunities.


Chad Porter has joined Swenson Advisors to direct the firm’s social and civic engagements as it strives to make a positive impact on the communities it serves. Chad first began working with Swenson Advisors in 2015 when he assisted in establishing the Swenson Children’s Foundation. His previous experience includes service as an officer in the United States Air Force as well as nearly a decade in pastoral ministry.

Chad received a BS in Physical Science from Biola University, an MA in Theological Studies from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, and an M.Div. from Westminster Seminary California.

7,000 MILES, 19 STATES, 15 DAYS


Leaving San Diego in the early morning of Saturday, June 26th, our 45th wedding anniversary, and returning home on the evening of July 11th, Gail and I, with our 10 year old grandson Raul Gonzalez, Jr. in tow, checked a lot off of our bucket list.

With the help of Anita Clavin, who put together an incredible travel itinerary, my Rand McNally maps (that’s right . . . I still use paper maps!) and my navigator Raul with Google Maps, we made an incredible trip.

While not quite at the Blue Origin level, it was a trip of a lifetime.

We first visited Zion National Park in Utah, and then the Continental Divide at 12,000+ feet in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, and traveled through the plains and buffalo grass of Kansas. At our stopover in Hannibal, Missouri, Raul commandeered the Mark Twain Riverboat on a dinner cruise on the muddy Mississippi (earning him an honorary River Pilot license).

We then continued to the rich farmland of Illinois and to Veedersburg, Indiana, my hometown (of 50 years ago) and the house and farm outside of town in a shrinking little community, which my wife had never visited.

While I was still boasting of the well-built barns that my Dad and I built and kept in great shape (he was an engineer), we saw the grade schools and high school of my youth and revisited the small Baptist church in Yeddo, Indiana where my Christian roots were planted. Then on to Purdue University and the home of the best pizza shop in America. Bruno’s, with its 8 ovens, is now run by the grandson of its immigrant founder, who had made a few pizzas for our family over the early years.

Over the 4th of July weekend, we had breakfast with Andrew Boll, the CFO of Harrow Health, and one of his sons (who became instant friends with Raul). Andrew had relocated from San Diego to Nashville. And then it was on to Cookeville, Tennessee and the reunion that Gail Austin coordinates every 5 years of the bible study group called The Forever Generation. The group, which studied the Bible together in the 70s at the University of Georgia, now has a dozen marriages and scores of grandkids. Following the reunion, we had dinner in Knoxville with old friends whom we had not seen in more than 35 years and discussed Lease Accounting!

The next day, we visited old friends including a Swenson PPP loan client, Phil Buck, at Temple Baptist Church in Asheville, North Carolina and spent some extra time there due to air suspension issues with my Audi. We also had a great 3-hour visit at Athens Christian School (ACS) in Athens Georgia, where Gail grew up, and she spent some time with the 93 year old founder and one of two pastors who married us 45 years earlier, followed by visits with relatives.

We returned to Asheville to pick up the repaired car, but not without a stop in Greenville, South Carolina, to visit with our good friends at my alma mater, Bob Jones University, including President Steve Pettit, Chief of Staff Randy Page, and Vice President for Advancement and Alumni Relations John Matthews. We had a great discussion about the need to address the issues in Washington and the role of our new PAC called Save America Now PAC. Learn more at

After Bob Jones University, we stopped in Gaffney, South Carolina to meet with JD Motorsports and let Raul be a NASCAR driver for a while (Swenson sponsors cars competing in NASCAR races from time to time).

Throughout the trip, Raul stayed in daily contact with his twin sister, Anastasia, who was at home taking care of the family’s two new puppies.

We routed our way through Atlanta in the pouring rain and then Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana . . . 4 states in one day . . . and followed by an all-day trip through Texas, ending 14 hours of driving at Los Cruces, New Mexico on the eve of the Virgin Galactica launch. We also passed through Van Horn, Texas, where Blue Origin rocketed off to space a few days later, and through Arizona at 115 degrees and safely home to San Diego.

Hope you enjoyed the photos.

It’s a great country to explore. I suggest you check it out!


Children’s Art Extravaganza Outreach 2021 – A Great Success

A party for children to enjoy creating original art works was held at the ECTLC (East County Transitional Living Center) on Saturday, May 1. The art teacher was incredible, and the kids had a blast. Everyone enjoyed delicious treats and goodies as well. Swenson Children’s Foundation is looking forward to sponsoring and providing more experiences like this for many more children in the future.

A great time was had by all!

SwenDay Outreach 2021

The Swenson Advisors Team is preparing for its second annual SwenDay Outreach in 2021. Everyone is looking forward to giving of their time at Canine Companions this summer. The Swenson Children’s Foundation has made a strong connection with this nonprofit in previous years and continues to support their incredible life-changing mission of training dogs with unique talents to support children and adults by providing a more independent lifestyle to each recipient. Stay tuned for updates after this special day coming up in August!


Steve Austin has been chosen as Treasurer and Chair of the Finance-Audit Committee of Western Seminary. In this Board position, Steve will provide leadership and general oversight of the financial health of the seminary and make recommendations for Board policy and action. The Committee’s responsibility is to review, provide input and make recommendations on proposed budget and budget changes, the annual audit and tracking the Board’s investment policy and health of its investments.

Western Seminary is a private, evangelical, theological seminary with campuses in Portland, Oregon; San Jose, California; and Sacramento, California. The Seminary is dedicated to "gospel-centered transformation," centering all learning and experience, both in and out of the classroom, on the gospel.

Western Seminary serves as a catalyst and resource for spiritual transformation by providing, with and for the church, advanced training for strategic ministry roles.

Degrees offered are Master of Arts (MA), Master of Divinity (M.Div.), and Master of Theology (Th.M.), as well as Doctor of Intercultural Studies, Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.), and Doctor of Education (Ed.D.). Western Seminary also has online-only degrees and programs and provides non-credit classes through the Center for Leadership Development.