Jodi P. Pellettiere
Jodi P. Pellettiere
Quarles and Brady LLP
Public interest
40 Under Class – 2015

International grants are complex. That’s why a Chicago based foundation, which is a grant-making private foundation, recently enlisted Chicago attorney Jodi Patt Pellettiere to help it make separate grants in Taiwan and the United Kingdom.

The reason this foundation went with Pellettiere? The attorney with Chicago’s Quarles & Brady is known as one of the most talented non-profit and tax-exempt specialists in the city.

“International grant-making is exceedingly complicated and fraught with risk for the tax-exempt grant-maker under U.S. tax law and regulations,” said the executive director of the Foundation.“Jodi guided our work on these grants and enabled us to successfully endow important programs in both countries on a very aggressive timetable.”

The foundation mentioned above is far from the only client that praises Pellettiere’s work.This isn’t surprising: Pellettiere doesn’t work with tax-exempt organizations as part of her overall legal practice. It is her legal practice. She is part of a specialized team of attorneys at Quarles & Brady who have devoted their entire practices to serving tax-exempt organizations.

The work allows Pellettiere to make a true difference. The clients with which she works are striving to serve their communities in a variety of ways. By helping these clients create new organizations, secure and maintain their tax-exempt status, defend themselves against challenges from the IRS and comply with complicated tax laws, Pellettiere gives them the tools they need to help the greatest number of people.

“Over the years, Jodi has done a terrific job handling a variety of intricate and complicated questions associated with what are often counterintuitive tax laws, rules and regulations related to such things as the private foundation excise tax, political activity, self-dealing and preserving our tax-exempt status,” said another nominator.

Pellettiere recently helped this nominator’s foundation reorganize from a trust to a corporation. This was no easy process. The nominator said that it required not only the creation of an entirely new entity, but also that the foundation apply for tax-exempt status for the new entity, transfer all of its assets from one entity to the other and review all of the foundation’s major contracts to ensure that benefits properly transferred to the new organization.

“The complexity of this transaction was of great concern, and if all had not gone well the person who would have been responsible was me,” the nominator continued. “Fortunately, Jodi’s tireless dedication, incredible attention to detail and remarkable efficiency ensured that the process was completed on a timely basis, without a hitch and within budget. It was a remarkable display of extraordinary lawyering.”

When she’s not representing non-profit organizations, Pellettiere spends much of her time giving back to the community. She is a director and co-chair of the Membership Committee of Chicago Women in Philanthropy. She previously served as a director of River North Chicago Dance Company, and is a frequent participant in the Donor’s Forum delegation of Foundations on the Hill in Washington, D.C. That group informs and educates members of Congress about philanthropy and advocates for non-profits, with the goal to make the work of non-profits and their contributions to the communities in which they serve more visible.