American Red Cross of Greater Houston Hosts Third Annual Golf Outing


American Red Cross of Greater Houston pic

American Red Cross of Greater Houston

A graduate of Lamar University’s MBA program, Sue Ann Ma serves as president of Seminal Financial Group, Inc. in Houston, Texas. A philanthropic individual, Sue Ann Ma supports the American Red Cross.

Founded by Clara Barton in 1881, the American Red Cross helps people dealing with emergencies. The non-profit organization coordinates volunteers and uses the support of donors to help those in the time of need. In addition, it provides care, shelter, and blood during these emergencies.

To reach as many people as it can, the American Red Cross has chapters throughout the world, one of which is in the greater Houston area. This chapter began in 1916 and has helped people deal with floods, hurricanes, fires, and explosions.

To help this chapter raise funds to support its endeavors, it sponsors several fundraising events, including golf tournaments. The third annual Red Jacket Fall Golf Classic, scheduled for November 8, 2017, takes place at the Fazio Clubhouse at Carlton Woods. Teams of four receive lunch, dinner, and a round of golf. They also have access to one caddie per team. Afterward they can participate in a silent auction.

Estate Planning Reduces Federal Estate Tax Burden


Estate Planning pic

Estate Planning

The former vice president of Hibernia Bank, Sue Ann Ma now serves as the president of Seminal Financial Group, Inc. A certified public accountant, Sue Ann Ma offers her clients various financial services including estate planning.

Estate taxes can be costly. There are essentially two types: federal estate taxes and state estate taxes.

If you live in Texas, you need not worry about state estate taxes because the state does not levy the tax on inheritances. However, you may have to pay the tax if you inherit property from a relative who lived in a state that levies estate tax.

Texas residents are eligible to pay federal estate taxes if they leave behind property worth more than the federal estate tax threshold, which currently stands at $5.4 million. The threshold adjusts with inflation, so it may change from time to time. A person who passes away and leaves behind an estate worth more than the threshold will pay federal estate taxes from the estate. Levied at 35% of everything above the threshold and payable in cash, the tax is very costly. Thankfully, estate planning helps people reduce their estate tax burden, ensuring their spouses, children, and other relatives inherit as much as they deserve.

A Brief Overview of Chinese Dining Etiquette

Chinese Dining Etiquette pic

Chinese Dining Etiquette

For more than 16 years, Sue Ann Ma has provided clients of the Seminal Financial Group, Inc., a variety of bookkeeping and tax-planning services as a certified public accountant (CPA) and the company president. Beyond her professional activities, Sue Ann Ma enjoys travelling internationally. She likes to try local food on her trips and has become particularly fond of Chinese cuisine.

Sampling local dishes is one of the most exciting benefits of traveling abroad and represents a unique window on the culture of another country. At the same time, travelers are advised to learn and adhere to local dining customs and traditions.

When dining as a guest in China, for example, individuals must view every meal as a special occasion. Guests should dress nicely, find out if they are expected to bring the host a gift or dessert, and, most importantly, arrive on time. In China, elders are highly respected, and travelers must remember never to begin eating before seniors at the table have started. In fact, a meal may not officially begin until an elder declares, “Let’s eat.”

When it comes to etiquette, Chinese table manners often resemble Western manners. That said, travelers should realize that there are subtle differences and that any breach of etiquette can be viewed as much more offensive than at home. A diner should never reach across the table for a serving dish but, instead, eat from the dishes nearest to his or her place at the table. Should an individual need to sneeze or dispose of unwanted food, it is best to do so away from the table, out of sight of the other diners.

Other aspects of dining etiquette are unique to China. For instance, individuals who have not mastered eating with chopsticks should refrain from using them at all, rather than skewering pieces of food and eating off the stick. Chinese meals often feature a number of small dishes, so diners must remember to sample a little of each plate, rather than finishing a tasty dish before others at the table have had a chance to try it.