Member Profiles

  • Mary Jones (5/10/2022) - Can tax be a refuge from other academic pursuits? For Mary Jones, director of benefits taxation at Microsoft Corporation, it was. “I fell into the tax space as I was trying to escape litigation and employment law and found the benefits group at an employment law firm with which I… Read more »
  • Walter Doggett (3/9/2022) - A great teacher can often make an epic difference in your life. Just ask Walter Doggett, the executive tax director of E*Trade Financial Corporation and incoming TEI international secretary. While attending the University of Virginia, Doggett took elective tax courses from David LaRue, an experience that greatly influenced his future… Read more »
  • Patricia Likogiannis  (2/1/2022) - Teachers really do make a difference. Just ask Patricia Likogiannis how she got interested in tax as a career. “We had excellent tax instructors when I was an undergraduate majoring in math and accounting at the University of Waterloo,” she says. “Those teachers explained the structure, history, and reasons behind… Read more »
  • Marji Gordon-Brown (11/17/2021) - When Marji Gordon-Brown was in law school, she needed an elective. Having majored in accounting as an undergraduate, she thought that taking a somewhat numbers-oriented class would not be too difficult. In that elective, Gordon-Brown says, “I had a wonderful professor, Linda Galler, who was a new, young, energetic teacher.… Read more »
  • Peter Waterstreet (9/8/2021) - When Peter Waterstreet opted for an accelerated master of accountancy program, he made a critical decision: he chose the tax stem over the professional accounting and information systems stems. In making that choice, he was influenced by business law and introductory tax classes that were part of the undergraduate accounting… Read more »
  • Linda Kim (7/9/2021) - Since Linda Kim was young, she knew she would go into accounting because of her father. She fought it for a while, thinking she might become a teacher. However, after working with her father one summer, she decided to follow his advice: If she pursued a career in accounting or… Read more »
  • Kent Cain (5/10/2021) - Despite enjoying his financial accounting classes in college, Kent Cain was taking his undergraduate tax and audit classes that same semester when he realized he would probably enjoy a career in tax more than in audit. “The following spring, I had the opportunity to do an internship in the tax… Read more »
  • Beth Sosidka (3/9/2021) - When Beth Sosidka was working in public accounting, she saw firsthand how a team of tax professionals could help people and companies navigate complex laws. When she worked on strategic planning opportunities for many types of state taxes, she was hooked. “I love learning about the laws—how and why they… Read more »
  • Audrey Sherman (2/2/2021) - A great teacher can often be a defining person in your life. Take Audrey Sherman’s tax professor, for example. “Through her I got involved in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. I joined Deloitte right out of college on the audit side, as you had to do back then,… Read more »
  • Marcus Shore (11/3/2020) - Marcus Shore was working at a law firm when a partner suggested that he work with a couple of tax attorneys at the firm. It turned out to be a good suggestion. “I enjoyed the tax work enough that I soon made the decision to focus on tax and make… Read more »
  • Larry Pociask (9/10/2020) - Tax is sometimes viewed as an amalgam of social, political, and economic influences. And it was precisely that combination that galvanized Larry Pociask’s interest in tax as a profession: “My interest in tax started with a great professor at Michigan State, Ed Outslay, who found a way to weave politics,… Read more »
  • Makenzie Zuern (7/15/2020) - When Makenzie Zuern was in high school, she took her first tax and accounting class. “I’ve always loved math, and I fell in love with taking numbers and turning them into a big puzzle,” she explains. “In accounting, there is always an answer, you just have to apply the numbers… Read more »
  • Kurtis Bond (5/12/2020) - Kurtis Bond first gravitated toward tax when he was in law school. “I think it was the problem-solving that initially interested me—the challenge of figuring out how to navigate and interpret a complex statute that applies to a wide range of relationships,” he explains. In addition, Bond says, he really… Read more »
  • Scott Clark (3/6/2020) - After Scott Clark was transferred early on in his career to start Provident Bank’s tax department, a recruiter contacted him about an opportunity to start the tax function at Cintas, which, at that time, was a company he knew virtually nothing about. “It was a similar opportunity as I had… Read more »
  • Timothy Chuk (1/30/2020) - Timothy Chuk’s first major interest wasn’t tax—it was architecture. He first developed an interest in tax while working for an organization that developed a different type of architecture—IBM. “Achieving business objectives in today’s ever-evolving global landscape requires tax planning and foresight to strategically move the business forward,” Chuk explains. The… Read more »
  • Laura Deerwester (11/26/2019) - Have you ever had that kind of day where deadlines are looming, the boss needs you in his office to go over numbers, and the auditors have just one more question? You start daydreaming, hearing the Southwest Airlines slogan (“Wanna get away…”), and what comes to mind but a secluded… Read more »
  • Shirley Chin (9/27/2019) - After practicing as a corporate attorney at Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York, Shirley Chin returned to San Francisco and spent several years advising nonprofits. In addition to general board advisory and corporate governance work, the technical law that governs exempt organizations is tax law, she notes, with a… Read more »
  • Anthony O’Donnell (7/16/2019) - Anthony (Tony) O’Donnell was a history major in college and, during his formal legal training, never set out to pursue tax. “I fell into it late in law school when I took the basic tax course and found that the key concepts of tax made sense to me and the… Read more »
  • Ralph Corasaniti (5/21/2019) - Some budding corporate tax specialists have a five-year plan to become part of this fascinating profession, whereas others just sort of fall into it. That was the case for Ralph Corasaniti, who thought he would be more interested in finance positions because he didn’t see himself as a general auditor.… Read more »
  • Richard Pettigrew (4/11/2019) - Are in-laws the bane of your existence? Well, that’s not the case with Richard Pettigrew, who first became interested in tax when his father-in-law introduced him to this complex yet interesting field in 1972. Pettigrew had just begun his education at the University of North Texas, and his father-in-law asked… Read more »
  • Ellen Berenholz (2/5/2019) - When Ellen Berenholz was in college and working for a CPA firm, she could recite financial statement opinions backward and forward. You think that might have come in handy when she began her post-college career at Arthur Andersen’s audit group? Actually, Berenholz proofread financial statements at the CPA firm, checking… Read more »
  • Julia Lagun (12/3/2018) - Some say that practicing tax law is like playing chess. If that’s true, then Julia Lagun, a competitive chess player since age four, has had quite a lot of practice. Lagun, senior vice president and senior tax director at KeyCorp, has always been good with numbers and puzzles and has… Read more »
  • Gregory Viggiano (9/14/2018) - What on earth could the late 1960s television show The Green Hornet have to do with tax planning at the AP Moller–Maersk Group? Let’s let Gregory Viggiano, the company’s senior director of tax planning, explain it in his own words: “When I was five, I was a fan of the… Read more »
  • John Mann (7/24/2018) - John Mann has distinct childhood memories that foretold his current career in tax. One involved attending a meeting with his mother and the tax advisor who prepared her tax return. Another was having that same advisor prepare his own tax return for part-time work during high school. “It’s funny how… Read more »
  • Michael Bernard (5/31/2018) - When Michael Bernard was a sophomore at Creighton University, he took a business law class. It was the start of something big—a notable career in tax, including almost three decades at Microsoft Corporation. He is now the chief tax officer at Vertex Inc. “The cases in the book covered a… Read more »
  • Teri Hull (3/12/2018) - Teri Hull’s interest in tax issues was sparked by dry cleaning. Yes, dry cleaning. Her father owned a dry cleaning business when she was young, and she often tagged along on Saturday mornings. But it wasn’t the back of the store, with all those hangers and clothes, that intrigued Hull;… Read more »
  • Fraser Reid (2/1/2018) - “It’s for tax reasons.” You’ve heard that expression before. For Fraser Reid, vice president, taxation, at Teekay Shipping (Canada) Ltd., it was a turning point in his career. Here’s how Reid explains it: “When I was completing my thirty months of articling for my chartered accountant (CA) designation in the… Read more »
  • Catherine Gallagher (11/20/2017) - Catherine (Cathy) Gallagher is vice president of tax and human resources at Connell Limited Partnership, a privately owned holding company comprising primarily flow-through entities. So which area of corporate tax does she find most interesting? Structuring acquisitions and dispositions to be tax efficient. As Gallagher explains, “At Connell Limited Partnership,… Read more »
  • Andy Vickers (9/21/2017) - Some tax specialists come to the profession late in life. But not Andy Vickers. For Vickers, vice president, corporate tax, at Nordstrom in Seattle, Washington, the business bug bit him in high school. “I was always math-focused in high school and interested in business generally,” Vickers explains. “I knew I… Read more »
  • Rick Frost (7/20/2017) - Rick Frost is a fan of controversy. Well, not any controversy—tax controversy, to be exact. “Negotiating a win-win settlement that benefits the company and creates a platform for future success is very satisfying,” Frost says. Frost, currently vice president, tax, at Prudential Financial Inc., first became interested in tax issues… Read more »
  • Keith Piper (5/22/2017) - Keith Piper’s longtime appreciation for tax began directly after his graduation from Pennsylvania State University. “More than thirty years ago, during my first job out of college, I was a staff accountant with a cable television company in Northern Virginia and assigned responsibilities for property taxes and income tax provision,… Read more »
  • Jim Kennedy (2/2/2017) - For Jim Kennedy, there was little doubt that his calling was to be a tax professional. In law school, Kennedy took every tax course he could and wrote a comment for the University of Pittsburgh Law Review on safe harbor leasing under ERTA and TEFRA. “This interest in tax legislation… Read more »
  • Mitch Frank (12/9/2016) - For some corporate tax practitioners, interest in tax issues begins with their first job in the financial area; for others it’s law school; still others, college. But for Mitch Frank, general director, taxes, at BNSF Railway Inc., it began in high school. “I took a bookkeeping course that included reference… Read more »
  • Lynne Clare (9/26/2016) - Lynne Clare knows value-added tax (VAT). She really knows VAT. Currently the strategic VAT director at Sony, Clare has been involved with VAT issues for most of her career. It all began a little more than 26 years ago when she was posted to a VAT team at Her Majesty’s… Read more »
  • Angela Wallace (8/24/2016) - Angela Wallace didn’t just jump right into tax. One month after graduating from college with a bachelor of science in biology, Wallace and her husband started their family. She chose not to pursue her plans to become a physical therapist. “I waited tables for four years because it provided flexible… Read more »
  • Martina Krummen (5/25/2016) - When Martina Krummen joined KPMG for her internship, she was transferred for three months to the indirect tax department for a special project. During this time, she traveled across Canada and the United States for a major client of the firm to identify sales tax opportunities for their various business… Read more »
  • Nancy Farahmand (4/6/2016) - Someone once said, “The world is made up of two kinds of people: Those who love solving puzzles—and those who don’t.” Nancy Farahmand, the director of international taxes and planning at JCPenney, loves solving puzzles. “I always enjoyed solving puzzles and knew, from my first tax course in college, that… Read more »
  • Katrina Welch (2/23/2016) - In her first two years at the University of Texas, Katrina Welch was a petroleum engineering major and worked as a roustabout in an oil field during the summer. Perhaps that rugged experience helped pave the way for what Welch is doing today—serving as vice president and head of tax… Read more »
  • Sandhya Edupuganty  (12/23/2015) - Many of us don’t like change. Sandhya Edupuganty embraces it. “I recognize the importance of and enjoy change, which is why I specialized in tax and have had the benefit of seeing what works and what can be improved. I believe it is important for tax departments to streamline and automate… Read more »
  • Rita Makaris (10/2/2015) - Rita Makaris’ memory of her college tax course is vivid—and not particularly positive: “All I remember was how frustrating it was—nothing but rules with exceptions and exceptions to the exceptions.” But thirty years later, after an incredibly successful career in tax, Makaris, senior tax manager and assistant firm-wide controller at… Read more »
  • Cooper Monroe (8/6/2015) - At Duke Energy Corporation, Director of State Tax Cooper Monroe keeps state and local tax (SALT) an essential ingredient in his corporate tax law diet. But instead of causing hypertension and increased use of a sphygmomanometer, commonly known as a blood pressure gauge, Monroe’s SALT experience moves the needle in… Read more »
  • Lionel Nobre (6/1/2015) - Lionel Nobre always likes a good challenge—whether it’s running a marathon, obtaining multiple master’s degrees in law from higher-education  institutions in Brazil and the United States, securing certification as a global executive master in business administration, serving as a panelist at an  international fiscal association conference in Mumbai, authoring tax-publisher… Read more »
  • Rudolf Van Ooijen (3/16/2015) - Europe. Middle East. Africa. That’s a lot of territory for anyone to cover. But Rudolf Van Ooijen, the group direct tax manager of the IKEA Group, is up to the task. Van Ooijen is president of the Tax Executive Institute’s Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) chapter, which is celebrating… Read more »