2019 FTA Annual Meeting

Please note one change from the traditional FTA schedule: the general session begins at 9 a.m. each day, not 8:30.

We've freshened our approach to breakouts. As always, there will be four breakouts on Monday and Tuesday afternoons. But this year the breakouts will not be labeled with their primary focus (e.g., technology or legal). All events will start and stop at the same time, with at least a brief break to better facilitate room changes.
Why? You no longer can run your agency as groups of silos, so we're organizing the agenda to more clearly reflect your expanded needs. You might, for instance, find the answer to one of your management problems in a collections presentation. We hope the new approach helps everyone find just the right concurrent presentation out of all your options.


6 - 8 p.m.
Marriott Ballroom 6

9 a.m. - noon
Marriott Ballroom

Reinventing Workplace Culture
Adam Krupp, commissioner, Indiana Department of Revenue

Understanding Blockchain
Eliezer Kanal, Carnegie Mellon

Award Presentations

Monday luncheon speaker: Update on the National Economy
Mark Zandi, Economy.com

9 a.m. - noon
Marriott Ballroom

The Big Lesson Learned in 30 Years of Tax Administration: Teams Beat Silos
Nonie Manion, former deputy executive, New York State Department of Taxation and Finance

Get Results with Social Media
Paul Hoppe, Police Chief, Wyoming, Minnesota

9 a.m. - noon
Marriott Ballroom

FTA Annual Business Meeting
The senior representative from each FTA member agency is requested to attend; all are welcome
Action Planning Workshop
Steve Garguilo, Action Surge


1:30 - 5 p.m.
Break at 3 to 3:30

Breakout One
Marriott 7

A Deep Dive into Enterprise Risk Management
Thomas Brandt, Internal Revenue Service, in collaboration with Debbie Poff and Thomas Holland of the IRS and Julie Amos, Enterprise Risk Officer, with the Washington State Department of Revenue
Note: This dedicated and detailed training is devoted to the entire breakout from 1:30 to 5

This workshop will give you a general understanding of the activities that comprise an Enterprise Risk Management Program. This session will explore existing ERM programs, with an example of one federal and one state program, and highlight the benefits seen by both tax administrations as a result of ERM. This session will also provide state tax administrators with capability models for ERM programs that they can leverage as a tool to assist with initiating and/or advancing ERM efforts. You will learn from a practical group activity focused on identifying the top risks that may benefit from further focus by tax administrations.

Expected Outcomes: 

  • An increased understanding of the purpose and use of ERM.
  • Identification of risks that could benefit from further focus by tax administrations or be used to inform future FTA efforts.
  • Knowledge of ERM capability models to be used by state tax administrators in initiating and/or advancing ERM.

Breakout Two
Marriott 8

State CIO as Communicator: Priorities, Risks and Perspectives
Doug Robinson, National Association of State Chief Information Officers

Emerging Blockchain Policies in State Government
Irakli George Mirzashvili and Ryan Cotter, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Christopher Russell, Indiana Department of Revenue

Analytics and Data Science for Executives
Part 1: Terminology, Compliance, and Resource Allocation
Part 2: Fraud, Research, and Legislation

Moderator: Terri Steenblock, FTA
Panelists: Peter Arena, ASR Analytics; Eric Thompson, Experian; Ted London, FICO; Keri Geiger, Microsoft; Rich Brunner, RSI; Esmeralda Stuk, SAS

Breakout Three
Marriott 9

Ethics for Tax Administrators (one hour)
Glenn McCoy, KPMG

Legal Case Updates
(Note: This presentation will run from 2:30 to 3:15; the room will not break with the other breakouts at 3 p.m.)
Helen Hecht, Multistate Tax Commission, and Marilyn Wethekam, Horwood Marcus & Berk

Reviewing Wayfair Policies
Fred Nicely, COST; Nancy Prosser, Texas Office of the Comptroller

An Approach to Sales Tax Collections After Wayfair
Dan Hassell, Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Revenue

Breakout Four
Marriott 10
Sponsor Solutions

1:30 – 2:15 p.m.
Security, Compliance and Trust on Azure Government Cloud

As Government agencies start leveraging cloud to host FTI data, it is important to establish a common framework of trust/compliance which adheres to the organization standards, patterns, and requirements of IRS 1075, NIST, as well as the unique requirements of each agency.  In this session, Microsoft will demonstrate how Azure Government is making it easier for Government Agencies to migrate and host workloads that holds Federal Tax Information (FTI) in the cloud.  The session will include deep dive into IRS 1075 Blueprints available only on Azure Government cloud, which makes it possible for technology groups to automate, and attest to IRS 1075 requirements while defining a repeatable set of policy, templates and other artifacts to stay compliant and secured.  Microsoft will also provide an overview of how other agencies have started leveraging cloud for agility and cost savings, as well as innovative capabilities of the cloud – such as ML and AI. 

Kunal Tanwar, Director, Modern Government
Sachin Dubey,  Senior Program Manager, Azure Government

2:15 - 3 p.m.
Revenue Solutions, Inc (RSI)

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

As artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) take center stage, many organizations are realizing the benefits of more accurate information, reduced human costs, and quicker turnaround for citizens to get needed information.  Join us for a discussion on how AI and ML can enable your agency to deliver more value for your constituents, reduce costs, and engage your taxpayers in a way they have come to expect.

Presenter: Rich Brunner
Director, Product Development & Technology & CIO, Revenue Solutions, Inc.



1:30 - 5 p.m.
Break at 3 to 3:30

Breakout One
Marriott 7

Establishing a Data Analytics Governance Team
Chelsea Hare-West, Michigan Treasury

Process Improvement and Compliance through Taxpayer Education
Dr. Jim Zingale, executive director, Florida Department of Revenue

The Transition from a Bad Paper Exemption Form to a Good Electronic Exemption Form
Nathaniel Weber, Wisconsin Department of Revenue

Are You Change-Challenged? Get a Change Ambassador Program
Sharonne Bonardi, deputy comptroller, and Robin Aro, Maryland Office of the Comptroller

Breakout Two
Marriott 8

An Agencywide Approach to Tackling Your Disclosure and Safeguarding Dilemmas
Bethany Rawls, South Carolina Department of Revenue

Recycling Uncollectible Accounts
Rosie McClurkan, Tennessee Department of Revenue

Leadership for Today and tomorrow: Retention Success in Washington State
Steve McLain, Washington State Department of Revenue
Fraud-Preventing Ideas from the Analyst Community of Practice
Kendra Carroll, Georgia Department of Revenue

Breakout Three
Marriott 9

The Challenges of Private Letter Rulings
Harley Duncan, KPMG, and Todd Renner, Kentucky Department of Revenue
Implementation of a Major Tax Policy Change: One State's How-To
Neena Savage, Tax Administrator, and Rahul Sarathy, Rhode Island Division of Taxation

An Update of the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
Amber Logsdon, Office of the Indiana Attorney General

A Practitioner's Viewpoint on Fairness and Efficiency in OICs and Installment Agreement
Antoinette Ellison, Jones Day

Breakout Four
Marriott 10

Sponsor Solutions

1:30 to 2:15 p.m.
ASR Analytics
Law and Order: Criminal Investigations Unit

Learn how the Arizona Department of Revenue revamped its Criminal Investigations Unit by using data analytics, improved business processes, and partnerships to successfully prosecute tax cheats. The speakers will describe some of their best practices around reinventing how they think about tax fraud and pursue criminal action.

Dr. Grant Nülle, Deputy Director, Arizona Department of Revenue

Dr. Peter Arena, Founding Principal, ASR Analytics

3:30 to 4:15 p.m.
Fast Enterprises, LLC
Tax Administration Around the Globe

This presentation will discuss trends in tax administration around the world and the ways in which tax agencies are adapting to and addressing emerging, as well as, longstanding reporting and compliance issues.  It is intended to provide a glimpse of how technology and corresponding business models are evolving and impacting the administration of tax laws. It will include unique examples from tax agencies throughout the world and provide insight into opportunities to improve tax administration.

Joe Milack
Fast Enterprises, LLC