Build Relationships | Build Your Career | Answer 14 Questions

I have started interviewing state tax professionals (with any level of experience) to post on the LEVERAGE SALT blog. The objective is to create more visibility and camaraderie among state tax professionals. Hopefully introducing more people to each other outside normal circumstances. I will be publishing my first interview this week. 

All you have to do be interviewed and included on the blog is to submit answers to the following 14 questions to You can also provide any additional information you deem appropriate. I have provided my answers to give you some ideas.

I hope you take the time to share about yourself to help others and help us all be successful. You never know what relationships will grow out of it.

Thank you in advance. 


  1. Birthplace: Central Illinois
  2. Education: bachelor's degree in accounting, Millikin University; masters degree in taxation, Washington School of Law
  3. Career: 20 years including working in multiple public accounting firms (Big 4, national and regional), and Fortune 500 companies
  4. Best Career Move: joining RSM McGladrey's National Tax Office, which involved moving from Illinois to Minnesota; second best career move (moving south to Virginia away from the cold in Minnesota) - for more on my career path, check out my LinkedIn profile.
  5. Career Goals: to transform multistate tax complexity into practical solutions and positively impact multistate tax policy for all businesses; I want to make a difference with what I do and I want to have fun doing it. 
  6. Best advice ever received: this is a hard one. I have received some good advice from a variety of people throughout my career. I am also a quote magnet, so I have lots of mantras or sayings I use on a daily basis. For example, adapt, improvise, overcome. Be you, expect success and live one day at a time. Early in my career, I did more than what was expected on a project. My supervisor was happily surprised and told me that I would be successful in my career if I always kept that mentality of doing more than what is expected. It has stuck with me to this day. 
  7. Most difficult situation faced on the job: being given responsibility without authority to act.
  8. Career tip for students: I believe you are responsible for your success. You can't rely on other people or wait for others to do something. You must take the initiative. Take daily steps towards your goals. Success or reaching your dream does not happen overnight. There will be many twists and turns along the way. It most likely won't go according to your plan, but if you persist and do the work, you will eventually reach your destination.
  9. Role models: I would have to say my dad. My dad worked 45 years at one company straight out of high school. He didn't have a college education but worked his way up from the mail room. The last 10 years of his career, he didn't receive a raise. He really didn't like his job, but he couldn't leave. He had so much time built up at the company and he didn't have a college degree. He felt trapped. My dad died in 2008 from lung cancer. He never smoked a day in his life. The doctor said it was second-hand smoke. They used to let people smoke in the office and they did where my dad worked for probably 20 years of his career. Several of his coworkers who did smoke died of emphysema. My dad worked hard and provided for his family. He saved for retirement and was able to spend six years after retiring with my mom before he died. He is my role model and motivation for not being trapped in a job and working hard to succeed.
  10. Family: wife and two daughters, plus a little shih tzu named Fergie
  11. Pastimes: spending time with my family, addicted to fitness, music, playing drums and learning guitar
  12. Most memorable book: I have several favorites, but I would probably have to say "Tribes" by Seth Godin because it was one of the drivers that compelled me to start my state tax blog back in 2009.
  13. Favorite restaurant: don't really have one; but I like unique, restaurants that make you feel like you are somewhere else, and have great food.
  14. Ideal vacation: We have been to Hawaii 3 times and have had vacations at several beaches and mountain locations across the U.S. Thus, an ideal vacation includes beauty and relaxation.