Comptroller-Elect Hegar Announces Leadership Team

Comptroller-Elect's press release:

Comptroller-Elect Glenn Hegar announced today the reorganization of the Executive Team and the appointment of several senior staff members to the office of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts (CPA)

“I have carefully chosen a very competent and motivated team of seasoned professionals to work with me at the Comptroller’s Office,” Hegar said. “The appointment of these highly-qualified individuals will move the Comptroller’s office into the 21st Century and together we will work to make state government more efficient, eliminate wasteful spending, and put more money back into the pockets of taxpayers.”

"I am proud to announce a strong and highly motivated team of individuals that will elevate the Comptroller’s office to one committed to excellence in customer service for all Texans," Hegar said. "These dedicated public servants have a proven record of service and they share my commitment to serving Texas taxpayers and making state government more efficient and responsive.”

Hegar announced that Mike Reissig will serve as Deputy Comptroller and Chief Clerk.

“Mike is widely respected both inside and outside the agency for his thoughtful approach to all issues. Additionally, he has an impressive command of budget and tax matters and his knowledge and experience will be a tremendous asset,” said Hegar.

Lisa Craven will continue to serve as Hegar’s Chief of Staff at CPA and advise the Comptroller on state issues and agency administration, as well as serving as the agency’s liaison with business organizations, associations and advocacy groups around the state. Her responsibilities will also include strategic planning and driving new agency initiatives.

Liz White will serve as Senior Strategy Officer at CPA and as a key advisor to the comptroller, as well as serving as liaison with stakeholders on the Comptroller’s priorities, such issues as improving agency efficiencies, strategic planning, and transparency in government.

Hegar also announced the appointment of three highly qualified associate deputies who will oversee critical functions of the agency and serve as senior policy advisors to the comptroller.

  • Karey Barton will serve as Associate Deputy for Tax,
  • Phillip Ashley will serve as Associate Deputy for Fiscal Matters, and
  • Robert Wood will serve as Associate Deputy for Operations and Support.

Hegar named Tom Currah to the position of Chief Revenue Estimator replacing John Heleman who will now serve as Senior Advisor for Fiscal Research, managing ongoing research and evaluation projects on matters of taxation, fiscal policy, debt, pensions and public expenditures. “Tom is an extremely capable and well respected analyst who has a

keen ability to understand complex issues, such as our state’s multifaceted economy. I am confident that he and his team will provide an accurate revenue estimate that allows the Texas Legislature to craft a budget that balances the wants and needs of the state and continues Texas’ ongoing economic success.”

Brook Paup will serve as Director of Legislative Affairs. Elisabeth Spring and Kimberley Buzard will serve as Executive Assistants to Comptroller Hegar. David White will serve as interim spokesperson for Comptroller Hegar until he is sworn in on January 1, 2015.

The following is brief background on Comptroller-Elect Hegar’s staff announcements:

Mike Reissig is a long-time Comptroller employee who has previously served the agency as Chief Revenue Estimator, Director of Fiscal Management, Director of Tax Administration, and Associate Deputy Comptroller. Mike is currently second vice president of the Federation of Tax Administrators and frequently represents the agency in both the tax and fiscal matters. Mike also worked for two sessions in the Texas House in the early 1990s out of the Ways and Means Committee. Mike received a BA in finance from Texas Lutheran University and Masters in Business from Texas State.

Lisa Craven has over 26 years of state service, working in both the Texas Senate and House of Representatives. She served as Chief of Staff for Senator Glenn Hegar since January 2007, worked in the House of Representatives from 1989-2007, and began her career as a Capitol tour guide in 1986. Lisa is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, and she and her husband, Eric, are the parents of two daughters, Caroline and Elizabeth.

Liz White most recently served as Political Director for Glenn Hegar's successful race for Comptroller. Prior to joining the campaign, she was Legislative Director for State Senators Craig Estes and Brian Birdwell. Before her work in the Texas Senate, she worked on Republican Party Chairman Steve Munisteri's successful 2010 State Party Chairman's race. From 2009-2010, Liz worked at the Texas Public Policy Foundation as a health care and higher education policy analyst. Prior to her work at TPPF, she worked in the Texas House of Representatives and served as State Chairman of the Young Conservatives of Texas. Liz holds a degree in Government from the University of Texas at Austin.

Karey W. Barton, a 1984 graduate of Texas A&M, has extensive state and local tax experience that has spanned almost 30 years in both the public and private sector. He

started in the comptroller’s office and served in several senior positions over a 14-year span, working for Comptrollers Bullock, Sharp and Strayhorn. Additionally, Mr. Barton has 15 years of experience in the private sector assisting clients with sales and franchise tax responsibilities as well as assisting clients with analyses of tax related legislation. His private sector experience was split almost equally between working for a national tax consulting firm and working as a self-employed consultant.

Phillip Ashley is currently Director of the Fiscal Management Division of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. The Fiscal Management Division fulfills the Comptroller’s role as Chief Accountant for the state, and is responsible for paying and auditing state expenditures, enforcing spending-related statutes, administering the statewide financial systems, producing the state’s financial reports, managing and controlling state appropriations, providing oversight of statewide payroll processing, and administering the state’s budget certification process. Phillip began his career in state government with the Fiscal Management Division in 2001. He holds Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Business Administration degrees from Baylor University and is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Government Financial Manager.

Robert Wood has served as a division director at the Comptroller of Public Accounts since 2007 and is currently responsible for the agency’s economic development and energy conservation programs. Prior to joining the Comptroller’s office, he was responsible for rural economic development programs for the Texas Department of Agriculture. Robert also has 12 years’ experience in the commercial banking industry. He is a 1985 graduate of Texas A&M University with a degree in Agricultural Economics.

Tom Currah has worked at the Comptroller’s office since 1999, most recently serving as Senior Advisor and Data Analysis Director. During his tenure, Currah has developed and led dozens of complex economic, data analysis, and research projects related to critical issues affecting Texas. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas and master’s from the University of Houston.

Brooke Paup served as Special Assistant Attorney General from 2007 to 2009 at the Office of the Attorney General. She then helped manage the Intergovernmental Relations Division from 2009 to the present. Before her tenure at OAG, Brooke was the Legislative Director of the Office of State Federal Relations in Washington, D.C. She graduated from Texas A&M in 2001 and earned her J.D. from Texas Tech School of Law in 2005. Brooke lives in Austin with her husband, Spivey, and their two children, Henry and Heidi.

Elisabeth Spring has served as Senator Glenn Hegar's Administrative Director for two years. Prior to joining Senator Hegar's staff in 2012, she worked for Senator Steve Ogden in his district office and moved to Austin in 2010 to join his finance committee office. Elisabeth graduated from the University of Central Arkansas with a BA in Speech Communications in 2004.

Kimberley Buzard, a graduate of Texas A&M, has served as District Director for Comptroller Elect Hegar since 2003, while he was a member of the Texas House of Representatives and the Texas Senate. Kim previously worked for Lt. Governor Perry and Senator Buster Brown. Kim and her husband Chris live in Richmond with their two boys.

David White is the Founder & Principal of Brazos Public Affairs. White most recently served as the campaign manager for the Glenn Hegar Campaign. Prior to Brazos, David served as the Senior Policy Advisor for Texas Comptroller Susan Combs. Before his work in the controller’s office, White served as Political Director for Governor Rick Perry’s 2010 gubernatorial re-election and worked as a Chief of Staff in the Texas House of Representatives. David served as State Chairman of the Young Conservatives of Texas from 2006-2009 and is a graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University.

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