Faculty Biographies


TRAINING FACULTY BIOGRAPHIES


 

 

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Richard Cram, Director
Multistate Tax Commission National Nexus Program


Richard Cram is the Director of the Multistate Tax Commission’s National Nexus Program in Washington, D.C. Prior to that, Richard served for 15 years as the Director of Policy & Research for the Kansas Department of Revenue, and for 2 years as an attorney in the Legal Services Bureau of the Department, in Topeka, Kansas. He worked as a research attorney for the Kansas Supreme Court, and has practiced law as an associate in law firms in Chicago, Illinois and Goodland, Kansas.  Richard graduated from the University of Kansas School of Law.


Michael T. Fatale, Deputy General Counsel
Massachusetts Department of Revenue

 
Michael T. Fatale was recently appointed the Deputy General Counsel at the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) where he has been employed since 1992.  Previously he was for nearly ten years the Chief of DOR’s Rulings and Regulations Bureau, and prior to that he was a tax counsel. Mr. Fatale is the primary author of numerous state tax regulations and other DOR administrative pronouncements, and has litigated or co-litigated several high-profile DOR cases, including the sham transaction cases, Syms and Sherwin-Williams. He is the author of five law review articles on constitutional and federal preemption law that have been cited in various state tax cases, including cases decided by the Iowa and West Virginia Supreme Courts and the New Mexico and California Courts of Appeal. For 2015, he received “honorable mention” as the state tax government person of the year from the Tax Analysts’ publication State Tax Notes.  In 2012, he was awarded the Paull Mines Award for Outstanding Contribution to State Tax Jurisprudence by the Multistate Tax Commission. In 2005, The Boston Globe reported on his leadership role in obtaining a large settlement in a bankruptcy case on behalf of eighteen states (“Hooray for the Taxman”). Mr. Fatale is an adjunct professor at Boston College Law School, has been a guest lecturer at Georgetown University Law School, and speaks frequently at state tax conferences. Mr. Fatale worked in private practice before joining DOR and holds an undergraduate degree from Columbia University and a law degree, cum laude, from Boston College Law School.

Cathy Felix
Field Audit Supervisor


Multistate Tax Commission Joint Audit Program
Ms. Felix has been a supervising auditor since 1995 and she has been employed by the MTC since 1993. Prior to joining the Commission she spent 3 ½ years at a public accounting firm and 3 years at the IRS. She received her B.S. and M.S.T. degrees from DePaul University. Cathy is a C.P.A. and is a member of the AICPA and the Illinois C.P.A. Society.

 

Bruce J. Fort, Counsel
Multistate Tax Commission


Bruce J. Fort joined the Multistate Tax Commission as counsel in January of 2007.  Prior to that time, Mr. Fort was a staff attorney with the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department for sixteen years.  During that time, Mr. Fort was lead counsel in many of the state's gross receipts tax, corporate income tax and nexus cases, including Kmart Corp. v. Taxation and Revenue Department, 131 P.3d 22 (2005) and Conoco Inc. and Intel Corp. v. Taxation and Revenue Department, 931 P.2d 730 (1996).  Mr. Fort has co-authored several briefs before the U.S. Supreme Court on state tax matters, and has drafted numerous tax statutes and regulations for the State of New Mexico.  Prior to joining New Mexico's tax department, Mr. Fort was engaged in general trial practice with a firm in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Mr. Fort received a B.A. degree from the University of Oregon in 1979 and a J.D. from the University of Oregon School of Law in 1983.  Mr. Fort is a frequent presenter at state and local tax conferences, including the Hartman SALT forum, the Georgetown University SALT conference, the American Bar Association Tax Section and the Tax Executives Institute training courses.
 

Helen Hecht, General Counsel
Multistate Tax Commission 


Helen Hecht is general counsel to the Multistate Tax Commission—the administrative body created by the Multistate Tax Compact in 1967 to promote uniformity and compatibility in state tax systems. Ms. Hecht has been with the MTC since July 2014. Prior to coming to the MTC, Ms. Hecht worked for almost five years as tax counsel for the Federation of Tax Administrators—the Washington, D.C. based membership organization for the state revenue agencies. Before joining the FTA, Ms. Hecht was of counsel to the law firm of Sutin, Thayer & Browne, PC, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she worked for six years, heading up that firm’s tax practice. Prior to that, Ms. Hecht was with KPMG, LLP, where she worked for eight years and was practice leader for the Albuquerque state and local tax group. Ms. Hecht began her career at the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department where she worked for over ten years—starting out as a tax collector and holding various positions including auditor, audit supervisor, audit manager and bureau chief. While with the Taxation and Revenue Department, Ms. Hecht headed up the agency’s audit training program, oversaw the rewriting of the state’s audit manual and instituted procedures for developing audit, technical and administrative policies and programs. Ms. Hecht received her JD from the University of New Mexico Law School, graduating magna cum laude. She received bachelors and masters of accounting degrees from New Mexico State University. She is a certified public accountant, a member of the New Mexico bar and admitted before the United States Supreme Court.

 

Keith Getschel, Director
Multistate Tax Commission Joint Audit Program


Keith Getschel joined the Multistate Tax Commission as the Director of the Joint Audit Program in June of 2014.  Prior to joining the Multistate Tax Commission, Mr. Getschel was the Assistant Commissioner for Business Taxes for the state of Minnesota Department of Revenue. Before being appointed an Assistant Commissioner, Mr. Getschel work for the department for more than 34 years, serving as Director of Corporate Tax, Assistant Director of the Corporate and Sales Tax Division, supervisor in the Corporate Tax Division, tax policy manager, an appeals officer, and revenue tax specialist. Keith graduated Summa Cum Laude from Northwestern University in St. Paul, Minnesota.
 

Robert L. Glidden, Audit Group Manager (retired)
State of Colorado


Mr. Glidden spent 29 years with the Audit Section of the Colorado Department of Revenue. His experience includes 15 years as a Senior Revenue Agent in the Field Audit Section specializing in Corporate Income and Sales & Use taxes. In 1990 Mr. Glidden became the supervisor over Colorado's Out of State Office Audit Program and later was instrumental in initiating the Field Audit Section's computer audit group. He also reorganized Colorado's audit selection and tracking group. Mr. Glidden has a B.S. degree in Accounting and Business from Western State College of Colorado.

Harold A. Jennings, Senior Audit Supervisor/Computer Audit Specialist
Multistate Tax Commission Joint Audit Program


Mr. Jennings has been with the Multistate Tax Commission since 1991. Prior to that, Mr. Jennings was a Revenue Agent with the Colorado Department of Revenue and was an Audit Specialist with the California Franchise Tax Board. Mr. Jennings has received training in sampling from the State of Texas, basic statistical sampling from the State of Illinois, advanced statistical sampling theory from Dr. Donald Roberts of the University of Illinois, and Advanced Statistical Sampling with the IRS.

Sheldon H. Laskin, Counsel
Multistate Tax Commission


Mr. Laskin is Counsel to the Multistate Tax Commission. Prior to joining the MTC staff in 1998, Mr. Laskin was an Assistant Attorney General for the Maryland Comptroller of the Treasury and litigated state tax cases in the Maryland court system for 8 ½ years. Before joining the Attorney General's office, Mr. Laskin was in private practice, and argued and won a major employment discrimination case in the United States Supreme Court. Burnett v. Grattan, 468 US 42 (1984). He also served on the staff of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Florida Rural Legal Services. He received his BA and JD degrees from Rutgers University and his LLM in Taxation from the University of Baltimore, where he currently teaches State and Local Taxation in the Graduate Tax Program. Mr. Laskin is a recipient of the University of Baltimore Graduate Tax Program's Excellence in Teaching award. Also at the University of Baltimore, Mr. Laskin has delivered a nine hour lecture series on state and local tax to officials from the Inner Mongolia Local Taxation Bureau of the People's Republic of China. Mr. Laskin has spoken on state and local tax issues at numerous forums, including annual symposia on state and local tax policy sponsored by the Taxation Section of the Maryland State Bar Association and the University of Baltimore Graduate Tax Program, the COST Sales Tax Conference, the CCH State Tax Advisory Board and the New Jersey Institute for Professionals in Taxation One-Day Tax Seminar. He is the author of a series of "Maryland State Tax Service Practice Insights" for Maryland state tax practitioners, which is available on Lexis/Nexis. His law review article, "Only A Name? Trademark Royalties, Nexus and Taxing That Which Enriches" was published in the 2007 issue of the Akron Tax Journal.

 

Robert Schauer, Computer Audit Specialist
Multistate Tax Commission


Before coming to the MTC in 2006, Mr. Schauer was employed for twenty-four years with the Washington State Department of Revenue (WADOR).  During his time with WADOR, he served as an auditor and then later as a computer audit specialist.  He has a keen interest in statistical sampling and was a key individual in the development of the WADOR sampling program--assisting in the development of training, software, and policy as it concerned audit sampling.  Mr. Schauer has a degree in accounting from the University of Portland, and recently coauthored (with Alan H. Kvanli, Ph.D.) several articles on statistical sampling that have been published in the Journal of Government Financial Management.
 

Lawrence B. Shinder, Senior Auditor
Multistate Tax Commission Joint Audit Program


Mr. Shinder has been a senior auditor since 2002 and he has been employed by the MTC since 1997. Prior to joining the Commission he spent four and one-half years at the Associated Press as a tax accountant. He received his M.B.A. in taxation from Baruch College (NYC).  Mr. Shinder is a New York State CPA.  Mr. Shinder has been a guest speaker at the Eastern States Working Group (ESWG) discussing state banking and brokerage regulations. Mr. Shinder has also provided testimony in regard to MTC audit cases.

Jeff Silver, Field Audit Supervisor
Multistate Tax Commission Joint Audit Program


Mr. Silver has been audit supervisor with the MTC and the head of the New York office since 1995. He has been employed by the MTC since 1986 and is one of its most senior employees. Prior to joining the Commission he spent seven years as a corporate income tax auditor for the California Franchise Tax Board in New York City. Mr. Silver has addressed the New York Chapter of TEI and the Maryland Association of CPAs (MACPA) about the MTC Joint Audit program and also gave a presentation at the Paul J. Hartman SALT Forum regarding state audit departments difficulties amid tax deficits. Mr. Silver remains active with several New York area state tax groups. Mr. Silver was part of the faculty of the MTC Corporation Income Tax Training (with combined reporting emphasis) for the States of Oregon, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Alabama, and South Carolina.

Joseph A. Thomas, Director of Audit (retired)
State of Connecticut


Mr. Thomas worked for the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services for over 38 years. His career began as a sales and use tax auditor and he worked his way through the examiner and supervisory positions until he was appointed manager of a sales tax regional office in 1981.  This assignment included managing an office of 25 examiners and conducting audit informal conferences as requested. After 8 years in this capacity he was promoted to the Hartford central office where he assumed responsibility for all regional offices. In 1993, he was selected to create an auditing program for the, then, recently passed Personal Income Tax. In 2002, he was promoted to Director of Audit and assumed responsibility for the auditing of all state administered taxes in Connecticut.  As Director of Audit, his responsibilities included the oversight of the Audit Division’s Discovery Unit. This unit had been created to address the issue of non-filers and concentrated on the identification of out-of-state non-filers doing business in Connecticut.  Mr. Thomas served as Connecticut’s representative to the Multistate Tax Commission for over 20 years. He was selected by the MTC to act as their chairperson of the National Nexus Committee and served in this capacity for 9 years.  Mr. Thomas retired from the state of Connecticut in 2009 and currently resides in Connecticut.