News Releases

News Release

July 09, 1999  -  Columbus, Ohio  -  Tax Commissioner Names Team

During his first week in office, Ohio Tax Commissioner Tom Zaino outlined his priorities for the Department, including the creation of his Management Leadership Team.

Commissioner Zaino’s first priority is to develop a Taxpayer Service approach for all taxes. This taxpayer-friendly system will be similar to that used by the IRS and other states, with an emphasis on courteous, accurate and timely response to taxpayer inquiries. Mr. Zaino also wants to continue modernizing the Department through enhanced training, added technology and updated tax policy. Finally, the Commissioner plans to address the human resource development issues facing the Department over the next several years. These issues include creating and/or expanding career path opportunities, and providing mid-range management development.

In order to implement these changes, Commissioner Zaino has appointed four long-time employees to be his Management Leadership Team: Carol S. Bessey, James J. Lawrence, Clare N. Long, and J. Patrick McAndrew.

Carol S. Bessey, who has been with the Department since 1989, will continue to serve as Deputy Tax Commissioner for Tax Policy. Ms. Bessey’s responsibilities will include developing tax policy, overseeing legislative issues, and monitoring research activities.

James J. Lawrence acted as Interim Tax Commissioner from January through June, 1999, and served previously as Chief Counsel for the Department. As Deputy Tax Commissioner/Chief Counsel, Mr. Lawrence will oversee the legal and enforcement functions, as well as manage the bankruptcy, estate, and property tax divisions. Mr. Lawrence has been with the Department for 21 years.

As Deputy Tax Commissioner of Administration, Clare N. Long will administer the human resources and budget and fiscal divisions. Previously, Ms. Long was Deputy Commissioner for Legislative and Constituent Services. Ms. Long has been with the Department since 1995. Prior to joining the Tax Department, Ms. Long served as Chief Legal Counsel and Chief of Human Resources for the Ohio Department of Commerce.

J. Patrick McAndrew’s role as Deputy Tax Commissioner for Operations will be to direct the income and sales tax divisions, the taxpayer service center and the (computer) information services division. Mr. McAndrew, a Department employee since 1974, was the Executive Administrator over the income tax operations division prior to this appointment.

Mr. Zaino feels that this management team provides a wealth of knowledge and experience to the specific areas they will oversee. He is anxious to evaluate and implement their recommendations.

Thomas M. Zaino became the Ohio Tax Commissioner in July, 1999. A native of Xenia, Ohio, Mr. Zaino was a partner with the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. Commissioner Zaino holds a B.B.A. in accounting from the University of Cincinnati and a law degree from The Ohio State University. 

For more information contact:

Gary Gudmundson, Communications Director
Ohio Department of Taxation
(614) 644-6903