Keynote Speakers

Joseph Carzo, Director, Audit Division, NYS Department of Taxation and Finance
Wednesday, November 20

Mr. Carzo has 29 years of experience in the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance and currently holds the position of Director of the Audit Division. Prior to this appointment, he served as Director of the Income Franchise Field Audit Bureau and Director of the Sales Tax Audit Bureau. He began his career as an auditor, then joined the Technical Services Division prior to assuming leadership positions in the Client Services Division and the Taxpayer Services and Revenue Division.

Mr. Carzo has a degree in Accounting from St. John Fisher College.

Jennifer B. Winters, Executive Secretary, NYS Education Department
Wednesday, November 20

Jennifer B. Winters, CPA currently serves as Executive Secretary for the State Boards for Public Accountancy, Certified Shorthand Reporting, and the Peer Review Oversight Committee (PROC). In this role she oversees the licensing and registration of nearly 62,000 certified public accountants and public accountants and approximately 200 certified shorthand reporters. Ms. Winters is responsible for ensuring that the peer review and competency requirements for the registration of public accounting firms are adhered to. She also administers the registration of continuing professional education (CPE) sponsors.

She began her accounting career as an associate auditor with KPMG. Following KPMG, Ms. Winters served as a Senior Internal Auditor at the New York State Police Internal Affairs Bureau and went on to serve as Internal Control Officer at the Division of Military and Naval Affairs where she established the agency’s internal control program. Prior to her audit and internal control career, Ms. Winters is a veteran of the United States Air Force and New York Air National Guard.

Ms. Winters holds a Master of Science in Accounting with a concentration in Accounting Information Systems and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting; both from the State University of New York at Albany. She has served on the Executive Director Committee of the National Association of State Board of Accountancy (NASBA) and is a member of the Peer Review Working Group comprised of State Board Executive Directors, NASBA, and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. She has served on the New York State Internal Control Association board and volunteers for many not-for-profit organizations in the Capital District Area.

County Assessor, David F. Moog, IAO
Friday, November 22

IRS Commissioner Charles P. Rettig
Thursday, November 21

Charles P. Rettig is the 49th Commissioner of the IRS. As Commissioner, Mr. Rettig presides over the nation’s tax system, which collects approximately $3.4 trillion in tax revenue each year. This revenue funds most government operations and public services. Mr. Rettig manages an agency of about 80,000 employees and a budget of approximately $11 billion.

In leading the IRS, Mr. Rettig is focused on improving service to the nation’s taxpayers, balancing appropriate enforcement of the nation’s tax laws while respecting taxpayer rights. Previously, Mr. Rettig was with the law firm of Hochman, Salkin, Rettig, Toscher & Perez, P.C., for more than 36 years. In his practice, Mr. Rettig represented thousands of individuals, businesses and corporate taxpayers before the IRS, the Department of Justice Tax Division, federal and state courts and state taxing authorities. These cases involved civil examinations and appeals, criminal investigations and tax collection matters.

Mr. Rettig has held leadership roles in a number of professional organizations, most recently serving as Vice Chair-Administration, for the American Bar Association’s Section of Taxation, and President of the American College of Tax Counsel. He was a member of the IRS Advisory Council (IRSAC) for three years beginning in 2008, and served as IRSAC’s chair from 2010 to 2011. He also served as Chair of the Taxation Section of the State Bar of California and has served on the advisory boards of both the Franchise Tax Board and the Board of Equalization in his home state of California.

Mr. Rettig has received numerous professional honors during his career from organizations across the country. He has been a featured speaker and panelist at hundreds of tax conferences throughout the U.S., Europe and Central America. And he has authored numerous tax-related articles.

He received a B.A. in Economics from the University of California at Los Angeles, as well as a J.D. with honors from Pepperdine University and an LL.M. in taxation from New York University.

Mr. Rettig, who is married to Tam Rettig, is also active in numerous civic and philanthropic activities. He’s the founder of the UCLA Extension VETS COUNT Scholarship Fund and active in the Wounded Warrior Project, Advance Guard.

Laura Curran, Nassau County Executive
Friday, November 22

Laura Curran was sworn into office as Nassau County Executive on Monday, January 1, 2018. She is the 9th County Executive in County history, and the first woman elected to the office. Immediately prior, she served as a member of the Nassau County Legislature from 2014-2017.

County Executive Curran, who represents more than 1.3 million residents, has said her priorities are reestablishing faith and trust at the highest levels of government, working with local municipalities to foster economic development and regional projects that support and enhance the use of mass transit, and the restoration of order to a county budget process that historically yields deficits.

Government Reform

Within 30 days of taking office County Executive Curran issued an executive order barring any member of her staff, including department heads, commissioners, and deputies, from holding a position of authority in a political party or committee. Under the same order, all appointees are prohibited from contributing to the County Executive's campaign committee.

The New York State Association of Counties calls the order as "the first of its kind among New York State county executives."

A short time later, County Executive Curran issued a zero-tolerance executive order for gift-giving among vendors and county employees.

This order applies to county employees who participate in the contracting and procurement process and prohibits vendors, their representative, or representative association from giving gifts of any value, including meals, holiday gifts, holiday baskets, gift cards, tickets to golf outings, tickets to sporting events, currency of any kind, or anything of value to either to a Nassau County employee, or a member of their family.

Contracting & Procurement
As part of a broader contracting reform package, Curran also introduced several administrative measures to establish ethical standards and transparency within the contracting process itself.

The program, Ethical Standards in Contracting, is overseen by the Deputy County Executive for Compliance and includes annual mandated compliance training to be required of all contracting officers. The reforms end a prior policy of having only one person at the executive level approve contracts going through the system. These measures, taken together, serve as another level of checks and balances on a county contracting and procurement process that oversees more than $1.3 billion in annual contracts.

Additionally, Curran initiated reform at the Nassau University Medical Center that, to date, has resulted in more than $2.34 million in savings. The reforms included the elimination of several discretionary contracts and appointed positions reported as "positions held by people with…connections."

The eliminated expenditures include but are not limited to: a $250,000 marketing contract; five attorney positions with salaries totaling more than $869,000; and the elimination of a Vice President position with a salary of $300,000.

The resultant savings are expected to be used toward the hiring of 37 clinical positions necessary for healthcare operations.

Economic Development
On January 29, 2018, County Executive Curran joined Governor Andrew Cuomo in announcing the return of hockey to the Nassau Coliseum, coupled with a New York State funded $6 million investment in the Coliseum's ice and media and broadcast infrastructure. As a result, the Islanders agreed to play 12 games at the Coliseum during the regular season, and 48 games over the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 seasons.

Meanwhile, construction on the transformational redevelopment of Belmont Park, including an NHL-ready sports and entertainment arena, is anticipated to commence in 2019, and New York State has already announced public hearings. The New York Islanders are expected to play their first regular season game at Belmont Park during the 2021-2022 season.

Property Assessment

County Executive Curran began a comprehensive programming offensive to review and correct the broken assessment system. Immediately upon taking office, County Executive Curran's appointed a Tax Assessment Task Force that is working hard to add key data points that were previously left out and then to use the results for a re-assessment for the tentative tax roll to be issued in January 2019.

This will result in updated fair market values for the 2019 tentative tax roll based on what the market shows. Curran is also acting to create a more customer service-oriented assessment model – and has proposed restoring much needed funding in 2019 to the assessment department.

In doing so, her administration will make available employees who can explain fair market values and show residents how to find comparable sales in their neighborhoods.

County Executive Curran began her career as a reporter at the NY Daily News and the NY Post. She specialized in in-depth features, often writing about Long Island. She was an adjunct professor of journalism at SUNY Purchase.

She started in public service as a Trustee on the Baldwin Board of Education from 2011-2014, serving as president in her final year.

She earned her B.A. in Liberal Arts at Sarah Lawrence College, and lives in Baldwin with her husband and their three daughters, Claire, Julie, and Molly.