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Clarena I.W. Tolson
Clarena I.W. Tolson, the new Revenue Commissioner, is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business and a 30-year veteran of public service in city government. The first woman to hold the position of Streets Commissioner, Ms. Tolson was the second longest serving Streets Department Commissioner with 10 years of service.
The Commissioner is a proven and inventive leader in public policy, logistics and organizational management. During her tenure as Streets Commissioner, the department made ground-breaking strides on a number of fronts, including the turnaround of sanitation efficiency and service delivery, development of a growing single-stream recycling program, the UnLitter Us program, the Big Belly solar compactors and the conversion of 55,000 traffic signals to LED signals. Commissioner Tolson led the department in the reconstruction of the South Street Bridge, the largest and most complex project in the history of the Streets Department.
"I am very proud of Clarena Tolson's service to the City of Philadelphia. Her intense focus on public service, her creativity and innovation, her stick-to-it style will serve her and the City of Philadelphia well as she leads the transformation of the Revenue Department into a high performance collections and enforcement agency that will work in collaboration with other departments and the Chief Revenue Collections officer," Mayor Michael Nutter said.
Deputy Revenue Commissioner
Before joining the Revenue Department as Deputy Commissioner, Michael Zaccagni served as Deputy Commissioner for the Philadelphia Streets Department, an organization of over 1700 employees providing services ranging from rubbish and recycling collections to roadway and bridge design and construction. He brings to the Revenue Department expertise in a diverse set of skills which includes strategic planning, fiscal management, organizational development and human resource management. Michael began his career in private industry with the Pennsylvania retail icon, Strawbridge and Clothier. He embarked on his public service career nearly 30 years ago with the Fairmount Park Commission, one of the largest inner city park systems in the world.
He has been active in professional organizations such as the Society for Human Resource Management, serving as president of the Philly SHRM, a chapter of over 1,500 members. As president, Michael was instrumental in creating a structure for the chapter that provided for continuity and stability in the face of a continually changing volunteer board.
Michael is also an adjunct instructor on the faculty of Chestnut Hill College and Temple University’s Fox School of Business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, and certification as Senior Professional of Human Resources from the Human Resource Certification Institute.
Deputy Revenue Commissioner (Tax Revenue Bureau)
Frank Breslin was appointed as the Deputy Revenue Commissioner for the Tax Bureau on May 11, 2009. Mr. Breslin is responsible for directing the Compliance, Taxpayer Services and Information Technology Divisions. Through his career, Mr. Breslin held various leadership positions, including Compliance Operations Manager and most recently, Revenue Compliance Program Director. In these roles, he worked to implement and utilize technological advances to reduce the tax gap and increase taxpayer compliance. He brings knowledge and expertise gained from over 25 years of experience in tax compliance to this position.
Mr. Breslin is an active member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants as well as the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Michelle L. Bethel
Deputy Revenue Commissioner (Water Revenue Bureau)
Michelle L. Bethel was appointed to the position of Deputy Revenue Commissioner in charge of the Water Revenue Bureau in July of 2008. She holds a B.S. degree in Accounting with a Minor in Public Relations from Kutztown University and a MBA in Human Resource Management from the University of Phoenix.
Prior to her appointment as Deputy Revenue Commissioner, Ms. Bethel worked for the PA Department of Revenue in Harrisburg for 14 years. During her tenure she worked in various positions such as Tax Account Collections Technician, Work Leader, Supervisor, PC & LAN Administrator, Research Analyst, Information Technology Manager, Collections and Customer Service Call Center Assistant Manager, Bankruptcy Division Chief, Enforcement Division Chief, and Assistant Director for Administrative Services.
Ms. Bethel has extensive knowledge with customer service, collections, and compliance issues gained through working in increasingly responsible management positions. She also is a certified customer service and diversity trainer. Ms. Bethel is a native of Harrisburg, PA and is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., a Public Service Organization.
Frances Ruml Beckley
Frances Ruml Beckley joins the staff of both the Law Department's Tax Unit and the Department of Revenue as Chief Counsel. Ms. Beckley is currently the Secretary and Chair-elect of the Philadelphia Bar Association's State and Local Tax Committee.
Ms. Beckley previously worked for the Tax Unit in the Major Taxes division. She also has experience at large firms (including Drinker Biddle and Ballard Spahr) representing taxpayers in Federal, as well as State and local tax matters. Last fall she was an adjunction professor in Temple Law School's Graduate Tax Program. She has her AB from Harvard College, her JD from Yale Law School, and her LLM (Taxation) from New York University Law School. Immediately after law school she clerked for the Honorable Jose Cabranes (before his elevation from the District of Connecticut to the Second Circuit) and the Honorable Walter Stapleton (Third Circuit)
Delores U. Davis
Administrative Services Director
Delores U. Davis serves as the Administrative Services Director for the City of Philadelphia's Revenue Department. Ms. Davis' excellent leadership and management skills are utilized to manage the departmental budget, human resources, the outgoing mail center and the information technology liaison. Ms. Davis originally joined the Revenue Department in September 2008 as the Special Assistant to the Revenue Commissioner.
Prior to her appointment to the Revenue Department, Ms. Davis worked for the City of Philadelphia's Office of Human Resources for 19 years. During that time, Ms. Davis held a variety of leadership positions including her most recent role as a Strategic Staffing Program Manager. In this role, she provided programmatic leadership, managed the performance measurement process for hiring services and identified and implemented improvements to the City's hiring process.
Ms. Davis has many years of experience in pay evaluation, job design, labor relations, project management, recruitment, and employee testing and selection. She also has a passion for professional mentorship programs.
Ms. Davis received a B.A. in Business Administration with a minor in Accounting from Western Connecticut State University.
Director of Policy, Planning, & Outreach
Mr. Tilahuan Afessa was appointed on September 20, 2010 as the new Director of Policy of the Department of Revenue. He is responsible for legislative affairs and the development and coordination of initiatives including building and maintaining relationships with stakeholders for the Revenue Department.
Mr. Afessa started his professional career in 1980 working as a Finance Assistant for the Philadelphia Urban Coalition. After a brief tenure as an adjunct lecturer teaching accounting courses at Temple University, he joined the Business Tax Audit Division of the Revenue Department in September 1984. He worked in the Tax Audit Division as an office auditor, field auditor, office audit supervisor and field audit supervisor. He joined the Technical Advisory Unit of the Revenue Department in 1995 and served as a member of the Advisory Staff until May, 2008. From May 2008 to November 2008 he served as a Manager of the Tax Audit Division of the Revenue Department. In December 2008, he transferred back to the Technical Advisory Unit and served there until his most recent promotion to Director of Policy.
In addition to membership in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Mr. Afessa has earned a Masters degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Temple University and a Masters of Science degree in Taxation (MST) from Philadelphia University.
Director of Accounting Operations
Effective April 11, 2012 Tom Wismer was named the Director of Accounting Operations for the Department of Revenue. He is in charge of the Electronic Government Unit and the Accounting Control and Payment Processing Divisions.
Mr. Wismer joined the Department of Revenue in 1981 right out of Drexel University after earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration. He worked as an Accountant in Water Revenue until 1987 when he was appointed Accounting Supervisor of Accounting Control for Tax Revenue. In 1997 he was appointed Accounting Transaction Supervisor. In 2003 when the Real Estate Tax System was merged into the Tax system he was appointed Revenue Accounting Manager.
Mr. Wismer has been a part of the Revenue Department for over 30 years and has gained through experience a considerable amount of knowledge regarding the City of Philadelphia's Tax Operation.
As Research Director, Mr. Isard directs and manages a Research group within the Department of Revenue. This group applies advanced database methods and technology to taxpayer information and water customer information
Mr. Isard has been an employee of the City of Philadelphia since 1989. He has worked with the Controller's Office as an Auditor and Financial Forecaster.
Mr. Isard is a licensed CPA who has attended the University of Michigan and holds a BS in Business Accounting from the State University of New York.
Paul C. Danella
Director of Taxpayer Services
Mr. Danella has fifteen years of service with the City of Philadelphia. He was promoted to Director of Taxpayer Services in 2007 and is responsible for the day to day operations of the customer support area of the Revenue Department. Taxpayer Services consists of seven units: Intake, Telephones, Correspondence and Research, Bill Services, Judicial Sales, Clerical Support, and Incoming Mail.
His previous positions were held within the Department of License and Inspections as a Manager, Assistant Manager and Administrative Specialist.
Mr. Danella holds a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Widener University and a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from Penn State University.
Information Systems Program Manager
Mr. Grover serves as the IT Program Manager responsible for all development and maintenance on the Revenue Department's tax processing system (called TIPS).
Mr Grover began his City IT career with the Free Library in 1986 and moved to the Revenue Department in 1987 as a programmer/analyst. Mr. Grover was initially responsible for the Self Assessed Tax System, and was lead programmer on the original re-write of the Settlement System which enabled a daily timely settlement of receipts. Subsequently, Mr Grover was the lead developer when the current TIPS system was implemented. TIPS consolidated the various Business tax and Real Estate stand-alone systems into a single tax processing system.
Mr. Grover is a 1981 graduate of La Salle College (now University).
Mr. Dorman is the Compliance Program Director for The City of Philadelphia. Mr. Dorman has worked in the area of tax compliance for the City for 29 years and has been involved in information sharing between both the Internal Revenue Service and The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. As the Compliance Director, Mr. Dorman is responsible for all of Philadelphia’s compliance programs for both business and personal taxes. Mr. Dorman graduated from LaSalle University in 1982 with a Bachelor’s Degree in business and a minor in accounting. Mr. Dorman is also a member of the Buxmont Chapter of the Pennsylvania Society of Public Accountants.
Director of Operations, WRB
Robert DePiano is the Director of Operations for the City of Philadelphia’s Water Revenue Bureau. Mr. DePiano graduated from St. Joseph’s Preparatory School and from Drexel University with a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration. He worked in the Bureau’s Accounting Division for 25 years and now oversees the customer service walk-in, telephone and administrative support units.
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