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TaxWatch Professional Team

Full Time Staff

Dominic M. Calabro

President & CEO

In addition to serving as President & CEO of Florida TaxWatch, Calabro also serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Prudential Productivity Awards, which recognizes, rewards, and works to replicate outstanding government productivity and innovative cost-saving achievements throughout Florida government worth more than $9 billion to date.

Calabro is an "almost native" Floridian, having moved to South Florida from New York at the age of eleven. After attending Catholic school, including four years at Catholic Seminary, he graduated with high honors from Broward Community College, later receiving his Bachelor's degree with highest honors from Florida International University. He also holds a Master's degree from Florida State University and will soon receive a second Master's degree in public finance and budgeting.

Before joining TaxWatch in early 1980, Calabro served as a graduate budget analyst with the Florida Senate Ways and Means Committee (later split into Appropriations and Finance and Taxation).

Under Calabro's leadership, Florida TaxWatch has earned and maintained the respect of the state's most highly regarded and influential leaders, and has earned the credibility and respect of the citizens of Florida as well as the state and national media.

In addition to many business and civic honors, Calabro was named by the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce as one of the nation's Ten Outstanding Young Americans in 1994, and in 2006 Calabro was named the "Executive of the Year" by the Florida Society of Association Executives (FSAE), it's highest honor, and was recognized by Florida Trend magazine as a "Must-Know Floridian" in 2013.

Professional, Civic, and Community Service 

Florida Commission on Government Accountability to the People (GAP)
   Commissioner (1995-1999)
   Chairman of Government Accountability Committee (1997-1999)
Communities in Schools of Florida, Inc., Chairman (1996-1998)
   Board of Trustees (1991-2015)
National Taxpayers Conference, Chairman (1990-1993)
   Member of the Board of Directors (1986-1998)
   Member (1986-present)
Enterprise Florida, Inc., Member of the Board of Directors (2005-present)
Florida Council of 100
    Partner-Member of the Big Five Group (1986-present)
Leadership Florida Class IV, May 1986-present, Governing Board of Regents (1991-1993)
   Candidate Selection Committee (1987-1990 & 1993-1996)
Leadership Tallahassee Inaugural Charter Class, Board of Governors (2005)
   Charter Class Member (June 1984-present)
Greater Area Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce
   Board of Directors (1990-1993)
   Member (1983-present)
Florida Taxpayers' Bill of Rights Task Force (created by Florida law), Chairman (1989-1992)
Florida Civil Service Reform Commission (created by Florida law), Commissioner (1991-1994)
Florida Productivity Advisory Board (created by Florida law), Member (1991-1994)
Florida State University College of Social Work, Board of Advisors (1990-present)
Florida Network of Youth and Family Services
   Board of Trustees (1988-2006), Board of Directors (2006-Present)
   President/Chairman (2007-2013)
   Currently Immediate Past Chairman
Citizens Against Waste    State of Florida Coordinator (1986-1994)
Graduate, Institute of Organizational Management, United States Chamber of Commerce and American Society of Association Executives at the University of Delaware (1985-1990)
American Society of Public Administration (1984-2004)
American Society of Association Executives (1985-2004)
Florida Society of Association Executives
   Member of the Board of Directors (1998-2004)
   Chairman of the Governmental Affairs Committee (2005)
   Chairman of the Special Issues Committee (1997)
   Member of the FSAE CEO Selection Committee (2000)
   Member of the Education Committee and Program Committee    FSAE Member (1983-present)    Association Executive of the Year - FSAE's highest honor (2006)
Tallahassee Society of Association Executives, President (1990)
   Board of Directors (1986-1991)
   Member (1983-present)
Leon County Mental Health Association
   President (1983-1984)
   Board of Directors (1981-1987)
United Way of the Big Bend, Board of Directors (1985-1991)
   Leadership Contributor (1990-present)
United Way of Florida, Board of Directors (1998-2002)
Good Shepherd Catholic Church Building Committee, Chairman (1991-2000)
Governor's Paperwork Reduction Task Force (Created by Governor's Executive Order), Member,1995-1997)
Kids Count Advisory Board (1990-2005)
Knights of Columbus (Fr. Ronn J. Barton) Council #12146)
   Founding Member and Charter Trustee (1996-present)
Southern Scholarship Foundation, Chairman (2005)
   Member of the Board of Directors (1994-2007
   Executive Committee Member (1997-2007)
Florida House (The Only State Embassy in the Nation’s Capital) Board of Directors (2007 - Present)
Chairman of the Florida Commission on Review of Taxpayer Funded Hospital Districts (Pursuant to Executive Order of the Governor) 2011)
Florida Education Foundation
   Chairman of the Board(2012-2014)    Vice President (2010-2013)
   Treasurer (2007-2010)
   Member of the Board of Directors (1995-2014)
Governmental Research Association    Board member (2012-present)

Calabro resides in Tallahassee with his wife, Debbie, and four children.

 

EMAIL DOMINIC

Robert E. Weissert, Esq.

Executive Vice President & Counsel to the President & CEO

Robert E. Weissert is the Executive Vice President & Counsel to the President & CEO for Florida TaxWatch. Robert oversees the research agenda and coordinates our efforts to increase government efficiency, improve accountability, and enhance effectiveness. Robert also served TaxWatch as a Research Analyst, Director of Communications, Director of Research, and Vice President for Research before being promoted to lead the Research Team

Before joining Florida TaxWatch in 2007, Robert worked in Washington, D.C. as a policy analyst for the majority staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and before that as a research analyst for the Congressional Research Service. Robert has a Juris Doctorate from the University of Virginia School of Law (Charlottesville, Virginia) and a B.A. with Honors in Political Economics and Political Theory & Constitutional Democracy from James Madison College at Michigan State University (East Lansing, Michigan). 

Robert was selected for Leadership Florida's Connect Florida Leadership Institute Class I and was featured as a "Must-Know Floridian" by Florida Trend magazine in March 2011.

Chris Hart, IV

Executive Vice President

Prior to joining Florida TaxWatch, Chris served as President & CEO of Enterprise Florida, Inc. and as Florida's Secretary of Commerce. He also held the same position with CareerSource Florida, Inc., the nonprofit, public-private organization charged with policy-setting and oversight of Florida's workforce development system. While there, Chris led efforts to ensure the state has the talent needed to strengthen the global competitiveness of Florida businesses while also assisting Floridians with enhancing their skills to enter, remain and advance in the workforce and become economically self-sufficient.

While serving as the President & CEO for CareerSource Florida, Chris was tapped to serve concurrently as the Interim Director of the Governor's Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development under the administrations of both Governor Rick Scott and Governor Charlie Crist. He also was appointed by Governor Crist in June 2010 to Chair the Governor's Gulf Oil Spill Economic Recovery Task Force. The task force was responsible for coordinating state efforts in response to the Deepwater Horizon spill to assist affected businesses and industries, monitor BP's efforts in providing financial relief to those affected and coordinate processes and efforts to gather economic loss data and industry economic indicators.

In addition to his other roles, Chris was the Senior Vice President of External Affairs and Investor Relations for Enterprise Florida, served in the Florida House of Representatives for two terms and co-founded a small business. He is currently the co-founder of The Hare & The Hart, LLC, serves on multiple boards and is the Senior Warden at St. Peter's Anglican Church. He earned his Master of Business Administration from the University of South Florida and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Florida State University where he majored in Political Science. He and his wife, Amy, reside in Tallahassee and have two adult children.

Keith Dean, CPA

Chief Financial Officer

Keith Dean, the managing principal of Association CFO – a consulting firm specializing in association and nonprofit fiscal and administrative management, has spent nearly two decades in the industry. After a five-year tenure, he left the public accounting firm Purvis Gray and Company where he specialized in association and nonprofits to serve as the Chief Financial Officer of the Florida Home Builders Association (FHBA). 

While at the fiscal helm of the association, Keith built the financial infrastructure to support FHBA’s explosive growth into the preeminent state association in the country. FHBA’s growth afforded Keith the additional opportunities to serve as CFO of its $77 million dollar insurance programs and General Managing Agency, CEO of its investment real estate holding company, engage in its government relations, establish its foundation and effectively manage its seven political organizations.

In anticipation of the housing declines effects on the association, Keith founded the Association CFO firm to utilize the experiences obtained at FHBA for other nonprofits and associations.  He was quickly tapped to lead the fiscal operations at the Florida Network of Youth and Family Services and the Florida Sheriffs Association.  The Sheriffs charged Keith with establishing and managing the Florida Deputy Sheriffs Association which he took from a concept to a vibrant 5,700 member association with member insurance programs.

Currently, Keith and his staff of CPAs, grant administrators and accountants manage the administrative and fiscal operations of multiple associations and nonprofits including Florida Tax Watch.

With a post graduate degree in Accounting from Florida State University, Keith is a licensed Certified Public Accountant.  He returned to FSU to serve as Supervising Instructor of political science courses focusing on political organizations.  He also serves on the Florida Institute of CPAs’ Legislative Committee and as a resource to legislators and government agencies as an expert in nonprofit subject matter.

Steve Evans

Senior Advisor

Steve Evans retired from IBM in the fall of 2003, with over 30 years of Sales, Operations, Marketing, and Executive experience. During his career, he developed a wealth of knowledge and successful business practices from working with small, medium, and large enterprises throughout North America in the Government, Health, and Education industries. 

After graduating from the University of Michigan, Steve played in the St. Louis Cardinal Baseball organization for six years before joining IBM. In 1986, he and his family moved to Tallahassee, Florida where he assumed responsibility for IBM’s Public Sector Industry and served as Senior State Executive for IBM. In 1997, he became IBM's Vice President of Marketing and Sales for North America and its Global Education division, while maintaining responsibility as IBM's Senior State Executive until his retirement. 

In addition to serving local, state, and national organizations on their boards, Steve has served as Florida TaxWatch′s Immediate Past Chair and currently serves as its Chief Operating Officer.

Steve and his wife, Linda, live in Tallahassee and have two grown children (Chip and Stephanie).

Kurt Wenner

Vice President of Research

Kurt Wenner is a mainstay on the Tallahassee state budget watchdog scene and is the second-longest serving staff member of Florida TaxWatch, celebrating his 30th anniversary in March of 2011.

Kurt began as an intern in 1981 when our organization was called the Citizens Council for Budget Research. He was part of the so-called "Little Band of Researchers" when the organization disclosed state government boondoggles while developing its budget, tax, and program evaluation muscle. In the years since, Kurt has worked as a Research Analyst, a Senior Research Analyst, Director of Tax Research, and in 2010 was promoted to Vice President of Tax Research.

Kurt has authored all of the major tax publications produced by Florida TaxWatch, including a 1989 & 1990 two-volume report on Florida's Intangibles Tax, which kicked off the modern effort to repeal the tax, and led to the final repeal in 2007.

Kurt is also TaxWatch's go-to guy on sales, property, and business tax issues. He was the principal author of a 2003 joint TaxWatch task forces report, which recommended $4.2 billion in revenue through tax modernization, productivity cost savings, and sales tax exemptions review. The report is still referenced today in the current debate on eliminating exemptions and taxing services.

For more than three decades, Florida's taxpayers, along with Florida TaxWatch members, have relied on Kurt's keen taxpayer-driven analysis, through his popular tax manual, "How Florida Compares", the annual "Taxpayer Independence Day" report on tax burdens, and the annual "Budget Turkey Watch", a favorite among legislators.

Robert G. Nave

Vice President of Research

As Vice President of Research, Nave will serve as a Senior Education Policy Analyst and lead efforts by Florida TaxWatch to ensure Floridians receive the best value from their nearly $20 billion annual investment in education.  Prior to joining Florida TaxWatch, Nave spent 27 years as a public servant with the State of Florida as an executive level policy advisor, developing and executing state policy in the fields of criminal justice, emergency management, growth management, gaming, K-12, and higher education. As Chief of Staff of the Florida Lottery, Nave implemented strategies that dramatically increased annual Lottery sales, while reducing the size of the Lottery's workforce by almost 40% and reducing operating costs to the lowest level in more than a decade.  Following his public service career, Nave served as Vice President of Convergys HR Management, where he secured a 5-year renewal of the $350 million People First contract with the State of Florida.

Chris Barry

Director of Publications

As Director of Publications, Chris is responsible for the visual design and layout of TaxWatch research, publications, marketing materials, and the assorted websites of Florida TaxWatch.

Chris came to TaxWatch after spending three legislative sessions with the Governmental Affairs department of The Nature Conservancy, and the Florida Trucking Association. Prior to those positions, Chris worked for former State Senator Alex Villalobos, the Department of Community Affairs, and ADG Business and Governmental Consultants.

Kyle Baltuch

Economist & Director of Development

 

A graduate of Florida State University, Kyle double majored in Economics and International Affairs, and earned his Master’s in Applied Economics from FSU’s College of Social Sciences and Public Policy.

In 2014, Kyle joined the Florida TaxWatch team and has since worked on a variety of topics affecting public policy in Florida. Kyle’s economic expertise has led the non-profit watchdog’s analysis of tourism, economic development, job creation, manufacturing, healthcare, and municipal pensions.

Mr. Baltuch is also a fixture at the Capital Building during legislative session and has testified on a variety of subject matters before House and Senate committees.

When he’s not crunching numbers, Kyle enjoys playing golf with friends and attending Florida State Football games. 

John Beck

Director of Charitable Contributions

John Beck joined Florida Tax Watch in February 2017 as Director of Charitable Contributions. John has extensive experience as a Business Development Manager and Senior Account Manager with JohnsonDiversey Corporation (Milwaukee, WI) for over 25 years. While based in Atlanta, GA, John's territory included the entire United States prior to his move to Tallahassee in 1999. Awarded several Top Producer awards throughout the years, John is known for his creativity, strategic planning and follow-through, excellent customer relationships and passion for his work. 

John retired from the food service industry in 2012 and volunteered countless hours to Florida TaxWatch throughout the past four years. 

Brooke Bustle

Director of Memberships & Sponsorships

Brooke joins the Florida TaxWatch team as the Director of Memberships and Sponsorships after previously serving in many areas of Florida State Government including the Governor’s Office of Policy and Budget and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Most recently, she served the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles as their Teen Outreach Coordinator, a program she assisted in developing while working in the Department’s Strategic Management Office prior to this role. A Bradenton native, Brooke earned her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Political Science from Florida State University. She is currently completing her Master’s in Public Administration from Florida State University where she also serves as the President of the Public Administration Graduate Association.

Leah Courtney

Communications Coordinator

Leah Courtney joins Florida TaxWatch as the Communications Coordinator after serving as Office Manager for Blakemore Public Affairs in Austin, TX. In addition, she has previously served as Political Communications Coordinator at the grassroots-focused, non-profit Leadership Institute in Arlington, VA and as Social Media Analyst at the DC-based consulting firm DC London, Inc.

A graduate of the University of West Florida, Leah double majored in Political Science and International Studies. Her professional experience includes grassroots engagement, lobbying, message/brand development, digital outreach, and Gubernatorial and Presidential campaigns. She has also helped train 500+ grassroots activists on how to run for office and how to hold the government officials accountable.

Jesse Okeefe

Events Coordinator

Jesse graduated Florida State University in the summer of 2016, earning a Bachelor’s in Psychology, and beginning in the Fall of 2017, Jesse will begin her graduate degree in Social Work. Prior to joining the Florida TaxWatch team, Jesse spent two months traveling throughout Australia and New Zealand. Jesse previously served TaxWatch as the Executive Assistant to the Executive Vice President & Office Manager. 

Tina Grier

Executive Assistant to the President & CEO

Tina is the Executive Assistant to the President & CEO. In this role she provides executive support and  serves as the primary point of contact for internal and external constituencies on all matters pertaining to the Office of the President. She also serves as a liaison to the board of directors and senior management teams; organizes and coordinates executive outreach and external relations efforts; and oversees special projects.   

Mia Bella Diaz

Executive Assistant to the Executive Vice President

Mia Bella Diaz grew up as a Florida native, having grown up in Miami before moving to Tallahassee. In August of 2017, Mia Bella received her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Political Science from Florida State University. In her role as Executive Assistant to the Executive Vice President & Office Manager, she provides support to the executives and helps maintain organization and coordination.

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106 N. BRONOUGH ST., TALLAHASSEE, FL 32301     |     TEL: 850.222.5052     |     FAX: 850.222.7476
106 N. BRONOUGH ST., TALLAHASSEE, FL 32301
TEL: 850.222.5052     |     FAX: 850.222.7476

Media Inquiries:  Contact Jesse Okeefe by Email or Phone: 850.222.5052

Media Inquiries:
Contact Jesse Okeefe by Email
or Phone: 850.222.5052