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TaxWatch Research Experts


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.

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.

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.

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. 

STAY INFORMED

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 Leah Courtney by Email or Phone: 850.212.5052

Media Inquiries:
Contact Leah Courtney by Email
or Phone: 850.212.5052