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IRS Names New Members to TE/GE Advisory Group

IR-2005-54, April 28, 2005

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today announced the selection of seven new members for the Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities (ACT). The ACT is a formal body of external stakeholders in the specialized areas of tax-exempt organizations, employee retirement plans, tax-exempt bonds and federal, state, local and Indian tribal governments. The appointees, who will assume their duties in June, will join 11 returning committee members.

Appointees are listed below by area of expertise:

Employee Plans

• Daniel J. Schwartz, of St. Louis, Mo., is a shareholder in Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C., a law firm with approximately 150 lawyers. His practice is concentrated in employee benefits law with special emphasis on tax-exempt organizations. He is a Charter Fellow of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel.

• Michael S. Sirkin, of New York, N.Y., is a senior partner in the Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Group in his firm, Proskauer Rose LLP. He has practiced in the employee benefits area since 1972 and has been heavily involved with all aspects of employee benefits, including extensive experience in qualified plans, 403(b) plans and nonqualified plans. Sirkin is a former chairman of the Employee Benefits Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.

Exempt Organizations

• Betsy Buchalter Adler, of San Francisco, is a shareholder in Silk, Adler and Colvin, a law firm specializing in nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations. In that capacity she provides legal advice and counsel to grant-making charities, operating charities, educational and religious institutions, trade associations and individual and corporate philanthropists. She is a well-known author and lecturer in the tax-exempt field and has chaired the exempt organizations committees of both the American Bar Association’s Tax Section and the State Bar of California’s Tax Section.

• Sean Delany, of New York, N.Y., is the Executive Director of Lawyers Alliance for New York, Inc., an organization that provides non-litigation legal assistance to nonprofits and community development organizations in New York City. His organization provides services dedicated to improving the accountability and efficiency of small tax-exempt organizations, and includes counseling on their ongoing compliance with federal and state regulatory obligations. He has also served as Assistant Attorney General in Charge of the Charities Bureau in the New York Attorney General’s office. 

Government Entities: Federal, State and Local Governments

• Nicholas C. Merrill, Jr., of Springfield, Ill., is the manager of the accounting division for the State Employees’ Retirement System of Illinois, whose assets have grown from $1.97 billion in fiscal year 1986 to $9.99 billion in fiscal 2004. He has served as President of the National Conference of State Social Security Administrators (NCSSSA).
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• Julian M. Regan of Albany, N.Y., is Executive Director of the New York State Deferred Compensation Board, which oversees the State's 159,000-member, $7.1 billion Deferred Compensation Plan, and performs State regulatory duties that relate to 250 independently operated Section 457 plans. He served for a number of years in the financial operations arena of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority as well as in operations and audit capacities for private sector firms that specialize in delivering services to large tax-exempt entities. He is a member of the New York State Government Finance Officers Association (NYSGFOA).

Government Entities: Tax Exempt Bonds

• Maxwell D. Solet, of Boston, is a member of the law firm Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. He has focused on tax-exempt bonds during the last 25 years of his practice as a tax lawyer. He has delivered tax opinions as bond counsel for a full range of issuers, including large general obligation issuers, specialized revenue bond issuers, housing finance agencies, student loan agencies, and conduit issuers of bonds to finance healthcare and higher education facilities and solid waste disposal facilities.

Current members who are returning to the committee are:

Employee Plans

• Michael P. Coyne, Westlake, Ohio
• Douglas Kant, Boston, Mass.
• Charles Lax, Southfield, Mich.
• Charles F. Plenge, Dallas, Texas

Exempt Organizations

• Ann Western Bittman, Washington, D.C.
• Julie Floch, New York, N.Y.
• Suzanne Ross McDowell, Washington, D.C.
• George A. Vera, Los Altos, Calif.

Indian Tribal Governments

• Robert Gips, Portland, Maine
• Lenor Scheffler, Minneapolis, Minn.

Tax Exempt Bonds

• Robert Donovan, Providence, R.I.

The IRS also announced that Donovan will chair the ACT beginning in June.

The ACT was established in May 2001 under the Federal Advisory Committee Act to provide an organized public forum for discussion of relevant issues affecting the tax exempt and government entities communities. It allows the IRS to receive regular input with respect to the development and implementation of policy concerning employee plans, exempt organizations, tax-exempt bonds and federal, state, local and Indian tribal government issues.

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