Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Interim executive director appointed

Utah State Tax Commissioners appointed Barry C. Conover interim executive director of the agency Tuesday.

Mr. Conover, 63, has served as deputy executive director for 23 years. He fills the position left vacant at the death of Rodney G. Marrelli. The appointment is for up to three months.

“I appreciate the confidence of the Commissioners and look forward to this opportunity,” Mr. Conover said.

Mr. Conover holds a bachelor’s of science degree in Sociology from Brigham Young University and has served in a variety of leadership positions with Tax Commission since 1973. He has been lauded for his success the past five years as the project leader of the modernization of the Commission’s major tax systems.

"We appreciate Barry's service, devotion and assistance to Rod Marrelli and to the Tax Commission during the last few years,” said Commission Chair R. Bruce Johnson. “We are confident that Barry will uphold the high ideals Rod personified."

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Our friend and leader passes away

Tax Commission employees lost a great friend and colleague Saturday with the passing of Rodney G. Marrelli, our executive director.

The citizens of Utah lost a dedicated public servant whose integrity was beyond reproach and a leader who kept the best interest of the taxpayer at the forefront of every decision he made.

Rod served diligently for nearly 17 nears in a position that requires a sharp intellect, broad vision, skillfull communication and strong management.

The strides Utah made under his leadership in the areas of modernizing the State's computer tax systems and online options are recognized nationally.

Within a few days of Rod's death, our Commission Chair Bruce Johnson received condolenses from state tax leaders throughout the United States.

Rod will be remembered by the 750 employees at the Tax Commission for his strong leadership, broad vision, clear communication and witty sense of humor.

Rod was appointed by Gov. Michael O. Leavitt in 1994 when the Internet was in its infancy, personal computers a luxury and "brick" cell phones were coveted.

In the Salt Lake Tribune, Gov. Leavitt said, "Rod's policy legacy will be his emphasis of compliance over enfrocement, his protection of "Main Street" retailers and fairness through sales tax simplification and his more than decade-long effort to modernize the state's outdated computer systems."

I admired Rod's diligence in keeping his nose to grind while battling cancer and all its ugly components without ever mumbling a negative word. Even during the final months of his life, Rod placed his public trust above his personal comfort.

"Do it right the first time" was more than a goal on an employee poster, it was a creed emblazoned in Rod's daily work ethic.

We will miss you, Rod.

Peace, love and all that Jazz,