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Tony Carvajal Joins Florida TaxWatch as Executive Vice President

Carolyn Gosselin, Tanya Bechtold, and Kat Dunn also join Florida TaxWatch team

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Florida TaxWatch (FTW) announced the appointment of Tony Carvajal as Executive Vice President. Mr. Carvajal succeeds Robert Weissert who is moving to Washington, D.C. to pursue the next chapter of his career after 14 great years with the taxpayer research institute. Along with Mr. Carvajal, TaxWatch also welcomes Carolyn Gosselin as Chief Growth and Strategy Officer, Tanya Bechtold as Director of Investor Relations, and Kat Dunn as Digital Content Manager. Florida TaxWatch is also announcing the promotions of Kurt Wenner and Bob Nave to Senior Vice Presidents of Research and Chris Barry to Vice President of Communications.

Florida TaxWatch President and CEO Dominic M. Calabro said, “Florida TaxWatch is proud to announce Tony Carvajal as our new Executive Vice President and welcome Carolyn Gosselin, Tanya Bechtold, and Kat Dunn to our team. We are also thrilled to announce the promotions of Kurt Wenner and Bob Nave to Senior Vice Presidents of Research and Chris Barry to Vice President of Communications. Tony is a proven leader whose impressive experience and success across Florida’s non-profit and business sectors will work to further propel the mission of Florida TaxWatch. Carolyn, Tanya, and Kat are true professionals, and their experience and unique skillsets will be critical to the continued growth and success of our research and our ability to fight on behalf of Florida taxpayers.

“On behalf of the entire Florida TaxWatch family, we thank Robert Weissert for his 14-years of dedicated service, hard work, and friendship and wish him the very best in this new and exciting chapter of his life.”

Tony Carvajal serves as Executive Vice President for Florida TaxWatch. Prior to joining TaxWatch, Tony served as President and CEO of The Able Trust, a foundation committed to helping persons with disabilities and Florida employers achieve their shared goal: meaningful and sustainable work that produces results.  

Tony brings more than 30 years of nonprofit management and consulting experience to the Florida TaxWatch team, having helped organizations across the country design and implement plans to address all types of opportunities and disruptions. He recently completed a decade of service as the Executive Vice President at the Florida Chamber Foundation where he developed research, programs, and policies designed to ensure competitiveness, prosperity, vibrancy, and resiliency across the state. Since 2000, he has also served as the “Primemover, Problem-Solver & Calmer of Chaos” at Carvajal Consulting and Management. 

In addition to his research background, Tony also currently serves on the Florida Commission on Ethics.

Carolyn Gosselin serves as Chief Growth and Strategy Officer for Florida TaxWatch overseeing strategic growth, revenue generation, and brand awareness. A communications counselor with more than 30 years of marketing, development, crisis communications, and media and government relations experience, Carolyn most recently spent five years with the Florida Chamber of Commerce in a similar revenue generation role. 

In 2010, she founded Gosselin, Inc., to serve national and regional clients and position them as industry leaders, implement marketing strategies, mitigate business risks and design effective teams to best accomplish their business objectives. She also served as Chief Communications Officer for CNL Financial Group, Inc., a privately-held real estate investment company in Orlando, where she served as corporate spokesperson and managed the corporate communications function including media relations, investor relations, marketing, brand, corporate philanthropy, and public affairs.  Carolyn also spent 10 years in marketing and public relations at SunTrust Bank, both in Orlando and Atlanta. As first vice president and manager of corporate communications, she played an integral role in establishing the bank holding company’s corporate communications department.

In 2005, Carolyn was named the University of Florida, College of Journalism and Communications’ Alumna of Distinction.  She was also named one of Orlando’s “Women Who Mean Business” by the Orlando Business Journal

Tanya Bechtold serves as Director of Investor Relations for Florida TaxWatch working with all team members to increase revenue.  A sales leader with more than 26 years of experience, Tanya most recently spent three years with the Florida Chamber of Commerce in a similar revenue generating role.

During her career, Tanya spent two decades as an Account Executive at the nation's largest environmental testing laboratory. Tanya was a top performer within the company consistently exceeding growth revenue goals.

Kurt Wenner now serves as Senior Vice President of Research for Florida TaxWatch. 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 35th anniversary in March of 2016.

Kurt began as an intern in 1981 when Florida TaxWatch 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.

Bob Nave now serves as Senior Vice President of Research for Florida TaxWatch. Bob joined TaxWatch in February 2014 after a distinguished career as an executive level policy advisor to elected officials and corporate leaders. Bob served as Public Education Issue Team Leader for Jeb Bush’s 1998 gubernatorial campaign and was appointed to serve in the Transition Office following Governor Bush’s 2002 reelection.

Bob spent more than 20 years as a public servant with the State of Florida, in Select Exempt and Senior Management-level positions. As Chief of Staff of the Florida Lottery, Bob developed and implemented strategies that dramatically increased annual Lottery sales, while reducing the size of the workforce by almost 40% and reducing operating costs to the lowest level in more than a decade.

Following his career in state government, Bob served as a government relations consultant and as Vice President of a Fortune 1000 corporation.

Chris Barry now serves as Vice President of Communications for Florida TaxWatch. Chris has been with TaxWatch since 2011, growing from Communications Coordinator to his current role leading the TaxWatch Communications Team. Chris is responsible for all TaxWatch publications and events, spearheads the TaxWatch Productivity Awards program, and oversees the digital, social, and traditional media presence of the organization.

Prior to joining Florida TaxWatch Chris spent three legislative sessions with the Governmental Affairs department of The Nature Conservancy, and the Florida Trucking Association. He previously worked for former State Senator Alex Villalobos, the Department of Community Affairs, and ADG Business and Governmental Consultants.

Kat Dunn serves as the Digital Content Manager for Florida TaxWatch. An experienced legislative assistant with a demonstrated history of working in the government relations industry, Kat previously worked with the Florida League of Cities. She is responsible for TaxWatch's social media presence, photography, and videography.

About Florida TaxWatch
As an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit government watchdog and taxpayer research institute for more than forty years and the trusted eyes and ears of Florida taxpayers, Florida TaxWatch works to improve the productivity and accountability of Florida government. Its research recommends productivity enhancements and explains the statewide impact of fiscal and economic policies and practices on citizens and businesses. Florida TaxWatch is supported by its membership via voluntary, tax-deductible donations and private grants, and does not accept government funding. Donations provide a solid, lasting foundation that has enabled Florida TaxWatch to bring about a more effective, responsive government that is more accountable to, and productive for, the citizens it serves since 1979. For more information, please visit www.floridataxwatch.org.

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