Members

James C. DeVolld
Chair

James C. DeVolld (Jim) was appointed by to the Tax Commission in 2012 and was appointed Chairman in 2016. Jim is the former President / CEO of First Independent Bank of Nevada, a mid‐sized community bank he helped launch as a start‐up venture in 1999. The bank ultimately sold in 2007 to Western Alliance Bancorp. Jim is a graduate of the Pacific Coast Banking School at the University of Washington. He has 37 years of experience in banking and finance with Pioneer Citizens Bank (25 years) and 12 years with First Independent Bank. Jim currently assists LP Insurance, a $20 million west coast based rapidly growing regional insurance brokerage firm, with mergers and acquisitions. He plays a key role in capital management, strategic planning and corporate governance.

 
Jim continues to be heavily involved in the Reno‐Sparks communities. He serves on the Renown Health Systems Board of Directors and is a member of their Executive Committee as the Treasurer. He is also the Chair of the Renown Health finance & investment committee and Chair of the Renown Transitional Board of Directors. Jim proudly serves on the Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows Board of Directors. 
Sharon R. Rigby

Sharon Rigby was appointed to the Nevada Tax Commission as the mining industry member in November 2017. She has more than 30 years of experience in the mining industry and in taxation. She opened her firm, Sharon R Rigby, Attorney at Law, PLLC, in 2015, and her practice focuses on serving the mining industry in Nevada with state and local tax and valuation services. 


Prior to opening her own firm, Ms. Rigby worked for Ryan, LLC from 2011 to 2014, providing tax and valuation consulting to mining operations throughout the United States and Canada. From 1987 to 2010, Ms. Rigby worked for Newmont Mining Corporation, where she gained valuable experience in mine accounting, tax, business, and litigation. She was awarded the Chairman’s Award by the Newmont Board of Directors in recognition of her successful integration and settlement of tax issues related to a complex merger.


Ms. Rigby holds a Bachelor of Business Administration Summa Cum Laude from National University, San Diego; a Master of Business Administration from the University of Nevada, Reno; and a Juris Doctor from the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  She is licensed to practice law in Nevada, and holds a CMI (property tax) certificate from the Institute of Professionals in Taxation.


She is a member of the Nevada Bar Association, American Bar Association, Nevada Taxpayer’s Association (board member), Nevada Mining Association, Women’s Mining Coalition, Elko County Board of Equalization, Institute of Professionals in Taxation, Elko Rotary Club (board member), and the Elko Chamber of Commerce.

Craig Witt

Craig Witt is a native Nevada farmer born and raised on a Carson Valley dairy farm. He has experienced what farming once was, what it has become, and the direction it needs to go in the future. After graduating in 1978 from the University of Nevada Reno with a Bachelor of Science Degree in General Agriculture, Craig returned home to run his family's third generation dairy farm. While managing the operation, Craig Witt converted the dairy farm into a thriving full-scale composting operation: the first of its kind permitted in the State of Nevada. Mr. Witt started the first composting site offering recycling of organic materials from the Tahoe Basin, Reno, Carson City, the Carson Valley and many nearby communities. Craig Witt is the current owner and President of Full Circle Compost, Inc. with a location in Carson Valley and a composting facility in Carson City, NV. 


Besides Mr. Witt’s involvement with numerous local community programs, Craig has been certified as a Composting Expert by the State of Nevada Environmental Protection Agency and is listed on the 2006 Lake Tahoe BMP Resource Professionals list. Mr. Witt is a life long Farm Bureau Member and has served in many diverse capacities on agricultural boards and committees. Mr. Witt gained valuable experience in management and decision making while serving on the Associated Nevada Dairyman Board of Directors, Farm Bureau Dairy Advertising Board, Carson Valley Conservation District, and is an active member of Nevada Resource Conservation and Development, National Compost Council and California Society of Ecological Restoration.

Mr. Witt has developed a broad understanding of the agricultural businesses in his capacity as a National and International “Composting and Soil Fertility” consultant. Mr. Witt is passionate about the environment, renewable farming practices, and ecologically correct waste management practices, and speaks regularly sharing his knowledge in the community, nationally and internationally.
George Kelesis

George Kelesis is a native of Las Vegas, appointed to the Commission by Governor Guinn on July 1, 2000. In July, 2004, Mr. Kelesis formed the law firm of BAILUS KELESIS with his long-time friend and business associate, Mark B. Bailus. Although the firm maintains a general law practice, its shareholders practice primarily in the areas of civil and criminal litigation and appeals, with an emphasis on taxation and commercial litigation, business, corporate and tax law. The firm also has broad experience in commercial transactions, business and estate planning, probate, gaming and employment law.


From January, 1997 to May, 2004, Mr. Kelesis was General Counsel for Pat Clark and the Clark family as well as their business entities, Nevada Beverage Co., an exclusive wholesale distributor of Anheuser-Busch products, Alternative Beverage Distributors, a wholesaler of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and Pat Clark Pontiac, an automobile dealership.

Mr. Kelesis was an associate for the law firm of Manos & Cherry (1982 to 1986) and then sole practitioner (1986 to 1989). In addition, Mr. Kelesis is an adjunct professor at the University Nevada Las Vegas, teaching Legal Environment, Business Law I and Business Law II. Further, Mr. Kelesis has conducted classes for Nevada Certified Public Accountants in criminal tax law and estate and gift tax (1986 and 1989).

From 1989 through Mr. Kelesis was a partner in the law firm of Gentile, Porter & Kelesis; and from 1993 through 1996, Mr. Kelesis was a partner in the law firm of Cherry, Bailus & Kelesis. Mr. Kelesis’ practice primarily involved Business and Estate Tax Planning, Civil and Criminal Tax Litigation, Corporations, Partnerships, Gaming and Securities Law, and Personal Injury.

Mr. Kelesis’ professional affiliations include: White Collar Committee of American Bar Association; Member of Tax, Corporate, Real Property Law, Criminal Justice Section; State Bar of Nevada; Clark County Bar Association; The Association of Trial Lawyers of America (White Collar Crime Committee, 1986-); National Institute of Trial Attorneys; Nevada Trial Lawyers Association.
Dr. Ann Bersi
Dr. Ann Bersi was appointed to the Tax Commission in December 2005. Prior to serving on the Commission, for 10 years Dr. Bersi was bankruptcy counsel to Clark County, Nevada, and related entities. As such her practice focused on contract, statutory lien, and ad valorem tax issues in cases ranging from the individual taxpayer to complex cases involving hotels and casinos. In addition, she served as legal counsel to the Clark County School Board and the Clark County Board of Equalization, and represented the County before the Public Service Commission. From 1991-1995 she represented private corporate/commercial and individual clients with the law firms of Lionel, Sawyer & Collins and Morris, Brignone & Pickering.

Bersi graduated from San Diego State University with a B.A. and M.A. in English Literature, from the University of Connecticut with a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration, and from California Western School of Law. She is admitted to practice law in the states of Nevada and California, and before the United States Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal, and the city, state, and federal courts in California and Nevada. She was president of the State Bar of Nevada in 1999/2000, and currently serves as a trustee for the Foundation of California State University San Marcos.
Randy J. Brown

Randy Brown was appointed to the Nevada Tax Commission by Governor Sandoval in November 2017. He is the director of External and Regulatory Affairs for AT&T. With 20 years of experience in the telecommunications industry, Mr. Brown is responsible for regulatory, legislative, governmental, and community affairs in Nevada. During his tenure with AT&T (formerly SBC), Mr. Brown has held management positions in accounting, finance, regulatory and government affairs.

 
A native of Reno, Nevada, Mr. Brown holds a degree in accounting from the University of Nevada, Reno, and is licensed as a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Nevada. He is a graduate of the Leadership Reno-Sparks program and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
 
Mr. Brown previously served as Chairman of the Reno Sparks Chamber of Commerce, the Children's Cabinet, and the University of Nevada Alumni Association. He is Trustee Emeritus of the University of Nevada Foundation and previously served as a board member of the Nevada Taxpayers Association. He currently serves on the Renown Business Board.
Francine J. Lipman

Francine J. Lipman is a Professor at the Boyd School of Law for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She brings an exceptional record as an accountant, a lawyer, a teacher, and a scholar. After working as a CPA in an international accounting firm and as the Chief Financial Officer for a chain of retail jewelry stores, Professor Lipman turned to law where she served as the Editor in Chief of the UC Davis Law Review and was recognized as an Outstanding Law Student and a member of the Order of the Coif. Following a similarly stellar record in NYU’s Graduate Tax Law Program, where she was a Tax Law Review Scholar, she practiced law with O’Melveny & Myers LLP and Irell & Manella LLP.

Professor Lipman joined the faculties of Chapman University’s School of Business and Economics in 2001 and the School of Law in 2003. Professor Lipman is an elected member of the American Law Institute, the American College of Tax Counsel, and the American Bar Foundation, and an editor and former committee chair for the Tax Section of the American Bar Association. She has been a visiting professor at UC Hastings College of Law and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She has written extensively on tax and accounting issues for legal journals, including the Wisconsin Law Review, Florida Tax Review, Virginia Tax Review, Nevada Law Journal, American University Law Review, Harvard Environmental Law Review, Harvard Latino Law Review, Harvard Journal on Legislation, The Tax Lawyer, The Practical Tax Lawyer, Taxes and Tax Notes. Professor Lipman is a frequent speaker on tax subjects to law and business groups.
Anthony Wren

Anthony (Tony) Wren is an independent fee appraiser with 39 years of experience. He has been in the Reno/Sparks area for over 30 years. A native of Wyoming, Mr. Wren relocated to Reno/Sparks in 1984. At that time, he had just earned the SRA-Senior Residential Appraiser designation from the Society of Real Estate Appraisers. In 1987, he received the SRPA-Senior Real Property Appraiser designation. In 1991, he received the MAI designation from the Appraisal Institute. 


Mr. Wren has been active in the Reno-Carson-Tahoe Chapter of the Appraisal Institute. He served as a member of the Board of Directors for the chapter and served as its president in 1988 and 1989 and 2000. He has served on several national committees of the Appraisal institute including the Faculty committee and was a national reviewer for several courses. Mr. Wren teaches real estate appraisal courses and is also a real estate broker. He has taught the Principles course and the Income Valuation course at Truckee Meadows Community College. He has also instructed Standards and Ethics, as well as Principles and Procedures and other courses and seminars, for the Appraisal Institute. 


Mr. Wren is a nationally Certified AQB Instructor, (USPAP), Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice. He was instrumental in the writing of the appraiser licensing/certification law for Nevada. He has been appointed twice by the Governor of Nevada to serve on the Nevada Commission of Appraisers (9/94 to 6/97) and (7/97 to 6/00) and served twice as President of that Commission. Mr. Wren was appointed to the Nevada State Board of Equalization by Governor Jim Gibbons (3/08 to 3/12), reappointed for (3/12 to 10/15) and was the Chair of the Nevada Board of Equalization for seven years.