Former CalTax President Teressa Casazza was honored with the inaugural David R. Doerr Medal for Excellence in Tax Policy on March 23 during CalTax’s 97th Annual Meeting in Sacramento.
CalTax President Robert Gutierrez presented the medal and praised Casazza as a trailblazer, breaking ground as the first woman to lead a major business association in California – serving as CalTax’s president and chief executive officer from 2007 through her retirement at the end of 2018 – after previously shattering the glass ceiling as the lead advocate on technology issues for the American Electronics Association from 1992 to 2003. From 1982 to 1990, she was a state and local tax manager for Price Waterhouse.
“With your detailed knowledge of tax policy and effective advocacy, and through your leadership, you protected taxpayers’ rights, improved California’s tax climate, and kept a watchful eye on government spending,” Gutierrez said.
Casazza thanked her mentors, including Doerr and former CalTax President Larry McCarthy, who guided her as she advocated for equitable tax policies in California. Casazza thanked her family and the members of CalTax for supporting her work.
The medal was created this year to honor the legacy of Doerr, who was recognized as California’s foremost tax policy expert for more than five decades. Doerr passed away in 2022 after serving as CalTax’s chief tax consultant since 1987. Prior to joining the association, he worked for more than 23 years as the chief consultant for the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee, participating in the development of all of the state’s major tax legislation during his tenure.
The medal will be awarded annually to those who follow Doerr’s example of using their expertise to champion the rights of taxpayers and mentor the next generation of taxpayer advocates, Gutierrez said.