Vikki Smith, Director
Vikki Smith leads the Washington State Department of Revenue, one of the most awarded and respected state revenue agencies in the nation.
Vikki has worked her entire career at Revenue, starting in June 1970 as temporary clerical staff. She worked her way up through the ranks in positions of increasing responsibility and authority, eventually taking on leadership roles in several divisions.
As head of the Taxpayer Services division, Vikki transformed Revenue’s use of technology to serve its customers, the taxpayer. She established Revenue as one of the first agencies to adopt straightforward, jargon-free writing in its customer communications. Vikki became chief information officer in 2007, positioning her to increase the Information Services division’s efficiency while influencing information technology issues on a statewide level. In 2012, she was selected to be Revenue’s deputy director.
During her career, Vikki has received numerous awards and professional recognition. Of all the accolades, Vikki is proudest of her volunteerism in the public schools, which earned her Parent of the Year from the North Thurston school system.
Revenue plays a pivotal role in funding the state’s future, collecting $19.6 billion in taxes in the most recent fiscal year. These tax dollars help pay for education, social and health services, natural resource conservation and public safety. As the director, Vikki oversees a staff of 1,100 employees and a $100 million budget.
John Ryser, Deputy Director
John Ryser is the Deputy Director for Revenue. He oversees Revenue’s Lean, Enterprise Risk and Internal Audit programs. Prior to his appointment, he was the Senior Assistant Director for Operations for Revenue.
John has worked as the Department’s Acting Senior Assistant Director of Tax Policy, with the responsibility for overseeing the Property Tax, Interpretations and Technical Advice, and Administrative Review and Hearings divisions. John was also the Assistant Director of Revenue's Audit division, where he led a staff of more than 300.
He began his Revenue career in 1986 in Taxpayer Account Administration. In 1997, he joined the Audit division as an out-of-state auditor, working on complex corporate accounts in Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee. John promoted to Field Audit Manager in 2004 to lead a team of 11 out-of-state auditors located throughout the southeastern U.S.
In 2013, John returned to Washington when he was chosen to head the Audit division. During his tenure, the division has earned national recognition for its work on detecting sales suppression software, which has the potential to hide millions in retail sales tax dollars that should be funding public services.
John has a Business Administration degree from Western Washington University.
Heidi Geathers, Senior Assistant Director of Administrative Services
Heidi Geathers is the Senior Assistant Director of Administrative Services for Revenue. She oversees the Information Services, Business and Financial Services, and Human Resources divisions, and Revenue's Information Governance program.
Heidi has worked in both the private and public sector, most recently as the Deputy Director of Operations and Services for Washington Technology Services (WaTech). While at WaTech, Heidi was responsible for strategic direction of operations, budget, IT services, employee engagement and stakeholder relationships.
She also spent two years as the Chief Information Officer for the Liquor and Cannabis Board, assisting in the transformation of regulating Marijuana.
Before coming to state government, Heidi spent 20 years in the banking industry. It was there that she gained a keen understanding of customer centric ideals and practices. She held positions in both Information Technology and Human Resources.
Heidi has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Washington State University.
Alyson Fouts, Senior Assistant Director of Operations
Alyson Fouts is the Senior Assistant Director of Operations for Revenue. She oversees the Audit, Compliance, Taxpayer Services, and Taxpayer Account Administration divisions.
She started her career with the Department of Revenue in 1990 in the Taxpayer Account Administration division. While building her Revenue career, she worked her way up through several policy and operation divisions filling various roles including Tax Policy Specialist in Legislation and Policy, Program Manager of Interpretations and Technical Advice, and most recently, leading the agency’s Taxpayer Services division. Her broad agency-wide experience has given her a strong understanding of the agency’s core functions, a deep appreciation for the importance of advocating sound tax policy and the power of collaboration, as well as a genuine passion for customer-focused service.
Alyson is a natural collaborator with strong interpersonal skills that have proven helpful in working with others to resolve complex and contentious issues. As a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, she is a strong champion for Lean principles and brings a wealth of organization development experience to our team.
Gil Brewer, Senior Assistant Director of Tax Policy
Gil Brewer currently serves as Senior Assistant Director of Tax Policy for the Washington State Department of Revenue. He oversees the Department’s Research and Fiscal Analysis, Interpretations and Technical Advice (ITA), Legislation & Policy, Property Tax, and Administrative Review and Hearings divisions and has overall responsibility for the development of agency tax policy.
Gil has worked at Revenue for over 14 years and has held various positions, including Tax Policy Specialist, Legislative Liaison, and Assistant Director of the ITA Division. He also previously served as the Senior Assistant Director of Tax Policy until 2015, when he left to become Deputy Tax Commissioner for the West Virginia Tax Department. He recently returned to Washington and to the Senior AD position. Gil also has more than 15 years of prior policy-related work with governments in Maine, Hawaii and Micronesia.
Gil earned a Bachelor of Arts in English writing from the University of Pittsburgh and his Juris Doctor from the University of Maine School of Law.