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.
Randy Simmons, Acting Deputy Director/Senior Assistant Director of Administrative Services
Randy Simmons is Revenue’s Acting Deputy Director and Senior Assistant Director for Administrative Services, with oversight of Revenue’s Information Services, Human Resources and Business & Financial Services divisions as well as Information Governance, Lean and project accountability.
Randy came to Revenue in September 2015 after spending 13 years with the state’s Liquor and Cannabis Board, first as Finance Division director and then as the agency’s Deputy Director. While at the LCB, Randy oversaw the implementation of Initiative 502, which legalized the sale and use of recreational marijuana.
Before joining the LCB, Randy was a manager for the state’s Department of General Administration, and he spent 22 years in a private company in Olympia, beginning his career as a pension manager and then holding positions in both finance and marketing.
Randy's educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from St. Martin's College and post-graduate work in entrepreneurial studies at Babson College and in Management Science at The American College. He holds the professional designations of Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), Fellow Life Management Institute (FLMI) and LIMRA Leadership Institute Fellow (LLIF).
In 2006, Randy received the Governor’s Award for Leadership in Management for implementation of risk management practices that reduced over $400,000 a biennium in cost to the agency.
John Ryser, Senior Assistant Director of Operations
John Ryser is the Senior Assistant Director of Operations for Revenue. He oversees the Audit, Compliance, Special Programs, Taxpayer Services and Taxpayer Account Administration divisions.
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.
Gil Brewer, Senior Assistant Director of Tax Policy
Gil Brewer currently serves as Senior Assistant Director for 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.