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October 02, 2007

... From the Office of the Governor

Contact: GOVERNOR'S PRESS OFFICE (850) 488-5394

Governor Crist Announces Executive Director
of Florida Department of Revenue

~ James Zingale to Serve as Interim Executive Director of the Agency for Enterprise Information Technology ~

TALLAHASSEE – Governor Charlie Crist and the Florida Cabinet today unanimously voted to appoint Lisa Echeverri of Tallahassee as executive director of the Florida Department of Revenue.  Echeverri will replace Dr. James Zingale who was appointed by the Governor and Cabinet today as the interim executive director of the Agency for Enterprise Information Technology.

"Lisa Echeverri has been involved with every aspect of the department's policy, management and operations, including management decisions and policy development," Governor Crist said.  "I know that Dr. Zingale considers her a worthy successor, and I am confident she will do an outstanding job for the people of Florida."

Echeverri, 42, has served with the Department of Revenue during two separate periods.  From 1990 to 1998, she served as an attorney in the Office of the General Counsel and as chief assistant general counsel for general tax administration.  After a year in private practice, she returned to the department to serve as director of legislative and Cabinet services.  In 2002, she was appointed deputy executive director, expanding her role to include overseeing operations for the department's general tax, property tax and child support programs. 

"I am honored to follow in Dr. Zingale's footsteps and serve Floridians and the Governor and Cabinet," Echeverri said.  "I look forward to building on the department's solid foundation of commitment to service and business and professional ethics."

Echeverri holds a bachelor's degree in finance from Florida State University and graduated from Florida State University School of Law in 1990.  She is a member of the tax section of the Florida Bar Association.

The Florida Department of Revenue, with over 5,000 employees, administers 33 taxes and fees, collecting more than $39 billion per year for the state's needs.  The department collects and distributes child support on behalf of nearly one million children every year. It also oversees the property tax system, ensuring that Florida has an equitable property tax system throughout the state by providing aid and assistance to property appraisers.

"Dr. Jim Zingale has displayed exceptional management and leadership skills, including re-engineering the Department of Revenue to use technology to provide better and more efficient customer service," Governor Crist said.  "Dr. Zingale is scheduled to retire next February, so we are extremely fortunate to have someone with his qualifications and dedication to public service willing to accept this new challenge for the next few months."

Dr. Zingale, who holds a doctorate in economics from Florida State University, has served as executive director for the Florida Department of Revenue since January 2000.  Previously, he was the deputy executive director for 10 years and a legislative staff member for 18 years, including four years as staff director of the Florida House of Representatives Appropriations Committee. 

"I have been privileged to serve the people of Florida in several different roles for over 34 years," Zingale said.  "I look forward to this new opportunity to work with the Governor and Cabinet to find new ways to use information technology to improve customer service and increase efficiency."

The Agency for Enterprise Information Technology was created by the 2007 Legislature to be a centralized enterprise information technology agency that reports to the Governor and Cabinet.  The agency's primary responsibility is to plan enterprise services and develop enterprise policy and recommendations.  The agency will become the single point of accountability for large-scale, multi-agency enterprise projects.

Echeverri and Zingale will begin their new positions on October 15, 2007.  Echeverri's term ends at the pleasure of the Governor and Cabinet, and Zingale's term will end with his retirement in February 2008.