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Two distinguished service award recipients.

William H. Forst, former Virginia Commissioner of Revenue and a recipient of TEI's Distinguished Service Award, died on August 2. Mr. Forst served as Virginia's Tax Commissioner from 1971 until his retirement in 1994, working for six different governors (both Republicans and Democrats). During his tenure, the Commonwealth conformed its tax system to the Internal Revenue Code, and Mr. Forst led the modernization of the tax department. A graduate of Bellarmine College in Louisville, he also studied at the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville. Before joined the Kentucky Tax Department in 1958, and in 1967 became Iowa's Commissioner of Revenue, a position he held until he joined the Virginia department. Mr. Forst was a former president of the Federation of Tax Administrators and the Southeastern Association of Tax Administrators, as well as the National Tax Association; he also served on the IRS Commissioner's Advisory Group.

In 1994, TEI's Board of Directors voted (upon the nomination of the Virginia Chapter) to grant Mr. Forst the Institute's Distinguished Service Award. Among the accomplishments cited at that time by the Board were (1) his willingness to depend and support the view that the best way for Virginia to ensure an adequate tax base is to foster of atmosphere conducive to economic development and receptive to doing business; (2) his openly discussing ideas with the tax and business community; (3) his commitment to customer service, which led to the creation of an Accelerated Refund Program for individual taxpayers; and (4) his automation of the tax department.

Douglas J. Sherbaniuk received TEI's Distinguished Service Award on account of his 27 years of service as Director of the Canadian Tax Foundation. Mr. Sherbaniuk received both an undergraduate degree in modern languages and his law degree from the University of Alberta, and late earned an LL.M. from Columbia University. He joined the faculty of the University of Toronto law school in 1965, and taught taxation courses for more than three decades. He was a research officer and a member of the senior staff of the Royal Commission on Taxation (the Carter commission) from 1963 to 1964, and served on numerous other committees and task forces throughout is career.

Mr. Sherbaniuk became Director of the Canadian Tax Foundation in 1967, and he served in that position until his retirement in 1994; in 1995, he was enticed back to serve for a further year as Interim Director. Renowned for his ability to write about complex tax issues with clarity and grace, as well as for his encyclopedic knowledge of taxation and finance, he was considered a friend of all in the Canadian tax community, from students to practitioners, government employees to corporate tax executives.

In nominating Mr. Sherbaniuk to receive TEI's Distinguished Service Award upon his retirement, TEI's Toronto Chapter noted that during his tenure the Canadian Tax Foundation had grown significantly in prestige and volume and had a major effect on Canadian tax policy. The chapter also noted that Mr. Sherbaniuk has been a frequent speaker at TEI chapter meetings, Canadian tax schools, and Institute conferences.
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Title Annotation:In Memoriam
Publication:Tax Executive
Date:May 1, 2006
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