TTARA Staff

Dale Craymer, President dcraymer@ttara.org

Specialty: Business Tax Issues, State Budget, Economic Analysis

Mr. Craymer is TTARA's President and chief spokesperson. He is an expert on state business tax, particularly the franchise, or “margin” tax, as well as the state budget and the economy. He is a frequent advisor to public officials and is often asked to provide expert testimony on fiscal issues. He is a member of Texas’ Business Tax Advisory Committee and the National Taxpayers Conference, and has previously served on the executive Boards of both the National Association of State Budget Officers and the Council of Governor's Policy Advisors.

Before joining TTARA, Mr. Craymer served as the Director of Budget and Planning for the Governor's Office, Chief Fiscal Analyst for the House of Representatives, and as Chief Revenue Estimator for the Texas Comptroller's Office. He is an honors graduate of the University of Texas with a B.A. (Plan II) and M.A. in Economics.

Sheryl Pace, Senior Analyst space@ttara.org

Specialty: School Finance Issues

Ms. Pace leads TTARA's activities related to public school education, with particular emphasis on state school finance and its relationship to local property taxes. With over 25 years experience as a policy researcher and analyst, she is recognized as one of the business sector's leading authorities on these issues and is frequently called on to advise public officials and citizen groups. She is the author of An Introduction to School Finance in Texas, winner of the prestigious Governmental Research Association's award for Most Effective Education.

Ms. Pace attended the University of Texas at Austin where she majored in Business Administration.

John Kennedy, Senior Analyst jkennedy@ttara.org

Specialty: Sales and Use Tax Issues, Property Tax Issues

Mr. Kennedy leads TTARA's work on sales and excise taxes and state tax administration. He also provides support to our work on property taxes. He has authored studies on numerous aspects of Texas' fiscal practice and agency administration during a career of more than 35 years with TTARA and the predecessor to the TTARA Research Foundation. He has served on the Board of Trustees and as Chairman of the Governmental Research Association.

Mr. Kennedy is an honors graduate of the University of Texas with a B.A. in economics and a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law. He also completed graduate work at the University of Texas School of Business.

Debbie Cartwright, Counsel dcartwright@ttara.org

Specialty: Public Policy, Property Tax

Ms. Cartwright is an attorney with extensive legal experience in property tax law and heads the property tax initiative at TTARA. She was the director of the Property Tax Assistance Division for the Texas Comptroller and was responsible for overseeing biennial reviews of appraisal districts and school district property value studies, training for appraisal review board members, rule-making, and other matters. Ms. Cartwright was the general counsel for the Bexar Appraisal District and was Assistant General Counsel for Comptroller Carol Keeton Strayhorn. As a lawyer she has defended appraisal districts in litigation, advised appraisal review boards, provided legal opinions concerning administrative law, open records and meetings, appraisal methodology, and other public law issues and consulted with elected officials and staff of local taxing entities concerning property taxation.

She received her law degree from the University of Houston. She has a master of public affairs degree from the LBJ School at The University of Texas at Austin and a bachelor’s degree from Howard Payne University in Brownwood, Texas.

Ryan Ash, Communications Director ryan@ttara.org

Specialty: Communications and Information Resources

For over a decade, Mr. Ash has had primary responsibility for facilitating the dissemination of information to our membership, policymakers and the general public. In doing so he: maintains the TTARA website, manages the daily news service, organizes and oversees arrangements and fundraising for special events, manages a complex legislative bill tracking system and readies reports and presentations for release or publication. He graduated from Texas State University with a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration.

Cindy Ferguson, Director Membership & Marketing cferguson@ttara.org

Ms. Ferguson leads TTARA’s membership and retention strategies, as well as marketing initiatives. She is a seasoned association management professional with 28 years experience in the areas of department management, non-profit management, meeting planning and special event coordination, conferences, trade show management, expositions, marketing coordination, membership development and membership services. Ms. Ferguson is certified in exhibition management and is a certified meeting professional. She attended Texas State University where she majored in business administration.

Betty Wranischar, Office Manager bwranischar@ttara.org

Ms. Wranischar is TTARA's Office Manager. In this role she maintains contact with each of TTARA's members and their involvement with the Association. She is a graduate of Texas State University.