June 18, 2024
Annapolis, US 78 F

Maryland’s Deputy Comptroller Wins Prestigious Duncan Award

Maryland’s Deputy Comptroller Sharonne Bonardi has been named the 2021 recipient of the Federation of Tax Administrators’ (FTA) Harley T. Duncan Award for Leadership and Service, one of the highest honors in the country for tax administration.

Under Deputy Comptroller Bonardi’s stewardship, the agency has risen to national prominence for its tax administration and enforcement, serving as a model for other tax collection agencies. She has led the agency in operational efficiency, shown commitment to service, and implemented an innovative fraud detection system that steered IRS efforts. Her deft management has enabled the agency’s 1,100 employees to weather the COVID-19 pandemic, avoiding layoffs and addressing the needs of struggling Maryland taxpayers. She has also championed legislation to expand access to tax clinics for low-income Marylanders and serves as a role model for women and people of color considering careers in tax administration.

“The mission of our agency is to serve everyone,” Bonardi said. “There is no better way to create a positive ripple effect than to provide education and assistance to help people build strong economic foundations. Improving tax administration is just one path toward this goal.”

When Comptroller Peter Franchot named Bonardi to her current role in October 2015, she became the first African-American deputy comptroller in the agency’s 170-year history.  She has spent 30 years as a state employee — 25 with the Comptroller’s Office, 16 of those in various leadership positions.

“Sharonne is an indispensable member of my team who is beloved by the entire agency and is so deserving of this recognition,” Comptroller Franchot said. “Her career is defined by helping and serving others, particularly through expanding access to underserved communities. She is the heart and soul of our office and it is a privilege to call her a colleague and a friend.”

A graduate of Western High School in Baltimore City, she holds a bachelor’s degree from Trinity University; a master’s degree in Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University’s Carey School of Business; and a juris doctorate from the University of Maryland’s Francis King Carey School of Law. She was the first person in her family to graduate from college.

Deputy Comptroller Bonardi is a member of several professional and community organizations, including serving as FTA president since June 2019 and was the first African American to be elected to that post since the Federation’s founding in 1937. She previously served on the FTA board. Bonardi also served as president of the North Eastern States Tax Officials Association (NESTOA) until September 2019. She holds positions on the boards of Alpha Kappa Alpha, the nation’s oldest black sorority; Jack and Jill of America; Girls Empowerment Mission; and the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants (MACPA).

Deputy Bonardi officially will be honored at the FTA annual business meeting in June.

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