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UPDATE MARCH 30, 2020:  The following City of Williamsburg buildings and facilities are closed to the public through April 23:  Municipal Building, Stryker Center, Quarterpath Recreation Center, Waller Mill Park, Police Department and Fire Station (only required staff will be at work, others will be teleworking). Governor Northam issued a "stay at home" executive order through June 10, 2020. Business assistance information can be found here. The City's telephone hotline (for city service questions):  (757) 259-7200 and the Virginia Health Dept. call center (for COVID-19 questions/concerns):  (757) 594-7069.

MEET THE STAFF

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COMMISSIONER OF THE REVENUE

Lara OveryLara M. S. Overy is the Commissioner of the Revenue for the City of  Williamsburg. She was elected in November 2017 and began her 4 year term on January 1, 2018. As Commissioner of the Revenue, Lara has improved processes, implemented an audit program and increased compliance  resulting in additional revenue for the City. Lara’s motto is to ensure all  businesses are reporting accurately and being fairly taxed.

Prior to being elected as Commissioner, Lara served as Chief Operating Office at Compass Wealth Strategies, a wealth management firm in Williamsburg, VA. Lara has also served as Director of Development for Thomas Nelson Community College where she led the Development Team in securing public, private, corporate, and foundation funding. She also coordinated the fundraising efforts of the Educational Foundation and represented the interests of both the College and the Foundation to current and prospective donors.

In addition, Lara served as Executive Director of the Educational Foundation and Director of Development at Tidewater Community College where she  successfully closed out The Campaign for TCC in 2011 with an historical final  tally of almost $12 million, exceeding the original fundraising goal by nearly $2  million. After designing the program and hiring the staff, Lara's team exceeded its goals, raising $1.3 million and increased the number of donors to TCC by 67% in 2012 and 187% in 2013.

Lara graduated magna cum laude from Thomas Nelson Community College and went on to receive her Bachelor of Arts Degree from William & Mary, where she was a recipient of the Benjamin Stoddert Ewell Award for Public Service. In 2014, Lara entered William & Mary’s Mason School of Business MBA program and has completed several courses in finance and business management.

Lara brings not only education but experience from William & Mary. She served her alma mater as Reunion and Lead Annual Giving Officer, where she was heavily involved in identification and cultivation of prospects, donors, and alumni.

With nearly two decades of service in philanthropic community organizations, Lara currently serves as Secretary on the Colonial CASA Board and volunteers her time advising a number of non-profits on charity auction events.  Lara also served as President of the Virginia Symphony Society of Greater Williamsburg and on the boards of the Girl Scout Council of Colonial Coast, the Virginia Symphony Orchestra Board, Young Life and the Greater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance. For eight years, Lara served as the Troop Leader for Girl Scout Troop 1377, which she founded. In addition to supporting the fundraising efforts of a broad spectrum of non-profit and community groups, Lara is a graduate of the 2015 Lead Peninsula program, a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, a graduate of the James City County Citizen Leadership Academy, served as a Citizen Representative on the Regional Issues Committee appointed by the James City County Board of Supervisors and served many years on the board of Inclusion Inc., a Williamsburg non-profit benefiting children. Lara and her husband, Rick reside in Williamsburg with their daughters, Isabel and Madison and has a step-son, Cameron, who lives in London.

Kevin O’Brien

Chief Deputy Commissioner of the Revenue, Audit Manager   kobrien@williamsburgva.gov   757-220-6158

Kevin is the Chief Deputy Commissioner of the Revenue appointed to serve as the office’s Audit Manager. He began work with the City of Williamsburg in July 2018 with the responsibility to create, write and implement an audit plan for the office. He serves in functions of Audit and Compliance matters, as they apply to Business Licenses, Business Tangible Personal Property Taxes as well as all Excise taxes collected in the city such as Food & Beverage Tax, Sales Tax, Lodging Tax, and Cigarette Tax. 

Kevin’s background and education are in the fields of Law Enforcement, Law and Law Firm administration and investigations. He holds degrees from Tidewater Community College; A. As. Administration of Justice and from Saint Leo College; B.A.  Criminology w/ emphasis in Business Administration. Kevin has a long public service background with credited service as a Deputy Sheriff, Police Officer and Detective with the Arlington County Sheriff’s Department and the Portsmouth Police Departments. While working as a Police Narcotics Detective he was recruited by the Judges of the Third Judicial District of Virginia to serve as a State Magistrate and was appointed to three terms, before leaving to pursue other opportunities at large, private law firms which specialized in plaintiff’s personal injury and wrongful death claims across the country. 

After travelling for 11 years and working with such notables as Erin Brockovitch, Bobby Kennedy Jr. and his partner Kevin Madonna as well as Peter Neufield and Barry Scheck and being featured in a HBO Documentary, Mann vs. Ford, Kevin is now opting for less travel and more time with his family. Previously, he served in a similar role with the Portsmouth Commissioner of the Revenue’s office for seven years and has attained and been re-certified as a Master Deputy Commissioner of the Revenue through the University of Virginia, Weldon-Cooper Center for Public Service. 

He is very much looking forward to the opportunity to educate the public, the entrepreneur, the new start-ups on the various aspects of local and state business taxation and the best practices in navigating, this sometimes, onerous topic. When he is not working, Kevin & his wife Noreen travel the East Coast to compete with their Belgian Malinois canine, Shadow, in Dock Diving and AKC Obedience trials.

 Debi Burcham

Deputy Commissioner of the Revenue, Business Tax Manager  dburcham@williamsburgva.gov   757-220-6154

Debi joined the Commissioner of the Revenue’s office in October 2019 as Deputy Commissioner, Business Tax Manager. She prepares business license renewals, statements, certifications and bills and assesses personal property taxes for business property, as well as administering all room, meal and cigarette taxes.

Debi brings over 20 years of professional experience providing dedicated and focused administrative leadership and customer service to the Commissioner’s office.  Debi began working for the City of Williamsburg in May 2018 as the Clerk of Council. In that role, she prepared agendas and minutes for City Council meetings, managed Ordinances and Resolutions, and monitored Boards and Commissions appointments. Prior to joining the City, she worked for the Williamsburg-James City County General District Court. For over 10 years she was the Lead Clerk for the Civil Division, also assisting with Traffic and Criminal cases. Debi is a graduate of the Certified Court Manager (2015) and Certified Court Executive (2016) programs through the National Center for State Courts.

Debi and her husband Bart have been residents of the City of Williamsburg since 2005. They are avid hockey fans and enjoy spending time with their three beagles and two cats.

 Phyllis Rosen

Deputy Commissioner of the Revenue   prosen@williamsburgva.gov   757-220-6158

Phyllis has served as Deputy Commissioner of the Revenue for 27 years. Her duties include assisting taxpayers with their Virginia Department Taxation tax returns and checking the return to be sure all information is correct before processing. She prepares monthly reports for the Department of Taxation, and processes personal and business property.  

Phyllis’s many years of experience with the City have given her the opportunity to assist residents and business owners with a variety of issues and provide top notch constituent services to City taxpayers.  

Prior to beginning her service with the city, Phyllis, was an Administrative Assistant to the Production Manager at Arista Records in New York City.