Executive Team

John Hewitt, President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman

John is a dynamic leader. He has served as the President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Liberty Tax Service® since October 1996. A nationally recognized name in the tax return preparation and accounting world, John is a veteran of 46 tax seasons, the founder of two top tax preparation firms including Jackson Hewitt Inc, and a former H&R Block Regional Director.  

Accounting Today magazine has named John one of the accounting profession’s Top 100 most influential people 11 times. The International Franchise Association honored John as its Entrepreneur of the Year in February 2006.

John became a small business champion by working his way up from tax preparer. In 1981, he and his dad wrote one of the first tax software programs on an Apple computer, pioneering computerization and best business ideas in the tax industry.

 

James J. Wheaton, General Counsel, Vice President, Legal and Governmental Affairs

Jim has provided insight and leadership as our General Counsel since February 2011.

From May 2001 until February 2011, Jim was a partner in Troutman Sanders LLP, where he chaired the Securities and Capital Markets Practice Group from 2006-2007, and the Mergers, Acquisitions and Business Ventures Practice Group from 2007-2011. 

Prior to joining Troutman Sanders, Jim was a shareholder of Willcox & Savage, PC, which he joined in 1986 following a judicial clerkship.

 

Kathleen Donovan, Chief Financial Officer

Kathy has served as our strategic, results-driven Chief Financial Officer since February 2014.

From 2008 until February 2014, Kathy served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Catapult Learning, LLC. From 2005 to 2008, she served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Medquist, Inc.

From 1997 to 2005, she held various finance positions of increasing responsibility, including Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Dendrite International. From 1983 to 1997, she worked in various finance positions at Unisys Corporation.

 

Vanessa M. Szajnoga, General Counsel and Vice President

Vanessa has been an instrumental part of our legal department since 2005.

Ms. Szajnoga, a graduate of William & Mary Law School, began her career at Liberty as litigation counsel, representing the Company and managing litigation matters in federal and local courts throughout the United States and Canada. She became the leader of the Transactional Legal Department in 2012 and has served as Assistant Vice President, Legal, since January 2015. She also serves on the American Bar Association, Forum Committee on Franchising, and the Corporate Counsel Committee.

Along with her legal work, Ms. Szajnoga has played a role in the company's Culture Committee, which is tasked with creating a welcoming and nurturing work environment.

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