Before becoming the Chief Tax Officer at Vertex Inc, Michael J. Bernard was the United States Tax Counsel for Microsoft Corporation in Redmond, WA. He handles federal income tax audits, appeals and litigation. Mr. Bernard has executive responsibility for planning, compliance, and defense for Employee Benefits, Indirect and Telecom taxes. For the past 5 years, Mr. Bernard has led the tax technology initiatives for the Tax Department. He also is responsible for state income, indirect, telecom and property tax policy legislation in the U.S. Prior to joining Microsoft, Mr. Bernard held various tax positions in public accounting and with the Union Pacific Railroad and Peter Kiewit & Sons’. He is a former law clerk to the Hon. John T. Grant of the Nebraska Supreme Court. Mr. Bernard received his B.S.B.A. and J.D. from Creighton University in Omaha, NE. Mr. Bernard currently serves as the Chairman of TEI’s National Communications and Technology Committee.