The Romney Institute of Public Service & Ethics honored 1980 BYU Marriott MPA graduate Doral Vance, manager and chief investigator of the Utah State Tax Commission’s Criminal Investigation Unit, with the 2019 N. Dale Wright Alumnus of the Year Award. The award was presented to Vance at the annual alumni luncheon held at the Harmon Continuing Education Building on 15 November 2019.
“Thank you for this wonderful and unexpected honor,” says Vance during his address. “When I was told I was being awarded, I was speechless.” He then spoke to the other alumni in attendance and thanked them for their examples as well as his family, friends, and colleagues who came to support him.
The Alumnus of the Year Award was given to Vance because he demonstrates extraordinary service and leadership in the public sector and in his community. Recipients of the award also exhibit high standards of excellence and gain the respect and loyalty of colleagues, peers, and family.
As the manager of the Utah State Tax Commission’s Criminal Investigation Unit, Vance’s mission is to help ensure the public that funds are properly collected and that those who deliberately violate the state tax statutes are held accountable. Since Vance’s appointment in 2012, the Criminal Investigation Unit has conducted over one hundred criminal investigations and collected almost $1.3 million in court-ordered restitution and back taxes.
“I am grateful to be an employee of the State of Utah, and more specifically the Tax Commission, which is a wonderful place to work,” says Vance. “Believe it or not, taxes can be fun.”
During Vance’s speech at the luncheon, he spoke about the people who make his job easier. “The department heads and legislature deserve every credit they get,” states Vance. “But I would also like to pay tribute to those people who are the movers and shakers and work day in and day out to deal with angry tax payers. Nobody comes into the Tax Commission happy, but we work to have a great staff that treats them well.”
John Valentine, chairman of the Utah State Tax Commission, shared his thoughts on why Vance excels in his position. “Doral is not only a capable employee, but he is always concerned about everyone else around him,” says Valentine. “He recognizes the contributions of everyone.”
Vance expressed gratitude to the BYU Marriott MPA program for helping him start his career in public service. “The MPA program launched my career. To get this award from this institution is gratifying,” says Vance. “I am and will always be proud to be an alumnus of this outstanding organization.”
Vance currently lives in Riverton, Utah, with his wife, Kerry. He has three children and four grandchildren. He loves his job at the Utah State Tax Commission and doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon. “I have learned many lessons on how to be a good public servant,” says Vance. “But I am still learning, so I can’t retire yet.”
Writer: Nikaela Smith