Position sought: Controller
Occupation: Business consultant
Email: [email protected]
Member of Parliament, District 20 (2012-2020);
Member of Parliament, District 21 (2008-2010);
Board Member, National Conference of Insurance Legislators (2019-2020);
Council of State Governments Working Group, “The Future of Work” (2019-2020);
board member of the National Association of Jewish Legislators (since 2014);
President, National Association of Jewish Legislators, Nevada Chapter (2012-2020);
Cornell Presidential Council of Women (since 2017);
Board Member, Easter Seals Nevada (2009-2018);
Cornell Alumni Admissions Ambassador Network, (2003 – Present);
Southern Nevada Forum, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (Co-Chair 2017-2018); Education Committee (2015 – 2016); Health Care Committee (2013 – 2014);
Nevada Advisory Council on Maternal and Child Health (2013-2014; 2015-2016);
Commission on Educational Technology (2017-2018);
Nevada Advisory Council on Federal Aid (2017-2018);
Nevada Commission on Aging (2013-2014; 2017-2018);
Nevada Task Force on Financial Security (2017-2018);
Nevada Safe-to-Tell Program Advisory Committee (2015-2016);
member of the board of directors of the Internet Alliance of the Direct Marketing Association (1995-1997);
Founding Chairman, Public Policy Committee of the Interactive Services Association, 1994-1995 (Note that the Interactive Services Association later became the Internet Alliance of the Direct Marketing Association)
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Obtained a Bachelor of Science degree.
Specialized in consumer economics.
Briefly describe the main duties of the position for which you are applying.
The controller is the financial director of the State. Responsibilities include paying state bills; collect sums due to the State so that the State can meet its obligations; and let everyone know where we stand financially. The Comptroller also sits on the NDOT Board of Directors and the Executive Branch Audit Committee.
A brief statement about your platform
My top three priorities are: ensuring fiscal stability for the state, its residents, and its businesses; supporting workforce development; and increase jobs, support for small businesses and economic growth.
Each year, Nevada writes off millions of dollars in uncollectible funds, and for the last year reported (fiscal year ending 6/30/2020), that cumulative amount was nearly $200,000,000. These funds could be used to strengthen our education system, improve social services, build (or repair) infrastructure – or be used for a variety of other programs. Raising these funds on an ongoing basis would also help us keep our taxes low. First and foremost, we must increase the collection of amounts owed to the state.
We must also continue to diversify our economy. As a result, I would use the office to help Nevadans start small businesses by removing a barrier to entry and getting them started on the “right track.” This would help develop additional revenues and reduce the need for social services (thus helping the bottom line of the state). I have additional ideas, which are available at https://ellenspiegel.com/vision
What makes you the most qualified candidate for this position?
I have 40 years of business experience, including 24 years as a business owner, plus a decade of legislative service, which gives me the tools to get the job done. For five terms in the Nevada Assembly, I worked with three different governors — two Republicans and one Democrat — each of whom signed my bills into law. My legislative accomplishments included insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions (AB170, 2019); marriage equality (AB229, 2017); and bringing Nevadans closer to equal pay for equal work (AB106 and AB276, 2017).
During my tenure, I held various leadership positions. In 2019, I was chairman of the House Trade and Labor Committee; in 2017, I was Assistant Majority Whip, and over the years I’ve served as vice-chair of a number of committees and subcommittees, including Revenue (then called Taxation), Transportation, and the subcommittee Ways & Means on K-12 / Higher Education / Capital Improvement Programs. In addition, I served two full terms on the interim finance committee.
In short, I know where the money comes from, where the money goes and I have ideas to help the State make better use of its assets.
I graduated from Cornell University, with a degree in consumer economics, and was proud to be an e-commerce pioneer. Among my accomplishments: I helped bring The Weather Channel online; developed the first-ever online store for people to buy software and download it to their computers; and has been instrumental in developing Internet privacy and email marketing guidelines that protect consumers. My career started in financial services, working at companies like American Express and Lloyds Bank, and I also got a license to sell life insurance and mutual funds. Today, my consulting firm supports companies in risk management, quality assurance; strategic and business planning; and leadership development/mentoring.