Officer Statements


Rob Barna, Chairperson

CTA Experience
Member since 2008
Board Member since 2009
Vice President 2010, 2011
President 2012 - 2016
Chairperson since 2016

Robert J Barna is a Senior Tax Manager in the Mergers and Acquisitions tax group of a “Big Four” public accounting firm in Manhattan.  Rob has also practiced public accounting in Connecticut and Florida. 

Rob is an attorney licensed to practice law in the state of Florida, and a Certified Public Accountant licensed to practice in the states of New York and Florida. Rob graduated from the University of Florida Levin College of Law with an LL.M. in Taxation in August 1998, and received his Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Nova-Southeastern University in May 1997.

Rob was first elected to the Board of Directors of Community Tax Aid in June 2009. In June of 2010, Rob was elected Vice President and President in 2012.  Rob assumed the role of Board Chair in June 2016. 

Rob is an avid traveler who has visited more than 50 countries on five continents (Australia and New Zealand are not too far off).


Emil Gomez, President

CTA Experience
Member since 1978

This season will mark my 36th year volunteering for CTA. I have been a Board member for over 20 years. I was a "newbie" to CTA in 1978 and did my first taxpayer interview on my own! I guess I did well because I progressed to experienced volunteer, assistant manager, and now manager. I was a college student and worked part-time at a stationery company doing its books in 1978. I am now a CPA and have been for over 30 years. During my school years, and in my career, there have been mentors who have helped me. Through CTA I learned that I have a skill that can make a difference in someone else's life. Volunteering for this organization is my way of returning the favor of my mentors.



Judy Russell, Vice President

CTA Experience
Member since 1997
Board Member since 1999
President 2009-2011
Board Chair 2012-2015
Vice President since 2016

Most of my life I was a math teacher.   Soon after I retired I saw a flier in the library inviting volunteers to come to Community Tax Aid, learn taxes and help others.   That was many years ago.  I’ve learned a lot about taxes.  I’ve helped a lot of people file tax returns.   I’ve watched children grow up and become tax payers themselves.   Each year I look forward to seeing them again.   It just makes me feel better than I ever thought it could.  And I’ve made friends among the other volunteers.   My volunteering continues to be challenging, fun, and rewarding in many ways.  I hope to do it for many more years.



Jim Schiller, Treasurer

CTA Experience
Member since 1975
Board member since the early 1980s
Treasurer for as long as we can remember

Volunteer Experience: during the 1st year, at a Brooklyn site for a week or two, and then in the South Bronx. The second year I started managing in East Harlem.

 Work Experience: Peat Marwick (now KPMG) from 1974 until my retirement in 1996, working in the tax department with an expertise in international banking.

 Leisure activities: Folk dancing

 ”I found CTA through a tax course I was taking at Baruch. The professor came in with flyers. I have worked with many fine people over the years and have enjoyed helping the community.”



Tomer Chen, Secretary

CTA Experience
Member since: 2012
Board Member since 2013
Vice President: 2013-2015
Chairperson : 2015-2016
Secretary since: 2016

Tomer Chen is currently a State and Local Tax Associate at DDK, a public firm. A Certified Public Accountant licensed in New York, he has a MS in Taxation from Baruch College and previously earned an MBA in Accountancy and Finance from Baruch College and, before that, a BS in Finance from the University of Maryland at College Park.

Tomer found out about the CTA program from a colleague of his in the Baruch MBA program. When not at work, school or volunteering, Tomer is an avid reader.