Women & Business February 2016: Sue Zemba
Zemba is Senior Manager, State Taxes & Pa Government Affairs SPA for Alcoa.
Senior Manager, State Taxes & PA Government Affairs SPA
Sue Zemba, a small-town girl from Ansted, W.Va., discovered in college that she wanted to work in the corporate tax field.
“Corporation Income Taxation was one of my most exciting, fun and challenging classes,” says Zemba. “With federal legislation enacted frequently, the rules change and a new challenge arises. I thought I was up for the challenge!“
She earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va., and a master’s degree in taxation from Robert Morris University.
Zemba held several jobs in the tax field (with Arthur Andersen and H. K. Porter Co.) before landing a job at Alcoa in 1989, a company she’s since been with for more than 25 years. She joined the company in the federal tax area, and a decade later, she transferred into the role of manager of state income and franchise taxes as well as indirect taxes. In addition, she is the “single point of accountability” for the state government affairs group.
“Alcoa is a values-driven company with a world-class tax department, offering the type of challenges I saw in college,” says Zemba. “These challenges, opportunities and my co-workers have kept me engaged and content all these many years. I didn’t need to go elsewhere.”
Alcoa’s team of 60,000 people in 30 countries works to solidify the company as a global leader in lightweight metals technology, engineering and manufacturing. Their technologies enhance transportation and improve industrial and consumer electronic products.
Zemba is responsible for ensuring accuracy in compliance in all U.S. jurisdictions and more. Zemba credits her “talented, experienced staff” in helping to meet those responsibilities. Alcoa is a member of CompetePA, a coalition of businesses and organizations that want to see the state compete successfully for new jobs and investment. Zemba represents the company’s interests in her government affairs role, which has allowed her to meet with various legislators regarding the tax competitiveness of Pennsylvania.
In 2016, Alcoa will transition into two, publicly held Fortune 500 companies. Zemba will help ensure that the state areas have the talents needed to perform all state tax-related tasks and will continue to improve the business tax environment of Pennsylvania.