Dennis Chan Celebrates 35 Years with Mercury Air Group

Dennis Chan Celebrates 35 Years with Mercury Air Group

Dennis ChanMercury’s Tax Manager,  Dennis Chan,  joined  Mercury Air Group’s corporate team in 1981, and shortly thereafter, married his wife.  “My marriage has lasted as long as my job,” he says with a chuckle, “I’m a pretty steady person.”  2016 marks the 35-year anniversary for both.

After graduating from Baruch College, a unit of City University of New York (CUNY),  he began working as an accountant with Cambridge Book Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of the New York Times. After three years there, he decided to head for the west coast.

Chan started with Mercury as a temporary employee. Not long after he started with the company, he became involved with a tax audit, and he spent his early days trying to square away problems with the company’s taxes.

Today he leads a two-person team to ensure the company aligns with tax laws and auditors, and oversees the compliance of all the fuel sales and tax returns, and federal excise tax returns. He also manages the property taxes for the warehouse facilities and other Mercury-owned properties.

“Tax work sounds pretty boring and tedious to a lot of people, but I find it very challenging,” he said.  Mercury is a big company with a presence in much of the country, he points out. With that, “every state sets their own rules…They have different rates, or the way they impose taxation on jet fuel - some not at all, some at different rates - it’s always a challenge,” he said.

He has also enjoyed the unique travel opportunities that have been available to him.  In the past, Mercury had an “open sky” program where employees could travel standby on flights to destinations all over the world. Chan said he took advantage of the program often, and he was able to visit many cities in Europe.  While the open sky program no longer exists, Chan still enjoys the occasional business trip to China or Hong Kong, where he is helping to develop working relationships with some of Mercury’s Asian airline customers.

One of the accomplishments he’s most proud of during his tenure with Mercury Air Group occurred in 2010. At the time, one of Mercury’s businesses was given an assessed one million dollars, which didn’t sit well with Chan. “They were saying the ramp services and miscellaneous airport support services were subject to sales taxes,” when they actually were not.  Through his own research of the tax regulations and previous audits, he was able to lower the million-dollar assessment down to zero.

During his 35 years at Mercury, he says that teamwork is what makes him and his co-workers successful and kept him in the job as long as it has.  “We depend on each other,” he said. “Whether it’s data entries, or generating reports, or the sales people bringing in new customers for us, I think that’s what it is, working together as a team,” Chan said.

When he’s not at working, Chan enjoys swimming and alpine skiing.  Aside from celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary, he and his wife also welcomed a grandchild last year with their son who lives in San Diego.

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