H&R Block Executives
Meet the leadership of H&R Block.
Get to know the members of the H&R Block executive team.
Jeffrey J. Jones IIPresident and CEO
Jones brings 27 years of executive management, innovative leadership and operational excellence to the company after having held key roles at top companies in the retail, consumer products, agency and technology industries.
As Uber’s first president of the global ride sharing business, he had accountability for a $20 billion-plus business and operations in over 450 cities and 70 countries. Before Uber, Jones was executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Target from 2012 to 2016, and served as a senior member of the company’s four primary operating groups: core business, strategy and innovation, talent, and risk and reputation. Additionally, he helped lead the brand and business back from the 2013 data breach, and launched a variety of major initiatives that drove traffic, brand affinity and loyalty.
Prior to Target, Jones held executive and leadership roles in various sales, agency and marketing roles with iconic brands such as The Coca-Cola Company, Gap and Leo Burnett, where he served General Motors, Miller Brewing and Procter & Gamble.
Jones currently serves as an advisor to GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, The Mayo Clinic, and Brit+Co. Over the years, he has been a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO); advised early-stage technology companies such as Zoove, Curious Sense and Point Inside; and served various non-profit and industry organizations such as Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center, Durham Academy, The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Coach K Center on Leadership and Ethics at Fuqua Business School, and the Association of National Advertisers. Jones speaks regularly on business transformation, creating modern organizations, ethics and leadership, and crisis management.
He was named “One to Watch” by the Wall Street Journal, “Marketer of the Year” by Mass Market Retailer, “2016 Power Player” by AdAge, “One of the World’s Most Influential CMO’s” by Forbes, and “Top 20 Social CMO’s” by Fortune. His work has been profiled by Harvard Business Review and in the books, Rebuilding Empires, What the New Breed of CMO’s Know That You Don’t, and Chief Marketing Officers At Work.
Jones is a graduate of the University of Dayton and Fork Union Military Academy.
Tony BowenChief Financial Officer
Since joining the company in 2004, Bowen has held many senior leadership roles, most recently as the Vice President of Finance for H&R Block’s U.S. Tax Services division since 2013.
In this position, he was in charge of business planning and analysis, budgeting, forecasting, and acquisitions and development for the 10,000-plus U.S. retail locations. Before that, Bowen was the Vice President and General Manager of H&R Block’s DIY Tax Services business, managing the online, mobile and desktop software products.
Previously, Bowen served in a variety of roles for the company and its subsidiaries, including Assistant Vice President of Corporate Development, Program Director of Finance, Director of Hedging, and Senior Treasury Analyst.
Prior to joining H&R Block, Bowen held positions with American Century Investments and George K. Baum and Company.
Bowen holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he majored in Finance / Money and Banking. Bowen is also a CFA Charterholder and member of the CFA Institute.
Kathy CollinsChief Marketing and Strategy Officer
As Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer, Collins is responsible for all brand marketing capabilities, including consumer insights, advertising, merchandising, creative services, interactive marketing, and media. She is also responsible for developing and implementing all retail tax strategies and programs across a number of consumer targets. She manages partnerships, sponsorships, and cause marketing programs for the H&R Block brand. She is also responsible for corporate public relations and internal communications.
In October 2014, Collins joined the Ad Council board where she advises the Council on national public service campaigns. In 2016, she was a co-chair for the American Heart Association Go Red for Women Kansas City event, where they set a new city record in fundraising for the event. Also in 2016, Fortune magazine recognized her as one of its Most Powerful Women and a member of the MPW Insider Network. Collins is a regular contributor to this network of business leaders who share advice about careers, business strategy and the latest business trends. She currently advises the Dean of the Business College at Kansas State University, as well as the Marketing Chair at University of Missouri – Kansas City.
Collins has extensive experience in marketing research and strategic brand development. Prior to joining H&R Block, she spent nearly 15 years at Lee Jeans, a division of VF Corporation. She is credited with launching the award-winning Buddy Lee campaign, which drove to a sales increase of 150% in two years. She also was one of several Lee employees who developed Lee National Denim Day, an award-winning cause marketing initiative that raises awareness and money for the fight against breast cancer. After ten years, Lee National Denim Day raised more than $65 million and continues to be the largest single-day fundraiser for breast cancer in the world.
Collins began her career in marketing at Informix Software in Lenexa, Kansas, where she worked primarily on new product launches and public relations. She later worked with Microsoft’s Bill Gates on the launch of the first Windows operating system.
Collins has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from Kansas State University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Arizona State University. She is married and has two children.
Tom GerkeGeneral Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer
Prior to his expanded duties, Gerke served as Chief Legal Officer of H&R Block overseeing legal and government relations since joining H&R Block in 2012.
Gerke brings years of executive, legal and staff management experience to the company, including recent roles in telecom as Executive Vice Chairman for CenturyLink, President and Chief Executive Officer of Embarq, and General Counsel for Embarq with additional responsibilities for its Wholesale Markets business unit. Starting in 1994, he served in various leadership and legal roles at Sprint Corporation, including Executive Vice President, Law and External Affairs. Prior to his service at Sprint, Gerke spent nine years in private legal practice focused primarily on strategic corporate transactions. In addition to telecom and private practice, Gerke previously served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel for YRC Worldwide.
Gerke currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Consolidated Communications Holdings, Inc. (NADAQ: CNSL) and TEGP Management, LLC, the general partner of Tallgrass Energy GP, LP (NYSE: TEGP). He serves or has served on several local boards, including Rockhurst University and the Kansas City Local Investment Commission. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Missouri in Columbia, his Master of Business Administration degree from Rockhurst University, and his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Missouri School of Law in Kansas City.
Kip KnightSenior Vice President, U.S. Franchise and International
Knight, who joined H&R Block in 2012, previously served as President, U.S. Retail Operations, and prior to that, as President, International and U.S. Franchise Operations. Before joining H&R Block, Knight’s 30-year career has included senior management and marketing positions with Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, YUM! Brands and eBay.
Knight began his career in marketing research at Burke Marketing Research and has worked in 65 countries. He spent 10 years in brand management at Procter & Gamble and worked for 10 years in PepsiCo’s international restaurant division, where he served as General Manager of North Latin America and as the first head of marketing for KFC International. Knight was also Chief Marketing Officer for Taco Bell.
From 2002 until 2008, Knight worked at eBay, the world’s largest e-commerce site. He was Vice-President of marketing for eBay, North America. He was also responsible for managing eBay Canada, the leading e-commerce site in Canada. He was the first head of International Marketing and served as Regional Vice President for eBay International for Latin America, Australia and Taiwan.
Knight is founder of the U.S. Marketing Communication College at the U.S. State Department, which trains diplomats on marketing strategy and implementation.
He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from Louisiana State University and his Master of Business Administration from the University of Cincinnati.
Alan LowdenSenior Vice President, Chief Information Officer
Prior to being named Chief Information Officer, Lowden served in a several executive roles at H&R Block, including General Manager of Block Advisors, Vice President of Client Experience, and Vice President of Technology for H&R Block’s retail tax and DIY systems. During his tenure, he led the design, integration, and launch of key systems such as a new tax preparation engine and a customer relationship management platform. These technologies are the foundational elements that enable a seamless, omni-channel experience for H&R Block's clients.
Before joining H&R Block in 2012, Lowden was the Vice President of Enterprise Government for Lexmark Enterprise Software. He also started a management and technology consulting firm and held several strategic roles with Accenture earlier in his career, where he led solution architecture and development for several large scale digital transformation projects. Lowden is a graduate of the University of Kansas.
Karen OroscoSenior Vice President, U.S. Retail
Prior to her current role, Orosco was the Vice President of Retail Operations. During her six years in this role, she led the implementation of the company’s new tax preparation system and the redesign of the training and operational functions to better support clients, franchisees and company associates across the country.
During her tenure at H&R Block, Orosco has held a variety of technology, operations and client service positions including serving as Vice President, Information Technology and Vice President, Strategic Sourcing. Her diverse leadership background on major initiatives such as the creation of an offshore development center and the design of the corporate headquarters in Kansas City has given her an appreciation for the importance of careful planning, disciplined execution, and strong partnership.
Orosco holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from the University of Houston and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Kansas. She received the Henry Bloch Community Service Award in 2012.
Heather WattsSenior Vice President, DIY Tax
Heather has been with H&R Block in various marketing and product development roles since 1997. Prior to leading the DIY tax team, she was Vice President of Digital Client Experience. She also was Director of Product Development where she led all consumer software and online product development for H&R Block's DIY tax products.
Earlier in her H&R Block career, as Program Director to the Chairman and CEO, she was responsible for managing and coordinating the operational functions of the Executive Department. She worked across department and business unit lines to address strategic, operational and financial issues. Heather also provided assistance with business and strategic planning, communications and general management functions.
Heather earned her degree in communications with an emphasis in marketing from Truman State University. She is a graduate of H&R Block's The Leadership Experience and completed the UMKC Bloch School of Business Executive Education program.
She currently serves as Executive Committee Member of The Free File Alliance as well as a Board Member on the UMKC Executive Education Advisory Board.