Bentley Nettles was appointed TABC executive director in 2017 following successful careers as an attorney and brigadier general for the Texas Army National Guard. Since his appointment, Nettles has guided TABC through the state Sunset process and has identified new ways to increase agency effectiveness while improving customer service and efficiency. Working with TABC employees and stakeholders from the alcoholic beverage industry, Nettles spearheaded new initiatives to fight human trafficking and improve industry outreach. Following the agency's recent successes, the 86th Texas Legislature provided a historic investment in TABC.
Nettles graduated from Texas A&M University in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in business management and earned his law degree from the South Texas College of Law in 1987. He also earned a Master of Homeland Defense and Security from the Naval Postgraduate School and served a military fellowship at Tufts University's Fletcher School of International Law and Diplomacy.
While attending Texas A&M, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army and made platoon leader — and later company commander — for multiple National Guard units. Nettles has deployed to multiple combat theaters around the world, including Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq. He has received numerous military decorations including the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal with two oak leaf clusters and the Purple Heart. Before his retirement from the military, Nettles served as General Counsel for the Army Element Joint Force Headquarters in Austin. Following his separation from the Army in 2015, Nettles operated a successful law firm in Bryan assisting small businesses and veterans. He is a founding member and chairman of Brazos Valley Cares, a nonprofit dedicated to serving military veterans and their families, as well as many other boards and organizations in the Brazos Valley.