TABC Executive Director A. Bentley Nettles Announces Intent To Retire
AUSTIN — Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission Executive Director A. Bentley Nettles has announced his intent to retire as the agency’s 14th director of day-to-day operations, following a five-year tenure that saw the regulatory agency achieve new highs in customer service, public safety and modernization.
Nettles, who was appointed by the commission in May 2017, will retire from the position on April 30, 2022, after a career in public service spanning 37 years. Nettles will work with the five-member commission to help select his successor, who will take leadership of an agency responsible for regulating more than 58,000 businesses across Texas.
“As General George S. Patton said during World War II, ‘All good things must come to an end,’” Nettles said. “This decision has been a long time in the making, and I wanted to ensure that TABC was in a good place prior to a transition in leadership. Thanks to the hard work of our more than 600 employees and their dedication to service across Texas, I believe now is the right time to announce my retirement.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Nettles’ tenure as executive director promoted the state’s alcoholic beverage industry while helping keep Texans safe.
“General Nettles’ leadership as executive director of TABC has made Texas safer and our businesses better,” Abbott said. “On behalf of all Texans, I thank General Nettles for his 37 years of tremendous service to the Lone Star State and congratulate him on his retirement.”
Nettles was appointed to lead TABC after successful careers as an attorney and as a member of the Texas Army National Guard, where he rose to the rank of brigadier general. His experience leading large organizations during times of transition was key to his selection as executive director, according to TABC Chairman Kevin Lilly.
“There’s no question that General Nettles was the best person for the job,” Lilly said. “TABC faced incredible challenges when he came on board, and thanks in large part to his leadership, he will leave behind a stronger, more modern and more trusted agency. I speak for the entire commission when I offer our thanks for a job well done and well wishes for what will surely be a bright future. I would also be remiss in not lauding his efforts in developing what is now considered one of the premier law enforcement agencies in fighting the scourge of human trafficking.”
TABC reached numerous milestones under Nettles’ leadership, including the successful implementation of historic legislative changes and recommendations from the Sunset Advisory Commission following its review of the agency in 2019. Those include the consolidation of multiple license and permit types, bringing the total number of permit types from 75 to 37; new standards that make it easier for malt beverage manufacturers to enter the industry; and efficiencies in policy and rulemaking to make the process more transparent while ensuring stakeholder participation.
Nettles also oversaw the creation of numerous internal and external agency programs, including:
- A regulatory warning system to help businesses avoid administrative penalties and fees.
- A standardized penalty schedule for use when assessing administrative violations.
- A TCOLE-approved training program to help peace officers investigate suspected human trafficking.
- The Target Responsibility for Alcohol-Connected Emergencies (TRACE) unit, which ensures an immediate response to incidents such as DWIs, assaults or homicides.
- A top-to-bottom redesign and update of the TABC website.
- The Alcohol Industry Management System (AIMS), a new online portal allowing business owners to apply for licenses and permits, file reports and more from their computers or mobile devices.
- The Empowering Texas Veterans Initiative, which assists service members seeking to start a business in the alcoholic beverage industry.
- The agency’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which allowed businesses to operate safely while ensuring compliance with state health and safety guidelines.
“I couldn’t be prouder of everything TABC has accomplished over the past five years, and it was all thanks to the incredible work of our TABC employees and of the alcoholic beverage industry,” Nettles said. “I can’t thank them enough for all they’ve done to serve the people of Texas. First and foremost, however, I owe a deep debt to my wife Tracey. Everything I’ve accomplished throughout my career is thanks to her support and love, and I’m truly grateful for everything she’s done for me and our two boys over the years. I’m looking forward to dedicating more time for my family while enjoying the opportunity to read about TABC’s future accomplishments.”
To learn more about TABC and its mission, visit tabc.texas.gov.
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