Skip to main content

Your local TABC

July 12, 2017

TABC Names Finalist for New Executive Director

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has named Adrian Bentley Nettles as the lone finalist to serve as the agency's newest executive director. The pick was announced by commission Chairman Kevin J. Lilly following a special meeting Tuesday, July 11. The commission made the selection to replace former Executive Director Sherry Cook, who retired in May.

"This is an extremely important day for TABC," said Lilly, who joined Commissioner Ida Clement Steen in choosing the new executive director. "This selection is the first step in restoring the public's trust and making TABC a model of public service, transparency, and accountability."

Nettles is an attorney and owner of the Bryan-based Nettles Law PLLC, and a former member of the U.S. Army who held the rank of brigadier general. During his military career, Nettles served as general counsel for the Army Element Joint Force Headquarters of the Texas Army National Guard. He is a recipient of a Purple Heart and three Bronze Stars for service in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Lilly, who was appointed chairman of the commission by Governor Greg Abbott in May, said selection of a top-quality candidate for executive director was his first priority when he accepted the position.

"TABC is comprised of hundreds of remarkable men and women who are serving Texas every day," he said. "My primary goal was to appoint someone who will be a worthy leader to these outstanding public servants."

During Tuesday's special commission meeting, Lilly and Steen interviewed six candidates for the executive director's position, who were themselves selected from more than 80 applicants during the past weeks.

Lilly said he expects the new executive director to hit the ground running once he formally takes the reins at the agency.

"First and foremost, TABC serves the people of Texas," he said. "It's my expectation that the new executive director find ways to improve customer service statewide while upholding our public safety mission and acting as a careful steward of taxpayer funds. Today marks the beginning of a new chapter for this agency, and I'm confident General Nettles will lead TABC to a bright future."

Also during Tuesday's meeting, the Commission named TABC Executive Chief Robert Saenz as Interim Executive Director, who will serve until the new executive director takes over the position later this summer. The commission also named Assistant General Counsel Julie Allen to serve as Interim General Counsel following Emily Helm's resignation from the position on July 3.

The new executive director will begin work following formal acceptance of the job offer and the various background checks required for employment by the state. The next regular commission meeting is set for 10 a.m. July 25.

Media contact:
Chris Porter
TABC Public Information Officer
(512) 206-3462