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July 26, 2022

Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission names Thomas Graham as next Executive Director

Agency veteran will head up day-to-day operations as state’s top alcohol regulator

AUSTIN — The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has selected long-time employee Thomas Graham to lead the agency as executive director. 

Graham, who currently serves as director of Excise Tax and Marketing Practices as well as interim director of Licensing, succeeds outgoing executive director Bentley Nettles. Graham has been an integral part of positively transforming TABC since his start with the agency in 2005. He began as an auditor and was assigned to field offices in Waco, Bryan, San Marcos and Austin. Graham was promoted in 2008 to head up the Marketing Practices office at TABC’s Austin headquarters, where he reviewed and approved statewide marketing programs for alcoholic beverage manufacturers and distributors. 

In 2013, Graham was promoted to director of Excise Tax and Marketing Practices, overseeing the collection of more than $300 million in excise taxes and other fees annually. He has additionally served as interim Director of Licensing since June 2022, overseeing the licensing and permitting process for more than 58,000 alcohol manufacturers, distributors and retailers across Texas. 

“Thomas is an exemplary public servant, an outstanding manager, and an even better husband and father,” said TABC Chairman Kevin J. Lilly. “His knowledge of the alcoholic beverage industry, as well as his knack for developing relationships and building trust with the businesses we serve makes him an outstanding choice to lead TABC into the future.” 

Graham said he looks forward to working with industry members to continue to build Texas as an economic success story. 

“I’m incredibly grateful to the commission for this opportunity,” he said. “This agency’s success is built both on the hard work of our industry members as well as the men and women who work at TABC. I’m honored to work with both these groups as we continue to build a safe and successful industry.” 

Graham holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government from the University of Texas at Austin and is a graduate of the Governor’s Executive Development Program at UT’s Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. 

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Media Contact:

Chris Porter

TABC Public Information Officer

(512) 206-3462