On June 12, the Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ Compensation hosted a formal event to commemorate the law’s 100 years and to honor an individual who has had a significant impact on the law. Theresa Montgomery, the chief state photographer in Nashville, captured the highlights below. To see all of her wonderful photos of this event, click here.
This beautiful ice sculpture adorned the entrance to the event, which took place at the Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro.
Judge Tim Conner of the Appeals Board entertained the room with music spanning the last 100 years.
Angela Tipps, a professor with the School of Music at Middle Tennessee State University, also performed. She is married to Judge Dale Tipps of the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims, who turned her pages like pro.
Presiding Judge Marshall Davidson offered a historical perspective of significant changes in the Workers’ Compensation Law over the first 100 years.
Judge Robert Durham of the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims re-enacted the opposing views of Tennessee lawmakers in 2019 while the so-called “Grand Bargain” was a mere bill. Spoiler alert: the law passed.
Jennifer Wolf, executive director of the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions in Madison, Wis., came from afar to congratulate Tennessee on the law’s centennial.
Jeff Francis, the Bureau’s assistant administrator, presented the inaugural Sue Ann Head Award. Ms. Head served the Bureau for over 30 years. She spearheaded countless beneficial changes to the law and agency over her tenure. She was widely respected as a national leader in workers’ compensation.
Terry Hill, a partner with Manier & Herod in Nashville, received the Sue Ann Head Award. Mr. Hill is a highly-regarded workers’ compensation practitioner, who also volunteered his service in writing and helping to secure the passage of countless legislative refinements in the law over the past few decades. Ms. Head’s daughter, Molly Head Sudderth, is in the middle, next to Bureau administrator Abbie Hudgens.
The Insurors of Tennessee were among the many groups who sponsored tables at the event. Here, they are shown happily displaying their copies of “A Century of Progress and Perspective: Workers’ Compensation in Tennessee.” All attendees received a copy of the book, authored by a handful of dedicated Bureau staffers/history buffs who donated hundreds of hours to see the project through. At the far right of this photo is attorney Mike Shinnick, a runner-up for the Sue Ann Head Award.
The Bureau’s medical director, Dr. Robert Snyder, and mediation specialist Ginny Lynch dressed to the nines and smiled brightly for the camera.
Bureau employees from west Tennessee also cleaned up nicely and enjoyed themselves.
All 12 judges from the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims were in attendance. They are, left to right, the Honorable Dale Tipps, Joshua Davis Baker, Allen Phillips, Brian Addington, Robert Durham, Lisa Lowe, Kenneth Switzer, Pamela Johnson, Amber Luttrell, Audrey Headrick, Deana Seymour and Thomas Wyatt.
Bureau administrator Abbie Hudgens closed the event with her words of encouragement to attendees to continue to fulfill the promise of workers’ compensation for the next 100 years and beyond.