Moderators, Speakers and Panelists

WINWORD_2018-06-07_15-14-44Albert Betts, Jr.
Executive Director, Insurance Council of Texas

Albert Betts, Jr. is the executive director of the Insurance Council of Texas, a non-profit trade association representing the interests of nearly 500 property and casualty insurers doing business in Texas.

Previously, Albert was a partner at the law firm of Thompson Coe Cousins and Irons, LLP, practicing in the firm’s Insurance law and Governmental and Legislative Advocacy Group. His practice focused on representing clients before the Texas Department of Insurance and other regulatory agencies, including representing and advising insurance trade associations, insurance companies, and other clients on insurance business transactions and regulations, as well as advocating for clients’ interests before the Texas legislature and other government officials.

In 2005, he was appointed, by Texas Governor Rick Perry, as the first Commissioner of Workers’ Compensation for the State of Texas. Albert was reappointed in 2007 and served as Commissioner from 2005 through 2008. Prior to being appointed Commissioner, Mr. Betts served as Chief of Staff for the Texas Department of Insurance.

Overall, Mr. Betts has nearly 25 years experience as a lawyer and public policy administrator including prior experience at the Department of Insurance, the State Office of Risk Management, Texas Attorney General, and the former Texas Workers’ Compensation Commission. He is also co-editor of the Texas Workers’ Compensation Handbook and is a frequent speaker to insurance, risk management, and employer groups on property and casualty insurance and workers’ compensation issues.

He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin and his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law, and has been a licensed attorney since 1991.

Erika CopelandErika Copeland
Associate, Stone Loughlin and Swanson, LLP

Erika Copeland. Prior to joining Stone Loughlin & Swanson, LLP, Ms. Copeland was an Administrative Law Judge for the Texas Workers’ Compensation Commission/Division of Workers Compensation from 1997 to 2009.  Ms. Copeland also served as Director of the Designated Doctor Outreach and Oversight for the Division of Workers’ Compensation from 2009 to May 2013.  Ms. Copeland worked in private practice from 1991 to 1997 in Abilene, Texas.

Robert StokesRobert Stokes
Partner, Flahive Ogden & Latson, PC

Robert D. Stokes. A Texas native and Shareholder of Flahive, Ogden & Latson, Robert (Bobby) Stokes is a skilled litigator with more than 30 years’ diversified experience in the field of workers’ compensation law and is Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Civil Appellate Law and Workers’ Compensation Law. He earned his BA at Abilene Christian University and holds a J.D. from Baylor University, where he was managing editor of the Baylor Law Review.

Mr. Stokes heads his firm’s special client projects team, where he is currently involved with such diverse issues as Performance Based Oversight review (PBO), eBilling initiatives, TPA licensing issues, audit practices, and Health Care Network concerns. Moreover, he actively monitors agency rulemaking and legislative proposals on behalf of his clients.

Mr. Stokes is an advocate in workers’ compensation cases at the administrative level, in suits during the judicial review process, and before all Texas Courts of Appeals and the Texas Supreme Court. His high-profile appeals include Division of Workers’ Compensation v. Lumbermen’s Mutual Cas. Co., a case in which the appellate court disallowed a DWC effort to increase claimant impairment ratings through the use of agency “advisories”, In re: Crawford & Co., where the Texas Supreme Court abolished bad faith in Texas workers’ compensation cases, City of Laredo v. Garza, the style case requiring rigorous expert analysis to prove the existence of an injury, and Ins. Co. of the State of Pa., v. Muro, a case in which the Supreme Court reversed an award of Lifetime Income Benefits.  

Mr. Stokes is a past chair of the Texas Board of Legal Specialization as well as past chair of the Texas State Bar Committee on Jury Service. Mr. Stokes served six years on the State Bar Committee on Pattern Jury Charges, General Negligence and Intentional Torts and Workers’ Compensation. He is a Fellow in the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers, a member of the Travis County Bar Association and a Life Fellow of the Texas bar Foundation.

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Brian Allen
Vice President of Government Affairs, Mitchell

Brian Allen is a nationally recognized policy expert for workers’ compensation and insurance issues across the country. Allen currently serves as Vice President of Government Affairs for Mitchell’s Pharmacy Solutions team. In this role, Allen provides clients with insight into new legislation and regulations in pharmacy solutions and workers’ compensation.

Allen frequently authors articles and blogs on relevant issues and is a regular source to reporters working with the various trade journals. Allen is also a frequent speaker and panelist at several conferences and events around the country, including the Southern Association of Workers’ Compensation Administrators (SAWCA), WCI360, and the National Drug Abuse Summit, among others.

Allen lobbied nationally for workers’ compensation issues for over 14 years and has over 25 years of political experience. Allen is a former elected member of the Utah House of Representatives.  During his time in the government, Allen was actively engaged in the development of the Texas Drug Formulary Rule, the Tennessee Drug Formulary Rule and other critical rulemakings around the country. Additionally, he was a member of a special working group helping Assembly Member Perea in California draft the drug formulary legislation (AB1124).  Allen is currently engaged in California, New York, Pennsylvania, Montana, Louisiana and Arkansas on drug formulary proposals and is working with other states on managed care and reimbursement issues.

Allen has over 30 years of experience in the insurance industry as a licensed agent and agency manager for multi-line insurance agencies.  Allen is currently licensed and maintaining a Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation.

outlook_2019-01-09_11-29-36Brent Walker
SCLA, AHFI, Travelers

Brent Walker has been fighting insurance fraud for over twenty years. He investigated his first insurance fraud case as a police detective. Since then, Brent has held many roles within insurance company special investigation units (SIU), to include field investigations, major case, and regional management.

Brent frequently speaks on antifraud topics, has written several articles and has consulted on the development of antifraud software and online training.

In addition to his past law enforcement experience, he also served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. Presently, Brent volunteers with several antifraud organizations. This includes his current position as a director of the International Association of Special Investigation Units (IASIU), chairing the legislative and sponsorship committees and past service as a local chapter president. He is also on the government affairs committee for the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud and previously served as the education director for the local Claim Litigation Management chapter and as an education committee member for the National Health Care Antifraud Association (NHCAA). Brent also volunteers as a career mentor for veterans as they transition from military service to corporate careers.

Stuart ColburnStuart Colburn
Shareholder, Downs • Stanford, P.C.

Stuart Colburn is a shareholder of Downs Stanford and opened the Austin, Texas, office. He is board certified in Workers’ Compensation Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Mr. Colburn is an AV Rated lawyer by Martindale Hubbell. He is a certified lobbyist and attends Legislative meetings and hearings. Mr. Colburn is the firm’s representative at Division meetings. He has extensive experience in all phases of dispute resolution before the Division of Worker’s Compensation and in district courts across the state.  The State Bar of Texas Workers’ Compensation Section awarded Stuart “The Barb-wire Award” for lifetime service in the area of workers’ compensation. He also received the Comp Laude Award by Workcompcentral.com for his contributions as a defense attorney. Mr. Colburn was the founder and first Chair of the State Bar of Texas Workers’ Compensation Section.  He is a co-author of the Texas Workers’ Compensation Handbook published by LexisNexis.  Mr. Colburn served as a Contributing Editor for the Texas Insurance Code Annotated and contributor for The Complete Guide to Medicare Secondary Payer Compliance.  He serves on the Executive Committee of the LexisNexis Advisory Board for Larson’s on Workers’ Compensation.  He served as founder and first chair of executive committee for the workers’ compensation subgroup for Primerus Defense Institute.  He is extremely active in the education of attorneys, adjusters and employers for workers’ compensation and bad faith allegation and is certified by the Texas Department of Insurance as a continuing education provider. The Texas Bar CLE Staff awarded Mr. Colburn the Standing Ovation Award recognizing his efforts, commitment and leadership. A sought-after speaker, Mr. Colburn has delivered over five hundred speeches regarding Workers’ Compensation across the country. He also served as the Course Director for numerous programs including the Texas State Bar’s Advanced Workers’ Compensation Seminar and Texas Workers’ Compensation Forum.

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David Brenner
Partner, Burns Anderson Jury & Brenner, L.L.P.

David Brenner applies tenacious problem-solving abilities and an easygoing manner to his colleagues and clients. His grounded mindset helps him focus on the clients’ real issues and desires, so he can lead them to favorable outcomes, while maintaining the integrity of the judicial process.

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Sheila Gladstone
Attorney, Lloyd, Gosselink, Rochelle & Townsend, PC

Sheila Gladstone heads up Lloyd Gosselink’s Employment Law Practice Group and has over 30 years’ experience assisting employers with all aspects of employment law.  Sheila uses a direct approach and gives practical advice to help employers deal with personnel issues and employment regulations, so they can focus on their core mission or business. For several years running, she was among the five percent of Texas attorneys selected for the Texas Super Lawyers list, which recognizes outstanding professional achievement.

Sheila graduated with high honors from the University of Arizona College of Law in 1987, where she was an editor of the Law Review.

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Tina Wheeler
Risk Manager/Client Programs of ManpowerGroup

Tina Wheeler is the Risk Manager for the South Central Territory and Client Programs of ManpowerGroup. ManpowerGroup is a Fortune 150 company providing workplace solutions and HR services.  It is one of the largest staffing companies in the world and in the United States. With over 24 years of insurance expertise and experience, Tina provides risk, insurance, loss prevention, safety, and workers’ compensation management oversight for 14 states. She’s been with Manpower for over 13 years and is also licensed claims adjuster in the state of Texas.

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Andres Campo
Manager, Risk Finance

Andres Campo serves as the Manager of Risk Finance for The University of Texas System (UT System).  Mr. Campo is responsible for the oversight and direction of the systemwide risk finance programs for the UT System, its eight academic and six health institutions.

Mr. Campo has over 10 years in the risk management and insurance industry.  He has previously directed and implemented insurance, risk management, and continuity programs for the State of Texas, and has worked for a private insurance brokerage. 

Mr. Campo earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California – Los Angeles and a Master of Arts from American University.  He holds the designation of Associate in Risk Management and Associate in Insurance Services from the Insurance Institute of America, and Level I Professional Continuity Practitioner from the Federal Emergency Management Agency – Emergency Management Institute.

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Steve Nichols
Manager of Workers’ Compensation Services, Insurance Council of Texas

Steve Nichols is ICT’s Manager of Workers’ Compensation Services. As the program manager, he monitors regulatory, judicial and legislative developments that impacts ICT membership and represents ICT’s members before the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) and TDI’s Division of Workers’ Compensation. He also develops training and is the managing editor for all workers compensation newsletters and publications. Prior to joining ICT, Steve worked for the Texas Workers’ Compensation Commission as the manager of medical dispute resolution, APA hearing administrator, and mediator. He also served 23 years in the military on active duty and as a reservist as a paralegal and military law office manager. He retired from the Navy Reserves in 2005. Steve is a graduate of the University of Maryland and Troy State University. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Politics and Government from the University of Maryland.