Albert Betts, Jr.
Executive Director, Insurance Council of Texas
Albert Betts, Jr. has served as executive director since March 31, 2014. Prior to joining ICT, he 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. While there, he served as general counsel for ICT, and represented other insurance related clients at the Texas Department of Insurance and the Texas Legislature.
In 2005, he was appointed by then Texas Governor Rick Perry as the first Commissioner of Workers’ Compensation for the State of Texas, and reappointed in 2007. He served as Commissioner from 2005 through 2008. Prior to being appointed Commissioner, Betts served as Chief of Staff for the Texas Department of Insurance.
Overall, Betts has nearly 25 years experience as a lawyer, public policy administrator, and in executive management. 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.
Adjunt Instructor for the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security, Southern Nazarene University, and FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute in Emmetsburg, MD.
Jim was in Law Enforcement for 35 years, before retiring as a Captain with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP). He worked various road assignments with the OHP and was a member of their Bomb Squad and the Tactical Team. It was as a member of the Tactical Team that Jim was one of the first responders to the Oklahoma City Bombing in April 1995. Jim spent ten years in the OHP’s Special Operations Unit, six as the Troop Commander. He served 26 years as a member of the Oklahoma Army National Guard retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel.
Jim now serves as an adjunct instructor for the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security, Southern Nazarene University, and FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute in Emmetsburg, MD.
Gregory J. McKenna
Senior Vice President and Counsel to Gallagher Bassett Services, Inc.
Gregory J. McKenna serves as Senior Vice President and Counsel to Gallagher Bassett Services, Inc., a leading third party administrator serving customers in the administration of workers’ compensation, property and casualty lines of insurance coverage in the United States and internationally.
Mr. McKenna directs Gallagher Bassett’s internal and external communication strategy to enhance GB’s presence, performance, and participation with the major internal and external stakeholder groups, including GB’s executive leadership, business operation units, the public sector, the community, academic institutions, and industry associations.
He serves as the organization’s primary liaison to the media, conferences, and philanthropic groups on issues and events shaping our industry. He manages content distribution through various multimedia platforms, including our direct email platforms, the company intranet, subscription services, social media, publications, and industry presentations. He is the company’s primary spokesperson for GB’s emerging multimedia channels and frequent speaker and contributor at industry events and conferences. He is co-author of The Way, GB’s award-winning weekly briefing of state and federal affairs.
He is the immediate past Chair of the Medicare Advocacy Recovery Coalition based on Washington, DC, and is an officer and past Chair of the Association of Claims Professionals. He serves a Trustee for RISK PAC, the Political Action Committee of RIMS, the Risk and Insurance Management Society.
Prior to joining Gallagher Bassett in 2008, Mr. McKenna was a civil litigator with the firm of Cremer, Kopon, Shaughnessy & Spina, LLC, in Chicago. He holds a law degree from Loyola University Chicago School of Law (J.D. 2001), a Master’s Degree from Georgetown University (M.S. 1997) and a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Notre Dame (B.A. 1996). With his wife and three children, Mr. McKenna lives in the northwest suburbs of Chicago.
Michael Choo, MD MBA FACEP FAAEM CMRO
Chief Medical Officer/SVP
Dr. Michael Choo is Paradigm’s Chief Medical Officer. He maintains the company’s relationships with its network of consulting physicians and centers of excellence, and is responsible for enhancing clinical operations and leading outcomes research and development. He also teaches emergency medicine, internal medicine, and family practice residents at Wright State University’s Boonshoft School of Medicine.
Michael has more than 26 years’ experience as a clinician, academician, and healthcare executive. Before coming to Paradigm, he was President and CEO of CHM Regional Health System in Wilmington, Ohio, where he oversaw its transition from county-owned nonprofit to private-equityfunded for-profit hospital.
He was the Medical Director of Heart Emergency Center at Dayton Heart & Vascular Hospital, Chief of Emergency and Outpatient Medicine at Clinton Memorial Hospital, and Director of an occupational health clinic and a hyperbaric medicine and wound center. He also was founder and CEO of an emergency medicine physician group, Professional Emergency Specialists of Southern Ohio, for 20 years.
Michael holds his BA and MD from Boston University’s accelerated six-year honors program in medicine, as well as an MBA from the University of Tennessee’s Haslam Graduate School of Business. He is an oral board examiner for the American Board of Emergency Medicine, a fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a fellow and board member of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine.
James M. Loughlin
Partner, Stone Loughlin & Swanson, L.L.P.
James M. Loughlin is a partner in the law firm of Stone, Loughlin & Swanson. Mr. Loughlin’s practice consists primarily of representing workers’ compensation insurance carriers in indemnity and medical benefits disputes, regulatory compliance matters, subrogation, and complex claim consulting. He also represents employers in employer liability claims and workers’ compensation health care networks and political subdivisions in the drafting and review of network contracts as well as network formation and regulation. Mr. Loughlin has worked in private practice since 1996 and is board-certified in workers’ compensation law by the Texas Board of Legal specialization since 2004. From 1996 – 2004, he practiced at Wilson Grosenheider & Jacobs. In 2004, he became a founding partner of Stone, Loughlin & Swanson. Mr. Loughlin has an AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards. He is a member of the Austin Bar Association, the State Bar of Texas, and a Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation. From 2010 – 2016, he served as a member of the Texas Board of Legal Specialization Workers’ Compensation Law Advisory Commission. Mr. Loughlin graduated from Baylor University School of Law, where he was an editor for the Baylor Law Review, a member of the Order of Barristers, and served as Senior Class President of the Student Bar Association. Before law school, Mr. Loughlin graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor of science degree in political science.
Diana Johnson, better known as DJ, has been in the insurance industry for over 35 years, specializing in workers’ compensation claims and compliance. Her previous employers include two insurance carriers, AIG and CNA. In 1992, she began her career as a Third Party Administrator working for Gallagher Bassett where she has worked for 27 years.
She served as Gallagher Bassett Branch Manager from 1992 – 1997 and worked as the Texas Compliance Supervisor in multiple Texas offices until 2000.
She held positions with the North Central Zone as a Compliance Manager followed by a Compliance Assistant Vice President. In 2005, DJ began working on the implementation of the Texas legislative changes involving Third Party Administrator Rules, developing the Texas Heath Care Network and the creation of the Performance Based Oversight process.
This developed into the Assistant Vice President position in the Governmental Affairs department, in 2013. DJ worked as a point contact for the nonsubscriber coalition in Oklahoma and the expansion efforts into other key states.
Since 2016, she has held a position as a National Compliance Director in the Legal Department overseeing performance, audits, regulations and new laws in multiple states.
Deputy Commissioner of Compliance & Investigations for the Texas Department of Insurance-Division of Workers’ Compensation
Debra Knight accepted the position of deputy commissioner for Compliance & Investigations for the Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation in November of 2018. In this position, she is responsible for overseeing the monitoring, compliance, and investigation of violations. She is also responsible for enforcement efforts, including administrative violations, as well as prosecutions through the Division of Workers’ Compensation embedded prosecutor unit in Travis County.
Before joining the Division, Ms. Knight served as the associate commissioner of the legal section at the Texas Department of Insurance. In this role she oversaw the office of policy development counsel and office of financial counsel. Prior to joining the Texas Department of Insurance in July of 2013, Ms. Knight was in-house counsel with State Farm Insurance.
She is an accomplished attorney with over 24 years of experience which includes administrative law, insurance coverage analysis, compliance analysis, and first-party contractual and extra-contractual insurance litigation. Ms. Knight holds a JD from South Texas College of Law. In addition, she holds the Chartered Property and Casualty (CPCU) and Chartered Financial Underwriter (ChFC) designations.
Ms. Knight retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army Reserves. She served in a variety of military assignments including as a Public Affairs Officer in Iraq and as Command General Staff College Instructor, teaching leadership to mid-career U.S. Army Officers. She also assisted with the development and instruction in Ethiopia of a Strategic Studies curriculum to increase the capacity of Ethiopian, Southern Sudanese and Somaliland General Officers and Colonels. Just prior to her retirement, Ms. Knight served as the FEMA Region VI Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officer for Texas.
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.
Susan Mullins has more than 38 years of industry experience, and has been with York since 1989. Susan possesses particular expertise in Public Entities, including building and implementing 504 Physician Panels. Susan attended West Virginia State College and holds a Multi-line 08 Adjuster License and a Legal Principles Claims Specialist Certificate.
Brandi Young Prejean
Brandi Young Prejean is a Member in the Austin office of Thornton, Biechlin, Reynolds, and Guerra. Ms. Prejean defends insurance carriers, employers, self-insured employers and political subdivisions in employment and workers’ compensation matters. She oversees the Austin Representative Services, attends the Division’s public hearings on behalf of our clients and reports on same. Ms. Prejean also advises medical networks regarding compliance within the Texas workers’ compensation system. She is a frequent speaker at educational seminars regarding workers’ compensation matters and legislative changes in the insurance industry.
Chris Lam is currently employed with City of Fort Worth in the position of Workers’ Compensation Claims Manager. He has held that position since 2017. Chris’ experience has included Claims Manager, Safety Manager, Risk Analyst and Ombudsman. He currently oversees the day to day operation related to claims management. Chris is a graduate of Midwestern State University.