Speakers

Dan Paschal
Deputy Commissioner of Policy and Customer Services, Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC)

Paschal is a licensed attorney and a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Houston Law Center. He is a veteran of the U.S. Navy Reserve, where he served as an intelligence officer. 

Before serving with DWC, Paschal worked with the Texas Transportation Commission as a director at TxDOT. He spent several years as a staffer in the Texas House of Representatives and Governor’s Office.

Dan Paschal is the Deputy Commissioner of Policy and Customer Services at the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC). He has been with DWC since January 2017. He manages customer service, communications, research, and self-insurance regulation. In addition, he serves as the Subsequent Injury Fund Administrator.

Michael Pichinson
Associate General Counsel, Texas Association of Counties

Michael joined TAC in 2011 as an Associate General Counsel and served as the Director of Legislative Services in 2019 before becoming General Counsel in 2020. He began his local government service as a First Assistant County Attorney in Liberty County, a position he held for nine years. Michael then served as General Counsel and legislative liaison for the Texas Conference of Urban Counties (CUC) and Public Power Pool for several years. Before joining TAC, Michael was the General Counsel for Rodman, LLC in Dallas.

Dr. Monica Verduzco-Gutierrez
Professor and Chair, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Lozano Long School of Medicine, UT Health San Antonio | Medical Director, Critical Illness Recovery / Neurorehabilitation, Warm Springs Rehabilitation Hospital San Antonio

I am a physician in the field of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R). I received my medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine. I completed by internship and then residency in PM&R. I joined medical staff at TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital in October 2009 after I completed my PM&R residency training. I was an attending at TIRR Memorial Hermann through March 2020 where I was the medical director of the Brain Injury and Stroke Program and co-medical director of the TIRR Outpatient and Specialty Clinic.

I care for outpatients and inpatients recovering from traumatic brain injury, stroke, neurotrauma, and now COVID-19, and have published dozens of peer-reviewed articles on those topics. My hospital affiliations now include University Hospital in the University Health System, Warm Springs Rehabilitation Hospital, and Post-Acute Medical. I am the Chair of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. I am the Medical Director of Critical Illness Recovery and Neurorehabilitation at Warm Springs Rehabilitation Hospitals. I teach medical students and PM&R resident physicians and have won teaching awards for clinical excellence. I am also involved as a leader in the hospital and medical school with particular attention to diversity and equity and was awarded a Top 25 Women in Healthcare Award for Houston in 2019.

Angie Cervantes
Government & Legislative Affairs Manager, ICT

Angie has served as ICT’s Government & Legislative Affairs manager since January 2020.  She has 15 years’ experience working in the Texas legislature, with legislative advocacy organizations, and other business trade associations.  She previously worked with the Senate Business and Commerce Committee on a variety of issues, including property and casualty insurance and most recently led government relations for a non-profit trade association.

Angie obtained her B.A. in English and Government from the University of Texas at Austin and her Master of Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.

Albert Betts, Jr.
Executive Director, Insurance Council of Texas

Albert has served as Executive Director of Insurance Council of Texas 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, Mr. Betts served as Chief of Staff for the Texas Department of Insurance.

Overall, Albert has nearly 30 years of 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.

Rod Bordelon
Policy and Regulatory Affairs Consultant, Granite Public Affairs

Rod Bordelon is an attorney and regulatory affairs consultant in Austin, Texas with over 30 years
of experience in insurance, workers’ compensation and legislative affairs.
An eleven term gubernatorial appointee, Rod was appointed as the Commissioner of Workers’
Compensation in Texas by Governor Rick Perry from 2008 to 2014. He previously held
appointed positions as Texas Public Insurance Counsel under Governor Rick Perry and
Governor George W. Bush.

As Commissioner he implemented extensive reforms to the workers’ compensation system in
Texas, including adopting the first in the nation pharmacy formulary for workers’ compensation,
restructuring and increasing medical quality review and enforcement, and streamlining and
expediting dispute resolution.

As Public Insurance Counsel, he was instrumental in implementing flexible file and use rate and
form procedures in property and casualty lines of insurance, reducing regulatory delays and
increasing competition in the insurance marketplace.
Rod is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and South Texas College of Law in
Houston.

He is a Senior Fellow with the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a frequent speaker at insurance,
workers’ compensation and legislative and regulatory conferences, and has served on
numerous boards and commissions in Texas and nationally.

Ryan Brannan
Principal, The Brannan Firm

Ranked in the top three agency leader lobbyists by the Texas Lobby Power Rankings, Ryan Brannan is the founder and principal of the Brannan Firm, a results-oriented government affairs firm, and serves as counsel to the law firm of Glast, Phillips & Murray. Ryan has extensive knowledge and experience in Texas’ legislative and regulatory arenas. 

Prior to founding the Brannan Firm, Ryan served in the executive branch of state government. A three-time gubernatorial appointee, Brannan has been appointed by both Governor Greg Abbott and Governor Rick Perry to serve as the Commissioner of Workers’ Compensation, leading a state agency with over 600 employees and a biannual budget of more than $100 million. Prior to his appointments, he served as an advisor to Governor Rick Perry in the Office of Budget, Planning and Policy working on a broad range of policy issues.

Before “going inside” state government, Ryan advocated in and around the capitol for private and public organizations. He began his public policy career in the D.C. offices of Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. 

Ryan’s cumulative experience on budget and policy issues includes appropriations and procurement, insurance, public health, tort reform, consumer finance, transportation and infrastructure, water rights, land use, eminent domain, gaming, racing, electricity, and telecommunications. His work has been published or mentioned in at least 16 periodicals, including the Wall Street Journal, the Texas Bar Journal, Texas Lawyer, the Dallas Morning News, the Houston Chronicle, and the Austin-American Statesman.