Moderators, Speakers and Panelists
Albert 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.
Commissioner of Workers’ Compensation
On February 7, 2019, Governor Greg Abbott reappointed Cassie Brown as Commissioner of Workers’ Compensation for a term set to expire on February 1, 2021. TDI’s Division of Workers’ Compensation regulates the workers’ compensation system in Texas, ensuring injured workers receive the necessary benefits to quickly return to work, and that workers’ compensation costs are kept at a reasonable level for Texas employers.
Cassie Brown served as deputy commissioner for Regulatory Policy at the Texas Department of Insurance since 2011. Previously, she served as a policy advisor to Governor Rick Perry.
Brown received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from St. Edward’s University and attended the Governor’s Executive Development Program at The University of Texas LBJ School of Public Affairs.
Public Counsel for OIEC
Jessica Barta was appointed Public Counsel on October 31, 2014 and was most recently reappointed on March 1, 2019 by Governor Abbott. Under her leadership, OIEC has met or exceeded 100% of its key performance measures. During her time at OIEC, the percent of OIEC assistance in the dispute resolution proceedings has increased to more than 50%.
Before her appointment with OIEC, Barta spent four years at the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) as the Workers’ Compensation Legislative Liaison and then Assistant Director of Government Relations. Prior to her service in state government, Barta was General Counsel for Great American Financial Resources, Inc. She holds bachelor’s and law degrees from Indiana University. She serves on the board for the Texas Self-Insurance Guaranty Fund and Kids’ Chance of Texas, is a member of the State Bar of Texas, Austin Bar Association and the Austin Young Lawyers Association, and former member of the Junior League of Austin. Additionally, she volunteers for Anderson High School, Reilly Elementary School, and Lonestar Soccer Club. She and her husband, Dr. Adam Barta, have four daughters and two “doodles.”
Vice President & GBCARE Advisor Team Lead, Gallagher Bassett
Jennifer leads the GBCARE Advisor Team, which is responsible for education and client support for Gallagher Bassett’s managed care products and services. A graduate of University of California, San Diego, Jennifer has been with Gallagher Bassett since 2002 and has 25 years of experience in the insurance industry. Jennifer is actively engaged with managed care operations, analytics and product development focused on innovative solutions in medical care for injured workers.
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.
Lori B. Wasserburger, M.D.
Lori B. Wasserburger, M.D. is Board Certified in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (1991) and Electrodiagnostic Medicine (1992). She received her medical degree (1986) and completed residency training (1990), at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, where she was Chief Resident. Additionally she completed graduate studies in the Department of Exercise Physiology & Kinesiology at the University of Texas prior to medical school.
Dr. Wasserburger was a Board Member of the Physiatric Association of Sports, Spine & Rehabilitation (PASSOR) from 1995 to 2000. She is a longstanding member of the American College of Sports medicine (ACSM) and has completed all three “Team Physician” Courses. She was the Team Physician for the Florida State High School Football and Florida State High School Track & Field Championships in 1991 and 1992. She authored or coauthored textbook chapters on: The Biomechanics and Rehabilitation of Football Injuries, The Biomechanics and Rehabilitation of Water-skiing Injuries, Upper Extremity Soft Tissue Injuries, Head & Neck Injuries in Sport, Lumbar Spine Injuries in Sport and Psychological Factors Affecting Soft Tissue Injury.