October 5, 2022
WASHINGTON – GrayRobinson today announced former Director of the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau’s (TTB) Office of Industry and State Outreach Susan Evans and former Executive Director of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) Brigadier General (BVT) Bentley Nettles have joined the firm’s recognized National Alcohol Beverage Practice. Each industry veteran brings more than three decades of experience working in the alcohol beverage regulatory sector with a keen understanding of state and federal alcohol beverage policy and rulemaking standards.
“We are pleased to announce Susan Evans and General Bentley Nettles have joined forces with our National Alcohol Beverage Practice to address the regulatory needs for our clients,” said GrayRobinson Regulated Products Section Chair Richard Blau. “Both Sue and General Nettles have an impressive background and extensive relationships and are highly regarded in this esoteric area of law. Sue’s regulatory experience and industry relationships combined with General Nettles’ deep experience in the mechanics, logistics, and policy objectives that define the regulator-industry member relationship will be immensely valuable to our clients.”
Serving as an alcohol beverage consultant in the Washington, D.C., office, Evans will utilize her vast experience working within federal agencies to help provide GrayRobinson clients with unique and valuable insight. She will focus on matters involving federal alcohol labeling, licensing, trade practice, and other regulatory compliance responsibilities.
“I’m excited to continue sharing my knowledge of the federal alcohol beverage regulations and to further assist alcohol industry members nationwide,” said Evans. “I’ve long respected the attorneys and advisors at GrayRobinson, and I’m thrilled to join the National Alcohol Beverage Team.”
Prior to joining GrayRobinson, Evans served as director of the Office of Industry and State Outreach for TTB. In this role, she led TTB's efforts to enhance relationships with industry members and state government counterparts through education and communication. Evans began her federal career with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), transitioning from working in the field to ATF’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., as director of the alcohol labeling office. Upon creation of TTB in 2003, she was appointed the first assistant administrator of headquarters operations, overseeing Alcohol Labeling and Formulation Division, Scientific Services Division, Regulations and Rulings Division, and International Affairs Division. Later she became TTB’s first executive liaison for industry and state matters, serving as an advocate and educator for industry members and state regulators. Evans received her Bachelor of Arts in History and Sociology from Grove City College.
Nettles joins GrayRobinson as an alcohol beverage consultant in the Key West office. He will work with clients on matters involving retail, hospitality, state alcohol labeling, licensing, trade practice, and other regulatory compliance responsibilities, with a special focus on Texas regulation and compliance.
“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the nationally recognized alcohol beverage practice at GrayRobinson,” said Nettles. “Texas is the second largest alcohol beverage market in the United States and home to more than 59,000 alcohol license businesses. Having served within the alcohol beverage space in Texas for many years, I understand what it takes for those in the industry faced with regulatory compliance challenges to navigate their way through the process. I look forward to taking this knowledge and the knowledge of the stellar GrayRobinson team to create innovative opportunities for clients.”
Nettles previously served as director of TABC, successfully implementing several historic legislative improvements during his tenure. Nettles also led the consolidation of multiple license and permit types, helped develop new standards simplifying the process for malt beverage manufacturers to enter the industry, and implemented efficiencies in policy and rulemaking to improve transparency and ensure stakeholder participation. Nettles received his Master of Arts in Homeland Security in Naval Postgraduate School, his Juris Doctor from the South Texas College of Law Houston, and his Bachelor of Business Administration in Business from Texas A&M University. He served in the Texas Army National Guard and did a Military Fellowship in National Security Policy at Tufts University. In honor of his service with the Texas Army National Guard, Nettles received the Legion of Merit, Double Bronze Star Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart, Operation Enduring Freedom Afghanistan Campaign Medal, and Double Stars Operation Iraqi Freedom Campaign Medal. Nettles is licensed to practice law in Texas and Louisiana.
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