Gov. Bill Lee reappoints THRC commissioners

(l-r) Gary D. Behler and Annazette Houston reappointed to serve on THRC Board of Commissioners.

Gov. Bill Lee reappointed Commissioner Gary D. Behler of Chattanooga and Commissioner Annazette Houston of Knoxville to serve on the Tennessee Human Rights Board of Commissioners on December 23, 2019. Both Behler and Houston will serve until June 30, 2025.

Lee announced over 70 appointees to a series of key boards and commission.

“We are proud to announce the appointments of these individuals to a series of key boards and commissions across Tennessee,” said Gov. Lee. “I value the experience they bring to our state and appreciate their willingness to serve.”

Gary D. Behler has served as the Juvenile Court Clerk in Hamilton County since he was elected in 2010. He has focused on implementing a complete technology overhaul of that office, transitioning from a traditional paper to an electronic workflow system, including electronic file management and digital recording in all seven courtrooms. All functions of that office are now managed electronically. In 2016 the County Technical Assistance Service identified his office as the first state court clerk’s office to be fully electronic in the state of Tennessee.

“As juvenile court clerk in Hamilton County, Gary Behler brought a new level of leadership and efficiency to the office to which he was elected,” said Tennessee Human Rights Commission Chair Robin Derryberry. “He has deployed those same skill sets in his thoughtful deliberations brought before the commission and it’s an honor to serve along with him.”

Annazette Houston currently serves as the executive director of equity and compliance at Pellissippi State University where she ensures compliance with federal and state law, to maintain a means of reporting discrimination and harassment, and to ensure proper follow up action. Houston has over 20 years of higher education experience including a background in Equal Opportunity and Career Services.

“Annazette Houston set a high bar of service as past chair. I am grateful for Gov. Lee’s re-appointment of Annazette and appreciate her continued commitment as the commissioner from East Tennessee,” said Chair Derryberry.

The Tennessee Human Rights Commission is an independent state agency responsible for enforcing the state’s anti-discrimination laws, which prohibit discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodation and coordinates compliance with Title VI of the Civil rights Act of 1964.

The Commission’s role is to enforce and prohibit discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodation based on race, creed, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age (40 and over in employment), familial status (housing only) and retaliation in employment, housing and public accommodations.