Jim Henry, former minority leader of the Tennessee House of Representatives and a 2002 candidate for governor, has been appointed by Gov.-elect Bill Haslam as the state's first commissioner of the newly formed Tennessee Department of Intellectual Disabilities.
The agency was formerly a division of the Department of Finance & Administration before the Tennessee Legislature made it a state department, a move that will become official Jan. 5.
For the past 13 years, Henry has been the President and CEO of Omni Visions Inc., a company serving adults with developmental disabilities and children and families in crisis. The company has operations in Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina and Tennessee.
“I’m delighted that Jim has joined our team because I believe he’s the right man to lead this new department,” Haslam said. “Jim has personal experience with these issues, and he has dedicated much of his legislative and professional career to helping families and children affected by intellectual disabilities and its unique challenges.”
A former Kingston mayor, Henry spent 12 years as a state representative. He is 65-year-old Vietnam veteran, is married to Patricia, and they have three grown children.