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James M. Henry, Commissioner

James M. Henry is the first Commissioner of the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD). The agency was formerly a division of the Department of Finance and Administration before the Tennessee Legislature established it as a stand alone department effective January 15, 2011.

As Commissioner of DIDD, Henry is responsible for the oversight of two Developmental Centers, a statewide community based service delivery system supported by approximately 2500 employees, 475 community providers and three regional offices. Major responsibilities also include administering an annualized budget of approximately $770 million dollars, and directing major systems changes, including Quality Assurance and Protection From Harm. Other major duties include directing the State of Tennessee's response to two Class Action lawsuits, and directing efforts to bring an end to the Federal Court Jurisdiction for the state's two facilities.

For the past 13 years, Mr. 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. A former Kingston mayor, Mr. Henry spent 12 years as a state representative and 6 of those years as the Minority Leader advocating on behalf of individuals with developmental difficulties.

Mr. Henry, a Vietnam veteran, is married to Patricia, and they have three grown children. They attend First Baptist Church in Kingston. He was recently honored as Hiwassee College's Alumnus of the Year.