TDCI Announces New Division of Regulatory Boards Leaders

Monday, June 03, 2024 | 02:50pm

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance (“TDCI”) announces new leadership and staffing changes in TDCI's Division of Regulatory Boards, which licenses and regulates over 317,000 Tennesseans in their professions and businesses through 24 regulatory programs.

Among the changes is the promotion of Reid Witcher, who most recently served as TDCI’s Legislative Director, into the role of Assistant Commissioner for the Division of Regulatory Boards, where he will oversee the Division’s team. Prior to joining the Department, Witcher worked for more than a decade as a consultant to elected officials and nonprofit organizations at Nashville-based Rachel Barrett and Company. A graduate of the University of Tennessee, he was a member of the Chancellor’s Honors Program. He is a graduate of Tennessee Government Executive Institute and a former member of the University of Tennessee Young Alumni Council.

Separately, Assistant Commissioner Alex Martin, who has overseen the division since 2021, will next serve as TDCI’s Chief Strategy Officer and Assistant Commissioner. Before joining the Department, Mr. Martin served as Deputy Director of External Affairs and Director of Appointments for Governor Bill Lee.

“These leadership updates will move familiar faces into new roles while adding valuable new leaders that will help ensure our Department’s mission of protecting Tennesseans and empowering professionals,” said TDCI Commissioner Carter Lawrence.  “Looking ahead to the remainder of 2024 and beyond, I am confident that we have a strong team who is well positioned to keep pace with the changing environment while continuing to provide best-in-class customer service. As part of announcing these staff promotions and additions, I want to encourage Tennessee’s licensed professionals and their customers to remember they can contact our team whenever they have questions or concerns.”

Other leadership updates include:

Denise B. Baker: Denise Beard Baker joined TDCI’s Division of Regulatory Boards in 2023 after being named Executive Director of the Tennessee Real Estate Commission. Before joining TDCI, Ms. Baker worked in the Tennessee Department of Transportation Highway Beautification Office, where she managed the Tennessee’s litter prevention campaign “Nobody Trashes Tennessee”, TDOT's Litter Grant Program, and Adopt-A-Highway. In 2022, she was a recipient of the Tennessee Governor’s Excellence in Service Award which recognizes outstanding state employees. Denise obtained an undergraduate degree in communications from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a master’s degree in public administration from Tennessee State University. She also earned a Certified Public Manager certification.

Christopher Burkhart: Chris Burkhart is as the Executive Director of the Tennessee Board for Licensing Contractors, which licenses and regulates home

 improvement and contracting professions, including Limited License Electricians and Limited License Plumbers. Previously, Mr. Burkhart served 23 years in the U.S. Army as an Engineer Officer. His assignments ranged from Platoon Leader to Battalion Commander, culminating as deputy director in the Commercial Operations Research and Evaluations Division at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Mr. Burkhart deployed to Iraq twice, once to Afghanistan, and once to Saudi Arabia. Mr. Burkhart is a native Tennessean and has received a Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering from Vanderbilt University, a Master of Science in Engineering Management at the University of Missouri Science & Technology, and a Master of Science in Geospatial Intelligence from Cranfield University in the United Kingdom.

Christine Marotteck: Christine Marotteck was promoted in 2023 to her new role as Executive Director of the Customer Service Center and Centralized Complaints. With a team of over 20 members, Ms. Marotteck manages daily operations that provide assistance to several hundred thousand licensed Tennessean professionals and consumers. Prior to her current position, Ms. Marotteck held several public service focused positions. Since 2013, these roles included Senior Court Clerk at the 4th Judicial Court in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Administrative Support at the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s Property Seizure Office in Nashville, Tenn.; and most recently as Administrative Manager for the Department’s Centralized Complaints Division.

Ashton Bode: Ashton Bode has assumed the role of Executive Director for the Detection Services Licensing Program, which regulates security-oriented professions including security guards and companies, alarm systems contractors, private investigators, and polygraph examiners. Ms. Bode joined TDCI in 2014 and served for several years in a Human Resources capacity before being promoted as the Regulatory Boards Division’s Director of Compliance. In that capacity, she worked with each of the Division’s program area to implement process improvements and meet strategic and operational goals. Ms. Bode holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Asheville. She is a graduate of LEAD Tennessee and was a 2016 recipient of the Governor’s Excellence in Service Award.

Kristen Aplin: Kristen Aplin was promoted in 2023 to serve as the Director of Administration within TDCI’s Division of Regulatory Boards Administration Section. In her role, Ms. Aplin oversees the administrative licensing team and provides support to the Assistant Commissioner for Regulatory Boards and the Division’s 10 executive directors. After joining TDCI in 2010, she assumed the role of Executive Director for the Customer Service Center and Centralized Complaints section in 2016. Ms. Aplin is an alumna of Troy University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree. She has completed over 120 hours in Tennessee state leadership training, including LEAD Tennessee Alliance 9 and the Commissioner’s Leadership Academy, and was a 2019 recipient of the Governor’s Excellence in Service Award.

A complete overview of TDCI’s Regulatory Boards leadership team and photos can be found here.