Governor Lee Recognizes Tennessee Veterans

Five Military Veteran State Employees Honored for Exemplary Service
Thursday, November 09, 2023 | 11:30am

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, Tennessee Department of Veterans Services Commissioner Tommy Baker, and Tennessee Adjutant General Warner A. Ross II honored and recognized five Veteran state employees and nearly 450,000 Tennessee Veterans of all ages and eras at the annual Governor’s Veterans Day event today at the Hall of Flags located in the Tennessee National Guard Headquarters in Nashville.

“The Tennesseans who have bravely served our state and nation deserve our highest honor and respect," said Lee. “As we come together to honor these remarkable individuals, let us remember that the Volunteer State's spirit lives on through their bravery and commitment to defending our freedoms. This Veterans Day and every day, we thank them for their unwavering dedication to our nation."

"It is an honor to join all of you as we pay tribute to the veterans in state government and across Tennessee. Their sacrifices and commitment to our country deserve our unwavering respect," said Baker. "This holiday weekend serves as an annual reminder of the debt of gratitude we owe to our veterans, and it's a moment to reaffirm our commitment to supporting them in every way possible."

“Our veterans represent everything good about Tennessee,” said Ross. “We can never fully repay them for all that they sacrificed, but we must take every chance we can to try.”

Lee recognized the achievements of five outstanding veteran state employees currently making a difference within their area of expertise. These five employees have nearly 100 years of combined service to the state of Tennessee.

Theresa Hicks, a 47-year veteran of the Tennessee Air National Guard, has advanced through state government from a clerk to her current role as Production Assistant Director in the Department of General Services. Her leadership in the Division of Document Solutions has led to efficiency improvements and substantial savings for state departments. Theresa's commitment to her team and her unique service alongside her father in the TN Air National Guard are hallmarks of her distinguished career.

Steve Ward, a 28-year veteran of the United States Marine Corps, currently manages Radnor Lake State Park. His exceptional resource management and collaborative efforts have led to the park's recognition as the Tennessee State Park of the Year in 2022. Steve's passion for conservation and innovative partnerships with various organizations have significantly benefited the park's ecosystem and accessibility.

Dr. Petrina York, a United States Army Reserves veteran, serves as a Veterinary Diagnostician at the Kord Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory. With extensive clinical knowledge, she provides invaluable guidance to local veterinarians, standardizes methods, and continually seeks to improve her expertise through the latest literature and collaboration with colleagues.

Keith Norman, a Tennessee Air National Guard veteran, swiftly rose to the role of Firefighter Manager in state government. With 25 years of firefighting experience, he has enhanced the Fire and Emergency Services (FES) unit by ensuring resources for training, implementing essential procedures, and mentoring his team. Keith's dedication to firefighter safety and readiness is unwavering.

Lacy Conner, a United States Navy veteran, has been a Case Management Coordinator in state government since 2017. Her dedication has improved the Case Management Program's efficiency and customer service, earning high satisfaction ratings. Lacy's forward-thinking approach has led to essential program revisions and strengthened stakeholder relationships.