Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development
Dewayne Scott, Deputy Commissioner
Dewayne Scott is Deputy Commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
His appointment began in March 2021. He started his career with the Kroger Company where he was an executive for 15 years. After leaving Kroger, Scott spent 17 years as President/CEO and co-founder of SRS, Inc., a company he co-founded in 2001. Under his leadership, SRS completed over 300 contracts as a prime contractor for 15 different federal agencies. In 2008, SRS was the 250th fastest growing company in the United States.
Since 2019, Scott has focused on sharing his corporate and entrepreneurial experience with individuals and businesses through his consulting firm, TDS & Associates. The firm provides business development and strategic planning, back-office services, and leadership development training both for individuals and companies.
Scott attended the University of Tennessee Knoxville and graduated with a degree in Economics and Business Management.
Ryan Allen, Assistant Commissioner
Ryan Allen is the Assistant Commissioner for the Workforce Insights, Research and Reporting Engine Division (WIRED) of the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
WIRED was created with the idea to turn workforce data into workforce information that provides key insights for stakeholders across Tennessee.
Allen has been with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development for over 19 years. Before moving to WIRED in 2019, he worked in several different areas within the Employment Security and Workforce Services Divisions.
Allen attended Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.
Jay Baker, Assistant Commissioner
Jay Baker is the Assistant Commissioner for the Adult Education Division of the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
Baker started with the Department in July 2015 as the Director of Curriculum and Instruction for the Adult Education Division and was later promoted to Assistant Administrator, then to Assistant Commissioner in September 2020.
Before joining the Department, Baker was a site manager and an instructor for the Tennessee College of Applied Technology’s adult education program in Nashville.
Baker is currently a member of the Tennessee Workforce Development Board. He is also a member of the National Association of State Directors of Adult Education.
A graduate of Brigham Young University, with a degree in psychology, Baker also holds a Master of Education degree from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College. He is working toward his Master of Business Administration degree at the University of Memphis.
Rusty Felts, Assistant Commissioner
Rusty Felts is the Assistant Commissioner for the Employment Security Division of the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
He is an 18-year veteran of the department’s unemployment insurance program. Felts started as an interviewer and later moved to the claims center where he was a trainer, supervisor, manager, and eventually the Director of Claims Operations. He has served as Assistant Commissioner for the Employment Security Division since 2016.
He is a recent graduate of LEAD TN, a Tennessee Department of Human Resources-sponsored statewide leadership program.
Felts is an avid outdoorsman. He and his wife Desiree have three children.
Wendy Fisher, Assistant Commissioner
Wendy Fisher is the Assistant Commissioner for the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health (TOSHA) Division of the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
Before her appointment as Assistant Commissioner in May 2019, Fisher served as Assistant Administrator of the division.
Fisher began her career with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development's TOSHA Division in August of 1992 as a Safety Compliance Supervisor in April 1999 and Safety Compliance Manager in March 2001. Fisher was responsible for the oversight of all safety inspections conducted in four area offices across the state. In that role, her duties included reviewing reports from each safety inspection conducted for consistency and accuracy. Fisher supervised four safety compliance supervisors and an administrative support staff person, along with indirectly supervising nine compliance officers.
Fisher earned a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology from Middle Tennessee State University. Her extensive career with TOSHA includes completing in excess of 14 training courses and/or programs and she has conducted over 50 seminars on safety topics such as lock out/ tag out (LOTO), electrical safety, fall protection, master loggers safety, the top 25 most cited standards, in addition to the OSHA 10 & 30 hour courses.
Fred Gaston, Assistant Commissioner
Fred Gaston is the Human Resources Assistant Commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
Having held this position since March 2013, Gaston works in partnership with the Senior Executive team to define human resource strategic initiatives and assists the Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, and Chief of Staff with senior executive team performance and development. Gaston is also responsible for employee relations, recruitment, hiring and retention, class compensation, and leadership development within the department. Prior to working for the state, he was Director of Human Resources for the City of LaVergne.
Gaston is a current member of the Tennessee Government Leadership Council (TGLC) and a graduate of TGLC Tennessee Government Executive Institute (TGEI), LEAD Tennessee, and the Human Resources Master’s Program. He is also a member of the International Personnel Management Association (IPMA-HR) and the Tennessee Personnel Management Association (TPMA), which are the international and state associations of human resource personnel members working in the public sector. He served as the 2018 TPMA Human Resources Conference Program Chair.
Gaston holds a Bachelor of Science from Middle Tennessee State University and a Master of Arts from Lipscomb University. He is a certified Rule 31 Mediator, an DOHR SLS Facilitator, and an International Personnel Management Association Senior Certified Professional (IPMA-SCP) in public sector human resources.
Troy Haley, Administrator
Troy Haley is Administrator of the Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. He has served in various roles with the Bureau since 2007, most recently as Legal Services Director and Legislative Liaison.
Haley is a native of east Nashville and is a graduate of Stratford High School. He received his undergraduate degree from David Lipscomb College, a master’s degree from Tennessee State University, and law degree from the University of Memphis. He has been licensed to practice law in Tennessee since 1992 and has been a Rule 31 Mediator since 2008. Prior to his state service, he worked as staff counsel for an insurance company and was in private practice.
Tom Herrod, Assistant Commissioner
Tom Herrod is the Assistant Commissioner for the Workplace Regulations and Compliance Division of the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
Herrod started his career with Tennessee state government in 2010 when he joined the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration (TOSHA) as an Industrial Hygienist 1. He worked his way to Industrial Hygienist Supervisor in 2014. The following year Herrod was named Manager of Public Sector, a position he held until he was appointed Assistant Commissioner in May 2019.
Before joining the state of Tennessee, Herrod was a Chemical Engineer with the DuPont Company for 36 years.
Herrod earned a Bachelor of Engineering in chemical engineering from Vanderbilt University in Nashville.
Briana Moore, Chief Strategy Officer
Briana Moore is the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s first-ever Chief Strategy Officer, appointed in May 2023. Moore oversees the development of key workforce strategies for the agency, including a comprehensive rural workforce development plan. She also manages the Tennessee Office of Reentry (OOR).
Moore is responsible for conceptualizing and formulating strategic initiatives that further advance the agency’s vision and mission, as well as ensuring that the day-to-day activities of the agency support those initiatives. She works with the Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, and the other members of the Senior Leadership team to devise short- and long-term objectives that align with the agency's vision and mission.
Moore received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Vanderbilt University and her Master of Science degree in Management from Trevecca Nazarene University. She is a graduate of the Tennessee Government Executive Institute (TGEI), the Tennessee Government Management Institute (TGMI), and the Accelerated Leadership Institute (ALI). Ms. Moore is also a member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.
Steve Playl, Jr., Assistant Commissioner
Steve Playl, Jr. is the Assistant Commissioner for the Workforce Services Division of the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
Playl previously served as a Senior Director in the Division of College, Career and Technical Education (CTE) at the Tennessee Department of Education since 2018. In that role, he was also the Tennessee State Director for Career and Technical Education.
Throughout his career, Playl has worked in multiple national, state, and local leadership capacities, each with a focus on career education and workforce training.
As a former Director of CTE for Bristol Tennessee City Schools, Playl regularly partnered with workforce, higher education, and community organizations to expand early postsecondary and work-based learning opportunities for students.
He is also a former high school teacher with Knox County Schools in Knoxville, TN.
Playl currently serves on the national board of directors for Advance CTE and the ASE Education Foundation. He has also worked with several other national workforce development and career education organizations such as the Association for Career and Technical Education, Jobs for the Future, New Skills for Youth, and the Coalition for Career Development Center.
Andy Summar, Chief Financial Officer
Andy Summar is the Chief Financial Officer for the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
Summar is a certified public accountant with over fifteen years of experience in the accounting and auditing fields. Summar takes pride in providing customer service to management, and he specializes in financial accounting, process improvement, and internal controls.
Summar is a strong believer in teamwork and continuous process improvement. He previously worked as a staff auditor and senior auditor with the Comptroller of the Treasury, Division of Tennessee State Audit and most recently as a Department Controller with the Department of Finance Administration.
A devout UT fan, Summar loves anything Tennessee and bleeds orange. He also enjoys spending time with his family, sports and exercising. He is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University where he earned a Bachelor’s of Business Administration (BBA) in Accounting.