Skip to Main Content

Important Information Regarding Federal Unemployment Benefits in Tennessee. Click Banner for Details.

Sue Ann Head Award

Recognizing Excellence in Workers' Compensation

The Tennessee Bureau of Workers' Compensation is pleased to honor workers' compensation professionals with the Sue Ann Head Award for Excellence in Workers' Compensation. Nominees must have been involved in the Tennessee workers’ compensation system for a minimum of five years in one of the following categories: employer or employer’s representative, employee representative, service provider, claims professional, medical provider, or legal profession.


About Sue Ann Head

Ms. Sue Ann Head, former Administrator of the Division of Workers' Compensation until February 2011, led with her mind and taught with her heart. Born in Davidson County, TN, she attended college at Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville, TN. Her career with state government spanned more than 45 years: Beginning in 1966 as a secretary, then later appointed as the assistant director in 1979, and director in 1982. For 30 years she led the Tennessee Workers' Compensation Division through reforms in 1992 and 2004 which led to the implementation of several programs like Benefit Review, Case Management, Utilization Review, Uninsured Employers Fund, and many more. Her service to this industry was not limited to state government. Sue Ann served on the Executive Committee of the Southern of Workers' Compensation Administrators and then as the President in 1991. She also served on the Board of Trustees for the International Workers' Compensation Foundation, Inc. (IWCF). Sue Ann passed away in May of 2018.

Nominations will be judged on the nominee’s overall service based on the quality and impact on Tennessee’s workers’ compensation system.  That impact may have resulted from a single action that had a notable effect or from a sustained record of positive contributions over the nominee’s career.  The work should reflect the Bureau’s mission of fulfilling the promise of workers’ compensation.  The panel of judges will be leading industry professionals.

Announcement of the recipient of this award will be made during the 24th Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Education Conference in 2021.

Questions about the nomination process and completed nomination forms should be directed to Ms. Janie Dorris at

Shirley Vincent

2020 Winner

Shirley Vincent

Shirley Vincent is a registered nurse and a board-certified case manager.  While working for Crawford & Company she was awarded the Crawford US Quality Award for her work with workers with catastrophic injuries. In 2009, she founded Guardian Medical Consulting, LLC, a case management and medical-legal consulting services firm in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas. She was nominated by Martha Herron, an Occupational Health Nurse with Nucor Memphis, a client of Mrs. Vincent. Ms. Herron said in her nomination,  “Shirley understands the needs of injured workers, and how important it is to collaborate with the injured worker, medical team, and the employer to have the best outcome for all involved so the injured worker can return to work.”


2019 Winner

Terry Hill

Mr. Hill is a partner at Mainer & Herod. He has played a significant role in the development of the Tennessee Workers' Compensation law. He was appointed by Governor Lamar Alexander to a legislative study committee in 1985. Six years later, Governor Ned McWherter asked a group of stakeholders that included Mr. Hill to meet to discuss ways to address inconsistencies in awards. Subsequent to these meeting Mr. Hill drafted legislation that came to known as the Workers' Compensation Reform Act of 1992 and provided a well-defined range within which an award must fall based on established criteria and established the first steps in establishing a system for alternative dispute resolution. He was the Executive Director of the Tennessee Self-Insurers' Association from 2006 to 2013.

This Page Last Updated: January 19, 2021 at 12:47 PM