TN Bankers Association names Heaslet as new counsel/lobbyist

News release from Tennessee Bankers Association

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Nov. 14, 2017) – Amy Smith Heaslet has been named general counsel and senior vice president of the Tennessee Bankers Association and elected secretary of its board of directors, TBA President Colin Barrett has announced.

In her new role, Heaslet will lead advocacy initiatives on legislative and regulatory issues and policies that affect the banking industry and will serve as an adviser to the TBA board of directors, officers and member banks. She was previously the TBA’s deputy counsel.

 “Amy brings a passion for her job to work every day, and she has proved to be an extremely effective advocate for the banking industry’s interests,” Barrett said. “She has spent the last eight years working on issues important to the association, and she’s ready to go.”

Heaslet has been instrumental in guiding several major legislative initiatives on behalf of the banking industry, including passage of a bill providing comprehensive protection against the financial exploitation of senior citizens; an update of the state’s trust laws, making Tennessee one of the top states in the country to locate a trust; and protecting banks’ lien status on mortgages.

She has also worked with bankers and law firms to protect banks from frivolous lawsuits related to orchestrated ADA claims and has overseen the association’s highly successful political action committee, BankPac.

Prior to joining TBA in 2009 as an associate counsel, Heaslet served almost four years as assistant general counsel for the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance.

Heaslet is well-known in state government as a skilled liaison between the industry and policymakers. “Amy is extremely bright and has a total command of the issues,” said Greg Gonzales, commissioner of the state Department of Financial Institutions. “She has been a very effective voice for the industry, and I look forward to working with her.”

State Sen. Jack Johnson of Franklin, chairman of the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee, says he looks forward to working with Heaslet on issues affecting the banking industry. “Amy is a great communicator who knows how to let legislators know exactly what is at stake when it comes to bills that have an impact on the banking industry,” Johnson said. “She helps us understand the effect that certain legislation has on communities across the state.”

While attending the University of Memphis School of Law, from which she received her Juris Doctor degree in 2005, Heaslet was a law clerk in the Shelby County Public Defender’s Office and was on the Moot Court Board. She joined the Tennessee Department of Human Services in 2005 as a hearing officer, presiding over administrative hearings related to Medicaid and TennCare.

Heaslet joined the Commerce and Insurance Department in 2006 as an assistant general counsel in the insurance division. In that position, she served as a lead enforcement attorney working directly with the fraud section during investigations and representing the department during settlement negotiations and administrative hearings. She also advised the financial and analytical section on statutory compliance of mergers and acquisitions, administrative supervisions, and examinations of insurance companies.

Heaslet, who graduated summa cum laude from Missouri State University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science degree in finance and a minor in international management, is a member of the Tennessee and Nashville bar associations. She is active in the community, having served seven years as a project coordinator for Hands On Nashville and as a board member for six years.

Dawn Causey, general counsel for the American Bankers Association, says Heaslet’s appointment will allow TBA to continue being a strong voice in Washington. “Amy has done a great job working with the Tennessee congressional delegation in framing the impact legislation and regulations have on banks’ ability to serve their customers,” Causey said. “She’s also been active in working with the ABA on a number of initiatives that support the vital economic role banks play across the nation.”

Note: Heaslet succeeds Tim Amos in the position. Amos announced in April plans to leave the group in December after 33 years with TBA to launch his own legal and government affairs firm. Nashville Post article on his departure is HERE.

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