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Management Team Introductions

Brett Thompson, President & CEO

Brett joined The Wisconsin Credit Union League in 2001. He currently serves as Board Chair of the Credit Union House in D.C. and serves on the boards of the National Credit Union Foundation, the Wisconsin Credit Union Foundation, Wisconsin Credit Union Shared Service Centers, and Reach Business Lenders®.  

He served previously on the board of directors of a number of credit union system organizations, including the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and its Executive, Corporate Governance, and Government Affairs Committees.

Prior to joining The League, Brett was in the private practice of law in Madison for 17 years.

For League Relations questions regarding affiliation, membership, and the credit union system, contact Brett.

Beth Ellis, Senior Vice President of Finance & Strategic Partnerships

Beth has responsibilities for both internal operations, including Finance, IT and HR, and works directly with our members through the W.C.U.L. Services Corp. to provide beneficial products and services. Internally, she ensures the financial health of The League through oversight of the accounting function, preparation of the annual budget, and financial reporting. Beth works directly with our IT vendors to provide a secure environment, efficient applications, and the rights tools for The League staff to support our credit union members.

Through W.C.U.L. Services Corp., Beth partners with a variety of vendors to bring products and solutions to our members that will help them better serve their members and fulfill their mission. In addition, she works closely with Reach Business Lenders and WISCUB. Beth is responsible for managing the financials and cash position at Reach to ensure its continued stability and success.

Prior to joining The League, Beth worked at a publicly traded company for over 10 years where she gained experience in accounting, financial and strategic planning, and IT application support. She has master’s degrees in business administration and accounting, and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is a CPA.

For League Services related questions regarding products, services, and vendor relations, contact Beth.

Paul Guttormsson, Senior Vice President & General Counsel

Paul drafts regulatory comment letters on behalf of credit unions, helping to shape regulations that affect credit union operations, income, and member service. He also supervises The W.C.U.L. Services Corp.’s Compliance Specialist Program, which deploys shared employees among Wisconsin credit unions to provide hands-on support for their compliance efforts. 

Paul also supports The Legal Affairs team with telephone and email assistance to credit unions as well as research and analysis to develop The League’s ii releases, and is a frequent presenter for League compliance roundtables and webinars. Paul graduated with honors from UW-Eau Claire in 1985 and worked as a newspaper editor for several years before attending the University of Wisconsin Law School, where he graduated with honors in 1994. He practiced with the Milwaukee law firm Godfrey & Kahn before joining The League in 2001. 

In his free time, Paul enjoys sailing, fishing, and travel. He’s also a “cruciverbalist,” who has constructed crossword puzzles that have appeared in the New York Times, LA Times, and other publications.

Sarah Wainscott, Senior Vice President of Advocacy

In over a decade with The League, Sarah has a wealth of experience in lobbying, grassroots advocacy, and political fundraising. She oversees the Credit Union Activist program, payroll deduction program and fundraising efforts, is credit unions’ spokesperson on policy discussions with legislators and regulators in Madison and D.C., and regularly presents on the importance of advocacy for credit unions and chapters.

Sarah currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Association of Wisconsin Lobbyists and the American Association of Credit Union League’s Political Involvement & Grassroots Committee. She has a master’s degree in public affairs and a bachelor’s degree in political science and communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

For Government Affairs questions regarding credit union advocacy, contact Sarah.

Sammy Dennis, Vice President of Communications*

Sammy is responsible for informing and engaging League members and promoting the work of Wisconsin's credit unions to policymakers and the public. She develops and implements The League's overall marketing and communications strategy, publishes member communications, manages The League's social media networks, maintains The League's website, builds relationships with the media, and works across departments to add member value and increase outreach.   

Prior to joining The League in 2019, Sammy had over eight years of marketing and communications experience, including four years with another non-profit trade association. She earned her Masters Degree in English from University of Colorado-Boulder in 2014.  

For media inquiries, contact Sammy.

Jennifer Esser, Vice President of Professional Development

Since July 2001, Jennifer has been with The League’s Education & Training Department. As of 2009 Jennifer leads the development and coordination of close to 200 training programs each year that train 90% of all Wisconsin credit unions and help more than 2,600 front line, back office and executive staff and directors learn to perform their roles. She is also the lead League liaison for credit union chapters around the state. 

Prior to coming to the League in 2001, Jennifer worked within the financial industry for six years. She holds a degree from UW-Milwaukee.

For questions regarding League events and conferences, chapters, and professional development, contact Jennifer.

Josh Roberts, Vice President of System Collaboration & Development

Josh is responsible for promoting credit union service and outreach, fostering opportunities for credit union growth, and leading The League’s development program for Wisconsin's young credit union professionals, the YP Network. You can also find Josh helping Wisconsin's small credit unions with operational consulting, provides strategy assistance by facilitating Strategic Planning Sessions, and providing various training for credit union leaders, staff, and boards. Additionally, Josh spearheads diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives for The League and its member credit unions and is also the League Liaison for the Wisconsin Credit Union Foundation and oversees its operations.

Josh has nearly 20 years of experience in the financial industry, having served credit unions as a vice president, controller, and compliance officer.  He is a graduate of CUNA Management School, where he served as Class President, and a 2016 graduate of the Credit Union Development Educators (CUDE) program.  

Josh currently serves on the Executive Committee of the CUNA Lending Council and is Vice-Chair of CUNA Lending Council’s Member Resources Committee and Vice-Chair of the Engagement Committee. In addition, he is engaged in the community, serving as Board Chair for the Milwaukee Area Technical College Accounting Advisory Board, and as a member of the Milwaukee Area Technical College Banking and Finance Advisory Board. He has previously held positions and volunteered with local neighborhood associations, the American Red Cross, and local environmental organizations.

For League Services related questions regarding The Difference, Savers Sweepstakes®, Wisconsin Saves, and credit union service/outreach, please contact Josh.

*title or position change since time of filming.