(Madison, Wis.) – Today the League of Wisconsin Municipalities announced staffing changes, sharpening its focus on enhancing member engagement and legislative advocacy as the next legislative session gears up to discuss state funding for critical local services.
“Our 124th Annual Conference highlighted the retirement of two beloved long-time League employees, Curt Witynski and Gail Sumi, and we announced scholarships in their names to commemorate their service to local governments. Now we’re looking ahead at how we can best position ourselves to strengthen the State-Local partnership and help our members do their jobs, which has been the League’s mission for the last century,” said Jerry Deschane, the League’s Executive Director.
Zach Vruwink is the League’s new Deputy Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer. Vruwink’s focus is on member initiatives, enhanced services and League operations. He will utilize his broad experience as a Past-President of the League, a former mayor and city administrator, and an entrepreneur who started a computer consulting firm when he was fifteen years old. His career has been devoted to serving others which makes the League a logical place for Vruwink.
Toni Herkert, the League’s Government Affairs Director, will focus on advancing vital municipal legislative causes, chief among them being reforming the broken system of funding local government. Herkert brings decades of governmental and lobbying experience with her expertise in the State Capitol and has been with the League since 2021.
Deschane’s role as chief executive and strategic leader is unchanged.
Hiring processes are underway to bring in a new communications coordinator. The League is also hiring a second professional lobbyist to extend its advocacy mission. Both hires are expected to be completed and announced by the end of 2022.
“Gail Sumi and Curt Witynski have laid the foundation. We will build on their legacy to help our members address the greatest issues facing their local communities including working to fix Wisconsin’s broken system of funding local governments,” said Deschane. “The League is looking ahead to how we can be the most effective for our diverse members today and long into the future.”