League Staff

_Jerry Deschane Headshot

Jerry Deschane --Executive Director

Jerry Deschane joined the League in 2014 and serves as Executive Director. He is the fifth League Executive Director since the organization was founded in 1898. Working with the League board and staff, Jerry is responsible for engaging appointed and elected city and village officials in the state legislative process and for motivating state policymakers to support vibrant Wisconsin communities. Jerry is a longtime lobbyist and association executive. He also has experience in state government and the news media. Contact Jerry by email

Zach Vruwink Headshot

Zach Vruwink -- Chief Operating Officer

Zach Vruwink joined the League in 2022 and serves as Chief Operating Officer. Zach’s responsibilities are to lead the operations with a member-focused municipal mindset. Zach is passionate about government, entrepreneurship, community engagement, the creative economy and public service. Prior to joining the League, Zach was elected Mayor of Wisconsin Rapids from 2012 to 2020. He began serving as Rhinelander's City Administrator in April 2020. Zach serves on many boards and committees including Director on Create Wisconsin's (formerly Arts Wisconsin) Board of Directors, Steering Committee Member of the Mayor's Innovation Project. Contact Zach by email.

Toni Herkert Headshot

Toni Herkert -- Government Affairs Director

Toni Herkert joined the League in January 2021 and serves as Government Affairs Director. Toni’s responsibilities include working with the legislature and state agencies to develop policies that are in the best interests of municipalities throughout the state, testifying at legislative committee hearings, serving on advisory committees and state boards to represent municipal interests, and interfacing with our members on policy and legislative related issues. Toni is the former long-time policy advisor for Wisconsin State Senator Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) and most recently served as a Senior Policy Analyst and Clerk of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Energy and previously worked at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Wisconsin Lakes and NEW Water (formally Green Bay Metropolitan Sewerage District). Contact Toni by email

Katie Scott Headshot

Katie Scott -- Government Affairs Specialist

Katie Scott joined the League in 2023 and serves as Government Affairs Specialist. Katie’s responsibilities include working with the legislature and state agencies to develop policies that are in the best interests of municipalities throughout the state and aiding in the communication of state policy items to our membership. Katie has extensive legislative experience, having worked in both the State Senate and the State Assembly. Katie was most recently the Policy Advisor/Chief of Staff for Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt. She is passionate about policy and government, and she loves making a positive difference in the lives of others. Contact Katie by email

Claire Silverman Headshot

Claire Silverman -- General Counsel

Claire Silverman joined the League in 1992 and serves as General Counsel. Claire’s responsibilities include supervising the legal services provided by the League, answering questions of a general nature for officials and employees of member municipalities, writing legal articles for the League’s magazine and amicus briefs in appellate cases involving issues of statewide concern to municipalities, organizing an annual institute for municipal attorneys, and educating local officials on a variety of topics pertaining to their duties. In addition, she coordinates legal material for the League's web page. Contact Claire by email.

Maria Davis Headshot 2

Maria Davis -- Assistant General Counsel

Maria Davis joined League staff in 2018 and serves as Assistant General Counsel. Maria’s responsibilities include provides legal assistance to municipal attorneys and officials through telephone inquiries, written opinions and amicus briefs, workshop presentations, and published articles. She also assists in writing League handbooks and planning an annual institute for municipal attorneys. Maria graduated cum laude from University of Wisconsin Law School and worked in the City of Madison’s Office of Real Estate Services following law school prior to joining the League. Contact Maria by email

Robin Powers Headshot

Robin Powers -- Director of Marketing and Administration

Robin Powers joined the League in 2016 and serves as Director of Marketing and Administration. Robin is responsible for all things sponsor and advertiser related for all League publications and conferences. He is also responsible for the League’s Business Member program and is the liaison for the participating organizations. Robin administers the League's database, maintains and updates records, designs and generates database reports and calculates the League dues for all members. He provides information for the mailing of various League publications and training program notices and is responsible for the sale of various mailing lists from the League's database. In addition, Robin manages office vendors and coordinates IT services. Robin previously had a career in law enforcement and the fire service. Contact Robin by email

Carrie Jensen Headshot

Carrie Jensen -- Event Manager

Carrie Jensen joined the League in 2014 and serves as the Event Manager. She is responsible for planning and coordinating League training programs and meetings. Carrie works with the various League Sections, such as the Clerks, Assessors and the Building Inspectors, to develop their programs. Her duties include negotiating contracts with hotels, restaurants, and guest speakers and handling the financial administration of all meetings. Contact Carrie by email

Elizabeth Yanke Headshot

Elizabeth Yanke -- Member Services Director

Elizabeth Yanke joined the League in 2019 and represents both League of Wisconsin Municipalities and the League of Wisconsin Municipalities Mutual Insurance (LWMMI). Elizabeth connects with staff and elected officials from member municipalities, listens to needs and highlights services that match specific needs. Elizabeth hosts and moderates League web programming and offers workplace training for LWMMI insureds. Prior to joining the League, Elizabeth worked in Strategic Human Resources roles in the private sector providing training and support across the globe. Contact Elizabeth by email

Kristin Mickelson Headshot 2

Kristin Mickelson -- Communications Specialist

Kristin Mickelson joined the League in 2022 and serves as Communications Specialist. Kristin is responsible for the project management and assembly of the League’s monthly magazine, The Municipality, along with updating portions of the League’s website, newsletters and social media platforms. Kristin has a passion for interacting with people in many ways to help educate and share information. Prior to joining the League, Kristin was the Public Relations and Communications Manager for the City of Whitewater and the Public Relations & Event Manager for Blain’s Farm and Fleet. Contact Kristin by email

Tracy Kern Headshot

Tracy Kern -- Accountant

Tracy Kern joined the League in 2019 and is responsible for the creation and maintenance of financial records while monitoring and troubleshooting those processes for accuracy. Tracy is a Certified Professional Accountant and comes to the League having worked in the professional accounting field since 2005. Contact Tracy by email

Sandy Scott Headshot

Sandra Scott -- Administrative Assistant

Sandy Scott joined the League team in 2020 and serves as the primary point of contact for our customers and member officials and helps them find answers to their inquiries. Sandy is responsible for phones, mailings, check payment entry, and maintaining the shared League calendar. Sandy is also responsible for updating contact information and mailing addresses for the League’s magazine, The Municipality. Contact Sandy by email