Waukesha State Bank, a 14-branch independent community bank in Waukesha County, is proud to announce the addition of Donna Bembenek, president of Catholic Memorial High School; Laura Gutiérrez, executive director of the United Community Center; and Sarit Singhal, president & CEO of SSR/Total IT to its board of directors.
“We are delighted to welcome Donna, Laura, and Sarit to our board of directors,” stated Ty R. Taylor, Waukesha State Bank president & CEO. “They are each leaders in their respective industries, and their individual professional experience with sales, marketing, education, operations, leadership, and technology will be invaluable to Waukesha State Bank as we continue to grow.”
Donna Bembenek has a unique background as a leader in publicly traded, closely held and nonprofit organizations. Her early success in senior sales and marketing roles gives her a bottom-line focus and external facing expertise. She has worked at financial services firms, media companies, at the local and national level of the YMCA, and is currently the president of Catholic Memorial High School.
Bembenek holds a master’s degree in business administration from Alverno College, a bachelor’s degree in public relations and marketing from the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater and attended the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin. In addition to serving on the corporate board of Waukesha State Bank, Bembenek has served as the staff liaison for several board committees of previous employers and is active in the community, serving on the board for several community organizations.
Laura Gutiérrez is the executive director of the United Community Center (UCC), one of the largest non-profits in Milwaukee. UCC serves clients on the city’s Southside, ages 6 weeks to 100-years-old+, in programs from Early Childhood Education to elderly care. Prior to joining the United Community Center, Gutiérrez held several leadership positions within private and public education. Most recently, Gutiérrez served as secretary of the state of Wisconsin’s Department of Safety and Professional Services, overseeing a staff of more than 250 and managing a biennial budget of $100M.
Gutiérrez earned her master’s degree in leadership and policy from Marquette University and her bachelor’s degree from Carroll University. Gutiérrez has been recognized for her leadership and impact on the community through a variety of awards, including Milwaukee Business Journal’s “Women of Influence” award and being named to the “Milwaukee-area Power Brokers” list. She was also named a recipient of the 2022 Marquette University “Alumni National Award” and Carroll University “Distinguished Alumni Award.” She serves on the board of the Johnson Foundation at Wingspread and is an active member of Milwaukee Women, Inc., an organization focused on increasing the representation of women on boards of directors to improve Wisconsin businesses.
Sarit Singhal holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering with a minor in computer science from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and founded SSR/Total IT in 1996 to design, implement and proactively manage information technology strategies for small to mid-sized organizations. As CEO, Singhal focuses on strategy, innovation, collaborative leadership, and execution of objectives for SSR and its clients.
In addition to serving on the corporate board of Waukesha State Bank, Singhal is a board member for several organizations including Sharp Literacy, Sentry Equipment, and the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce’s (MMAC) Council of Small Business Executives (COSBE), where he also serves on the education committee. Passionate about education, entrepreneurship, and workforce development, Singhal supports programs helping students pave future successful careers. This led him to earning COSBE’s P. Michael Mahoney Award in 2018 in recognition of his exemplary service and volunteerism.
Waukesha State Bank’s board roster also includes: Carl Geraldson, chief financial officer, Precision Gears, Inc. (retired); Jody Lowe, president, The Lowe Group; Kenneth P. Riesch, president, R & R Insurance Services, Inc.; Daniel R. Shepard, executive vice president, Waukesha State Bank (retired); Fred G. Stier, CEO, Stier Construction, Inc.; Ty R. Taylor, president & CEO, Waukesha State Bank; and Beverly M. Chappie, director emeritus, executive director, Christoph Memorial YWCA (retired).
Waukesha State Bank would like to thank outgoing board members Susan Edwards, president & CEO of ProHealth Care, Inc.; Dr. Cindy Gnadinger, president of Carroll University; and Dr. Anselmo Villarreal, president & CEO of Southwest Key Programs, Inc. for their service.