Our Team

Rhonda Fenner, President
My Experience

Committed and passionate about driving growth through the creation of operational excellence that focuses on customer experience, Rhonda is described as a collaborative "Black Belt" leader. She operates like a veteran ninja when it comes to operational excellence. Having spent 25 years in financial services, she has developed an uncanny ability to forge partnerships that enable mutual success and consistently surpass goals. We can't wait to let her loose on cuLearn!

Three things to help you get to know Rhonda:

  • She has the personality of LeAnn Tuohy (Sandra Bullock's character in the movie The Blindside.)
  • Her first job was picking rocks on her uncle's farm when she was nine -- any coincidence that she now enjoys climbing on them as an adult? (We think so.)
  • She's also a ninja in the kitchen and thoroughly enjoys "futzing" around with recipes.
Brian Cox, Chief Business Development Officer
My Experience

Brian has 20 years of sales and leadership experience in education finance, including Managing Director of Business Development for The First Marblehead Corporation and VP of Customer Service & Collections for TERI. A relentless customer advocate and collaborator, he has a wealth of industry knowledge and insight into emerging market opportunities. Brian’s tenacity and commitment to quality bring unparalleled support to his partners, clients and customers.

Three ways to engage Brian in conversation:

  • Ask him about cars. He’s owned an Acapulco Blue ’69 Mustang Fastback (yow!) and is currently obsessed with the Shelby GT350R.

  • Swap vacation stories. Brian is a self-proclaimed Clark Griswold, planning adventures where he and his family can truly unplug.

  • Bring him a do-it-yourself conundrum. This handyman can build and repair just about anything around the house.

Kristy Bertsch, VP Client Marketing
My Experience

Kristy joins our team as a strategic marketing planner. Her role: To develop and ensure cuLearn communications go off without a hitch—no small feat when you’re building a world-class client service organization. For more than 16 years, Kristy has helped a wide variety of companies grow through multi-faceted, strategic marketing programs. She says she enjoys working for Thrivent because of our focused mission, which she describes as “laser-focused and authentic. Not just pretty words.” She’s got that right!

Three reasons you’d want Kristy as a best friend:

  • Like arts and crafts? She’s tried them all (including plasma metal cutting – what?) and has closets full of supplies to dig into, whenever you’re ready.

  • Rather travel? She’s been to 16 countries and counting. Can you say travel guide?

  • A serious 10-year-old at heart, she’s a veteran at ultimate Nerf gun tournaments.

Wendy Clausz, Chief Operations Officer
My Experience

Wendy is no stranger to leading teams, breaking down barriers and finding new and improved ways to serve clients and members. She has over 20 years of operations experience in the financial services industry (insurance, banking and investments), and is responsible for all things operations at cuLearn:  network and security, business risk management and compliance, origination processing and business operations processes.  Wendy’s vast work experience is loaded with proven examples of goals being met, stellar leadership and an obsessive drive for continuous improvement. 

Three things we feel make Wendy a great role model:

  • She graduated college debt-free and with $10 in her pocket (plus she graduated early!)
  • Her next hobby is therapy dog training.
  • Wendy enjoys serving a greater purpose in her professional career but also in her personal life. You can likely find her volunteering at many youth groups, sports organizations, religious events and community get-togethers around her hometown of Appleton, Wisconsin.
Joan Eddy, Dir. Origination Services
My Experience

Joan has an enduring reputation of being the ultimate team player. With more than 15 years of experience working in the education financial services industry, Joan’s nearly perfected the art of developing and managing highly successful teams. She has a long track record of tackling critical projects and completing them on time - all while looking for opportunities to drive positive change. She firmly believes in living generously, both in and outside of work, and will frequently go the distance to make the customer experience as delightful as possible.

Three details about Joan you’ll love:

  • Joan is extremely family focused (obsessive as she calls it) and enjoys spending as much time with her three granddaughters as possible.
  • She really enjoys cooking and baking, especially with access to fresh produce year-round thanks to her California residence. (Fresh ingredients make all the difference!)
  • She is the youngest of eight girls. (Can you imagine all the hand-me-downs?)
Lewis Dymond, Dir. Technology
My Experience

Lewis started his career as a Computer Programmer during the infancy of the Internet (back in the early ‘90s) and has stayed primarily in the technology industry ever since. He’s spent a majority of his working profession in the student loan software area, including more than 11-years at Cology, Inc. as the Director of Applications. This hard-working, early adapting and overall tech genius joins the cuLearn team as the Director of Information Technology. To sum it all up, Lewis is the go-to guy for everything tech related.

Three things about Lewis that have nothing to do with technology:

  • His favorite hobby is gardening. (Talk about unplugging.)

  • If it's baseball season in West Sacramento, you'll likely find him at a River Cats game.

  • Lewis's first job was actually a bookbinder. (Quite the opposite of technology, no?)

Greg Freyenberger, Dir. Network & Security
My Experience

Greg is the ultimate guru of security and technology, especially in the realm of finance. He’s built financial aid software for the Department of Education, worked on a private student loan origination system for Cology, Inc. and now directs security and information at cuLearn. His customer-first mentality and bulky list of achievements make Greg a superhero. We can rest assured knowing that all customer information and data is securely protected.

Three random things about Greg:

  • Greg could not live without the Internet (we don’t blame him).

  • He’s most like Hawkeye from the Avengers.

  • His next hobby is to restore a vintage Mustang. (Ask him which year and style.)

Jen Adams, Client Management
My Experience

Jen has literally worked in the student loan industry for her entire working profession (over 20 years), making her experience and knowledge irreplaceable to the cuLearn community. Back in the 90’s, she started her career by filing promissory notes and paper guarantees; today she serves as AVP, Client Development. Jen is currently the single point of contact for coordinating resources at the CUSO that support the day to day operational needs and market growth objectives of each assigned credit union.

Three curious things about Jen that makes us smile:

  • Her college financial experience summed up in three words: “Could be worse!”

  • Outside of work, you’ll likely find her…well, outside! She’s either camping or cruising through any number of the many parks in sunny Elk Grove, California with her family of all men (three to be exact).

  • She couldn’t live without a flat iron. (Yes, her hair really is that wavy.)

Jen Miller, Client Management
My Experience

Jen has worked in a variety of departments during her career including: sales, marketing, product, operations and student lending. This diversity in experience paired with her commitment to servicing others makes Jen an ideal fit for the role of AVP of Client Development at cuLearn. From increasing sales by $20 million in four months to processing more than 500 college applications in a year (she decided who was accepted and who was not), Jen has seen it all in the student loan industry. She has a solid record of managing large-scale projects, providing creative solutions and delivering results.

Three fun things to know about Jen:

  • She wants to master the crow yoga pose (Google it, then try it. It looks insanely hard.)
  • Her first big purchase was a light plum Saturn SL2.
  • She would be lost without a grill. (How else would you eat your food?)
Greg Carlo, Client Market Dev.
My Experience

Greg has several years of experience in college financial aid before moving to the student loan and financial management industry. Over the course of the last 20 years, Greg has developed a nationwide college network. This coupled with his community and family values makes him a great fit for cuLearn.  A versatile sales manager and business development professional, he has a measurable record of success building sustainable relationships and inspiring the teams who bring products to market. Before joining our team, Greg managed more than 3,000 college, university and credit union relationships for several companies including Citibank, Great Lakes and Sallie Mae/Navient across the Midwest and Southeast.    

Three ways Greg stays young at heart:

  • He’s on track to attend a baseball game in every MLB stadium.
  • Greg is an avid volunteer and works with many different organizations throughout his community.
  • Greg holds a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do.
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