The Wisconsin Auto Collision Technicians Association Ltd (WACTAL) is pleased to welcome new Executive Director Deb Brunett.
“I really appreciate the warm welcome I have had so far from the WACTAL family,” Brunett said.
When long-time Executive Director Sue Petersen decided to retire earlier this year, WACTAL began searching to fill the leadership role and found Brunett, who has experience as a teacher, operations manager and organizer.
“Sue has been instrumental in helping this transition to be as seamless as possible, and I’ve learned a lot about WACTAL from her in a short space of time,” Brunett said.
Brunett has served as director for local television station Merrill Productions, and she sits on the board of directors for Wisconsin Community Media, where she also serves as treasurer and conference committee chair.
“Those skillsets are very similar to what I need for WACTAL,” Brunett said. “At my family masonry business, I take care of payroll, taxes, invoicing and bookwork, plus I understand the importance of teamwork and collaboration to achieve a common goal.
“I’m learning a lot about the automotive and collision industries,” Brunett assured. “Every organization has different policies and procedures, and I’m getting familiar with those as well as the industry’s needs to determine where we can make improvements.”
Brunett hopes to increase WACTAL membership and guide the association into more active involvement with local tech schools offering automotive and collision training programs, including expanding the organization’s scholarship foundation offerings.
The association provides a lot of member benefits already, but Brunett hopes to expand those offerings to ensure “members get the biggest bang for their buck," she said.
"A main goal is to develop a sponsorship program to push us to that next level of being able to provide more to our members," she said. "We also want to keep WACTAL’s membership informed about industry changes, develop legislative items, and provide support when needed.”
Brunett also hopes to update the systems WACTAL uses. All events are currently postponed due to COVID-19, but WACTAL hopes to be able to hold its conference in 2021 and possibly a golf outing.
“We want to be forward-looking, but there are so many uncertainties right now, and we need to show that we have their best interests at heart," Brunett said. "Right now, that means practice social distancing to ensure their safety.”
Addressing members’ needs begins with determining those needs, and Brunett has turned to industry leaders to help educate her on the industry’s concerns.
“This industry is filled with a great group of people, and everyone has been very welcoming to me. The leaders I’ve met from other associations have offered advice and assistance, and that really goes a long way,” she said.
“I’m looking forward to being your executive director. My door is always open,” Brunett wrote to WACTAL members in a recent association publication.
For more information about WACTAL, visit wactal.com.