Tommy Glen, Founder and President | About Wise Loan

Tommy Glenn
Founder and President

Tommy is the founder and CEO of Essential Lending. Prior to launching Essential Lending and its predecessor Essentia Financial, Tommy was president of NetBank Payment Systems, Inc. and founder and CEO of Financial Technologies, Inc. (FTI), NetBank’s predecessor. During his time with FTI, they became one of the largest ATM networks in the US and were featured in several magazines including Inc. Magazine in 2000 and 2001 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country.

Tommy holds a BA in Psychology from Mississippi State University and an MA in Counseling from Regent University.

In addition to being a serial entrepreneur, Tommy enjoys time with his family, is the father of two, and an avid reader. Tommy has several philanthropic pursuits, one of which is working with the social enterprise initiatives at the Presbyterian Night Shelter in Tarrant County.

Dan Brandon is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) for Essential Lending. Dan has more than 25 years of experience, providing software solutions to companies around the world. Prior to Essential, Dan served as Executive Vice President and General Manager of SAF USA, Inc., a Swiss based company that provides demand-forecasting software. Before SAF, he was Vice President/General Manager of supply chain, planning, and optimization for the retail software company, Retek. He also worked as Vice President for Retail Business Development at SSA Global/EXE Technologies/Dallas Systems, a provider of software that drives supply chain execution processes.

Dan attended Oklahoma State University and Central State University.

Dan is a father and grandfather who loves spending time outdoors, working in his yard and garden, a day at the beach or hiking in the mountains. He also enjoys doing service projects helping others with repairs and restoration, which is a good excuse to buy new tools.

Dan Brandon, Technology and Operations | About Wise Loan

Technology and Operations

Paul Whitley, Finance and Accounting | About Wise Loan

Technology and Operations

Lorien is the Business Systems Analyst for Essential Lending. Over her ten-year journey with the company, Lorien has contributed to the work of multiple departments from Accounting, where she handles bookkeeping and payroll, to Compliance where she works with state regulatory agencies to maintain the company’s lending licenses. In addition to working with vendors and affiliates to provide the Call Center staff with the support they need, she works closely with Data Management, facilitating communication between the developers and company to build out functionality.

She earned her BA in Communications from Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The mother of two boys, Lorien enjoys vacationing with her family in the mountains of North Carolina, and hiking to the many waterfalls in the area. During her free time, she likes to curl up with a good book and a hot cup of tea or listen to some Americana music while baking. Lorien participates in First Presbyterian Church’s choir as a soprano and is the proud of owner of a 1972 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia, which was lovingly restored by her father.

Shane served as Director of Analytics at Ace Cash Express and EZ Corp as well as being founder of Analytics Affiliates, a specialty finance consulting company with numerous clients in the online lending space.

Shane leads all data science functions for Essential Lending. He has 20+ years of professional experience providing analytical decision support to retailers, restaurants, health care providers, and governments as well as financial service companies.

He holds an MBA from Carnegie Mellon as well as an MS in Operations Research and a BS in Management Science from SMU. While working in the corporate world, he simultaneously spent 10 years as an adjunct Professor of Finance at Tarleton State University.

As a Fort Worth native with longstanding ties to the community, Shane enjoys live theater and takes advantage of the other historical and cultural offerings of his hometown with his wife and two sons. He’s also a fan of the Dallas Cowboys with the added dimension that he enjoys playing as the Cowboys in the Madden football video game. The quintessential strategist, Shane enjoys creating playbooks and using analytics to give his team an advantage in the game.

Shane Needham, Revenue and Analytics | About Wise Loan

Revenue and Analytics

Paul Whitley, Finance and Accounting | About Wise Loan

Finance and Accounting

Paul leads all accounting and finance functions for Essential Lending. Paul has more than 25 years of experience leading both public and private companies as CFO, COO, Corporate Controller, BDO, SVP and interim executive.
In 2009, Paul formed an independent consulting practice, PJW Financial LLC through which he has advised companies ranging from start-up to $60 million in revenue. Prior to PJW Financial, Paul worked 15 years in the commercial lending industry with companies including FINOVA Capital, Capitalsource and Surge Capital. Prior to lending, Paul managed a 71 store retailer and served at Montgomery Ward as the Corporate Centralized Accounting Manager.

Paul received a BBA with a concentration in finance and accounting from North Texas State University. Paul also attended Graduate School at University of Dallas with a concentration in e-commerce and Internet Technology.

In his spare time, Paul enjoys time with his family. He also has many creative endeavors including art, singing and playing the trumpet. Additionally, Paul is very active in the Prestonwood Baptist Church.

Jackie’s focus has been establishing and nourishing the relationship between the company and customers. Having 25 years of customer care experience, she feels it is important to resolve concerns and find permanent solutions to struggles present for both customers and team members alike.

Jackie is part of the management team. By revising and putting together policy and procedures to keep a friendly and cohesive experience for all parties, Jackie trains her team of professionals and provides an excellent work environment and trusting relationship for the customer.

Jackie was born and raised in Fort Worth and is a wife and mother of two boys and three dogs, which keeps her busy with country living, fishing, camping, and more! Her form of meditation is listening to music of any kind. Some of her hobbies include drawing and reading books. Her favorite authors are Stephen King and Nicholas Sparks.

Shane Needham, Revenue and Analytics | About Wise Loan

Operations and Customer Relations