Meet Our Staff

About Us

The biggest surprise is probably been in the availability of the most senior people - the ones that have to make a decision on the big deals. The availability to talk with Julie Ann on the phone almost immediately upon my request is just unheard of anywhere. The availability of top management is simply the best.
- Gary Petsuch, President & CEO, The Staffing Solutions Group

Julie-Ann Blazei

Julie-Ann Blazei
President/CEO


Outgoing. High-energy. Passionate.
This is how Julie Ann describes herself, and anyone who has met Julie Ann understands why. As President and CEO of Tricom Funding, Julie Ann spends countless hours meeting and speaking with staffing company owners, executives and other staffing industry leaders across the country, sharing her expertise and offering Tricom's vast resources to prospects and clients alike. These efforts reflect her business philosophy: "Give more than what you try to receive; don't worry about what you get back." Julie Ann joined Tricom in 1991 and was quickly promoted to Director of Cash Management. Over the years, she took on several roles including Co-Manager of the Payroll Department, Director of Information Systems and Vice President. She became President and CEO in 2002. Prior to her time at Tricom, Julie Ann attended the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse and worked several years in retail operations management. For Julie Ann, working at Tricom is all about offering opportunities: the opportunity to help independent staffing company owners grow their businesses, the opportunity to help temporary workers succeed in their careers, and the opportunity for Tricom employees to grow personally and professionally. When not at Tricom, you may find Julie Ann at the sidelines of a soccer game (she helps run the Slinger GOALS Soccer Club) or lending her support to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. She also loves reading, spending time with her family and watching her beloved Green Bay Packers (Go! Pack! Go!).

Rick Gehrke
Director of Cash Management/COO


Rick joined the Tricom Funding team in 1998 — right out of college after completing his Bachelor of Finance degree at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. After working as a payroll specialist for his first several years with Tricom, and then becoming a payroll lead, Rick was promoted to Director of Cash Management in 2002. As Director of Cash Management, he oversees all funds that come in and go out of Tricom. Rick’s business philosophy he’s followed from his first job having a paper route and throughout his career is to focus on what you do best, and be the best at what you do. He feels this attitude is embraced at Tricom as well. If you ask Rick to describe himself in three words, he’ll tell you that he’s funny, loyal and dedicated (and people that know Rick would agree!). Rick loves summer in Wisconsin and going to music festivals. He also enjoys traveling and spending as much time as possible with his goddaughter.

Mary Jo Heim
Director of Accounting/CFO


From her first job pricing flash cubes (remember those?) at the Treasure Island retail store her father managed, Mary Jo has an early professional history of working with numbers. She earned a Bachelor of Business Administration - Accounting degree at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and joined the Tricom Funding team in 1996. Mary Jo is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Payroll Professional. She is also an active member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Wisconsin Institute of Certified Public Accountants. As the Director of Accounting and CFO, Mary Jo likes being able to use her knowledge and experience to assist others and help them successfully grow their businesses. When she’s not hitting the ten-key at Tricom, Mary Jo lends her talents to her church as Treasurer. Mary Jo also loves to spend time with her family doing everything from baseball, to biking, hiking, camping, exploring museums and taking in factory tours. She and her family also volunteer each week at the Happy Endings no-kill cat shelter and have helped numerous animals find loving homes.

Michelle Johnson
Director of Client Services


“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” As Director of Client Services, it’s no wonder that Michelle admires this quote by Joshua Marine. Every day Michelle and her team help clients efficiently and effectively overcome challenges. Michelle attended the University of Wisconsin –Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Area Technical College before joining the Tricom team as a Payroll Specialist in 1993. Shortly thereafter, she was promoted to Lead Payroll Specialist and became Director of Client Services in 2004. Michelle is a current member of the American Payroll Association and is a Certified Payroll Professional. As a long-time Tricom team member, she sees Tricom as more than just a place of work, but as a family. When away from her Tricom family, Michelle is a talented cook and home decorator.

Sandy Sell
Director of Portfolio Management


“Service. Service. Service. Courtesy. Courtesy. Courtesy. Always deal with people in a courteous and dignified way.” That’s Sandy’s reply when you ask her about her business philosophy. This philosophy and Sandy’s commitment to serving customers has helped Sandy be successful for over 20 years in management positions and as Director of Portfolio Management (which she says is a fancy title for credit and collections). In fact, that’s one of the things she likes most about working at Tricom since she joined the team in 1999: Tricom’s commitment to customer service and their ongoing drive to find new and better ways to serve their clients. Sandy describes herself as committed, caring and irreverent. When she’s not monitoring receivables, she lends her support to the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, as well as to local arthritis and diabetes associations. Sandy also loves to do anything with her grandchildren, take road trips with her husband and see movies or any type of live music (be sure to ask her about braving the extreme heat and humidity to see Paul McCartney!).

Linda Walsch
Director of Payroll & Billing Services


An original Tricom employee from 1989 (in fact, Tricom Funding is her first full time professional job), it’s no surprise that one of the words Linda uses to describe herself is “loyal.” Linda received her Bachelor of Science in Organizational Communication from the University of Wisconsin – Steven’s Point and is the Director of Payroll & Billing Services. One of her favorite things about working at Tricom is everyone’s strong commitment to doing things right, and she takes pride in the fact that Tricom has good values. Those traits fit well with her business philosophy: “Working together to obtain our goals while helping our clients and staff succeed.” That philosophy translates to her passions outside of work, as well. Linda is Tricom’s Team Captain for Brigg’s & Al’s Run & Walk for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, and she is also the co-chair of a local fundraising bike ride that has raised over $20,000 for breast and cervical cancer awareness programs. In addition to these fundraising efforts, she also supports local MS walks and Alzheimer’s programs. When not donating her time to great causes, Linda loves to travel (especially to other countries and historical sites) and attend baseball games.

Shelly Wilkinson
Director of Sales


“Think you can, think you can’t. Either way, you’re right.” This quote by Henry Ford is one that Shelly takes to heart, and it has helped make her a successful sales professional for over 20 years. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Steven’s Point with a degree in Business Administration and Marketing, Shelly worked for ten years in telecommunications (not counting her early work experience de-tasseling corn!) before joining the Tricom team in 2005 as Director of Sales. In this role, Shelly enjoys reaching out to staffing company owners and executives across the country who are looking for a financial partner, as well as acting as a valuable resource to current Tricom clients. Shelly describes herself as loyal, caring and pragmatic, which is evident as she explains her business philosophy: “Your word is everything. Do what you say you’re going to do, take care of your clients and pick up the phone to communicate versus emailing.” When she does put down her phone, Shelly also lends her time to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, the American Cancer Society, the Hunger Task Force and the Wisconsin Humane Society. She also enjoys spending time bike riding, exercising, doing yoga, swimming, travelling, gardening and gathering with family and friends.

 

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