Executive Staff

Laura Gutierrez, Secretary

Laura Gutiérrez was appointed by Governor Walker in February 2017 as Secretary of the Department of  Safety and Professional Services.

She grew up in Milwaukee and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Carroll College and a  Master of Arts in Leadership and Policy from Marquette University. She also completed the District  Administrator Licensure Program at Cardinal Stritch University and received her Superintendent license in  2016.

Secretary Gutiérrez most recently served as Vice President of Academic Affairs at St. Anthony School in  Milwaukee. Prior to that, she served as Assistant Principal and Director of Instruction at Bruce Guadalupe  Community School.

Previously, Secretary Gutiérrez served as an elementary and middle school instructor in various capacities  and also worked as a clinical and microbiology laboratory assistant at Waukesha Memorial Hospital. 

                                        She resides in Wind Lake with her husband George, and together, they have four                                             children.

Eric Esser, Deputy Secretary

Eric Esser was appointed Deputy Secretary of the Department of Safety and Professional Services in January 2016.

Eric is originally from Waunakee, WI and graduated from Edgewood College with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice.

Eric previously served as Assistant Deputy Secretary of the department.  Prior to joining the Department of Safety and Professional Services, Eric worked in the offices of State Senator Alan Lasee from 2005-2011 and State Senator Alberta Darling from 2004-2005. He also served on the Waunakee Community School District Board of Education from 2008-2011. Eric served as the Director of Gubernatorial Appointments in the Office of Governor Scott Walker from 2011-2015.

Kirsten Reader, Assistant Deputy Secretary

Kirsten Reader is the Assistant Deputy Secretary and has served with the Department since November 2013. 

Kirsten is the Small Business Coordinator and has previously served as Administrator for the Division of Industry Services and the Division of Professional Credential Processing, as well as Public Information Officer. 

Prior to joining the Department, Kirsten worked on policy and communications in both the Wisconsin State Senate and Wisconsin State Assembly.