Our Team

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), its predecessor. During his time with FTI, they became the one of largest ATM deployer 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 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 Chief Operating Officer (COO) for Essential Financial. Dan has more than 25 years 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.

  • 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.
  • He has 20+ years of professional experience providing analytical decision support to retailers, restaurants, health care providers, governments as well as financial service companies.
  • He is a Professor of Finance at Tarleton State University.
  • He holds an MBA from Carnegie Mellon as well as a MS in Operations Research and BS in Management Science from SMU.

Paul Whitley

Finance and Accounting

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 his 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.