Laurie Bakke Announces Retirement from Western Equipment Finance
Devils Lake, N.D. – Laurie Bakke, President of Western Equipment Finance, announced today that she will retire at the end of 2022. Bakke will transition to a senior advisory role with the company beginning in 2023, and she will remain on the Board of Directors for Western State Bank and its related entities. Chad Palmer will become President of Western Equipment Finance in January 2023.
“I have been fortunate to work with so many amazing individuals throughout my 30-year career, and I am thankful for my time in the equipment finance industry,” Bakke said. “I am especially grateful for the opportunity to lead Western Equipment Finance for the past 13 years. Our company has grown significantly, our team members continue to impress the industry, and we have a great foundation for future success.”
Since Bakke joined the company in 2009, Western Equipment Finance has continually expanded its market share, gained industry recognition, and delivered consistent growth. She is a champion of Western’s culture and has built a strong team to ensure the company’s ongoing success.
“We thank Laurie for guiding Western Equipment Finance’s growth over the past 13 years,” said Brian Houkom, Chief Executive Officer of Western State Bank. “She is a tremendous leader who lives our core values every day, and we are grateful that she will remain with our company as an advisor and board member.”
Before joining Western, Bakke held various leadership roles with Huntington Equipment Finance, Irwin Commercial Finance, and NordBanken, AB. Bakke is actively involved with the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association, including a term on the Board of Directors. She also served on the Board of Trustees for the Equipment Leasing and Finance Foundation. Bakke graduated from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, N.D.
Palmer joined Western in 1998 and currently serves as Senior Vice President/Business and Strategic Development. He guides the business development and sales development teams. Palmer also oversees the company’s relationship development with vendors, franchisors, and customers. He graduated from Minot State University in Minot, N.D.
“Chad has the experience, skills, and commitment to lead Western Equipment Finance,” Houkom said. “He is well-respected within the industry, and he has been a big part of our growth as a company. We look forward to supporting him in this new role.”