Joe Leonard: Consistently Building and Retaining Customer Relationships
by Phil Neuffer Monitor 100 2023
Joe Leonard is one of the founders of Oakmont Capital Services and for the last 25 years, he has led the company by prioritizing customer service and retention. Now that Oakmont has entered the Monitor 100, Leonard is even more dedicated to its continued growth.
Joe Leonard, CEO, Oakmont Capital Services
Oakmont Capital Services has been a consistent force in the equipment finance industry since 1998, when Joe Leonard joined forces with Megan Zoba to start the company on a foundation of brokering transactions while building a portfolio. As a founding member, as well as the president and CEO of the company, Leonard has overseen its steady growth over the years, a process that accelerated when the company expanded to more than 70 employees in 2022, ultimately leading to its entrance into the Monitor 100 for the first time this year.
Adding new team members, products and capabilities over time has paved the way for Oakmont to perform at a high level. However, although Leonard prioritizes gaining scale and efficiency for the business in order to insulate against inevitable economic fluctuations, he is most passionate about servicing and retaining customers.
“We devote a lot of effort to supporting our customers,” Leonard says. “Nothing makes me prouder than seeing new funding for a repeat customer.”
In a similar vein, Leonard is also dedicated to recruiting and retaining talented team members, especially given the historically relationship- based nature of the equipment finance industry, a sector Leonard has been involved in since his early days at Mita Leasing Corp. in Devon, PA. Since that time, Leonard has witnessed a shift in what it takes to be a good leader, causing him to champion a nurturing approach. He says that it is imperative for leaders to inspire their teams while establishing trust by listening and collaborating with employees. Aside from being beneficial to company performance, Leonard knows that such an approach helps in his company’s continued efforts to develop the emerging leaders who will tackle the next generation of industry ebbs and flows.
Leonard is well-versed in what it takes to overcome such challenges, having led Oakmont through the Great Recession, the economic upheaval of 2020 and the current high-rate environment. He says that such tribulations have forged Oakmont into a responsive and adaptable company, as evidenced by its plan to roll out several new products and systems later this year.
“We have been incredibly fortunate to have sustained many exceptional relationships since 1998, and we look forward to the opportunity to pay it forward,” Leonard says.
“We continue to focus on improving customer satisfaction to lower our initial acquisition cost. This is an ongoing priority and is consistently at the top of the list.”
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