Monitor 2021 Women’s List: Michelle Fuchs, CLFP

by Monitor Staff Nov/Dec 2021

Michelle Fuchs, CLFP,
Vice President/Business Development Manager,
Stearns Bank

Michelle Fuchs is a natural when it comes to conversation. In her 26 years with Stearns Bank, she’s made thousands of cold calls, built countless connections and worked through just about every equipment financing scenario possible — and she’s not slowing down.


“My vision and my hope for the equipment finance industry is that it remains centered on initiating and building personal relationships. Technology has been a welcome game-changer and it will continue improving how we function; however, I don’t want to see it replace conversations and real human connections.”

While she began her career in client relations, Fuchs quickly transitioned into business development roles where her passion for conversation and connection truly blossomed. Even after so many years in the business, she continues embracing opportunity, growth and change. She loves uncovering layers to figure out what really matters to people and how she can help them reach their goals. It is still a thrill for her to pick up the phone to see where the dial will lead.

Today, Fuchs supports sales team members with their day-to-day tasks, sharing her own passion for nurturing relationships over the course of time. She also serves as a resource and hopes to inspire others to be as excited about the industry as she is.

Noted as a standout leader, Fuchs insists upon staying involved with every aspect of the financing cycle, from the first cold call all the way to funding. While taking on many management responsibilities, she remains at the front line of the process and because of that, her team easily relates to and relies upon her.

“Michelle is an impactful role model at Stearns Bank and beyond because she leads by example. She’s genuine, accessible, hard-working, honest and solution-minded,” Isaac Flenner, director of equipment finance and small business lending at Stearns Bank, says. “Over the course of her career, she has gained the insight and experience needed to truly understand what her customers need and how to get it to them quickly. It is her experience and positive attitude that clearly set her apart and make her an empowering leader at Stearns Bank and in the industry overall.”

Among the many values that Stearns Bank lives by as an organization, Fuchs says her favorite is “sense of urgency” because it lights a fire within her. She’s at her best when she’s moving quickly and believes that a sense of urgency, combined with responsiveness and accountability, are key factors that make Stearns Bank successful and keep her prepared for all that’s ahead.

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