Monitor 2020 Women’s List: Charla Laird

by Monitor Staff Nov/Dec 2020

Charla Laird

Sales & Marketing Director
Dakota Financial



Charla Laird has spent more than 30 years developing relationships within the equipment finance industry. Her success is in large part due to her steadfast commitment to integrity, honesty and a desire to ensure everyone involved in a transaction comes out a winner. These values have allowed her to build a large and trusted network of partners in both the broker and direct lending spheres. She is therefore uniquely qualified for her current role as the sales and marketing director at Dakota Financial.


“My vision is that we continue down the aggressive and amazing path our industry is on. There are so many accomplished and powerful women I am happy to call friends. I am proud to be part of an industry that makes it a priority to celebrate the accomplishments of the many great women responsible for its growth. Women do make a difference in our industry.”

Over her eight years in this role, she has leveraged her network and experience to connect brokers with credit and funding professionals. Her strategies and programs have created many new relationships and facilitated countless win-win outcomes. The resulting partnerships provide the foundation for Dakota’s consistent year-over-year growth during her tenure.

Laird will be the first to tell you that she didn’t get here alone. She has been mentored, inspired, encouraged and taught by some of the best in the business. She points to her time working with Ron Wagner, Brad Peterson and Michael Green as being invaluable to her professional development. Like Wagner, Peterson and Green, Laird believes the industry needs to proactively become more diversified in order to continue to grow and thrive.

“I’ve enjoyed working alongside Charla,” Peterson, who serves as CEO of Dakota Financial, says. “She has three attributes that make her a valuable member of the industry and any team she is on: (1) experience as a broker, in docs/credit, sales/customer service/relationship management, with a flow funding source and a specialty funding source; (2) strong customer orientation – relationship driven, applying her experience on behalf of her customers; and (3) effervescent personality – you can literally hear Charla’s joy and passion over the phone. [I’m] very happy for her success.”

Leave a comment