At Midland Equipment Finance, Kari Differding supplies leadership and direct support to a team of account managers whose primary responsibility is to manage high-producing house accounts over multiple vertical channels. She does all this in addition to her personal annual originations goals as assistant vice president of sales and account management, with a particular focus on the manufacturing and industrial sectors as well as capital markets.
Early in her career in equipment finance, which began in 2004 after she earned an associate’s degree from Minnesota West Technical College, she gained valuable experience while serving in a variety of roles, including documentation analyst, transaction and funding coordinator, sales associate and account manager for several bank-owned equipment finance companies, such as TCF Equipment Finance and U.S. Bank Equipment Finance. Her experience, combined with her drive for an elevated level of personal service externally and internally, has been pivotal to her continued personal success and the success of her team at Midland. Differding’s customer-centric cultural principles for herself and her team mesh with Midland’s mission.
“We strive to provide first-class service to our end-users, vendors, manufacturers and referral sources,” Differding says. “We have developed and nurtured many strong relationships over the years and the key to our success has been fairly straightforward: Be available, be enthusiastic, be self-driven and be dedicated to our customer’s success.”
Always willing to take on challenges, Differding recently applied and was invited to join the highly acclaimed Master’s II Program, which is a high potential leadership program presented by Midland States Bank, the parent company of Midland Equipment Finance. The program is an intense, year-long professional development program designed to further advance the skill sets of leaders of the bank.
“Since we are a division of the bank and are independent, my day-to-day interactions are primarily with my equipment finance teammates. The Master’s program really gave me the opportunity to interact with and learn from leaders across the bank and to better understand and clearly communicate Midland’s customer-centric culture principles,” Differding says.
In Q3/22, Differding took on the responsibility of managing the capital markets flow business within Midland Equipment Finance, effectively doubling her and her team’s production. The move has helped empower her team to oversee a majority of the company’s indirect business. With this and every other opportunity she is presented with, Differding has proven to be an effective student, teacher, coach and leader.
“We have added a great deal to Kari’s plate over the past few years and she continues to be nothing less than exceptional with every opportunity. She cares deeply about her team, her customers and our company and I have been privileged to see her maturation and transformation into a valuable member of our leadership team,” Jim Denning, senior vice president and director of sales at Midland, says. “I look forward to seeing her continued impact on the growth and success of our company, as well as herself, for many years to come.”
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