Bakke to Retire from Western Equipment Finance, Palmer Succeeds Bakke

Laurie Bakke, president of Western Equipment Finance, is set to retire at the end of 2022. Bakke will transition to a senior advisory role with the company in 2023 but will remain on the board of directors for Western State Bank. Chad Palmer will succeed Bakke as president of Western Equipment Finance in Jan. 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.”

After joining the company in 2009, Western Equipment Finance helped expand its market share, gained industry recognition and delivered consistent growth.

“We thank Laurie for guiding Western Equipment Finance’s growth over the past 13 years,” Brian Houkom, CEO of Western State Bank, said. “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.”

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 and the Equipment Leasing and Finance Foundation.

Having joined in 1998, Palmer currently serves as senior vice president/business and strategic development. He guides the business development and sales development teams and oversees the company’s relationship development with vendors, franchisors and customers.

“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.”


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