It’s not just heavy equipment dealers who make up the ranks of The AED Foundation. BOK Financial Equipment Finance Inc., is very interested in elevating the industry as well, and supports The AED Foundation in various ways, such as sponsoring the annual fundraising Gala and live auction.
BOK Financial Equipment Finance, Inc. provides financing to more than 100 heavy equipment dealers in 44 states, delivered by a 15-person team based in Dallas, Texas. BOK Financial Equipment Finance is a subsidiary of BOK Financial, the banking subsidiary of BOK Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: BOKF), a top 25 U.S.-based commercial bank headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
From its ranks comes one of The AED Foundation’s newest board members. Darren Grahsl, senior vice president of BOK Financial Equipment Finance Inc., has taken on the role of treasurer.
Grahsl has worked with heavy equipment customers for the majority of his banking career, and joined BOK Financial’s equipment finance division in 2017. It was roughly a year ago that there was an opening on The AED Foundation’s board. “I was honored when I was asked to join,” Grahsl stated.
As for BOK Financial, “we’ve been in the heavy equipment industry for more than 15 years,” Grahsl says. “We love working with our customers to help grow their businesses. A number of our customers are actively involved with AED and The AED Foundation, so I look forward to working closely with them in my new role.”
Grahsl feels confident about his position as treasurer, considering his banking background. “I look forward to using my analytical and informational skills to work hand-in-hand with The AED Foundation to inform group decisions, provide recommendations, and solicit feedback from members,” Grahsl explained.
When you pair BOK Financial Equipment Finance’s focus with the information from the Foundation’s assorted members, it will give him a good overall picture in his leadership capacity. “This will provide a better understanding of the challenges that dealers may face – both regional and nationwide. We have an excellent vantage point of what is happening within the industry.”
“Throughout the industry the labor shortage is not unique to one specific geographical location or segment,” Grahsl says.
“The purpose of The AED Foundation is to continue to further the development of workforce. The industry has fairly significant shortage from a skilled labor perspective, and The AED Foundation’s goal is to continue to build an infrastructure of training (so it can) continue to make a greater impact for the future.”
One goal is to try to show the younger generation that construction equipment is a viable career pursuit, and by working with The AED Foundation, Grahsl hopes to bring awareness to the next generation of talent.
“We’re trying to get into high schools, to the parents of the future workforce. It’s not just a job but a career – a significant career path – and it brings value to the individual and the family as well as to the regional and national economies.”