About Us

AILCO is a full-service direct lender that has been in business since 1997. We fund A-C+ credit transactions from $10K to $500K (larger on a case-by-case basis) offering creative solutions, a commonsense approach to credit underwriting, competitive rates, and the ability to provide unique funding capability (used equipment, corporate-only, private party sales, sale-leasebacks, and soft costs). Start-ups will be considered for good credits, 675+ FICO, continuing outside income, and strong personal net worth to enhance the probability of a positive credit decision. Decisions are typically made within 24 hours.

Our Team

Derek Smith

President / CEO

Prior to serving as President/CEO of AILCO Equipment Finance, Inc., Derek Smith served as Commercial Banking Executive for Old National Bank (ONB). He lead a team of commercial and small business relationship managers centered among the most dynamic markets of Milwaukee, Madison and the Fox Valley. Derek benefits from a 17 year banking career also including TCF Bank and Associated Bank. Derek’s expertise includes mergers and acquisition, small business and mid-market, ESOP lending and traditional Commercial and Industrial business banking. Derek is an avid community supporter with extensive Board and volunteer service. He has a passion for enhancing the lives of individuals with disabilities serving on the Advisory Board of Best Buddies as a past Board Chair (board participating ended Dec 2019), Disability:IN Wisconsin as past Advisory Board Chair and on the Executive Leadership Council of The Ability Center (TAC) in 2020/2021. A Graduate of Walsh College, Derek holds a Master of Business Administration and Bachelor degree with a concentration in Finance. He also completed the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin. He has a passion for scuba diving, animals, running and entertaining.

Mark Sorensen

Senior Vice President, Operations

Mark brings 35+ years of experience in equipment finance, banking and insurance agency ownership. His scope of responsibility at AILCO includes credit review, documentation, collections and equipment management. Previous and current experience is in mid-ticket and small ticket financing. He has a Bachelor of Business Administration graduate of the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. Outside of the office, Mark has been a certified high school basketball referee for 35+ years, as well, and is proud to have officiated at eight Wisconsin state basketball tournament finals. He also enjoys travel and golf, including attendance at many professional golf events.

Connor Stoming

Portfolio Manager

Connor joined AILCO in May of 2021. His primary responsibilities include credit review, collections, and portfolio management. Connor is a 2021 graduate of Concordia University Wisconsin with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance. While at Concordia, Connor was a member of the Alpha Chi Academic Honor Society, a two-year captain of the football team, a three-time Scholar Athlete, and earned Academic All-District honors twice.

Chris Hatcher


Chris has 7 total years of experience in the accounting field, with over 5 years in public accounting. He received his Master’s degree from UW-Whitewater back in 2015 and attained his CPA license the following year. Chris oversees the accounting team, and some of his primary responsibilities include issuing complete and timely financial statements as well as assisting management in making important financial decisions.

Debbie Vogel

Staff Accountant

Debbie joined the AILCO team in February of 2022 bringing with her, 20+ years of Accounting related experience in a wide variety of industries. She is a life-long Wisconsin resident and enjoys cooking & spending time outdoors.

Brian Alberti

Accounting Manager

Brian joined the AILCO team in March of 2022 bringing with him over 20 years of accounting experience in the manufacturing sector. He received a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Lakeland College, and a second bachelor’s degree in Operations and Materials Management from UW-Eau Claire.

Kathy Nies

Documentation/Sales Support

Kathy has over 30 years of experience in the banking and financing industry, serving in a variety of different roles. She started her professional career in customer service and had served as Branch Supervisor and Executive Assistant to the President of a local bank. Kathy joined AILCO in 2012 and primarily works in operations, preparing loan documentation and providing back-office support as Sales Operations Specialist. In her spare time, Kathy enjoys spending time with family, traveling, reading, and playing volleyball.

Jeanne Zeske

Credit Administration

Jeanne Zeske is a Credit Manager. She works closely with the relationship managers to structure and approve a variety of credit solutions for its customers. Prior to joining AILCO, Jeanne spent over 35 years in commercial banking in sales, portfolio management, and credit risk management roles. She has a BBA in Finance from UW Madison and was a scholarship athlete on the women’s golf team. She still has a passion for golf and enjoys playing with her husband and two sons. Outside of golf, Jeanne enjoys biking, spectator sports, volunteering for her church, and recently started mentoring young women through Notre Dame Middle School in Milwaukee.

Tom Rude

Senior Vice President, Sales

Tom has been in the Equipment Finance and Leasing industry his entire career, beginning in 1981. Tom partners with your company’s ownership and management to provide flexible, creative, and relationship-based equipment finance structuring solutions in all kinds of industries and equipment/asset types. Based in Waukesha WI, he also has many years of successful experience working as a partner to those that need Equipment Finance expertise for their client base (i.e. local banks, equipment dealers/manufacturers, other finance companies, and various other centers of influence). In addition, Tom continues to serve as the President of the Wisconsin Equipment Finance Association, including being the local link to our national group, the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association.

Scott Woodring

Vice President, Sales

Scott Woodring has over 20 years of experience in the equipment finance industry and has successfully fulfilled roles in sales, marketing, management, administration, and documentation. He has experience providing funding for transactions from $10,000 – $20,000,000 +. He has funded deals across the entire credit spectrum for virtually all collateral types and has been instrumental in working with manufacturers, dealers, equipment leasing brokers, and lessors in implementing finance programs that meet the specific needs of their customers. He has served in various capacities in the most well-known equipment finance associations, including NEFA, AACFB and ELFA and has won numerous awards throughout his career. Outside the office, Scott is a HUGE music enthusiast – beginning his love for music collecting at the age of 10 when he bought his first set of 45’s at a garage sale. Throw in dedication to fitness, being a fan of all things college football (Go Big Red!), an avid movie watcher, and a love of cooking and you get a picture of some of things Scott enjoys doing in his spare time.

Martin Dickson

Senior Vice President, Sales

Marty Dickson brings over 40 years of sales experience and funding expertise to AILCO. Working with transaction sizes primarily up to $1,000,000, Marty would be considered a generalist with experience touching all credit grades and collateral types. Prior to joining AILCO, Marty previously worked primarily for banking organizations including M&I Bank, American Chartered Bank, Busey Bank and American National Bank. Marty works out of the Chicagoland area and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University as an undergrad (BS in Finance) and has a Master’s Degree from Illinois Institute of Technology (MBA with a specialization in finance). A father of two and grandfather of one, Marty resides in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

Tom Casanova

Vice President, Sales

Tom is responsible for developing Equipment Finance solutions and works out of the AILCO home office in Waukesha, WI. Prior to joining AILCO in 2022, Tom’s most recent experience involved monetizing Tax Increment Finance projects in Wisconsin and he was previously the Business Development Manager at the Waukesha County Business Alliance. Tom enjoys following the Wisconsin sports scene and has been spotted golfing on several of the fine Wisconsin golf courses. Tom holds his BS in Management Computer Systems from UW-Whitewater and his MS in Education from Concordia University Wisconsin.
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