Spokane Journal of Business

Bank of America tabs Kurt Walsdorf for broader role

Longtime executive will still lead Spokane market

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Bank of America Merrill Lynch has appointed Kurt Walsdorf to head up business banking in much of the western U.S. 

In addition to serving as the bank’s market president for Spokane and state president for Idaho, Walsdorf is now responsible for expanding and growing commercial banking services and lending in all of Washington and Idaho, as well as Oregon, California, Nevada, and Utah. 

“It’s a role I take very seriously,” says Walsdorf.

He says it’s been a 31-year journey and a gentle progression to new duties as the head of business banking sales performance and support executive for the western region of the U.S. Part of it is his own making and that of supportive family; the other part is Bank of America recognizing early on that he had what it takes to be groomed for one of the top slots. 

“It has been a great career,” says Walsdorf. “The bank provides us with so many opportunities. The depth and breadth of the organization is so large and so powerful, just to be able to develop your career and to be able to reach whatever your dreams are from a career standpoint,  you can do it at Bank of America.”

Walsdorf is a graduate of Gonzaga Preparatory School who attended Carroll College, in Helena, Mont., where he majored in business and finance. In 1982, he went on to Gonzaga University’s Graduate School of Business, where he earned an MBA.

“I had a phenomenal experience at Gonzaga. Some of the best mentors I’ve had from a career standpoint were at Gonzaga and are still friends to this day,” he says.

After business school, Walsdorf entered Bank of America’s management training program in Seattle. He is also a graduate of the Pacific Coast Banking School at University of Washington and the Western Agricultural Credit School at Oregon State.  

Bank of America selected him from its management program to work in its commercial banking. He began moving up the corporate hierarchy, which included more training in Spokane, and a commercial lending position in Moses Lake. In 1994, he was selected as a team leader and moved to Yakima, and then back to Spokane where he has remained since. 

Bank of America first tabbed Walsdorf to be market president in November 2003. The market president role is to head banking activity in Spokane, North Idaho, and Boise, and to integrate aspects of the bank, including retail and commercial lending, investments via Merrill Lynch, home loans, and U.S. Trust products, and then bring all these resources together to help clients. 

He continues in that role in addition to his new position. 

“Kurt’s extensive commercial banking experience in the Pacific Northwest made him the perfect fit for this role. He knows how to deliver the full capabilities of our entire company to our clients, while ensuring we provide the highest level of service,” says Kathie Sowa, business banking West region executive for Bank of America. “In this new regional role, Kurt’s expertise can be leveraged more broadly to advise client teams across in the western U.S., who serve more than 10,000 mid-sized businesses based in the region.”

As the market president, Walsdorf is also the bank’s spokesperson and spearheads philanthropic efforts for the Spokane market and beyond. He currently serves as the treasurer for Greater Spokane Incorporated and on the Board of Regents for Gonzaga University. He also helps local campaigns at local chapters of the United Way and March of Dimes.

  • Chris Street

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Chris received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Texas. Previously Street wrote for Men’s Fitness, worked in the Texas oil fields, and served as a research assistant investigating banks for a private investment group. Assignments for the Journal of Business range from healthcare and technology to finance. A graduate of the United States Army Infantry School in Fort Benning, Georgia, Chris enjoys reading in his spare time. A few of his favorite authors include Pearl S. Buck, Truman Capote, Robert Sapolsky, C.J. Chivers and Tom Wainwright.

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