Bank president takes exec job at firearms company

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Tom Lund

The founding president of Rocky Mountain Bank in Kalispell is stepping down to take a top executive position with a Columbia Falls firearms manufacturing company.

Defiance Machine announced Wednesday it has hired Tom Lund as its newly created president and chief operating officer. Lund is transitioning from Rocky Mountain Bank as its Kalispell president and said he expects to be fully on board at Defiance Machine by the end of February.

Lund, 61, said he has always been involved with firearms, hunting and reloading since he was a teenager. During his career in banking he said he’s had the opportunity to finance a number of firearms manufacturers.

His involvement with Defiance began about 10 years ago when Rocky Mountain Bank financed its start-up.

“I have worked with [Defiance founder and CEO] Glen Harrison through several iterations and I’ve always had a high regard for him and his personal dedication and commitment,” Lund told the Inter Lake. “After nearly 40 years in banking I needed to be reinvigorated as I close out my career. This will take a lot of things I’ve been exposed to and focus them into growing a business I’ve watched grow and helped grow, but never had been on the internal side. I’m ready for a new challenge.”

Harrison said his company is poised for growth and will greatly benefit from Lund’s business expertise.

“We’re growing, and frankly, it’s more than one exec can handle,” Harrison said in a press release. “We have plans for exponential growth; we’ve added millions of dollars in new machines; we’ve added new employees; we’re adding an ERP system to connect all our functions with custom software. It’s more than a single executive, with two great managers, can handle. We need help.

“I’ve known and worked with Tom for more than 10 years,” Harrison said. “I always say the more important attribute is not skill, but character, and Tom has both. His integrity, his honesty, his willingness to serve his community is well known. When I thought Tom might be interested in joining our team, I stopped looking. This was the guy.”

Lund will remain active in his civic and charitable organizations, as Defiance wants to expand its involvement in the local community beyond its reputation in the firearms industry, Harrison said.

The Kalispell Chamber of Commerce named Lund Businessman of the Year in 2013. He was the Chamber board chairman in 2011 and has been active with the organization through the years. At the time of his 2013 award, Lund was vice chairman of the Kalispell urban renewal agency and a member of the School District 5 long-range planning committee, Montana West Economic Development and West Side Tax Increment board.

He also has been actively involved in his church and local service organizations.

Lund was the founding president of Rocky Mountain Bank in 2004.

“He grew the bank from an empty field to having deposits of $21 million and commercial loans of $27 million and over 800 customers,” Mark Johnson wrote in 2013 in support of Lund’s nomination for the Chamber’s Businessman of the Year award. “Once the Rocky Mountain Bank was in operation and growing its customers’ base, he acted as a mentor not only to his direct employees but for employees and officers in many banks in the Rocky Mountain system.”

As chief operating officer at Defiance Machine, Lund will oversee all employees and production, and the day-to-day operation of the company, freeing up Harrison as the chief product designer and programmer.

“I want to give Glen even more time to let his creativity grow,” said Lund. “I’ll be looking for a very specific, very talented person to add to the programming skills here. That’s a tough job to fill, because the Defiance manufacturing process is beyond most training modules and traditional skill levels. But I’m optimistic.”

Defiance Machine combines visionary design and precision manufacturing to produce custom bolt actions and rifles for the shooter who wants exceptional accuracy. The company’s unique manufacturing process allows the Defiance team to craft each action to the customer’s specifications — yet still produce within enviable shipping times, the press release stated.

As Lund transitions out of his bank president position he has been working with his replacement, Chance Barrett, who joined Rocky Mountain Bank about four months ago. Barrett spent 11 years with Glacier Bank an the last four years as an Edward Jones financial adviser.

Lynnette Hintze may be reached at 758-4421 or lhintze@dailyinterlake.com.

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