Notable CFOs: Michelle Palmquist

Class of 2022

  • Category: Notable CFOs
  • Number of years working in your current industry: 17
  • Undergrad degree/university: BS Accounting and Finance, UW Parkside
  • Graduate degree/university: MBA Keller Graduate School

Colleagues at Waukesha-based Hydro-Thermal Corp. say that chief financial officer Michelle Palmquist is a hands-on and holistic leader that balances short-term goals with long-term vision. 

“She sets the pace for the executive team by demonstrating best practices herself and modeling that to her accounting, HR and IT team and teams she supports. When we are strategic planning, she helps to organize, plan, set priorities, communicate and take feedback, and think outside the box with complex needs,” said Jim Zaiser, president and CEO of Hydro-Thermal. 

“Michelle is probably the most organized person I know. But she is most effective because she knows when to push and when to lend a helping hand,” said Zaiser. “Michelle has taken it upon herself to model the culture of our company and demonstrate behavior that is most effective in corporate detail, ethics, and a sense of continuous improvement. 

“She refuses to accept good enough or procedures because that’s the way we ‘always have done them.’ Instead, she revolutionizes business methods and then finds more gain through always diving deeper into detail,” he said. 

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