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Act! Action Will Delineate and Define You

June 01, 2016, 07:00 AM

On May 18th  and 19th, I participated in the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association’s (ELFA’s) Capitol Connections program in Washington D.C. along with more than 100 other industry leaders and ELFA staff members. This was my sophomore year as a participant, and much like returning to college after my freshman year, I was very happy to return. The equipment finance industry has flourished despite economic downturns, rollercoaster credit cycles, the Great Recession, and various corporate exits and consolidations. I’ve been fortunate to successfully navigate through the ebbs and flows of our industry earning both a living and the friendships of some of the hardest working professionals in the commercial finance industry. So from my perspective, participating in this annual program is the least I can do to give something back to the industry that has positively impacted my professional and personal life in numerous ways.

Making time for programs such as Capitol Connections is difficult because time has become a precious commodity for many. But if you’re like me, you’ve grown tired of watching the “talking heads” endlessly ventilating their “expert opinions” on multifarious political topics. For me, listening to the rhetoric from both sides of the aisle is exhausting. As a result, I decided once again to make time and take action by participating with my peers to amplify our industry’ voice and build a greater understanding of the issues germane and vital to the long-term success of the equipment finance industry – an industry that fuels economic prosperity in the U.S.

Our main talking points while meeting with lawmakers included:

  • Discussing how the new data collection requirements under Section 1071 of Dodd-Frank will impose an unnecessary and costly burden on businesses that provide financing. The ELFA has advocated for the repeal of Section 1071;
  • Building awareness among lawmakers that requiring lenders/lessors to inquire whether a commercial credit applicant is a woman-owned, minority-owned, or small business-enterprise is at odds with current law that prohibits inquiring about the “race, color, religion, national origin, or sex” of an applicant during the credit process, and that such practices endanger anti-discriminatory processes and can potentially cause unintended harm to businesses;
  • To maintain business interest deductibility in tax reform.

The participants in the program represented a cross-section of the ELFA membership including small, medium and large bank-owned leasing companies, independent leasing companies, and service providers. From the time I received my team packet, to the closing reception, it was obvious the ELFA expended a tremendous amount of effort to develop, coordinate and direct this highly successful program, and I believe we should all be grateful to the ELFA team for creating a forum for our industry to be heard in Washington D.C.

In closing, I feel compelled to remind our readers that each U.S. citizen possesses the constitutional right to be heard. But in order to be heard, you need to take action. So next spring, when the ELFA begins requesting members to participate in Capitol Connections, consider what Thomas Jefferson once said, “Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.”

To see photos from the Capitol Connections Conference, click here.

Founder / Publisher / Chief Executive Officer | Equipment Finance Advisor
Michael Toglia is the Founder, Publisher and President of Equipment Finance Advisor.

Toglia's experience in commercial finance spans over 25 years having held various roles in senior management, business origination, capital markets and commercial credit underwriting. Prior to entering the publishing industry, Toglia most recently served as a Vice President of Capital Markets and as the National Sales Manager for both the Equipment Finance and Asset-Based Lending Divisions of Textron Financial Corporation. He has also held various roles with General Electric Capital and CIT Group.

He has been an active member of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association having served two terms as a member of the Service Providers Business Council Steering Committee.

Toglia holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and an M.B.A. in Finance.

Contact Michael Toglia at 484.380.3184 or mtoglia@equipmentfa.com.


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