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ELFA Selects James to Receive 2016 Distinguished Service Award

September 07, 2016, 07:05 AM

The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) has selected Ray James, Senior Consultant for Ivory Consulting Corporation, to receive its 2016 Michael J. Fleming Distinguished Service Award. The award honors individuals who have made significant contributions to the association and the equipment finance industry. James will be formally recognized during a ceremony at ELFA’s 55th Annual Convention in Palm Desert, California, in October.

James has been a major contributor to ELFA’s research and data collection efforts for 25 years. He has served as an active member of the ELFA Research Committee since 1991 and has led the Committee as Chair since the fall of 2012.

During his tenure on the Research Committee, James has played a critical role in helping the association collect and report industry trend data and performance metrics, particularly through the Monthly Leasing & Finance Index and the annual Survey of Equipment Finance Activity (SEFA). As a pioneering member of the Research Committee, James has helped the SEFA report grow into ELFA’s signature benchmarking and research tool. Today the 300+ page report is the most important source of statistical information available on the $1 trillion equipment finance industry. James has also provided an industry perspective on quantitative analysis conducted by the association.

James has served as Senior Consultant for Ivory Consulting Corporation since 2006. He began his career in finance in 1967 as an Assistant Manager, Commercial Loans, at National Bank of Detroit. He then served as Manager, Corporate Finance, at Chrysler Corporation, from 1969 to 1975; as a Financial Consultant at Computer Sciences Corporation from 1975 to 1978; as Managing Vice President at the Charge Card Association from 1978 to 1981; and as Manager, Corporate Investment, at Upjohn Company from 1980 to 1989. While working for the Upjohn Company, in 1983 James founded a company called DSI, which assembled and sold IBM Clone computers.  He sold the company in 1989.

From 1989 to 1999, James served as Vice President at Senstar Capital Corporation, a private leasing firm, where he oversaw Finance, Accounting, IT, Syndication, Pricing and Strategic Planning. The company was sold to John Deere Financial in 1999 and for the next six years James worked at John Deere Financial as a Director of various areas, including Strategic Planning, Mergers & Acquisitions, Business Development, Corporate Pricing and Syndication. He retired from John Deere Financial in 2005.

James graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a BS in Mathematics and Economics and from Wayne State University with a MA in Econometrics. 

“We are delighted to recognize Ray James in appreciation of his outstanding contributions to ELFA and the equipment finance industry,” said ELFA President and CEO Ralph Petta. “Over the past quarter century, Ray has played a leadership role in helping ELFA to develop world-class research offerings that deliver essential insights and highlight the value of our $1 trillion industry to the U.S. economy. I personally have had the pleasure to get to know Ray over the years.  A gentleman and committed volunteer, there is no finer ambassador to the industry and ELFA.”

“It is truly an honor to receive this award,” said James. “ELFA has been my constant source of industry knowledge through their broad offerings of training, subject specific conferences, analysis—like the Survey of Equipment Finance Activity—and a great chance to interact with the best folks in the industry.”

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