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NEFA Finance Summit Mood Upbeat and Forward Thinking

March 21, 2017, 07:11 AM

Over 260 commercial equipment finance professionals from across North America gathered at the 2017 National Equipment Finance Summit, March 15th through 17th, at the Renaissance Long Beach Hotel in Long Beach, California.

Chairperson for this year’s Summit was Frank Peretore, of Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC.  Working with an active group of NEFA Member Volunteers, Frank put together an educational program for the conference with sessions ranging from growing your business to the next level, to preparing it for sale -and all the stages in between.  “It’s a pleasure to work on NEFA programs” said, Frank Peretore, “because the membership is so passionate about education and so willing to share information.”

Included among the attendees were some 70 first-time Summit participants and 15 new NEFA Members.  “We’re always excited and gratified when our emphasis on Community, Education and Professionalism attracts new attendees and members” said Stephanie Hall, CLFP, of BlackRiver Business Capital, NEFA’s current President and Chairperson of the Board.

In addition to the full range of educational breakout sessions and discussions, the Summit’s largest and most varied array of table-top exhibits ever, and lots of great networking, attendees enjoyed the wonderful Southern California weather.
Randy Haug, of LeaseTeam, Inc., Chris Lerma, CLFP, of AP Equipment Finance, Nancy Geary, CPA, CLFP, of ECS Financial Services, Inc., and Chris Enbom, CLFP, of AP Equipment Finance, helped organize a Golf Networking and Fundraiser, on Wednesday, the 15th, to benefit the Chris Walker Education Fund and were on hand to thank the golfers and speak to attendees about the Fund.  Randy Haug recognized the event’s winners and then presented some other prizes to some of the other golfers at the luncheon on the next day. 

Over 100 attendees boarded the Queen Mary Thursday evening, March 16th, looking for the ghosts it’s famous for while exploring one of America’s top 10 most haunted places (as voted by Time Magazine) for a charity networking tour. Net proceeds are being donated to support the fight against domestic violence, supporting a local Long Beach, California, non-profit organization, Su Casa.

Shawn Smith, of Dedicated Commercial Recovery, Mae Philpott, of Quality Leasing Co., and Lovern Gordon, of Love Life Now Foundation, spearheaded and supported this event and cause. Shawn Smith spoke at the luncheon, emphasizing the networking and recognizing the charity tour sponsors and attendees, Thursday, March 16th.

Also at the luncheon on Thursday, Reid Raykovich, CLFP, Executive Director of the CLFP Foundation, was presented the 2016 Leasing News Person of the Year Award.  The award was presented to her on behalf of Leasing News by NEFA President and Chairperson of the Board, Stephanie Hall, CLFP, of BlackRiver Business Capital.

The CLFP Foundation, with whom NEFA has a long and close relationship, also presented some of their own awards during the Finance Summit. Jared Keepman, CLFP, Tom Lockhart, CLFP, Matt Crawley, CLFP, John Pitre, CLFP and Dan Nelson, CLFP were formally announced as the newest Certified Leasing & Finance Professionals by Reid Raykovich, CLFP, Executive Director of the CLFP Foundation, during the lunch on Thursday, March 16th.

The lunch wrapped up with a lot of positive momentum and excitement as NEFA Executive Director, Gerry Egan, formally announced NEFA’s new full scale online education center. Egan emphasized the expression “Each One, Teach One” in his talk and encouraged Summit attendees to reach out and share their knowledge with others.

“This is a long-term, strategic initiative that NEFA is proud to embark on,” said Gerry Egan, “which will benefit current and future NEFA Members and the whole industry in support of our core values of Community, Education and Professionalism.  We’re very excited about the future for this.”

The whole conference wrapped up on Friday afternoon with prize drawings which included two, very popular, Amazon Echo’s (Alexa); two free attendee certificates to upcoming NEFA conferences and an Amazon gift card.

NEFA’s next full scale conference is the 2017 Funding Symposium which will be held October 4th through the 6th, at the JW Marriott Atlanta Buckhead Hotel in the Buckhead area of Atlanta, Georgia.

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