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NEFA Funding Symposium Sets New Records, Officers & Directors Elected

October 09, 2017, 07:16 AM

Equipment financial professionals from across the U.S. and Canada met for lively networking, focused educational sessions, and meetings with leading edge exhibitors at the National Equipment Finance Association’s 2017 Funding Symposium from October 4th through October 6th, at the JW Marriott Atlanta Buckhead Hotel.

Chairperson for this year’s Funding Symposium was Bob Fisher, CLFP, of Ascentium Capital.  “NEFA Members are a fun group but they’re also very serious about their businesses and constantly eager to learn more,” said Fisher.  “They’re also very willing to share their ideas so putting together the education program gave me a chance to work with a wide cross section of members on a wide range of topics. I really enjoyed doing it.”

According to NEFA Executive Director & CEO, Gerry Egan, this year’s Symposium set several new records for the close-knit group.  “We registered the largest number of people we’ve registered for a Funding Symposium, we had the most exhibitors we’ve had, we had the largest number of first time attendees and new members and we booked the most room nights we’ve ever booked at our conference hotel,” said Egan.  “And on top of that, we had the most number of people stay until the very end!” he added.

NEFA Officers and Directors Elected

The Funding Symposium also serves as the official annual business meeting for NEFA and during the business lunch on Thursday, officers and directors were elected for the coming year.

Elected as President and Board Chairperson was Mike Coon, of AMUR Equipment Finance.  “I am honored and privileged to have the opportunity to serve the National Equipment Finance Association as its President and Board Chairperson.  I look forward to working with the Board of Directors, the Executive Committee, Gerry Egan and the entire membership as we continue our impressive momentum as a first-class industry association,” said Coon.

Other officers elected were Marc Keepman, CLFP, of KLC Financial, Inc., as Vice President; Dennis Dressler, of Dressler & Peters, LLC, as Treasurer; and Daryn Lecy, CLFP, of Stearns Bank, as Secretary.  Stephanie Hall, CLFP, of BlackRiver Business Capital, will stay on as Immediate Past President.

Elected as Directors were Joe Leonard, CLFP, of Oakmont Capital Services, LLC; Eric Alley, of LeaseTeam, Inc.; Kristian Dolan, CLFP, of Tamarack; Laura Carini, CLFP, Financial Pacific Leasing, Inc.; James Jackson, of The Alta Group; Guy Selinka, CLFP, of Streamline Financial; Scott Lipka, of Beneficial Equipment Finance Corp; and Adam Peterson, of Channel Partners Capital.

Recognized for their Board service as their terms came to a close were Past President, Gary Souverein, of Pawnee Leasing Corporation; Gabe Jarnot, CLFP, of Northland Capital; Shane Davis, of Dedicated Commercial Recovery Inc; and Nick Ross, CLFP, of Western Equipment Finance.

Outgoing President and Board Chairperson, Stephan Hall spoke to the attendees about how much the personal friendships she’s made, as well as the professional contacts have meant to her and thanked the group for the opportunity to have served in a leadership capacity.

Chris Walker Memorial Member of the Year Award

Named in honor of the late Chris Walker, a popular and passionate volunteer with NEFA, the Member of the Year Award is bestowed by the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of NEFA to individuals whose service to the Association exemplifies the volunteer driven spirit of Chris and the whole group.

This year, the Executive Committee honored NEFA Member, Kayla Perlinger, CLFP, of Stearns Bank, as the Member of the Year for her enthusiastic support and leadership in helping other members both contribute to and benefit from NEFA’s new Online Learning Center.

“I am honored to receive the Chris Walker Member of the Year award,” said Perlinger.  She added, “The sharing of ideas that NEFA offers, and learning from other members, continues to energize my volunteer efforts. I truly enjoy being a part of the creation and adoption of the Online Learning Center. Education is one of NEFA's core values, and the efforts of all members will be instrumental in making the platform effective.”

NEW CLFP’s Introduced

Reid Raykovich, Executive Director of the Certified Lease & Finance Professional Foundation, (CLFP), introduced a number of professionals who had earned their CLFP designation and presented them with their certificates at the business luncheon, too.

NEFA Executive Director to Retire in 2018

Also at the business luncheon, after reporting on the current strong condition of NEFA, Gerry Egan, the Executive Director & CEO, announced that he would be retiring next year.  “I agreed to step in to lead the association coming out of the recession because one of its predecessor associations and so many of the members individually had been so helpful to me in my own business before I retired from that,” said Egan, whose wife, Jamie Egan, has also been a critical part of NEFA’s success as the Conference Manager.  “My wife and I are now calling this ‘retirement 2.0,” he added.  “I think most people know this was never my career.  It was my goal, though, to get this organized and on track and in excellent financial condition and then turn it over to someone who can take it to even greater heights.  NEFA’s ready for that now,” he said, “and Jamie and I are ready to spend more time traveling the country a bit more leisurely in our motorhome again.”

Egan introduced a Transition Planning Committee he’s had working on this for over six months.  In addition to the NEFA Executive Committee, and Board Member, Joe Leonard, the planning team included from among the NEFA Membership Scott Wheeler, CLFP, of Wheeler Business Consulting; and William (Bill) Verhelle, of Harvard Partners LLC.  “I particularly want to thank Scott Wheeler and Bill Verhelle for helping us with this critical project,” said NEFA Executive Director & CEO, Gerry Egan.  He added, “Scott Wheeler has such a great understanding of our membership, and, from his experiences running First American and his experiences working with other associations, Bill Verhelle has been a huge help to us.”

NEFA, with the help of a professional consultant group, will be conducting a thorough search for its next Executive Director & CEO over the next few months.

Fund Raiser for the Chris Walker Education Fund

In addition to all the business, about 150 attendees went to a dueling piano bar one evening as part of a fund raiser for NEFA’s Chris Walker Education Fund.  All net proceeds go to the fund, which supports industry education efforts both within NEFA and throughout the industry.

The National Equipment Finance Association (NEFA) is a national association serving small to mid-sized independent equipment finance companies, lessors and brokers.  NEFA is a strong association offering enhanced educational programs and premium networking opportunities with broad geographic and industry segment diversity.  The mission of NEFA is to provide a forum for members to pursue personal and professional growth and promote ethical business practices through advocacy, networking and industry involvement.  For more information, visit: or call: 847-380-5050.

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