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NEFA’s 2018 Funding Symposium Breaks Multiple Records

October 10, 2018, 07:15 AM

Over 310 equipment finance professionals and service providers from across the U.S., Canada and as far as Australia attended the National Equipment Finance Association (NEFA) 2018 Funding Symposium on Oct. 3 through Oct. 5 in Charlotte, NC – setting a new Symposium attendance record.

New records were also set for the greatest number of first-time attendees and exhibitors – with over 90 first-time attendees and 50 exhibitors.

Attendees of the Funding Symposium enjoyed valuable and productive networking time, engaging and informative educational breakout sessions, opportunities to meet with broker/lessor, funding source, and service provider exhibitors, and a spirited general session presentation by economist Dr. Elliot Eisenberg, Ph.D.

This year’s Funding Symposium Chairperson, Bob Hanna of Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co., L.P.A. assembled a top-notch slate of educational sessions.

“What I learned over the past three years since chairing the 2015 event is there are no limits on the program. If the content is relevant, we are all in, and that is what we experienced this time around. We came up with new and provocative subjects and brought in the subject matter experts for the presentations,” Hanna said. “The result was an explosive agenda from start to finish, and the people have spoken! It was by far the best NEFA event to date setting new benchmarks in quality education and networking, and I am proud of the teamwork across the board.”

This year’s Funding Symposium also marked the retirement of NEFA’s longtime Executive Director, Gerry Egan, and an introduction to NEFA’s newly appointed Executive Director, Michael Toglia.

“To say the event was a success would be a gross understatement,” said Toglia. “The mood and enthusiasm throughout the event were electrifying. We are very pleased with the record turnout and thank all our sponsors, exhibitors, educational program presenters, fundraiser volunteers and attendees for making this year’s Symposium such a tremendous success,” Toglia added.

While at the event, attendees expressed their gratitude to Gerry and Jamie Egan for their longtime dedication and service to NEFA with a special champagne toast and the presentation of a leather-bound book of letters from NEFA members.

The Funding Symposium also serves as the Annual Business meeting for the National Equipment Finance Association, and Officers and Directors for the next 12 months were elected during the conference.

NEFA’s new President and Chairman of the Board is Marc Keepman, CLFP, of KLC Financial, Inc. He is joined on the Executive Committee by Dennis Dressler, of Dressler Peters, LLC as Vice President; Daryn Lecy, CLFP, of Oakmont Capital Services, LLC, as Treasurer; and Laura Carini, CLFP, of Financial Pacific Leasing, Inc. as Secretary. Mike Coon, of North Star Leasing Company, will remain on the Executive Committee as Immediate Past President.

Keepman said, “The National Funding Symposium is always a wonderful event to meet with our fellow equipment financing partners, and this year was no exception. The economy has been strong this year and this looks likely to continue into next year and beyond. This bodes well for all in our industry.”

“I am delighted to be chosen to serve as the President and Chairman of NEFA during this coming 12-month period,” Keepman added. “The opportunities to grow and build our businesses have perhaps never been better. The combination of ample capital availability, good pricing, along with vendors offering top-level service and technology components necessary to achieve great levels of success, are at an all-time high. If you are involved with NEFA your support is much appreciated. If you are viewing the glory from the sidelines, it’s time to jump into the action. I have found that the more I participate, the greater the benefits of membership. Please, come join the NEFA team and prepare to receive amazing joy and experience outstanding success.”

Directors of the association were also announced at this year’s Funding Symposium and include James Jackson, of The Alta Group; Guy Selinka, CLFP, of Streamline Financial Services; Scott Lipka, of FirstLease, Inc.; Adam Peterson, of Channel Partners Capital; Anne Dalgaard, CLFP, of ECS Financial Services, Inc.; Scott Wheeler, CLFP, of Wheeler Business Consulting; Lori Littleford, CLFP, of Hanmi Bank; and Robert Hornby, of Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC.

During the business luncheon, outgoing Officers and Directors, including Stephanie Hall, CLFP, of Blackriver Business Capital; Eric Alley, of LTi Technology Solutions, Joe Leonard, CLFP, of Oakmont Capital Services; and Kristian Dolan, CLFP of Tamarack, were honored for their service.

The CLFP Foundation also presented awards during the Funding Symposium business luncheon.

This year’s Funding Symposium included two fundraising events. On Wednesday night a large group headed to 204 North Kitchen Cocktails for an event benefitting the Love Life Now Foundation and on Thursday night, a record number of conference attendees made their way to Howl at the Moon for a fun dinner and a night of music and games that raised funds for NEFA’s Chris Walker Education Fund.

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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