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ELFA Inducts Dahlka into Equipment Finance Hall of Fame

October 15, 2018, 07:07 AM

The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) has named Edward A. Dahlka, Jr. to the 2018 Class of the Equipment Finance Hall of Fame.

ELFA President and CEO Ralph Petta made the announcement at the General Session of the 57th ELFA Annual Convention in Phoenix, AZ. The official induction ceremony took place Oct. 13 at the Chairman’s Dinner preceding the ELFA Annual Convention. Dahlka was recognized as an industry pioneer, a dedicated mentor and a tireless supporter of ELFA.

“We congratulate Ed for being inducted to the 2018 class of the Equipment Finance Hall of Fame,” Petta said. “Ed is a visionary leader who was instrumental in starting and advancing a number of national equipment leasing and finance businesses. Over the course of his career, Ed not only developed successful business models and strategies, but also served as a mentor to countless individuals, developing and nurturing their careers in the industry. In addition, he has contributed immensely to our association and Foundation, lending his considerable industry knowledge and leadership skills.”

Dahlka’s career in the equipment finance industry spanned more than four decades. He landed his first job in leasing in 1972 at Ford Motor Credit, where he worked on developing and originating major computer leasing programs for IBM mainframe systems. He later joined MNC Leasing (formally known as Maryland National Leasing Corporation), becoming President in 1983. He remained President and assisted in the sale of the leasing business to GE Capital in 1990.

Next Dahlka served as Executive Vice President of Sanwa Business Credit Corporation and as President of Sanwa General Equipment Leasing Inc. Sanwa originated and syndicated middle market equipment leases with a focus on tax leasing. In 1996 Dahlka joined LaSalle Bank. He became President of LaSalle National Leasing Corporation, forming the leasing company in Baltimore, MD, and expanding the bank’s Chicago-based municipal leasing business and vendor leasing activity. LaSalle engaged in commercial middle market, vendor and large ticket leases nationwide, focusing primarily on true lease transactions.  The company also offered a full range of tax-exempt leases to government entities involving both equipment and real estate.

In 2008 Dahlka formed Assurance Asset Finance, LLC, a consulting company advising banks desiring to expand or start a leasing company. In his final role before retirement, Dahlka joined Cole Taylor Bank and helped to build the bank’s equipment finance business as President of Cole Taylor Equipment Finance. He retired in March 2015 after 43 years in the equipment finance industry.

Dahlka has been a long-time member and supporter of ELFA. He served as Chairman of the association’s Federal Government Relations Committee, Bank Lessors Committee and LeasePAC Committee. From 1991 to 1996 he served on the ELFA Board of Directors, including membership on the Finance, Nominating and Executive Committees of the Board. From 1997 to 1999, Dahlka was ELFA Treasurer. He was then elected Vice Chairman and served as ELFA Chairman from 2002 to 2003. In addition, Dahlka has been an active volunteer and significant financial donor to the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation for nearly 30 years. He served on the Foundation’s Board of Trustees from 2007 to 2013 and was elected Chairman from 2009 to 2010. 

A native of Detroit, Michigan, Dahlka holds a B.S. degree in business administration from Wayne State University and a J.D. from Wayne State University Law School.

The ELFA Board of Directors established the Equipment Finance Hall of Fame in 2014 to annually recognize individuals who have made unique, significant or lasting contributions to the equipment finance industry throughout their careers. More information about the program is available here.

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