2023 Monitor Top Women in Equipment Finance: Amy Wagner, CLFP, American Financial Partners

Amy Wagner, CLFP, CEO, American Financial Partners — AACFB, NEFA, ELFA

Amy Wagner embarked on her journey in the equipment finance industry more than two decades ago, commencing her career at Manifest Funding Services under the U.S. Bank umbrella. This proved to be a fantastic training ground and she learned from some of the best in the business. The fast-paced, dynamic and ever-evolving nature of the industry was a perfect fit for Wagner’s personality.

“I hail from a venerable lineage of resolute, self-reliant and unyielding women. My maternal grandmother, who lived an abundant life for 96 years, and my mother, who will celebrate her 98th birthday this November, both bore the mantle of small business proprietors and entrepreneurs,” Wagner says. “They understood the value of hard work, perseverance and tenacity. My grandmother’s famous quote was: ‘Never sell yourself short.’ There was no other option than success; failure is an opportunity to try again. The message was clear: do the right thing even if it’s difficult, tell the truth, work hard and don’t give up. If you tell the truth, you never have to remember what you said.”

Throughout her career, Wagner has worked with an exceptional team at American Financial Partners since it was founded in 2004. As a business owner, she has embraced a multifaceted role, from the tasks of day-to-day operations to strategic planning. Wagner’s tenacious ability to learn and adapt has been instrumental in AFP’s enduring success. She recognized early on the foremost priority for the company is placing customers, team members and funding partners above all else, and that no one is successful alone – it takes a team and a family.

“I have had the honor of working with Amy for over two decades and have seen first-hand the passion she has for this industry,” Carrie Radloff, CLFP, business development manager for American Financial Partners, says. “She is not afraid to have difficult conversations and takes a direct and honest approach as challenges come up. She pushes our team to continuously find ways to improve our process and increase efficiency. Amy sees the big picture but can also work through the small details to ensure everything is in order. She has been the driver of AFP’s technological advances, which have made a direct impact on our business. Her broad knowledge and expertise have helped us through rapid growth over the past few years. She continues to push herself to learn more by attending industry conferences and events, and by becoming a CLFP. She is a great relationship builder and is a huge asset to AFP.”

Reflecting on her journey, Wagner acknowledges her evolution from being solely focused on AFP’s success to a broader perspective. Active participation in industry associations and networking has opened her eyes to the wealth of brilliant minds within the sector, making the continuous process of learning a profound source of enrichment.

“Our legacy lives in innovation, doing business the right way and adopting and leveraging technology to provide better service to our customers each and every day,” Wagner says.

“Commit to daily learning and growth, pursue your CLFP right away, connect with associations and build relationships. Face fear – send the email and make the phone call. Chase your dreams and never apologize for being amazing! You get to write your story – make sure it’s a damn good one.”