2023 NEFA Recap: Forging Strong Community Connections

by Chad Sluss Nov/Dec 2023
Chad Sluss provides an update on the activities of NEFA in 2023, highlighting key achievements and developments within the association and outlining ways that members of the equipment finance industry can get involved.

Chad Sluss,
National Equipment Finance Association

I wanted to personally thank the equipment finance industry for its continued support of the association. The board of directors and my team work tremendously hard to serve the needs of our members.

First and foremost, the National Equipment Finance Association is having a fantastic year, and I am excited for our future. The organization is extremely fortunate to have committed volunteers who serve on the board of directors, committees and taskforces that give tremendous amounts of their time and energy to improve the association for our members.

In the following sections, I will highlight key achievements and developments within NEFA during 2023.

Strategic Plan

NEFA has embarked on a comprehensive three-year strategic plan, setting the stage for our association’s continued growth and success within the equipment finance and leasing industry. Over 200 members actively participated in focus groups, and more than 100 members completed the strategic planning survey. The key findings and initiatives desired by our membership have shaped our strategic priorities. The membership’s core desires include:

Community Connections: Our members have expressed a strong desire for enhanced opportunities to connect with one another. This includes fostering virtual connections and, more importantly, connections by functional area. We aim to develop member groups in areas such as accounting, credit, operations, marketing and sales, allowing members to connect, build relationships and learn together. In addition, we are planning “Meet the Member” virtual programs.

Education: To better serve our members, we are expanding our educational offerings. This includes a wider range of virtual educational programs and educational opportunities at regional events.

Events: We are committed to providing enriched networking experiences at regional events and conferences.

Resources: We are actively working on developing best practices materials and resources to benefit our members.

Membership Update

As of this year, NEFA proudly comprises 387 member companies, with a continuous influx of new members, currently standing at 75 and growing daily. NEFA is wrapping up a year-end campaign aimed at adding 50 new broker/lessor members and reaching a total of 400 member companies.

Conferences, Regional Events and Virtual Programs

In 2023, NEFA hosted several successful events:

  • March Finance Summit in San Diego with 376 attendees
  • October Funding Symposium in San Antonio with 351 attendees
  • Eight regional events, collectively hosting 376 attendees
  • Virtual programs, which attracted 314 participants

Member Community, Publications and Resources

Our members enjoy access to an updated ‘members only’ community, featuring an online directory and downloadable resources, including recordings from webinars and conferences. Additionally, NEFA offers a range of publications, including the bi-monthly Newsline Magazine, bi-weekly Tidbit Tuesday, Weekly Updates and the NEFA Note quarterly newsletter.

Partnerships and Discount Programs

We have forged valuable partnerships that offer exclusive benefits to NEFA members, including educational programs with Amembal & Halladay, shipping discounts through Corporate Freight Savers, special rates on insurance and investments with Cannaday Bloom and Monitor Suite special rates.

Recently, NEFA held the 2023 Funding Symposium in San Antonio with the theme, “Lassoing Opportunities for Success.” This conference provided a remarkable platform for education, networking and industry collaboration. The conference included more than six hours of educational programming, nine hours of networking opportunities in the exhibit hall and best practices roundtable discussions. Notable networking events such as the Texas Tailgate & Hold’em Charity Tournament, Women in Leasing Luncheon, The NEFA Roundup & Chris Walker Education Fund Fundraiser and multiple receptions further enriched the experience.

Special thanks to the Funding Symposium planning committee; their industry expertise and leadership were vital in the planning and execution of this conference:

Anne Dalgaard, CPA, CLFP, Dynamic Rentals, co-chair; Mikki Henkelman, CLFP, Oakmont Capital Services, co-chair; Samantha Apostolakes, Linedata; Rob Brehm, AIC, Great American Insurance Group; Beth McLean, CLFP, Northland Capital; Jacie Moul, CLFP, AMUR; Kali Paine, Solifi; Cheryl Tibbs, Equipment LeaseCo; Kit West, C.H. Brown Co.

Without the generosity of sponsors and exhibitors, this conference would not have been possible.

Save the Dates

We look forward to seeing you at future NEFA events. Please mark your calendars for these upcoming events:

March 25-28, 2024 – Finance Summit at the Hyatt Regency Resport and Spa in Huntington Beach, CA.

Nov. 11-14, 2024 – Funding Symposium at the JW Marriott in Indianapolis.

If you wish to get involved, become a member and/or make the most out of your NEFA membership, I encourage you to volunteer, attend one of the annual conferences or a regional event, join a committee or get published in the Newsline or NEFA Note. Please contact me or the NEFA team if you are interested in learning more.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Chad Sluss is CEO of the National Equipment Finance Association. He can be reached at [email protected].

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