Monitor 2021 Women’s List: Lisa Whitehead, CLFP

by Monitor Staff Nov/Dec 2021

Lisa Whitehead, CLFP,
Vice President, Sales & Service, Equipment Finance,
First Foundation Bank

As vice president of sales and service for First Foundation Bank’s Equipment Finance Department (EFD), Lisa Whitehead’s primary role is to collaborate with third-party originator (TPO) network and internal departments to develop strong relationships with partners. Additionally, Whitehead’s department handles all borrower requests for information on booked transactions. Whitehead’s unique blend of credit, operations and customer service experience enables her to work through challenges with results that benefit all parties.


“The women of equipment finance are going to be able to play bigger and bigger roles in the industry in the future. I’m lucky to be able to lend my expertise to help those women be successful.”

Whitehead began her career in equipment finance more than 30 years ago as sales manager for a branch of AVCO Financial Services’ equipment finance department before moving into roles such as customer service manager and broker division representative in AVCO’s then newly formed broker division.

She then moved into the origination side of the business, working for various third-party originators in credit, documentation and funding before joining First Foundation’s equipment finance team five years ago when the department was in its infancy. In the five years since joining First Foundation, the company’s portfolio has grown from $10 million to more than $200 million and the EFD’s TPO network has grown to more than 125 active originators. Much of this growth is due to Whitehead’s strong communication skills and collaborative nature.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Lisa Whitehead for almost 20 years, both at Pacifica Capital and now as our relationship manager with First Foundation Bank,” Amy Spragg, managing partner at Pacifica Capital, says. “Her extensive knowledge in all areas of this industry enable[s] her the unique ability to anticipate and problem-solve any situation before it becomes an issue. Lisa always acts with integrity and grace in both her personal life and business relationships. She is a pillar in the industry and I could not be more excited for her continued success.”

Throughout Whitehead’s career, she has been lucky enough to have several women mentors who have helped her to grow in her roles and she now mentors other strong women leaders in the industry as they progress in their careers.

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