Jennifer Schmidt, Pawnee Leasing

Jennifer Schmidt, Executive Vice President, Chief Portfolio Officer, Pawnee Leasing

Jennifer Schmidt utilizes an initiative-taking approach with her employees and leads by example. She provides continuous support to her team and others across Pawnee Leasing, where she serves as executive vice president and chief portfolio officer. She promotes growth and ways to boost revenue and is active in working with other areas of the business to implement innovative technology for employees and a better experience for customers. Ultimately, Schmidt embraces challenges and looks for chances to improve operations whenever possible.

“The peaks and valleys of equipment financing provides a wealth of opportunities to succeed or fail. The competitiveness and determination of our employees and leadership is what makes our organization resilient. I have been fortunate to be part of all of it, the good and the bad.” Schmidt says.

In her current role with Pawnee Leasing, she manages the portfolio servicing department, which covers a wide array of areas, including customer service, insurance and early-stage collections to late-stage and legal collections of a diversified $1 billion-plus portfolio.

Schmidt has been in the equipment finance industry for more than 22 years. She began her career as a 30-day collector and quickly transitioned into a role that allowed her to enhance and expand her knowledge in repossessions and late-stage collections. Schmidt’s experiences grew when she became supervisor of early-stage collections early on in her career. Then, in 2007, Schmidt was promoted to her current position.

“There are several key members of our executive management team that have played a vital role in my accomplishments,” Schmidt says. “Their wealth of knowledge, experience and mentorship has provided me with the opportunity to build on my strengths as a leader in our organization. Their encouragement and confidence in my abilities to lead a crucial piece of our business has been instrumental in my personal growth and development.”

“Jennifer is a unicorn in our business and industry,” Gary Souverein, president of Pawnee Leasing, says. “She is a unique operating executive in at least three ways: First, she has exceptional hands-on, granular expertise and either knows or can figure out any minutia in our business; her eye for detail on any matter is second-to-none. Second, despite her working so effectively on the front lines in the here and now each day, she is so thoughtful in her ability to maintain a clear and constant long-term vision. And finally, she has a natural ability to lead and is passionate about her team, company and our customers. Jennifer is very deserving of this recognition and Pawnee Leasing is proud to have her as one of the cornerstones of our leadership team.”

Schmidt says she has been surrounded by many great leaders in the industry and has learned how important it is to listen and communicate. She says acknowledging everyone’s thoughts is important and that open communication fosters innovation and understanding. She also says it is key to surround yourself with positive and influential leaders that will teach you more than details about your business. Lastly, she encourages others to “have integrity and compassion” and to “stand up for what you believe in.”

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Terry Mulreany
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