Monitor W – Women for Women: Honest Conversations, Part 1

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Women for Women: Honest Conversations – Part 1

Monitor Suite will unveil W, a Monitor Women series focused on women in equipment finance, with a three-part Member Live+ series. In this three-part livestream moderated by Monitor Publisher Lisa Rafter, NextGen women will lead a Q&A with trailblazing women of equipment finance that will explore the truth of their experiences. Designed to create conversations that will benefit everyone in the industry, the livestream series will explore many topics, including:

  • How could the industry benefit from having more women in leadership roles?
  • How can we make leadership more attractive and accessible to women?
  • What does it take for women to achieve and maintain a seat at the table?
  • How have trailblazing women overcome adversity in their careers?
  • What are the best ways for women to support each other?
  • What can male colleagues do to become strong allies for women?
  • How can veterans and women who are newer to the industry learn from each other?
  • Work-life integration: Can it exist?


Aylin Cankardes
President/Founder, Rockwell Financial Group

As the founder of Rockwell Financial Group, Aylin Cankardes is an experienced CEO with a demonstrated history of working in the capital markets industry. Skilled in sales, leveraged finance, management, structured finance, and risk management. She is involved in the industry as a board trustee for the ELFA and endowment board member of The Gathering Place. Cankardes has been acknowledged for her work in the industry as the Who’s Who in Energy winner in 2019; and was listed in Monitor’s Top 50 Women in Finance in 2019. Strong business development professional with a Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.Sc.) focused on finance and economics from George Mason University.


Valerie Jester
President, Brandywine Capital

As president at Brandywine Capital Associates, Valerie Jester often acts as more of investor and cheerleader than day-to-day manager, centering her interest on helping the next generation of leaders within Brandywine, the industry and her community grow into their fullest potential. Jester joined the leasing industry immediately after graduating from the Business School at William and Mary in 1982. Jester has found her involvement with industry associations such as the ELFA, the EAEL and WAEL allowed her to learn from other industry leaders and serve in leadership positions alongside the greats of this business. Jester has served on many local organizations’ boards and worked to foster the growth that brought her community into the spotlight as one of the top places to live and work in the United States.


Debbie Monosson
President & CEO, Boston Financial & Equity Corporation

Debbie Monosson began her career at BF&EC in 1989 in sales. She became vice president of sales and marketing in 1994 and in 2000 was promoted to president and CEO. She was the first female chairperson of the Commercial Finance Association, served as treasurer and trustee of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Foundation and as a board member of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association, ACG Boston and the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge. She has a BS from Skidmore College and an MBA from Boston University.


Amrita Patel
Executive Vice President, Group Head, Wells Fargo

Amrita Patel is an executive vice president and head of Wells Fargo Equipment Finance (WFEF). Prior to her current role, Patel was the commercial capital transformation and process improvement leader, where she worked with leaders across the business to simplify and streamline processes to build a more efficient organization. She also served as the national sales manager for the Commercial Vehicle Group (CVG), leading CVG’s team of commercial direct, bus, specialty vehicle and trailer finance teams, who offer a wide variety of financing options to meet customer needs through the many cycles of the evolving transportation industry.

Before joining Wells Fargo in 2018, Patel held numerous positions in IT, sales and operations during 18 years with GE Capital. Patel has broad experience across multiple functions in the commercial finance industry, including food and beverage, manufacturing, construction, transportation, IT and franchise finance equipment, and has led teams through various major acquisitions, divestitures, and enterprise initiatives in both the U.S. and internationally.


Linda Redding
Head of Equipment Finance, J.P. Morgan Commercial Banking

Linda Redding is the head of equipment finance for J.P. Morgan Commercial Banking. She joined the firm earlier this year after nearly 27 years at Wells Fargo, bringing a background in both equipment finance sales and credit leadership. Her past roles have also provided her invaluable experience in leading transformational change focused on developing and implementing practical, client-centric solutions.

Since joining J.P. Morgan, she has been engaged in a listening tour to learn more about how the equipment finance businesses fits within the firm and how it can utilize J.P. Morgan’s unique scale and capabilities. Redding has focused on leveraging the critical elements of a successful equipment finance practice – people, process and partnership – that she has already found at J.P. Morgan to build out the firm’s equipment finance platform and provide innovative, thoughtful solutions to even more of its client base, which already has others at the firm taking notice.

Q&A Leader:

Kathy Havlik
VP and District Manager, Key Equipment Finance

Kathy Havlik is a leader in equipment finance who’s experienced at generating equipment finance and lease business while collaborating with senior sales bank colleagues. Havlik is passionate about adding value to middle market and small corporate companies, partnering with them to structure financing and capital solutions for their yearly capex need. Havlik sees untapped potential in the leasing and finance industry to innovate. She encourages the industry to take inspiration from the creative approaches of the tech industry and other disruptors. She believes the industry would benefit from attracting more women and encouraging the addition of equipment finance subjects to college curricula.

Q&A Leader:

Jillian Munson
Vice President, Process and Automation

As vice president of process and automation, Jillian Munson leads core technology initiatives at QuickFi. She analyzes internal and customer-facing business processes to determine how automation can transform traditionally manual workflows into automated, digitized experiences.


Lisa Rafter
Publisher, Monitor

Lisa Rafter has been in the equipment leasing and specialty finance industries for more than 30 years, most notably as publisher of Monitor Magazine, ABF Journal, IFA’s Commercial Factor magazine and NACLB’s DealMaker Magazine. Rafter is also CEO of Molloy Associates. Molloy is a boutique executive recruitment firm focused on the equipment finance and asset-based lending industries. In addition, Rafter is founder and CEO of Stripes Leadership Program, a program designed to develop the leaders of tomorrow’s equipment finance industry.

As the former editor and current publisher of the aforementioned publications, Rafter was instrumental in the creation of many ground-breaking products such as the Monitor 100, the annual ranking of the top 100 equipment finance companies,, the industry’s first website and daily e-news blast, World Leasing News, the industry’s first online magazine and ABF Journal, the asset-based lending industry’s first independent publication.

Rafter’s commitment to high performance doesn’t stop at the workplace. She is also involved in numerous community-building projects and services. Rafter delights in giving a voice to the unheard and, through various leadership roles, strives to provide people with the tools and distinctions to live an extraordinary life. With this commitment, Rafter has served on the boards of non-profit organizations and also has volunteered for many community organizations dedicated to serving at-risk populations. Currently, Rafter is on the board of MAGIC Charities and serves as the chair for the Adoption & Foster Care Committee.

Women for Women: Honest Conversations – Part 1

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

12:30 pm – 2:00 pm EST