AACFB’s 2023 Annual Conference Breaks Event Records

The American Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (AACFB) wrapped up its 2023 Annual Conference on May 4 in Irvine, CA, at the Irvine Marriott. Attendance at the event reached a 14-year high and broke an event record for the AACFB Women in Finance Luncheon.

The three-day event hosted more than 370 attendees who enjoyed a full program of events, including a fun-filled day at the Tustin Ranch Golf Club for the event’s sold-out annual golf tournament. The Women in Finance Luncheon, which took place at Prego Restaurant, sold out at more than 70 attendees, with several on a waiting list. Day one was capped off with a lūʻau-themed opening reception at the hotel. Authentic Polynesian dancers entertained the crowd along with a limbo contest.

Conference goers had the opportunity to attend 15 educational sessions, including a presentation by keynote speaker Nick Arnette.

In addition, the sold-out exhibit hall was in full swing on throughout the conference and featured nearly 70 exhibitors. The exhibit hall also featured a coffee bar, a margarita bar and a bloody mary bar.

“We were extremely pleased with the turnout at this year’s conference. The venue had to be moved from Portland, OR, to California on short notice due to a double booking by Marriott, but our exceptional conference planning committee was able to ‘ride the tides’ and produce a tremendously successful event,” Teresa Cranney, president of the AACFB, said. “Huge thanks go out to all of our sponsors and exhibitors as well as members of the planning committee, including chair Tina Cawthorn, CLFP, with Orange Commercial Credit; Rick Brown with Capital Blue Financial Group; Dave Cary with McKenzie Credit Group; Mel Vinson, CLFP, with the CLFP Foundation; Lisa Whitehead, CLFP with First Foundation Bank; and board liaisons Laura Estrada with Preferred Capital Funding and Carrie Radloff, CLFP, with American Financial Partners.”

The conference culminated in the AACFB’s annual business meeting and auction, where Estrada, as outgoing president, thanked Radloff for her service on the AACFB board as immediate past president. The presidency then transitioned from Estrada to Cranney (American Financial Partners). Former secretary/treasurer, Roderick Knoll, former secretary and treasurer of the AACFB, then presented a treasurer’s report, detailing that the AACFB is in a positive financial position again this year. Estrada then presented the 2023 AACFB President’s Award to Charles (Bud) Callahan, BPB, CLFP, with National Equipment Leasing, and Katie Baker, CLFP with MC2 Finance, for their dedication and support of the AACFB. The CLFP Foundation also announced several scholarships available to brokers to take the CLFP exam for free.

Once the business at hand had concluded, Joel Freebersyer with MC2 Finance took the mic to emcee the conference’s prize auction. Attendees were able to collect “AACFB bucks” during the conference for visiting with exhibitors or attending sessions. Those in attendance had the opportunity to use their “bucks” to bid on prize packages worth up to $500 and donated by AACFB sponsors and exhibitors.

The AACFB’s next events include its Commercial Financing Expo, which is scheduled for Sept. 20-21 in Orlando, FL, as well as the 2024 AACFB Annual Conference in Phoenix/Glendale, AZ, which is scheduled for April 16-18, 2024.

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