The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association named John C. Deane to the 2021 class of the Equipment Finance Hall of Fame. Ralph Petta, president and CEO of the ELFA, made the announcement on Monday during the general session of the 60th ELFA Annual Convention in San Antonio. The official induction ceremony took place on Oct. 23 at the chair dinner preceding the ELFA Annual Convention. Deane, who accepted the honor in person, was recognized as a leader of successful equipment finance businesses and a respected senior advisor to the equipment finance industry.
“We congratulate John for being inducted to the 2021 class of the Equipment Finance Hall of Fame,” Petta said. “Over the past five decades, John has played an outsized role in [the] development and success [of] our industry as a distinguished leader, educator and advisor.”
Deane’s career in the equipment finance industry spanned more than five decades. In 1971, he co-founded Marinebanc Leasing Company. He then founded and was president of Nevada National Leasing Company in 1974 until it was sold in 1983 to Great Western Financial and became Great Western Leasing. When Great Western Leasing was sold in 1987 to Citicorp, Deane became president of BancOne Leasing Company. Starting in 1992, he served as a principal in the firm of Amembal, Deane & Associates, a provider of training, educational and consulting services for the equipment finance industry.
In 1997, Deane co-founded The Alta Group with Norm Chapman, John Giddens and Bill Montgomery. The Alta Group has grown to become a preeminent advisory firm to the equipment finance industry. With more than 70 professionals located around the world, including parts of Asia, Europe and Latin America where leasing was formerly less known, Alta advisors have helped introduce best business practices and industry standards. Deane retired as CEO of The Alta Group in December 2020 but remains active in the equipment finance industry as an outside director of GreatAmerica Financial Services in Cedar Rapids, IA.
Deane’s ties with the ELFA stretch back nearly five decades. In 1973, the ELFA (then the Association of Equipment Lessors) asked him to present at its annual convention on the new topic of bank holding company leasing subsidiaries. Deane recalled it was a dry topic and — at the young age of 26 — an intimidating audience, but the experience led to a professional, life-long commitment to the association and many more presentations along with governance positions, including serving as a member of the Executive Committee (1981-1985), chair of the Public Policy Education Committee (1985-1988) and vice chair (1987-1991) and chair of the ELFA’s board of directors (1991-1993). Deane has never missed an ELFA annual convention and has travelled on behalf of the association or clients to 57 countries during his career.
In addition, Deane has contributed to the work of the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation over the years as a visionary leader who developed relevant industry research and as a member of the foundation’s Industry Future Council. The Alta Group has also served as a researcher for many foundation studies over the years and lent its support as a corporate donor.
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