ELFA: Lesley Sterling to Receive 2015 Distinguished Service Award

The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) has selected Lesley Sterling, ELFA vice president of business and professional development, to receive its 2015 Distinguished Service Award. The award honors individuals who have made significant contributions to the association and the equipment finance industry. Sterling will be formally recognized during a ceremony at ELFA’s 54th Annual Convention in San Antonio, TX, in October.

Sterling has been a valuable member of the ELFA staff for over 33 years. Hired in 1982 as the ninth employee of the American Association of Equipment Lessors—as ELFA was then known—she has played an integral role in the development and delivery of the association’s education and training activities.

At the time of her hiring, the association provided a limited number of educational events. Working with dedicated teams of volunteers from within member companies, Sterling expanded the number of professional and business development programs offered and greatly improved the quality of the programming. Today, members participate in a wide array of live events, web seminars, online learning courses and personalized in-house training workshops. Among the most popular are the ELFA Annual Convention, the National Funding Conference and the Equipment Management Conference and Exhibition.

Sterling helped develop the first Principles of Leasing and Finance Workshop over 25 years ago, which continues today as one of the major educational tools for equipment finance professionals. She was instrumental in developing the Institute of Lease Management, which in the 1990s was a must-attend executive education program for rising stars in the equipment leasing and finance industry. Many of its graduates went on to lead major companies in the industry.

Always interested in new delivery systems, she encouraged the association to invest in the development of online educational opportunities, which has resulted in the ELFA Academy virtual campus and the Conference Resource Center online portal.

“We are delighted to recognize Lesley’s outstanding contributions to ELFA and the equipment finance industry in the areas of business and professional development,” said ELFA President and CEO William G. Sutton, CAE. “Over her three-decade career at the association, ELFA has become the leader in providing world-class educational opportunities to the equipment finance industry. After many years of exceptional service, Lesley will be retiring at the end of this year. We will miss her greatly and wish her the very best in her future endeavors.”

“It has been a pleasure working with so many wonderful members of the equipment leasing and finance industry who have devoted so much of their time and energy into delivering first-rate, quality programs,” said Sterling. “ELFA could simply not provide the kind of programming it does without their participation. I will always be grateful for the support and contributions of the membership and the association’s talented professional staff. They helped me to be successful in my 33 years at this terrific organization.”

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