Equipment Finance Industry Veteran Paul S. Gass Passes Away

Paul S. Gass, a longtime equipment finance industry leader, passed away on Feb. 16.

Gass entered the equipment finance industry in 1966, working for national and international leasing corporations. In 1974, he founded Eaton Financial, an early pioneer in the small-ticket leasing business. In 1989, Eaton became AT&T’s first publicly held acquisition and Gass became president of the newly formed leasing services division of AT&T Capital. The company developed more than 300,000 small business customers and $3 billion in assets.

Gass also was instrumental in the founding of the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation and is a member of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association’s Equipment Finance Hall of Fame.

Gass’ leasing industry achievements inspired him to give back. He identified a need to generate awareness of and resources for the equipment finance industry and supported the creation of a non-profit corporation dedicated exclusively to the educational, charitable and scientific advancement of the industry. In 1989, following the sale of Eaton Financial, Gass contributed $250,000 of his own earnings and $125,000 in stock to realize his vision of the Foundation for Leasing Education with the ELFA and Babson College, his alma mater. The ELFA matched his gift and the foundation was established at the association’s headquarters. Gass served as fund campaign advisor and board director and continued to financially support the foundation for many years.

Today, the foundation that Gass envisioned continues to educate, fundraise and award grants for industry research. While the name of the organization evolved into the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation, its core mission remains unchanged.

In 2019, when Gass was inducted into the Equipment Finance Hall of Fame, the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association thanked him for his monumental impact on the equipment leasing and finance industry and for helping to connect industry professionals today with the leaders of tomorrow.

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