It is with much sadness that we inform the equipment finance community that Mary Smith, president and CEO of Highland Capital, passed away on April 19.
Smith’s career in the industry started in the early 1980s at GE Capital. After working at GE for several years, Smith moved to Copelco Capital, where she started in operations and then quickly moved to a successful sales career, achieving a personal annual sales volume of more than $280 million. She eventually landed back in operations at Copelco, where she was responsible for the largest division in the company. When CitiCapital acquired Copelco, Smith stayed on for a few years before taking time off to be with her family and raise her four-year-old daughter.
After working as a consultant for Highland Capital, then a part of Greater Community Bank, Smith was named president of the company in 2003 and re-launched the organization. In 2008, Highland Capital became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Valley National Bancorp. Under Smith’s leadership, Highland Capital grew from an asset base of $20 million to its current asset base of $650 million. In 2020, not only was Smith recognized as one of the Top 50 Women in Equipment Finance by Monitor, but Highland Capital, for the first time, was listed in the Monitor 100.
Smith was an active member of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association and many other industry associations and organizations. She also sat on the board of the Smoke Rise Riding Club, serving as president there for many years as well.
Smith was a true pioneer in the equipment leasing industry and will be sorely missed by all who knew her.
Her wish was for all to plant a tree in remembrance of her.
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