Gross to Receive ELFA’s 2024 David H. Fenig Distinguished Service in Advocacy Award

The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) has selected Edward K. Gross, shareholder at Vedder Price, to receive its 2024 David H. Fenig Distinguished Service in Advocacy Award. The award honors individuals who have made significant contributions to the association’s advocacy efforts to promote sound public policies for the equipment finance industry. Gross will be formally recognized at ELFA’s Capitol Connections event on Wednesday, May 22.

“It is an honor, of course, to be recognized for my participation in industry-related advocacy efforts,” Gross said. “But the greater reward has been the privilege to represent the industry, together with the association staff and other ELFA members, by pursuing financing-favorable changes to laws and policies, especially when our efforts achieve their intended purposes.”

As an active participant in ELFA for more than three decades, Gross has supported the industry’s policy objectives in a number of ways. As a recognized thought leader regarding the leasing and financing laws associated with all types of assets, his direct advocacy efforts have resulted in significant legislative changes. By way of example, based on his experience representing aviation finance clients for much of his career, he determined that the industry would be well-served by changes to the liability rules associated with aircraft finance. His efforts included participation in approximately 30 meetings over the course of three years, ultimately resulting in legislation providing a safe harbor from liability for aircraft lessors and lenders. He has also advocated for and helped achieve lessor-favorable changes to the FAA’s policies regarding aircraft ownership trusts.

Gross has also been a steadfast participant in ELFA’s annual Capitol Connections event, missing only one year since his first attendance in 2002. At each such event, he met with members of Congress, highlighting the value of equipment finance to the U.S. economy and the impact of legislative and regulatory proposals on the industry.

In addition, Gross has actively participated in state advocacy efforts, where his depth of equipment finance experience has been instrumental in shaping legislative and regulatory initiatives. His leadership has led to notable achievements, including being selected as an industry observer by the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) relating to amendments made to the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) in 2022, and more recently the drafting of a uniform state disclosure act. As a participant in the UCC drafting committee discussions, he was able to convince the committee to expand the very lessor-favorable provisions of the leasing laws in UCC 2A, including the “hell or high water” payment provisions, to the various types of “hybrid leases” (also known as bundled transactions), and to cover them in the capital markets-related provisions in UCC 9. The UCC amendments have now been enacted in 20 or more states and are likely to become law in as many as 40 states by the end of 2024.

Gross has held multiple leadership roles in the association. For more than a decade, he has served as co-chair of the legal committee’s air, rail and marine subcommittee, and over time has chaired, co-chaired or served as an active member of several other subcommittees, which currently include the UCC subcommittee and state legislative and regulatory subcommittee. He also been a member of the ELFA board of directors and the legal committee. In addition, he gives back to the industry as an active supporter and past trustee of the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation. As a testament to his innumerable contributions, ELFA honored Gross with the Distinguished Service Award in 2008 and the Edward A. Groobert Award for Legal Excellence in 2011.

“Eddie Gross is a remarkable volunteer and we are thrilled to recognize him with the David H. Fenig Distinguished Service in Advocacy Award,” Leigh Lytle, president and CEO of the ELFA, said. “His many contributions have been vital in advancing ELFA’s advocacy agenda and our critical role as the leading advocate for the $1 trillion equipment finance industry.”

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