Joe Woodley, Leasing & Specialty Finance Veteran, Passes Away



Leasing and specialty finance industry veteran Joe Woodley passed away April 2nd after a brief illness. Woodley had previously been named one of the “Top 25 Most Influential People in Leasing” and will be missed by his many friends throughout the industry.

In the late 70s and early 80s, Woodley worked for Colonial Pacific Leasing (CPL), then owned by Roseburg Lumber. John Thorne, the head of CPL at the time, had the idea to build a network of leasing brokers, as he saw it as more cost effective than competing for vendor business. Colonial Pacific Leasing was the first to pursue this business and Woodley, along with several other individuals who would go on to become leasing industry veterans, were instrumental in helping CPL develop their original broker network.

Woodley was already a leasing industry veteran when he went to work for Colonial Pacific Leasing. Upon graduation from the University of Albuquerque, he went to work for Burroughs and later St. Paul Leasing. From 1977 to 1984 Woodley served as the vice president of Marketing for Colonial Pacific Leasing. Many brokers from that era got their start in the business because of Woodley. He was also at the forefront of the formation of The Western Association of Equipment Lessors (WAEL).

When the association went through tumultuous times in 2001, Woodley stepped in as executive director and helped to restore the association, then known as UAEL, on a path of stability and growth.

He brought long time industry veteran Bill Grohe in as membership director, and together they shepherded the association back to a strong financial position. He was instrumental in setting up the merger of UAEL and EAEL, former rival associations. The merged entity later became the National Equipment Finance Association.

In retirement, Woodley continued to work for Westover Financial, a company he had founded some 14 years earlier. He remained in La Quinta, CA where he resided for over 30 years. Woodley touched the lives of many people in the industry through his work with Colonial Pacific Leasing and later through his tenure with the WAEL and UAEL.

Woodley’s philosophy could be summed up with the adage, “There are no strangers, only friends we haven’t met yet,” and he continued to make new friends everywhere he went through his professional career and beyond.

Woodley is survived by his sister Jan Walker from Austin, TX. He was 78.

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