More than 260 equipment finance professionals and service providers from across the U.S., Australia and Canada attended the National Equipment Finance Association 2021 Virtual Finance Summit, which was held from March 16 to March 17.
“In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, NEFA found it imperative to offer value to members while keeping safety at the forefront. This virtual conference, as compared to our traditional in-person gatherings, did offer some unique benefits,” Chad Sluss, executive director and CEO of the NEFA, said. “Businesses of all kinds and sizes were able to join the event, offering value to employees in all areas of these companies. Employees we do not often get a chance to engage with at our in-person conferences, due to budgetary constraints, participated in this virtual event. This year’s Finance Summit once again demonstrated the unparalleled and growing value proposition offered by NEFA to the equipment finance industry.”
Attendees of the summit experienced networking time, educational sessions and opportunities to meet with exhibitors. In addition to eight educational sessions led by industry professionals, the conference kicked off each day with a motivational keynote address. The day one keynote was provided by Stan Phelps, a TEDx speaker and IBM futurist, who guided participants through a talk titled “The Purple Goldfish: How the Little Things Make the Biggest Difference.” The day two keynote was provided by John Kriesel, a Minnesota Army National Guard veteran. Kriesel’s motivational story, “Still Standing, Still Smiling,” relayed lessons learned in overcoming extreme tragedy with the power of positive thinking.
“The 2021 Virtual Finance Summit provided incredible energy with keynote presentations from Stan Phelps and John Kriesel each day,” Sluss said. “Following each keynote, attendees had the option to attend two additional sessions from industry leaders throughout the two-day conference. Attendees were provided significant networking opportunities with sponsors, exhibitors and industry colleagues throughout the event. We were very pleased with the attendance and want to thank the conference committee, sponsors, exhibitors, presenters, volunteers and our members for making this event so successful.”
“We persisted through Zoom fatigue and had a great conference,” Kristian Dolan, CEO and founder of Northteq and chair of the 2021 Virtual Finance Summit, said. “Thank you to the conference committee for orchestrating sessions with new topics like cannabis financing and eNotary to time tested topics such as credit scoring and fraud. We hope all attendees walked away with actionable information to improve their businesses.”
The 2021 Virtual Finance Committee was comprised of the following industry leaders: Dolan; Anne Dalgaard of Dynamic Rentals, Dennis Dressler of Dressler|Peters, Chris Maudlin of Wintrust Specialty Finance, Beth McLean of Northland Capital Financial Services, Kim Riggs of Orion First Financial, Peter Van Dyke of NorthTeq and James Wilson of TimeValue Software.
This year’s Finance Summit also included a virtual fundraiser to benefit the Chris Walker Education Fund. The fundraiser was a raffle drawing to win a Peloton bike. James Jackson, vice president of the NEFA board of directors and co-CEO/practice leader of the M&A group for The Alta Group won the raffle and donated the bike back to the fund.
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