NEFA Holds First In-Person Conference in 2 Years at 2021 Funding Symposium



The National Equipment Finance Association completed its first in-person conference in two years during its 2021 Funding Symposium in Charlotte, NC, from Oct. 13 to Oct. 15.

Attendees experienced the NEFA’s networking events, providing funding sources, lessors, brokers and service providers opportunities to meet, conduct business and create new relationships. This year’s keynote speaker, Raja Rajamannar, CMO of Mastercard, addressed the group about his book, “Quantum Marketing: Mastering the New Marketing Mindset for Tomorrow’s Consumers,” and shared breakthrough, frontier strategies to navigate the challenges faced by companies to thrive in a modern business world.

The 2021 NEFA Funding Symposium co-chairs Jacklynn Manning, CLFP, of AMUR and Mae Philpott, CLFP, of Quality Leasing assembled a schedule of educational sessions for conference attendees.

“The 2021 NEFA Funding Symposium truly lived up to our goals and expectations of challenging attendees to reimagine everything. The event was extremely successful with a high turnout rate, including one of our largest first-time attendee numbers, proving that even through a pandemic, the value that NEFA brings is simply ‘priceless.’ From our introduction of the Practical Innovation Lab to thought-provoking thought leadership sessions, the mind-blowing magic and the best charitable networking event that provided spectacular views of Charlotte, I am proud to say the NEFA Funding Symposium delivered! I am thrilled to have been asked to co-chair this important industry event, and I look forward to contributing to the evolution of NEFA as a board member,” Manning said.

“I am thrilled with how the conference came together. We truly reimagined everything, from session formats to education topics to charity fundraising, and overall feedback has been very positive,” Philpott said. “I am so grateful to the NEFA planning staff, volunteers and members who help[ed] make the 2021 Funding Symposium the best ever.”

“The 2021 NEFA Funding Symposium marked the first in-person conference in over two years due to the pandemic. The planning committee developed the theme ‘reimagine everything,’ which was fitting given what was offered to attendees,” Chad Sluss, executive director and CEO of the NEFA, said. “This conference provided more networking opportunities, new and inventive education, keynote speakers who provided fresh ideas for the attendees to apply to their businesses and a new Innovation Lab allowing attendees to discuss tangible business issues with subject matter experts. The conference concluded with an extraordinary reception and dinner at Fahrenheit Charlotte featuring fantastic food, a cigar bar, karaoke, a fundraiser for the Chris Walker Education Fund and jaw-dropping views of the city. We thank all our sponsors, exhibitors, session speakers and attendees for their contributions to the success of this conference and look forward to seeing everyone at the March 23-25, 2022, Annual Finance Summit in Newport Beach, CA.”

“We just completed a very successful conference in Charlotte, NC, that was the first live national event for NEFA in two years,” Jim Jackson of The Alta Group, who is the incoming board president of the NEFA, said. “The program content, educational sessions, keynote speakers and activities were well received, and it was great to connect with friends and colleagues once again and share ideas about our businesses and what has changed in the industry. I am honored to serve as the NEFA president and along with the support of a talented board of directors, Chad and the NEFA staff, we will work diligently to ensure the association continues to provide valuable programs and content designed to help our members grow their businesses and industry relationships.”

The NEFA’s outgoing board president, Laura Carini, CLFP, of Financial Pacific Leasing, is joined on the association’s executive committee by Jackson as well as Scott Wheeler, CLFP, of Wheeler Business Consulting as vice president; Adam Peterson of Channel Partners Capital as treasurer; and Robert Hornby of Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi as secretary.

New directors of the association also include Don Cosenza of North Mill Equipment Finance, Kim King, CLFP, of Navitas Credit, Shervin Rashti of SLIM Capital Services and Bob Rinaldi of Rinaldi Advisory Services. They are joined by the other tenured board members, including Paul Fogle, CLFP, of Quality Leasing; Manning; Beth McLean, CLFP, of Northland Capital Equipment Finance; and Shawn Smith of Dedicated Commercial Recovery.

During the annual meeting portion of the conference, Wheeler offered a financial update, while Stephanie Hall, CLFP, of BankFinancial Equipment Finance offered an update on the Chris Walker Education Fund and Reid Raykovich, CLFP, of the Certified Lease & Finance Professional Foundation offered an update on the Certified Lease & Finance Professional Foundation.

Also, during the annual meeting, the executive committee of the NEFA awarded Kristian Dolan of Northteq the Chris Walker Memorial Member of the Year Award. Dolan was the chair of the 2021 Virtual Finance Summit and worked with the NEFA team and planning committee to create a unique, educational and accommodating experience for all attendees. Additionally, he has worked with the NEFA team to spearhead its systems change.

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