Operations & Technology Excellence Award


About the Award

The Operations & Technology Excellence (O&TE) Award Program recognizes finance organizations that are driving increased business value by having successfully implemented an operational excellence initiative, a technology innovation project, a digital client/employee experience, and/or achieving a demonstrated mindset shift to a culture of continuous innovation.

Prestige and Recognition 

This year's O&TE Award winner(s) will be recognized at the 2021 Operations & Technology Conference LIVE! on September 14, 2021.  The Judging Panel (O&TE Award Sub-committee) will review all entries and select the winner, who will:

  • Receive a personalized plaque
  • Receive industry-wide recognition in the Equipment Leasing & Finance online magazine, on the ELFA website, in the ELFA QuickBrief e-newsletter and on the association's social media channels
  • Present the award-winning project(s)
  • Receive recognition at the 2021 ELFA Annual Convention

You've worked hard to improve your company's technology and operations. Get the recognition your team deserves. Enter today!

Award Application Deadline

Award applications must be received no later than 11:59 PM Eastern Time, Monday, June 21, 2021.

Award applications are electronic for 2021 through GoogleDocs.  Award applications should be submitted via the electronic submission form found here: https://forms.gle/v6hMW5h5u3RjsACF8. If you are not able to access the electronic form, please complete the Word document application and email to Heather Staverman at hstaverman@elfaonline.org with Microsoft Office compatible attachments and the email subject of “O&TE Award Application”.

Please Note:
Once an application is received via email, a confirmation email reply will be sent. If you do not receive this reply within 24 hours of submission, during business hours, please contact Heather Staverman at 202-238-3427.

Award Application and Submission Instructions

Complete Online Application

Download Word Doc Application

  • Award applications should be submitted online or via email only to Heather Staverman at hstaverman@elfaonline.org
  • Each application may include up to one Microsoft Office compatible attachment.
  • The email subject must say “O&TE Award Application” in order to be considered and to ensure your application is not caught by any spam blockers.

Eligibility, Judging Panel, Other Details/Requirements 

  • To qualify for consideration:
    • Nominees can self-nominate or be nominated by others.
    • The project or initiative completion (go-live/in production) date must be within 12 months prior to application deadline.
    • Nominees must be equipment finance organizations and current regular members (as defined by the ELFA) at the time of application.
  • Recognition is measured by project or initiative. Therefore, multiple submissions from the same organization are acceptable.
  • Joint submissions (i.e. service provider and equipment finance organization) are acceptable (however, only the equipment finance organization will receive the award).
  • The O&TE Award sub-committee may request to meet with each nominee as part of the judging process to obtain more information about each project.
  • Applicants will be notified during the week of July 12-16, 2021. via email from hstaverman@elfaonline.org.
  • Winner(s) must be willing to participate in a session at the 2021 Operations & Technology Conference..
  • The O&T Planning Committee has assembled a sub-committee of judges to identify the projects that will be eligible to receive an award. The judging panel is made up of representatives from both equipment finance organizations and service providers. In the event there is a conflict of interest the individual will be recused from judging.

Note: the judging panel is made up of representatives from both equipment finance organizations and service providers. In the event there is a conflict of interest for a judge, their score is not included in the scoring of the nomination. Award submissions will be treated as being confidential and only shared with the sub-committee and employees of the ELFA as necessary.


  • 2021: Chicago Freight Car Leasing Co. (CFCL), a Sasser Family Company
  • 2020: TIAA Commercial Finance Inc.; COVID-19 Special Project Winner is Volvo Financial Services
  • 2019: Cisco Systems Capital Corporation and John Deere Financial
  • 2018: CWB National Leasing Inc.
  • 2017:  CIT Direct Capital and Mintaka Financial; Honorable Mention: Cisco Systems Capital
  • 2016: LEAF Commercial Capital, Inc. and National Leasing
  • 2015: Element Financial Corporation and Quick Bridge Funding, LLC
  • 2014: BB&T Equipment Finance Corporation and Wells Fargo Equipment Finance, Inc.
  • 2013: TCF Equipment Finance, Inc. and SunPower Corporation.
  • 2012: LEAF Commercial Capital, Inc. and AIG Commercial Asset Finance
  • 2011: First American Equipment Finance and ICON Capital Corporation
  • 2010: Winthrop Resources Corporation
  • 2009: Key Equipment Finance, PHH Arval
  • 2008: Orion First Financial LLC, Trinity Industries Leasing Co.
  • 2007: TCF Equipment Finance, California First National Bancorp, and Xerox Capital Services
  • 2006: Farm Credit Leasing
  • 2005: Styx Capital, Relational LLC
  • 2004: Cisco Systems Capital Corporation
  • 2003: AgStar Financial Services, National Leasing Group
  • 2002: ABB Financial Services, IBM Global Financing, Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation