Ralph Petta is the President and CEO of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA), the premier trade association representing 550+ member organizations in the $1 trillion equipment finance sector. Mr. Petta leads the organization in executing its mission to foster business development, deliver industry information and analysis, provide educational opportunities and advocate for the industry. He is also President of the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation, which is dedicated to inspiring thoughtful innovation and contributing to the betterment of the equipment leasing and finance industry.
Mr. Petta, an authority in the business of equipment finance, has been with the association since 1987. Before assuming the role of President and CEO in January 2016, he served as Chief Operating Officer for six years, providing coordination, direction and oversight of ELFA programs and services designed to add value to the association's member organizations. Prior to that, he served as Interim President. From 1987 to 2010 he was Vice President-Research & Industry Services, managing ELFA's information, benchmarking and market research initiatives. Throughout his career at ELFA, Mr. Petta has assumed leadership roles in virtually all functional areas within the organization, including governance, membership marketing, communications, business and professional development, state advocacy and the association's affiliated Foundation.
He is often quoted in industry trade publications and is a frequent speaker about the role of equipment finance in the U.S. economy and trends and developments in the equipment finance sector.
Mr. Petta is a member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), as well as ASAE's Key Industry Association Committee (KIAC). He completed the ASAE/University of Maryland College of Business and Management executive development certificate program in association management. He also was selected for and participated in the ASAE Future Leaders Conference. Mr. Petta is a member of the Exchequer Club of Washington, DC.
Before joining ELFA, Mr. Petta worked for nine years in the office of United States Senator Sam Nunn, serving in a variety of professional capacities. He was Senator Nunn's legislative assistant when he left to join the association. Mr. Petta graduated from Syracuse University, earning a B.A. degree in political science.