Equipment Leasing and Finance Association - Equiping Business for Success


July 18, 2018 - July 19, 2018

1777 F Street NW
Washington, DC

Registration for Emergence2018 is closed. Should you wish to be added to the waitlist, please email Alexa Carnibella at

Brought to you by the Emerging Talent Advisory Council (ETAC), Emergence2018 is a leadership program for emerging talent from ELFA member companies.

Who Should Attend?

This event is open to ELFA members only. Attendees should be those who have the ability and desire to lead, grow and make a positive impact on others. These are individuals considered to be high-potential future leaders in their respective organizations and in the industry.


Contact Alexa Carnibella at

Emergence2018 is sponsored by

Registration Fees

Price Description Amount

View cancellation and other policies

Preliminary Schedule - subject to change

Wednesday, July 18

11:00am-11:30am Registration/Check-in
11:30am-12:30pm Networking Lunch
12:30pm-5:00pm Day 1 sessions
6:00pm-8:00pm Emerging Leaders Evening Event

Thursday, July 19

7:30am Networking Breakfast
8:00am-4:30pm Day 2 sessions

Available Functions


Andrew Bender

GSG Financial

Andrew A. Bender has been the President of GSG Financial since co-founding the company in 2003. GSG is a captive equipment finance company based in New York City. GSG's primary industry sectors are Diversified Industrial, Converged Technologies, and Copy & Print.

Bender is a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Equipment Lease and Finance Association and the current Chairman of the Membership Committee. Prior to co-founding GSG, he was an attorney at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, a leading technology and life sciences law firm in Palo Alto, California. Bender received a BA from Brown University and an MBA and JD from Duke University.

Michael DiCecco

Huntington Equipment Finance

Michael DiCecco is Executive Managing Director of Huntington Bank's $6.0 billion asset finance businesses which include: equipment finance, public capital, lender finance, and technology finance. DiCecco, along with a group of colleagues, established Huntington's equipment finance capabilities in 2001 after starting his career at Star Bank (nka US Bank) in 1988. Over the last 30 years DiCecco has earned increasing responsibilities in equipment finance and commercial banking, including leading Huntington's commercial bank for Northeast Ohio from 2005-2008. Businesses under his leadership have achieved record growth in assets, revenues, and profits.
Active in the industry and community, DiCecco, has served on the Equipment Leasing & Finance Association's Membership Committee, Financial Institutions Business Council, and from 2014-2017 served on the ELFA Board of Directors and Executive Committee. Currently, he serves on the Boys and Girls Club of Cleveland Board of Directors and has served on the boards of the Center for Families and Children and the American Heart Association.
DiCecco holds a Bachelor of Science with a concentration in Business from the College of Mount St. Joseph, and he is a member of the Leadership Cleveland class of 2008. He is a passionate advocate for ending cancer by participating and fundraising for the Pelotonia bike ride that benefits The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. DiCecco and his family reside in Avon Lake, Ohio.

Alexandra Dressman

Sales Coordinator 3, AVP
Huntington Equipment Finance

Lexie Dressman is the Operations Process Manager and an Assistant Vice President at Huntington Equipment Finance.  She has been a licensed attorney since 2011.  With Huntington since 2015, she was previously a Sales Coordinator on the Documentation Team.  Prior to joining the Equipment Leasing & Finance industry, Lexie served as a Public Defender for 3 1/2 years.  Active in the industry and her community, Lexie is currently on the ELFA's Emerging Talent Advisory Council, where she leads the Guidance Committee and recently helped establish the new "Ask a Leader" interview series.  She is also a member of the Cincinnati Art Museum Emerging Leaders Council and the Charities Guild of Northern Kentucky.  Lexie has her B.A. in History and Political Science from the University of Kentucky and her J.D. from the Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law, where she was a Henry Clay Scholar.  She enjoys reading, traveling and, most importantly, spending time with her husband, 21-month old daughter and dog.

Jacob Fahl

Opportunity Development Leader, Funding & Portfolio Services
Hitachi Capital America Corp.

Jacob is an Opportunity Development Leader for Hitachi Capital America Corp. offering equipment finance solutions for 3rd party relationships. Before that he held positions at U.S. Bank Equipment Finance in a similar service. Jacob has held leadership positions within his own community and comes from an athletic background playing college basketball at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, MN where Jacob still resides today.

The development of a personal philosophy and pursuing objectives with love and discipline has allowed Jacob to achieve alignment with his personal and professional vision. A continuous learner who treats opportunities as an adventure, pushing past limits and allowing himself to fail. At the heart of leadership, Jacob believes it requires a simple approach; enabling the full potential of not only others, but yourself.

Jennifer Fanz

Country Sales Manager, US Healthcare

Jennifer Fanz, Country Sales Manager - Healthcare, for DLL, is an experienced sales leader with demonstrated success in the financial services industry. She is well versed in sales, strategic planning, business development, sales management and general management.
Jennifer earned her Bachelor of Science degree with a focus in Management from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey-Camden, and she has been part of the DLL team since April 2000. Jennifer is an active member of Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA), with service on the Emerging Talent Advisory Council and Women's Council. Jennifer is also the DLL US (Wayne, PA) Chapter Lead for N.O.W., the Network of Women.

Nathan Gibbons, CLFP

Chief Operating Officer
Innovation Finance USA LLC

Nate began his career in equipment leasing with First American Equipment Finance in 2006. As an early career professional, he attended the ELFA's Future Leasing Leaders Institute, which helped solidify his desire to become an effective and influential leader. In 2013 he was the recipient of the "Chairman's Award" (First American's highest honor) for excellence in character and leadership. In the same year he was also promoted to Vice President and helped develop and manage the company’s learning and professional development strategy.

Nate currently works for Innovation Finance where he is responsible for overseeing the operational strategy of the company. With an emphasis on emerging technologies and automation, his energy is focused on operational design that results in dramatic improvements to the customer experience.

Following his passion to help people reach their potential, he has served as Chair of the ELFA's Emerging Talent Advisory Council, and also serves on the Board of Directors for the Certified Lease & Finance Professional Foundation.

Nate resides in Webster, New York with his wife Keila and their two sons Noah and Micah.

Michael Hube

VP, Syndications
Fifth Third Equipment Finance Company

Valerie Jester

Brandywine Capital Associates, Inc.

Valerie Jester is President of Brandywine Capital Associates, Inc. With over 33 years experience in the equipment leasing industry - Ms. Jester has also served as Senior Vice President of First Sierra Financial, Inc. Her duties included the oversight of First Sierra's third-party originations division. Prior to First Sierra, Ms. Jester was President and owner of Corporate Capital Leasing Group, Inc., a small ticket lessor specializing in the arbor-care markets. Corporate Capital was sold to First Sierra Financial in 1996 and became a publicly traded company in 1997. Prior to founding Corporate Capital's predecessor company in 1988, Ms. Jester was a Regional Manager for General Electric Credit Corporation - in the company's Commercial Asset Finance Department.
She has been involved with the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association of America for the past 22 years, serving as a member of the Eastern Regional Council, Small Ticket Business Council, Reinventing-ELA Committee, Ethics Committee, Pac Committee, Board of Directors, Treasurer, and most recently as Chairman of the Association. She also served on the Board of Directors of the Eastern Association of Equipment Lessors and as a member of the Ethics committee of the United Association of Equipment Leasing, and has been a speaker and chair of many industry conventions and workshops. Ms. Jester has also served on the Board of Directors of the YMCA of Chester County, Red Cross of Chester County, the American Lung Association of Chester and Delaware Counties, the Salvation Army, and the Chester County Art Association, and has served as Chair for many local fundraising events. She received a Bachelor of Business Administration from the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia.
Valerie resides in West Chester, Pennsylvania with her husband Craig.

Jerry Kleinhaus

Founder and Executive Coach
Oakley Advisors

Jerry Kleinhaus is a certified Executive Coach and is the founder of Oakley Advisors. Mr. Kleinhaus spent more than 26 years with Convergys Corporation (NYSE: CVG) where, as Vice President for Client Services, he led an organization of project management and customer service professionals. During his career, he also held leadership positions in development, marketing, strategic planning, program management and operations. He has worked with some of America's most influential companies including AT&T (SBC / Bell South), Cingular, Time Warner, Cox Communications, Comcast and IBM.

Jerry Kleinhaus has coached and mentored scores of people for over 30 years. He has a gift for being able to quickly establish a strong trusting relationship with his clients. Jerry combines this talent with his professional training to create an exceptional coaching experience that is enjoyable, challenging, and productive.

Mr. Kleinhaus earned his certification as an Executive Coach through the University of Cincinnati Business College. He also holds a certificate in strategic and market planning from The Wharton School of Business (University of Pennsylvania); and certificates in business planning from The University of Cincinnati and Rollins College in Maitland, Florida.

Jerry Kleinhaus was named the 2007 Sherpa of the Year by Sherpa Coaching LLC, the developers of the Sherpa Coaching process. Mr. Kleinhaus was selected for the award for his work in advancing the executive coaching process and Oakley Advisors overall excellence in customer service.

Emily Latham-Bolt

HR Business Partner

Zack Marsh, CLFP

Mintaka Financial, LLC

Kara Miyasato

Sr. Manager, Marketing
Stryker Flex Financial

Kara Miyasato is the Sr. Marketing Manager for Flex Financial, Stryker’s financial services arm. In this role, she and her team are responsible for the creation of new financial products, marketing communications, analytics, and events & training for North America and Europe.
In 2007, Kara began her career at Stryker and has held multiple individual contributor and management roles within Flex Financial in both operations and marketing. She has also held roles on Stryker’s Government team and data standards team. Her focus throughout her Stryker career has been around employee engagement, customer service, and continual process improvement.
Kara holds degrees in philosophy and economics from Santa Clara University, attained her Master’s degree in Finance from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). She sits on the board of directors for the Kalamazoo Junior Symphony Society and resides in Kalamazoo, Michigan with her husband, Cullen, and her son, Kai.
Kara is passionate about diversity & inclusion and has led sessions with Stryker to help shed light on unconscious bias and other related topics.

Victoria Mora

AVP, Credit and Syndication
GSG Financial

Melinda Petrowske

Senior Credit Officer
Farm Credit Leasing Services Corporation

Ralph Petta

President and CEO
Equipment Leasing and Finance Association

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.  

Pierre Quinn

Motivational Speaker

Leadership speaker and author Pierre Quinn is on a mission to help others live, learn, and lead with confidence. A passionate storyteller and gifted communicator the most frequently asked question after his presentations is “When can you come back?” His personal journey as a leader has led to invitations from across the country to share the insights he’s gained.

Pierre is the author of Leading While Green: How Emerging Leaders Can Ripen Into Effective Leaders. Leading While Green has been used in college classrooms, nonprofit settings, conferences, and churches to help emerging leaders identify their strengths and increase effectiveness in their circles of influence. Prior to his focus as a leadership speaker, he worked in nonprofit communications and taught business communication and leadership courses on the collegiate level for nearly a decade.

Pierre holds both a Master of Arts in Communication and a Master of Divinity from Andrews University. He admits that his roles as a husband and father are both his greatest joy and greatest leadership challenges.

David Schaefer, CLFP

Mintaka Financial, LLC

Mr. Schaefer is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Mintaka Financial, LLC which was established in 2004 as an investment vehicle to fund small ticket, commercial equipment loans and leases. Dave has over thirty years of experience in the commercial equipment finance industry, including senior management responsibility for treasury, operations, information technology, accounting and portfolio management. David's leadership position with Mintaka includes strategic development, capital formation, and developing a network of affiliate partners whom originate transactions. David is also the founder and CEO of Orion First Financial, LLC (Seattle, WA) a loan and lease servicing company which provides underwriting, contract servicing and collection services to banks and independent financial institutions. Prior to establishing Orion he was president, CEO and a member of the Board of Directors of Financial Pacific Company. Dave also founded Checkmate Certified Collections In 1975, a consumer and commercial collection agency.
Dave is presently active with the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) and currently serves on the ELFA Board of Directors and Executive Committee. He is currently the chairman of LeasePAC, the industry's only federal political action committee. Prior to this, he served on the Board of Directors of the United Association of Equipment Lessors, now the National Equipment Finance Association. He chaired the Small Ticket Business Council of the ELFA in 1999 and 2000. He obtained his CLP certification in 1996 making him one of the industry's earliest Certified Leasing Professionals.
Dave lives in Gig Harbor, WA and Scottsdale, AZ with his wife and four children. They enjoy camping, traveling, hiking and kayaking.

Abbey Shultz

AVP, Leasing Credit Manager
U.S. Bank Equipment Finance

Jud Snyder

BMO Harris Equipment Finance Company

Jud Snyder is the President of BMO Harris Equipment Finance Company and BMO's Senior Executive for Southeast Wisconsin.
Jud joined the Bank in 1994 and is responsible for leading the growth and development of BMO Harris Equipment Finance Company. This includes strategic and managerial responsibility for sales, operations, underwriting and equipment management capabilities within the Equipment Finance Company.
Prior to taking on his current role, he had roles in credit, sales and sales management in Equipment Finance prior to taking on the President's role in 2008. In 2010, he moved into the bank as M&I's Head of Specialized Industries. In this role he was responsible for Equipment Finance, Global Trade, Health Care, Dealer Finance, Agribusiness and Sponsor Finance. Following the BMO acquisition in 2011, he moved back into the head role at Equipment Finance with the mandate to leverage the business across BMO and grow the business to scale.
Jud obtained his BA in Russian and Economics from UW Madison ('94). He is currently the Chairman and an Officer of ELFA (Equipment Leasing and Finance Association). He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Milwaukee Ballet (Immediate Past Chair & President and Executive Committee Member), The Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee (Trustee), United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County, Teach for America and Froedtert Health Systems.
Jud lives in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin with his five children.

William Verhelle

Innovation Finance USA LLC

Bill is the Founder of Innovation Finance, Harvard Partners and First American Equipment Finance.  

Before starting Harvard Partners LLC in mid-2015, Bill served as the cofounder and CEO of First American Commercial Bancorp, Inc. d/b/a First American Equipment Finance (from its launch in 1996 until 2015).While a student at the Cornell Law School in 1996, Bill Verhelle founded First American with his long-time friend and business partner, Guy Klingler. Bill sold the business to City National Bank in 2012, continuing to serve as CEO of the independently managed company until 2015.

First American, headquartered in Fairport, NY, with well over $1B in assets, finances capital equipment for many of the largest hospitals, colleges, universities, enterprise businesses and non-profit organizations in the United States.
During Verhelle's nearly 20-years as First American CEO:
  • - the Company was recognized 8 times by INC Magazine on the prestigious INC 500 listing as one of the fastest growing private companies in the U.S. (First American ranked as high as #3 on the 2001 Inc. 500 list).
  • - the Company was recognized 10 times between 2001 and 2011 on KPMG and the Rochester Business Alliance list of the Top 100 privately held companies headquartered in Rochester, NY.
  • - The Best Companies Group chose the Company as the #1 best place to work in New York State (less than 250 employees) in 2012; and First American has been recognized as one of the top five Best Companies in New York State every year thereafter.
  • - In April of 2015, the Company was recognized as one of Fortune Magazine's 20 Great Workplaces in Financial Services, As part of this Fortune Magazine recognition, First American was also profiled in Great Rated.
  • - In April of 2015, the Company was recognized as one of Fortune Magazine's 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials.
Before founding First American, Bill was Vice President and Western Division Manager of the Tokai Bank of Japan's middle-market leasing company (now De Lage Landen Financial Services in Wayne PA, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Dutch, Rabobank).
Bill has a Bachelor of General Studies Degree (BA) from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the Anderson School at UCLA and a Doctor of Laws (JD) from Cornell Law School. Bill is a member of the New York Bar Association.

During 2008 Bill served as the Chairman of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) in Washington, D.C.  During 2016 and 2017 Bill served as the Chairman of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Foundation.  Bill currently serves as the Immediate Past Chairman of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Foundation.
Bill and his wife Cyndee and their four children live in Naples, Florida. 


A block of rooms is being held for attendees of Emergence2018 at the Hilton Garden Inn Washington DC Downtown, located at 815 14th Street N.W., Washington, DC 20005 at a discounted rate of $249/night plus tax. Check in time is 3:00 pm and check-out time is 12:00 Noon. Please call Reservations at 202-783-7800 or use the link below before Tuesday, June 26, 2018 to ensure the group rate. Reservations made after June 26, 2018 are based on availability and maybe at a higher rate. Make your hotel reservations online at:  You are welcome to stay at the hotel of your choosing.
Getting There
The Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Washington is located 4 miles from Washington National Airport (DCA). Approximate cost to the hotel is $2.50 (by Metro) and $25.00 (by taxi).
Parking is $45.00/day + tax.

1777 F Street NW
1777 F Street NW
Washington, DC 20006

Get directions

If you would like information on exhibiting at this conference, please contact Steve Wafalosky at or 440.247.1060.

If you would like information on exhibiting at this conference, please contact Steve Wafalosky at or 440.247.1060.

If you would like information on exhibiting at this conference, please contact Steve Wafalosky at or 440.247.1060.

If you would like information on exhibiting at this conference, please contact Steve Wafalosky at or 440.247.1060.

If you would like information on exhibiting at this conference, please contact Steve Wafalosky at or 440.247.1060.

If you would like information on exhibiting at this conference, please contact Steve Wafalosky at or 440.247.1060.

If you would like information on exhibiting at this conference, please contact Steve Wafalosky at or 440.247.1060.

If you would like information on exhibiting at this conference, please contact Steve Wafalosky at or 440.247.1060.

If you would like information on exhibiting at this conference, please contact Steve Wafalosky at or 440.247.1060.

If you would like information on exhibiting at this conference, please contact Steve Wafalosky at or 440.247.1060.

If you would like information on exhibiting at this conference, please contact Steve Wafalosky at or 440.247.1060.

If you would like information on exhibiting at this conference, please contact Steve Wafalosky at or 440.247.1060.

If you would like information on exhibiting at this conference, please contact Steve Wafalosky at or 440.247.1060.

If you would like information on exhibiting at this conference, please contact Steve Wafalosky at or 440.247.1060.

If you would like information on exhibiting at this conference, please contact Steve Wafalosky at or 440.247.1060.