ELFA - Equipment Leasing and Finance Association - Equipping Business for Success

Women's Leadership

Leadership development resources curated by the ELFA Women’s Council.
ELFA members enjoy special access to and discounts on many of the following resources. Learn more.

ELFA Women's Council

A community of leaders committed to driving change across ELFA and the equipment finance industry by providing more access and inclusiveness to women at all stages of their equipment finance careers. Council initiatives are focused on awareness, advocacy and action. See who’s a member and read the mission/vision.

Women's Spotlight

This new series, brought to you by the ELFA Women’s Council, shines a light on women in the equipment finance industry. Get to know their individual stories, what they’re passionate about, and what they’ve learned over their professional journeys.

Get a recap and photos from the 2022 Women’s Leadership Forum in Chicago.

Apr 26, 2022, 11:37 AM
Get a recap and photos from the 2022 Women’s Leadership Forum in Chicago.

Women’s Leadership Forum Blazes New Trails

“We are here to blaze a trail like never before!” exclaimed ELFA Women’s Council Chair Jennifer Fanz as she kicked off the Women’s Leadership Forum, April 11-12 at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago. A diverse crowd of more than 240 industry leaders from around the country—representing a wide range of positions, industry sectors and experience levels—enjoyed a packed agenda of learning and networking. See more photos.

IMG_5336In a powerful panel moderated by Jennifer Fanz, equipment finance execs shared personal stories about their roads to success. L-R: Fanz; Melissa Donaldson, SVP, Chief Diversity Officer, Wintrust Financial; Nancy Pistorio, Foundation Chair and President, Madison Capital; Zack Marsh, CFO, Orion First Financial; and Eileen Schoonmaker, President & General Manager, Operations, DLL.

ELFA_2022-7095Jennifer Fanz, Chair of the ELFA Women’s Council and Senior Manager, Finance Organization Development at Intuitive Surgical Inc., kicked off the Forum.


Business Consultant Christy Riegert shared “Professional Mindfulness” techniques.

ELFA_2022-7314 copyNeonu Jewell’s breakout session, “Examining Imposter Syndrome,” shared strategies for overcoming feelings of self-doubt that can stifle success.

ELFA_2022-7179In her keynote “Imperfect, Impactful Leadership,” Elise Holtzman advised attendees to embrace discomfort. Her breakout session, “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There,” addressed how to create a career path forward.

IMG_5329Mary Abbajay delivered a spirited keynote on her best-selling book, “Managing Up—Working Successfully With Any Type of Boss.”

IMG_5390Early-birds watched the sun rise over Lake Michigan on the Fun Walk.

IMG_5351Networking was a large part of the Forum, and in the session “Igniting Relationships” Rhonda Miele, Global Program Manager, Commercial Academy, DLL had attendees practice and build their networking skills.


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elfa foundation

Foundation donors receive benefits, including early access to many of the following resources. Learn more.


  • The ESG Imperative

    This study reviews key ESG elements, looks at their status in terms of strategy, and the risks and opportunities they represent for the equipment finance industry.

Women 4 Inclusion Logo

Join Our LinkedIn Group!

The ELFA Women4Inclusion LinkedIn Group is a forum to share information, exchange ideas and network with other members of the equipment finance community in support of gender-balanced leadership and inclusion.

Mentoring Program

The ELFA’s Women’s Council launched its Mentoring Program in 2021 to help women in the equipment finance industry to build relationships, learn from others’ experiences, strengthen their self-confidence, find their voice, develop leadership skills and pursue leadership opportunities.If you would like to receive information about the program, please contact Eboni Preston-Laurent at epreston@elfaonline.org. View the Mentoring Program Guidelines..

Event Resources

Women’s Leadership Forum

The Women’s Leadership Forum is a leadership development event presented by the ELFA Women's Council. The Forum features dynamic keynote speakers, hot-topic sessions and interactive networking opportunities. See agendas below:

Webinar Recording: Igniting Relationships, Virtually Speaking

How do you create a connection through a camera lens? How do you build trust, confidence, and credibility over the internet, instead of over a cup of coffee? As we interact more through technology and less in person, we must adapt to new ways of building and maintaining relationships. View a recording of this webinar hosted by the ELFA Women's Council in September 2020.

Web Seminar: Igniting Relationships, Virtually Speaking


If you have questions about the ELFA Women’s Council, please contact staff liaison Eboni Preston-Laurent at epreston@elfaonline.org.