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

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Women's Spotlight

This new Q&A series is brought to you by the ELFA Women’s Council

Carla Potter

Lawyer
Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP

SpotlightMindMap_Circular_CarlaPotter

What different roles have you held throughout your career?

I started as an accountant before realizing law was for me. It was a fun transition to see businesses through multiple lenses and has allowed me to be practical and pragmatic with legal advice as well as better understand client needs.

How did you start your career in the equipment finance industry?

Through mentorship! Jonathan Fleisher, a mainstay in the Canadian equipment finance industry, wanted to show me an area of law suited for a small-town business-minded professional. He taught me the ropes and showed me the amazing industry that has become a way of life!

What is the best piece of career advice you've been given?

Be yourself. We all work too hard to try to be anyone else!

Who has been the biggest influence on your life and why?

My dad. He is always one to impart wisdom and the person to call when something goes wrong. He is the sober second thought and voice of reason. I am forever grateful for technology making a big world smaller and enabling us to speak to parents and families in many mediums.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.

I live in Toronto, Ontario with my husband Drew and our three-year-old Liv. We love weekends at the park, evenings watching swimming lessons, and many trips for ice cream! Watching life through the eyes of a three-year-old is frustrating and magical rolled into one!

What motivates you to wake up and go to work?

I genuinely like my job and the people that I do it with. From co-workers to clients, the people matter so much to what you do! I also look forward to the next generation and want to show them the best parts of the job!

What are your hopes and dreams for the equipment finance industry?

I am excited to see how tech and ESG [environmental, social and governance issues] move business—obviously we are already well along the road, but I think it is only the start of a journey.

If you have 30 minutes of free time, how do you pass the time?

I jump on the Peloton or think about jumping on the Peloton and grab a glass of wine – 50/50 odds!

If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see cast as you?

Sandra Bullock

What is one of your most rewarding work experiences?

We have undertaken a significant pro bono program called Project Exist. The lawyers at Shajjan & Associates, Canada’s law firm in Afghanistan, did not make it out of Afghanistan when Kabul fell. We took on this task thinking that it would be advocating for these individuals who clearly meet the Government of Canada’s Special Immigration Measures for Afghan nationals who have assisted Canada. Little did we know the frustration and red tape that these individuals would face. Ten months later we continue to fight for justice for those left behind in Afghanistan at Shajjan & Associates and consider it a privilege to advocate for those in the profession and to do what we believe is right. We remain hopeful that the Canadian Government and Minister Fraser will also do the right thing and assist the individuals who did so much for Canada.

Interview and editing by: Lexie Dressman, Counsel – Senior, Huntington Asset Finance
Visit the Women’s Leadership page for additional resources from the ELFA Women’s Council.