Equipment Leasing and Finance Association - Equiping Business for Success

Justin Nielsen, CEO with a BIG Heart!

Posted 10/23/2018

Worth sharing. Humbling and Inspiring rally for my six-year old son. 

Hi, I debated whether I should share this experience or not. I'm a National Sales Manager for Onset Financial. I graduated from University of Utah in 2004 and went to work in the Equipment Finance Industry right out of school. I worked underneath Justin Nielsen, who was a VP at the time for Applied Financial in Midvale, UT. Since 2004, both his career, and mine took different turns, and Justin founded Onset Financial 10 years ago as we are about to celebrate 10 successful years as a company. 

 At the core of a successful company is successful leadership. Leaders who care about their employees, and customers. Onset represents everything that is good about business, and the Equipment Finance Industry. 

When my son was diagnosed with a rare disease that caused end stage heart failure, we basically took him straight from a little league ball field to the Emergency Room. Five months later, after two open heart surgeries, several other surgeries, therapies, and treatments, my son walked out of that hospital on his own, having carried him in 5 months prior because he was too sick and weak to walk. He needed a heart transplant. He needed mechanical circulatory support to keep him alive while he was on the donor list. The five months of pure Hell for any mom and dad, seeing their otherwise healthy and normal child face death's doorstep, was overtaken by the love and support of many people. At the crux of that support, was Onset Financial, and its founder Justin Nielsen. The way he orchestrated the most profound rally, and love cries, prayers, and support; everything from safeguarding my employment, my business prospects, delegated helping hands to advance deals in my absence, and to organize charitable events, and the late-night personal phone calls to me to check on my boy and our spirits is the hallmark of a great man who leads a great company. 

Onset made red wristbands that said #Treystrong (my son’s name), t-shirts, delivered swag to a brave boy to help cheer up his spirits. That included a video game system, ipad with movies already downloaded, noise cancelling headphones, sports hats and shirts of his favorite teams, balloons, toys, candy, and one video after another from our corporate offices sent to my family up at the hospital. I recently brought Trey to the office, as he is home now, and doing well, for a credit submission meeting for one of my deals. A health insurance company to boot. Fitting, seen as though the mission and purpose of healthcare companies is far more good than whatever flaws may be present in the current system. I spoke to Justin after the meeting, and he told me that my son's story changed him. It changed his wife. Their children prayed morning and night for my little boy. Trey showed unspeakable maturity, toughness, grit, fight, courage, and bravery as he waited out those long days and nights. 

I would not have been to be the dad I was without the unrelenting support and love from my employer. There was absolutely nothing required of me during that period of time, other than for me to go and be dad, and to be strong for him. The rest of the organization is just as remarkable. Coming back to the office last week, to cheers, hugs, and tears of joy. At the end of the day, we are all just people. And some people make a lasting difference for good in the lives of others, and Onset exists to be and do just that, because that's in the DNA of its founder, which is also the company's DNA naturally. Incredible Culture. Inspiring is an understatement. 

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Jason C Richards
Onset Financial
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