It is with much sadness that we inform the Equipment Finance community that Mary Smith, President and CEO of Highland Capital Corporation, passed away on April 19, 2021.
Mary’s successful career in the finance industry started in the early 1980’s at GE Capital. After working at GE for several years, Mary moved to Copelco Capital where she started in operations and then quickly moved to a successful sales career, achieving a personal annual sales volume of over $280MM. Eventually she landed back in operations at Copelco, where she was responsible for the largest division in the company. When CitiCapital acquired Copelco, Mary stayed with them for a few years before taking time off to be with her family and raise her 4-year-old daughter.
After working as a consultant for Highland, then a part of Greater Community Bank, Mary was named President of the company in 2003, and re-launched the organization. In 2008 Highland became a wholly owned subsidiary of Valley National Bancorp. Under Mary’s leadership, Highland grew from an asset base of $20 million, to its current asset base of $650 million. In 2020, not only was Mary recognized as one of the Top 50 Women in Equipment Finance by Monitor Magazine, but Highland Capital, for the first time, was listed in the Monitor 100 Largest Equipment Leasing Companies in the U.S.
She was an active member of the ELFA, and many other industry associations and organizations. She also sat on the board of the Smoke Rise Riding Club, serving as president there for many years as well.
Mary was a true pioneer in the equipment leasing industry and will be sorely missed by all who knew her.