News

Welcome to the CLFP Blog where CLFPs in Good Standing can submit discussions and news articles.
  • Tue, April 05, 2016 9:15 AM | Reid Raykovich (Administrator)

    The Certified Lease & Finance Professional (CLFP) Foundation is pleased to announce that added eight members during the month of March.

    They are:

    • Skylar Crane, CLFP – Celtic Commercial Finance, National Accounts Manager
    • Brent Dunbar, CLFP – Celtic Commercial Finance, National Accounts Manager
    • Don Ferguson, CLFP – Celtic Commercial Finance, Vice President/Team Director
    • Andy Horne, CLFP – Provident Leasing, Regional Vice President
    • Mark McKissick, CLFP – Banc of California, Director of Small Commercial Lending
    • Korie Nicholson, CLFP – Provident Leasing, Territory Manager
    • Mike Seyal, CLFP – Diagnostic Institute of Imaging, President
    • Evan Zoller, CLFP – Provident Leasing, Territory Manager


    Mark McKissick, CLFP, Director of Small Commercial Lending at Banc of California stated, “Just like an MBA, Ph.D., or CPA, the CLFP designation reflects knowledge and professionalism in a very prominent industry. It allows me to gain the credibility, integrity and trust among colleagues and customers alike - setting myself apart from others.  It truly does set the standard of excellence, and I made it my personal goal to achieve that standard.”

    The CLFP designation identifies an individual as a knowledgeable professional to employers, clients, customers, and peers in the equipment lease and finance industry. For more information, call Executive Director Reid Raykovich, CLFP at (206) 535-6281 or visit www.CLFPfoundation.org. 

  • Thu, January 21, 2016 9:37 AM | Reid Raykovich (Administrator)

    The Certified Lease & Finance Professional (CLFP) Foundation recently held its first Academy for Lease & Finance Professionals (ALFP) of 2016. The event was hosted by Stearns Bank in Albany, MN and all eight of the individuals who sat for the exam at the conclusion of the event passed. 96% of those who attend an ALFP and studied prior to attending have passed the eight-hour exam.

    The first CLFPs of 2016 are:

    • Kristian Dolan, CLFP – COO – Tamarack Consulting
    • Cindy Fleck, CLFP – Director, National Accounts – GreatAmerica Financial Services
    • Michelle Fuchs, CLFP – VP/Business Development – Stearns Bank
    • Mikki Henkelman, CLFP – Syndication Specialist/Sr. Credit Analyst – Stearns Bank
    • Marc Keepman, CLFP – President/CEO – KLC Financial
    • Daryn Lecy, CLFP – VP of Operations – Stearns Bank
    • Jim Peach, CLFP – VP/Sales Manager – Stearns Bank
    • Spencer Thomas, CLFP – Executive Vice President – KLC Financial

    When asked why he pursued the CLFP designation, Mr. Keepman stated, “I chose to become a CLFP because we as an industry are raising the bar in 3 critical areas of commercial application: our performance, our ethics and our self-regulation.  This is a good way to accomplish all three and is the way of the future.”

    The CLFP designation identifies an individual as a knowledgeable professional to employers, clients, customers, and peers in the equipment lease and finance industry. For more information, call Executive Director Reid Raykovich, CLFP at (206) 535-6281 or visit www.CLFPfoundation.org. 


  • Mon, November 23, 2015 10:00 AM | Reid Raykovich (Administrator)

    The Certified Lease & Finance Professional (CLFP) Foundation recently held its fourth Academy for Lease & Finance Professionals (ALFP) of 2015. The event was hosted by GreatAmerica Financial Services and all twelve of the individuals who sat for the exam at the conclusion of the event passed. . Eleven of the twelve test-takers who took the exam utilized a computer-based platform which was offered for the first time.

    Amy Spragg, CLFP - Treasurer for the CLFP Board of Directors stated, “Long gone are the days of hand cramps and missed answers from illegible writing.  With the launch of the online CLFP exam, the Certified CLFP Foundation can continue to grow as the premier credential of the leasing and financing industry.  While maintaining the designation’s integrity, this new test format enables a greater number of applicants the opportunity to easily take and pass the exam.” 

    The twelve newest CLFPs are:

    • Jennifer Finken, CLFP – Account Manager – Equipment Finance, NCMIC Finance Corp.
    • Lisa Genereux, CLFP – Account Executive, Dell Financial Services
    • Todd Jarvela, CLFP – Director, Direct Programs Group – GreatAmerica Financial Services
    • Melissa Knutson, CLFP – Equipment Finance Manager, NCMIC Finance Corp.
    • Mike Kramer, CLFP – Senior Account Manager, Diversified Capital Credit
    • Ryan McHugh, CLFP – Vendor Relationship Manager, GreatAmerica Financial Services
    • Nick Nielsen, CLFP – Vice President of Sales – GreatAmerica Financial Services
    • Ryan Otto, CLFP – Vice President, Senior Audit Manager – BMO Financial Group
    • Carrie Radloff, CLFP – Business Development Manager, American Financial Partners
    • John Rodwell, CLFP – OIC Lender Services – VP, Business Development
    • Stephanie Severin, CLFP – Vice President, Chief Credit Officer, GreatAmerica Financial Services
    • Tawnya Stone, CLFP – Director, Enterprise Strategic Technology, Great America Financial Services

    The CLFP designation identifies an individual as a knowledgeable professional to employers, clients, customers, and peers in the equipment finance industry. There are currently 290 Certified Lease & Finance Professionals and Associates in good standing throughout the world. For more information, call Executive Director Reid Raykovich, CLFP at (206) 535-6281 or visit www.CLFPfoundation.org. 


  • Sun, November 15, 2015 9:53 PM | Reid Raykovich (Administrator)

    The Certified Lease & Finance Professional (CLFP) Foundation is very pleased to announce the 2016 CLFP Board of Directors.  They are:

    •  Leslie Brown, CLFP – Bravo Capital
    •  Eric Bunnell, CLFP – Arvest Equipment Finance
    •  Andrew Eller, CLFP – First American Equipment Finance
    •  Chris Enbom, CLFP – Allegiant Partners
    •  Bob Fisher, CLFP – Ascentium Capital
    •  Kevin Prykull, CLFP – PNC Equipment Finance
    •  Joe Schmitz, CLFP – F.I.T. Leasing
    •  Brian Schonfeld, CLFP – Pawnee Leasing
    •  Marci Slagle, CLFP – VFI Corporate Finance
    •  Amy Spragg, CLFP – Pacifica Capital

    Kevin Prykull, CLFP stated, "I am delighted to have been selected to represent and serve as a member of the CLFP Foundation Board.  I hope that we will continue on our journey to create the undeniable "gold standard" in educational recognition, professional ethics, and high achievement level within the equipment finance and leasing industry.  Such recognition is good for both the industry and for those individuals who have achieved and maintain the CLFP designation.”

    The CLFP designation identifies an individual as a knowledgeable professional to employers, clients, customers, and peers in the equipment finance industry. There are currently 288 Certified Lease & Finance Professionals and Associates throughout the world. For more information, call Executive Director Reid Raykovich, CLFP at (206) 535-6281 or visit www.CLFPfoundation.org.


  • Wed, October 21, 2015 9:08 AM | Reid Raykovich (Administrator)

    The Certified Lease & Finance Professional (CLFP) Foundation is proud to announce that Bob Fisher, CLFP and Amy Spragg, CLFP were awarded the annual Cindy Spurdle Award of Excellence. They were presented a plaque at the National Equipment Finance Association (NEFA) Funding Symposium in Atlanta, GA by the previous year’s winner Reid Raykovich, CLFP as well as the CLFP Board President Brian Schonfeld, CLFP.

    Cindy Spurdle was the first and only Executive Director of the CLFP Foundation since its inception in May of 2000 until June 2012. The award was created to acknowledge the CLFP who has contributed the most to the industry and best represents the CLFP ideals for the year.

    This was the first year that there were two recipients, and Reid Raykovich, CLFP, Executive Director for the CLFP Foundation stated, “These two individuals clearly deserve the award.  Amy has been our Treasurer for the past two years and Bob is currently our Vice President. They are very active at both the Board and Committee levels and continually promote the designation. The Foundation wouldn’t be where it’s at without their contributions and I am so grateful to have them as Board members and as friends.”

    The CLFP designation identifies you as a knowledgeable professional to employers, clients, customer, and peers in the leasing industry. There are currently 277 Certified Lease & Finance Professionals throughout the world. For more information, call (206) 535-6281 or visit www.CLFPfoundation.org


  • Fri, September 04, 2015 2:46 PM | Reid Raykovich (Administrator)

    The Certified Lease & Finance Professional (CLFP) Foundation recently held its third Academy for Lease & Finance Professionals (ALFP). The event was hosted by First American Equipment Finance and all of the individuals who sat for the exam at the conclusion of the event passed the eight-hour exam.  They are:

    • Bill Banfield, CLFP – Senior Vice President
    • Jake Cutler, CLFP – Senior Account Manager - Healthcare Vendor Channel, Diversified Capital Credit Corporation
    • Joe Leonard, CLFP – Managing Member, Oakmont Capital Services LLC
    • Jonathan Sandgarten, CLFP – Director of Financial Services, ComSource, Inc.
    • Ken Senter, CLFP – Vice President, First American Equipment Finance

    When asked why he pursued the designation, Mr. Banfield stated, “There are numerous skillsets required to manage a lease throughout its lifecycle. Although I was proficient in certain leasing/finance disciplines I was equally as weak in others. The CLFP required an understanding and proficiency of all skillsets associated with the leasing lifecycle. The self-studying, classroom education, and testing required to earn the CLFP designation has significantly broadened my working knowledge of the industry that will, in turn, help me to better service the needs of my clients.”

    Shortly after the ALFP, one additional individual passed the exam:

    • Evelyn Allcorn, CLFP – Credit Officer, Financial Pacific Leasing

    The CLFP designation identifies an individual as a knowledgeable professional to employers, clients, customers, and peers in the equipment finance industry. There are currently 277 Certified Lease & Finance Professionals and Associates throughout the world. For more information, call Executive Director Reid Raykovich, CLFP at (206) 535-6281 or visit www.CLFPfoundation.org. 


  • Fri, July 24, 2015 9:21 AM | Reid Raykovich (Administrator)

    The Certified Lease & Finance Professional (CLFP) Foundation is pleased to announce that two individuals who recently sat for the eight-hour exam successfully passed. They are:

    • Ann Holder, Vice President – Leasing, Bank of the Ozarks
    • Kristen Edwards, Assistant Vice President – Credit, Ascentium Capital LLC

    When asked why Ms. Holder pursued the designation, she stated, “After two decades in the leasing business I decided it was time to earn the Certified Lease & Finance Professional designation because I wanted to stand out for having the knowledge and skills to deliver value to my customers. Earning the CLFP was an additional step in my continuous career development.”

    Ascentium Capital LLC now employs the third largest number of CLFPs and CLFP Associates at 14, behind First American Equipment Finance (41) and Financial Pacific Leasing (21).

    The CLFP designation identifies an individual as a knowledgeable professional to employers, clients, customers, and peers in the equipment finance industry. There are currently 271 Certified Lease & Finance Professionals and Associates throughout the world. For more information, call Executive Director Reid Raykovich, CLFP at (206) 535-6281 or visit www.CLFPfoundation.org. 


  • Wed, July 15, 2015 1:51 PM | Reid Raykovich (Administrator)

    Fallston, Maryland – July 15, 2015 – Wheeler Business Consulting LLC has published its first book, Call to Action.  Scott A. Wheeler CLFP, a thirty-four year veteran in the commercial equipment leasing and finance industry, has compiled his favorite sales tips into an easy-to-read format for veteran and novice commercial equipment leasing and finance professionals. Call to Action is designed to assist individuals to think outside of their current comfort zone, to increase their productivity, and to enhance their personal value proposition. Each chapter in this book touches upon a significant area in the finance and leasing industry. The sales tips are followed by call to action exercises to stimulate group discussions and individual reflection. Professionals throughout the equipment finance and leasing industry will benefit greatly from using this book as a reference guide and workbook for self-improvement.

    The book may be purchased through Amazon.com or https://www.createspace.com/5355516

     A portion of each sale will be donated to the Chris Walker Educational Fund – dedicated to the education of professionals in the commercial equipment leasing and finance industry.

    Wheeler Business Consulting LLC provides consultative services to lessors, banks, origination firms, and investors. Wheeler Business Consulting LLC is a current member of the Equipment Leasing & Finance Association (ELFA), National Equipment Finance Association (NEFA), and National Association of Equipment Leasing Brokers (NAELB). Scott has an MBA from Sellinger School of Business – Loyola University of Maryland.   


  • Fri, July 10, 2015 10:35 AM | Reid Raykovich (Administrator)

    The Certified Lease & Finance Professional (CLFP) Foundation recently held its second Academy for Lease & Finance Professionals (ALFP).  The three-day event was hosted by Ascentium Capital LLC and sixteen out of the eighteen individuals who sat for the exam were successful.  They are:

    • Melissa Biebel, CLFP – Business Development Manager, Huntington Technology Finance
    • Nick Bionda, CLFP – Sales Director, Second City Leasing, LLC
    • Rochelle Bishop, CLFP – Credit Analyst, Ascentium Capital LLC
    • John Bradford, CLFP – Equipment Finance Specialist, Arvest Equipment Finance
    • Jodie Cain, CLFP – Accounting Manager, Ascentium Capital LLC
    • Tina Cawthorn, CLFP – Business Development Manager, Orange Commercial Credit
    • Alex Depping, CLFP – Vice President of Sales, Ascentium Capital LLC
    • Lara Hernandez, CLFP – Vice President of Credit, Ascentium Capital LLC
    • Scott Jankowski, CLFP – Controller, CBI Equipment Finance (Commerce Bank)
    • Pat Kistler, CLFP – Senior Vice President of Sales, Ascentium Capital LLC
    • Tim Miller, CLFP – Regional Sales Manager, Ascentium Capital LLC
    • Brian Nave, CLFP – Vice President - Equipment Finance Specialist, Arvest Equipment Finance
    • Niki Ogunyomi, CLFP – Assistant Vice President of Credit, Ascentium Capital LLC
    • Joe Quintero, CLFP – Assistance Vice President of Credit, Ascentium Capital LLC
    • Nicole Romeo, CLFP – Senior Account Executive, Xcēd Aviation Services
    • Stephen Stuesser, CLFP – President, Bravo Capital

    Shortly after the ALFP, two additional individuals successfully completed the eight-hour exam and they are:

    • Bill Mulder, CLFP – Sales Support Manager, CBI Equipment Finance (Commerce Bank)
    • Jill VanDeWalle, CLFP – Portfolio Officer, First American Equipment Finance

    The CLFP designation identifies an individual as a knowledgeable professional to employers, clients, customers, and peers in the equipment finance industry. There are currently 268 Certified Lease & Finance Professionals and Associates throughout the world. For more information, call Executive Director Reid Raykovich, CLFP at (206) 535-6281 or visit www.CLFPfoundation.org. 


  • Mon, July 06, 2015 4:34 PM | Reid Raykovich (Administrator)

    I entered the leasing business in the late 80’s from commercial banking.  Initially, I was focused on business development with Textron Financial, American National Leasing and LeasePartners.  I brought a strong credit background with me from completion of a work/college program with US Bank of Oregon and an initial job with their credit exam crew. 

    In 1994, I joined up with Ken Taylor (Dumac Leasing) and Steve Crane (BSB Leasing) as a principal of Taylor Financial, a lease brokerage.  That was a great experience as it exposed me to the full range of opportunities and challenges of operating a business in our industry.  In 1996, we agreed to an acquisition by Winthrop Resources and became one of the first offices of WINR Business Credit, later TCF Leasing.

    In 1998, I was given the opportunity to start up the small-ticket leasing division for Bank of Walnut Creek (BWC).  I needed to use all my previous experience in sales, credit and operations.  It was also at this time I began studying for my CLFP designation and became active in the UAEL, now known as NEFA, eventually serving as President in 2008.  Even with my diverse background in leasing, I discovered during my CLFP studies that there was a lot more to learn.  The things I learned I was able to put into immediate use at BWC, from documentation, accounting to collections.  It was an important reminder that none of us should ever stop trying to learn more and expand our knowledge.  The CLFP designation raised my standing within the industry, the bank and with clients. 

    At BWC Equipment Leasing were able to establish broker relationships because of what I learned and who I met during my CLFP work.  The designation also assisted me with the bank management, as I was able to address portfolio matters, policy issues and regulatory requirements.  I was also able to explain what these four letters meant to clients and that gave them confidence working with someone with the highest certification in the industry.  I am very proud of the co-workers and friends that I’ve helped achieve their CLFP membership: Raquel O’Leary, Lori Littleford, Jim Simpson and Brad Harmon.

    I have been with Union Bank the last 3 years as Program Manager of Equipment Finance to build out this product category.  Once again the CLFP designation has allowed me to reconnect with resources within the industry.

    Pursuit of a CLFP designation resulted in a wealth of knowledge and a great feeling of accomplishment.  But one of the most important benefits of pursuing a CLFP and getting involved with the Foundation, is the people you meet.  Since becoming a CLFP, I have become friends with and relied upon some of the most knowledgeable players in our industry.   The CLFP designation is an investment that will pay big rewards in the future as the economy continues to recover and new opportunities develop.   


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