Speakers

Kip Amstutz, CLFP, 360 Equipment Finance

Kip began his career in the equipment leasing industry in 1998 and co-founded Mantis Financial in September of 2001, which developed to 360 Equipment Finance in 2010. Throughout his 20+ years in the leasing industry, Kip has excelled as a sales associate, broker, underwriter, and manager. His experience, acumen, and entrepreneurial drive make Kip uniquely prepared to lead all aspects of 360 Equipment Finance.

John Boettigheimer, 4 Hour Funding/Centra Funding LLC

John Boettigheimer brings over 30 years of experience in the leasing industry. He received a degree in Economics and Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1983. In late 1984, he started and developed Pioneer Capital Corporation. In 2004, IFC Credit Corporation purchased Pioneer Capital, at which time John started Centra Financial Corporation as an investment vehicle. In 2008 another corporate entity - Centra Leasing, Inc. was created to handle all leasing activities. In 2014, Centra introduced the equipment financing industry’s first truly all-electronic signing process.

Jeff Brannon, SLIM Capital

Jeff Brannon is a partner at SLIM Capital. SLIM Capital is a private debt fund that lends to small businesses, SLIM Capital offers both credit and collateral based programs with a focus on equipment financing, working capital loans, sale leasebacks and 1sts/2nds on real estate. 

Leslie Brown, CLFP, Mak Global Corporation

Owner of Mak Global Corporation and eighteen-year Equipment Finance Professional, Leslie Brown is an eight-year Certified Lease and Finance Professional. Dedicated to active participation in her community, she sits on the Board of Directors as Treasurer for Elm Creek Water Supply Corporation. She also serves as Treasurer on the AACFB Board of Directors. She owns a mortgage lending company that provides home ownership opportunities to low-income families and a portfolio of long and short-term rental real estate properties throughout Texas and Colorado. She is a published writer and is a guest author for Monitor Magazine, having penned articles on topics ranging from regenerative business practices to bitcoin. Leslie has become equipment vendors’ “go to” finance professional while consistently maintaining and growing a strong book of referral business with vendors and borrowers throughout her tenure in the finance industry. With a reputation for tenaciously protecting her clients’ and funders’ interests, extensive finance knowledge and savvy negotiations, Leslie has built successful and profitable multi-million-dollar equipment finance portfolios.

Charles (Bud) Callahan, Jr., CLFP, BPB | National Equipment Leasing, Inc.

Bud Callahan started his career in the automotive industry in 1968, where he achieved the Ford Motor Company’s Grand Master Sales Award five years in a row. He started Ambassador Financial Services a decade later, and then returned to the automotive industry as a new car sales manager, vice president and general manager. In 1998 he joined the leasing industry once again as vice president and general manager of Dellen Financial Corporation, which became National Equipment Leasing, Inc. in 1999 with Bud as president, a role he remains in to this day.

Jennifer Casey, Smarter Finance USA

Jennifer Casey has been in the equipment financing and leasing industry since 2006, and has held positions with not only brokerages, but with both publicly and privately traded lenders. She is currently the VP of Sales at Smarter Equipment Finance and has been with them since 2021. Jennifer’s industry experience has led her to specialize in sales and marketing, with a strong focus on customer service. Her performance is backed by an AS in Marketing with a concentration in psychology, along with a BS in Business Management.

Steve Crane, CLFP, BSB Leasing, Inc.

Steve Crane is the SVP and Sales Manager at BSB Leasing, Inc. He has been in the equipment financing and leasing industry since 1985, having worked for a variety of companies, including Bank of the West, CIT, Westinghouse Credit, and Ingersoll Rand Financial. He was a principal at Taylor Financial, which was an independent equipment and auto leasing company in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 10 years. Steve has held a variety of volunteer positions within the industry over the years, including President and Treasurer of the CLFP Foundation, Director of EAEL, Conference Chair and Regional Chair for UAEL, and he is currently a member of the Leasing News Advisory Board. He is a lover of the outdoors and hobbies include running, cycling, triathlon, hiking, golf and sailing.

Melissa Fisher, CLFP, Taycor Financial 

Melissa Fisher is the Chief Operating Officer at Taycor Financial. Overseeing all aspects of operations: credit, funding, titling, risk and working capital, Melissa leverages her extensive industry experience as a Certified Leasing and Finance Professional (CLFP). Having held senior-level equipment finance positions in Operations, Credit & Syndication at banks, lessors and broker firms over the past three decades, Melissa brought her wealth of knowledge to the Taycor team three years ago. Prior employers include Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, Balboa Capital, Strada Capital and Currency. She has a BA in Economics and Business from Westmont College. She resides in Southern California and enjoys camping, skiing and going to the beach with her husband and two young adult children.

Paul Fogle, CLFP, Quality Leasing Co., Inc.

Paul Fogle is the Managing Director at Quality Leasing. He has more than 30 years of experience in commercial finance as both a lender and investor. He has worked in a large Chicago bank, a Wall Street investment banking firm, and two other privately owned financial firms. After joining Quality in 2012, Paul assembled a top-notch team and revamped their products and processes to position the company for future success. Over the past ten years, the Quality team has grown the portfolio by a multiple of 10X by focusing on the customer experience, its small ticket financing products and straightforward underwriting. Paul is a member of the Board of Directors for the National Equipment Finance Association, has authored several articles published in industry trade magazines, and has spoken on a variety of topics on podcasts and at industry events.

Ben Fried, Lama

Ben Fried is Head of Partnerships for LAMA.AI, a venture-backed commercial lending network. He began his career in the Israeli Air Force (Capt., Ret.) before moving into financial services. Ben has been on the founding team of multiple Fintech firms, has led strategic technology initiatives for an international bank, and has deep experience in both consumer and commercial lending. 

Steve Geller, CLFP, Leasing Solutions LLC

In the leasing industry since 1978, Steve was a marketing representative for several leasing companies until 1982. In 1982 he was hired as a credit manager with Tilden Financial Corp, Roslyn, NY and worked there until 1989, rising to the rank of Vice President. In 1989 Steve took a position as a credit officer with ORIX Credit Alliance, working there until 2001. For eleven years he was in charge of the company’s Rediscount Office, managing all of the company's the third-party broker business throughout the United States. In 2001 Steve established a new business, Leasing Solutions LLC, which operates as a consultant to leasing companies and lease brokers, assisting in placing business with funding sources. He is an active member of the four major leasing associations in the U.S. and is a founder and past Director of the CLFP Foundation and the EAEL. 

Ken Greene, Law Offices of Kenneth Charles Greene

Kenneth C. Greene is an attorney based in Westlake Village, California. He has been representing lessors, brokers and others involved in the leasing and finance industry for almost 40 years. His practice entails documentation, licensing, compliance, litigation and bankruptcy. He is currently General Counsel to the American Association of Commercial Finance Brokers as well as an Advisory Board member of Leasing News. 

John Hollender, TradeRiver USA


John Hollender is Director of Business Development for TradeRiver USA which provides Supply Chain Finance solutions for small to midsize US and Canadian companies. They fund the full length of the supply chain and bridge the cashflow cycle from Purchase Order Financing to Invoice Factoring. Clients gain access to their award-winning digital platform to negotiate and fund complete purchase transactions directly with their Sellers anywhere in the world, with repayment secured by Invoice Factoring on the accounts receivable end. The process provides an injection of working capital, improves cash flow and the bottom line. TradeRiver provides Revolving Trade Facilities from $250,000 to $30 Million for well managed companies.

Michael Hong, Taycor

Michael Hong is President, CEO & board member at Taycor Financial. He began his career in the equipment finance industry as a teenager in the mail room, and over the last 20-years has accumulated a lifetime of lessons by working for and with countless inspiring mentors.  At Taycor, Michael was responsible for the company’s development of several key technologies and process improvements that led to the organization's year over year record growth. He was promoted to President and CEO of Taycor in 2015 and has continued to grow and evolve the company’s capabilities and product offerings. When he has free time, he loves spending it with family, rock climbing, competing in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or running.

Daniel Munman, Vista Capital Corporation

Daniel Munman serves as CEO of Vista Capital Corporation in Gilbert, Arizona.  Daniel graduated from Arizona State University in 1997 where he earned a Bachelors Degree in Political Science with a minor in Business. Shortly after graduating, he started working for Vista Capital Corporation and over the years became CEO and majority shareholder. Vista Capital deals in a variety of industries with transaction sizes of $5,000 to $100,000 being their primary focus.  While Vista brokers out a majority of their transactions they also hold their own small portfolio. Daniel has worked hard to maintain an extremely strong relationship with all of his funding sources and is well respected in the industry.  When away from work, he enjoys spending time with his wife of 11 years, their 10-year-old son and their 7-year-old daughter.  He is an avid sports fan and enjoys coaching a variety of his children’s sports. 

Gerrit Alexander Krispien, Taycor Financial

Gerrit joined Taycor in 2021 as a Data Analyst and comes all the way from Germany. He holds a M.Sc. in Data Science from Erasmus University Rotterdam where he has both learned the technical aspects of working with and managing data as well as bridging the gap between creating complex statistical solutions and communicating them effectively in a language that is easy to understand. At Taycor he is responsible for giving insights into complex data structures through data visualization as well as automated financial reporting. He enjoys finding efficient and scalable solutions to data-related problems and thereby improving business processes. Before joining Taycor he worked on data modeling for infrastructure operation at Frankfurt Airport.

Mae Philpott, CLFP, Quality Leasing Co.

Mae Philpott is a Sr. Leasing Consultant at Quality Leasing Co., Inc.  Working from Charlotte, NC, she has been with Quality for 6 years and has over 18 years of Sales & Marketing experience in the commercial equipment finance field.  She maintains active membership in multiple industry organizations and prides herself on her extensive professional network.  Mae earned her CLFP designation in February of 2016. In 2020, she was recognized as one of the Monitor’s Top 50 Women in Equipment Finance.  Mae is a graduate of Tulane University with a BA in both Communication and Psychology, along with a minor in Business.  

 

Carrie Radloff, CLFP, American Financial Partners

Carrie Radloff is a Business Development Manager for American Financial Partners (AFP). She has been in the business for over 24 years, spending her first 10 years in credit and sales for U.S. Bank Manifest and the last 14+ years with AFP. She graduated from Southwest Minnesota State University in 1998 with a B.S. in Accounting and in 2006 with a Master of Business Administration degree. Carrie attained her Certified Lease and Finance Professional (CLFP) designation in 2016. She became involved with them AACFB in 2013 when she joined the Marketing Committee serving as co-chair from 2014-2017.  Carrie joined the board of directors in 2017 is currently serving as past president of the AACFB board as well as serving as the board liaison for the Meetings Committee and Sponsorship Committee. Carrie is a member of various local non-profit boards and resides in Minnesota with her husband Scott and two daughters Madison and Samantha.

Wade Rasmussen, Amerifund

Wade Rasmussen is President and chief bottle washer at Amerifund, Inc.  Wade began his career over 30 years ago working for a leasing company in the Bay Area and found that he loved learning about different businesses and helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses. Soon after he was hired to help develop the commercial lending side for Security Financial Services, a consumer lender. He partnered with one of the executives to start a franchise finance company in Scottsdale, Arizona but ultimately dissolved the partnership and founded Amerifund nearly 27 years ago. Through the years, both the good years and the recessions and downturns, he is still passionate about helping businesses get started and grow by providing funding at a fair price.  Wade loves jumping out of airplanes (with a parachute) and traveling to many countries (Bora Bora, Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Tanzania etc.) with his bride of 30 years. He summited Kilimanjaro, and for the last fifteen years he has hiked the Grand Canyon Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim! 

Vickie Rocco, Entegra Capital

Vickie Rocco is Director of Marketing and Business Development at Entegra Capital. In this role she uses her innate balance of creativity and logic to develop and execute Entegra Capital’s growth strategies. She has been a key player in both tech integration and product development that meet the needs of all constituencies. Prior to joining Entegra Capital, Vickie held leadership positions with various publishing outlets in sales, marketing and operational management. Her experience also includes several years in the equipment finance industry, first at SunBridge Capital and then at Broker Resource Solutions, a business she owned (and later sold) that catered to serving the back-office needs of both third-party originators and private funding sources. 

Joe Schmitz, CLFP, F.I.T. Leasing

Joe Schmitz started in the leasing industry over 30 years ago.  Other than 6 months with a Thrift & Loan, his entire career has been at one company, a company he purchased in 1999.  Joe works exclusively as a broker and has placed over 2,000 transactions during his career.  Joe is a CLFP and a former Board Member of the CLFP.  When not working Joe likes reading, entrepreneurship, snow skiing, kiteboarding, and spending time with his family.

Kristi Schon, Channel | Your Partner in Funding

Kristi Schon joined Channel in 2021 as Vice President of Marketing, responsible for leading brand innovation and strategic planning, including all communication & creative initiatives, for the purpose of motivating partners to action and loyalty while delivering sales and profitable results. Prior to Channel, Kristi spent 20 years in the agency sector leading shopper marketing account teams for fortune 500 consumer package goods companies that operate in a variety of retail & consumer categories. Her experience extends across traditional print and digital advertising, data-driven communication solutions, performance analytics, public relations, social and more. Her brand & retail experience includes Walmart, Target, Amazon, Hormel Foods Corporation, Nestle Nutrition, Campbells Soup Company, McCormick & Company, and Land o’Lakes among others. Kristi earned a Bachelor of Arts from the Journalism School at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

Bryan Smith, Taycor Financial

Bryan Smith is the Vice President of Risk at Taycor Financial.  Bryan oversees all aspects of risk as well as the management of the Taycor Portfolio, Vendor Relationships, Internal Audit.  Bryan is also responsible for the development and implementation of Taycor’s internal policies and procedures.  Bryan has over 22 years of finance experience and has held various senior-level positions within Credit, Collections, Credit Modeling and Portfolio Management.  Prior employers include The CIT Group, Wex Bank, Zions Bank, Pacific Western Bank, Marlin Business Bank and Aztec Financial.  Bryan earned his bachelor's degree in Psychology at Brigham Young University, successfully completed the Zions Bank financial and analysis training program as well as the Executive Management Training program from the Utah Bankers Association.  Bryan enjoys service in his local community.  Service organizations include the Red Cross, Boy Scouts of America, and Junior Achievement of Utah.  He currently serves as the Secretary to the Board for the Sandy City Arts Guild in Sandy, Utah.  During his free time, Bryan enjoys theater, exercise, and spending time with his family. 

Christine Vaughn, CLFP, Financial Pacific Leasing, Inc.

Christine Vaughn is responsible for the direction of business development and management of Third-Party Originator relationships. Her career with Financial Pacific began in 1999. Prior to her current role she held various other positions including Funding Coordinator, Funding Manager and most recently as Business Relationship Manager which oversaw many major accounts.  Christine is known in the leasing industry as dedicated to service, relationships, and leadership.

Kit West, C.H. Brown Co., LLC

Kit West is the Business Development Director for C.H. Brown Co., LLC. He was previously a ranch owner in Wyoming for over 17 years before becoming the owner of Kit West Motors in 2015. In 2020 joined C.H. Brown Co., LLC where he works toward building broker relationships in the equipment finance industry. He also develops internal and external processes to build nationwide business relations, increase revenue, and expand brand recognition.

Scott Wheeler, CLFP, Wheeler Business Consulting

Scott A. Wheeler has over 40 years of commercial financing and leasing experience. He has held executive positions with private and public companies. Scott's experience includes: leading executive teams, portfolio management, sales/marketing, and comprehensive consulting services to small and large corporations. Scott has held leadership positions on association boards and industry task forces. His well-rounded and vast experiences allow Scott to engage with his clients on multiple levels to improve productivity, profitability, and corporate development.