Nick Arnette | Keynote Speaker

Nick Arnette, author of Me, We, and Glee: How to have a great attitude, work as a team, and keep your sense of humor. Nick has worked with celebrities such as Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld and his TV appearances include A&E, Comedy Central, and HBO. Nick has a background in sales and mortgage banking.


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.

Katie Baker, CLFP | MC2 Finance

Katie Baker is the founder of MC² Finance. She started in the finance world as a Finance Manager for Volvo Trucks North America (aka Arrow Truck Sales) in Cincinnati, OH. After building a relationship with lenders, Katie worked for a subprime commercial lender to build the company's reach throughout the Northeast, Midwest, and Southeast. Having insight and direct experience in all aspects of the commercial loan process, Katie then founded MC² Finance. Prior to her career in finance, she worked in IT and healthcare. She has a degree in telecommunications and French. Fluent in French, she began learning the language in school at the age of ten. She studied abroad in both high school and college. From there, her love to travel grew. She has since traveled to over 40 countries and loves culture, languages and embraces learning about the world.  

Chuck Brazier | TradeRiver USA

As Vice President of Sales and Marketing for TradeRiver USA, Chuck Brazier is responsible for sales and new business development. With over 30 years experience in the equipment lease and trade finance industries, his broad experience ranges from creating strategic funding alliances to establishing organizational processes and leading organizational restructuring efforts. As a senior officer in both private and public sector corporations, Chuck has led strategic planning, managed diverse businesses, led implementation of vital credit risk policies and overseen funding/syndication policies and booking procedures. Chuck is a strong advocate for on-going professional engagement within the industry and a strong supporter of professional networking and mentoring. 

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.

Dave Cary | McKenzie Credit Group, LLC

Dave has over 45 years in the finance and banking industry with positions in credit management, collection administration, and sales. Prior to joining the Hawes Group with McKenzie Credit in 2005 he had his own company, which did commercial lending to the transportation industry. In addition to his time with McKenzie, Dave was also VP of Collections for Professional Credit for eight years. Dave enjoys golfing and hiking when not involved with work or family. 

Tina Cawthorn, CLFP | Orange Commercial Credit

Tina Cawthorn has over 30 years’ experience in the financing industry including equipment financing, ABL and invoice factoring platforms. Tina’s career began at GE Colonial Pacific Leasing before it was part of the GE family of companies and known only as Colonial Pacific Leasing Co. From there Tina spent 9 years with Textron Financial; first in their Vendor Finance Division and then their Asset Based Lending Division. While with these companies she held roles in Customer Service, Operations, Credit and Sales and Marketing. Since 2009 Tina has worked as a Business Development Officer with Orange Commercial Credit, which provides invoice factoring.

Laura Estrada | Preferred Capital Funding

Laura Estrada is a vital part of the family-owned business, Preferred Capital Funding. She handles marketing, processing and closing different types of commercial loans. Her expertise is in equipment and transportation.  Laura graduated from the University of Georgia and has worked for several large companies in marketing and sales. She enjoys working with and offering options for clients seeking commercial loans. Preferred Capital Funding, Inc., became a member of the AACFB (NAELB) in 2014.

Autumn Faust | AvTech Capital, LLC

Autumn Faust is a dynamic and results-driven professional with five years of experience in the finance industry. Having worked in various capacities, including operations, documentation and funding, Autumn is currently the Manager of Marketing and Business Development at Avtech Capital. She is responsible for driving marketing initiatives and overseeing business development strategies.  Autumn has a passion for innovation with a proven track record of success in her field.

Cindy Fleck, CLFP | Channel

Cindy Fleck, returned to Channel in 2019 and currently serves as Managing Director – West. She leads a cross-functional team including operations, credit, and sales, with responsibility for managing equipment finance partnerships from relationship development, through originations, efficiencies, and portfolio performance in the West region of the United States. Cindy has nearly 30 years of credit, underwriting, sales & marketing, and sales leadership experience, majority of this time spent in the third party originated marketplace. In 2009, she was instrumental in the launch of Channel Partners Capital before moving on to spend nine years with GreatAmerica Financial Services in their specialty markets division, primarily working with the construction industry. 

Ken Greene | Law Offices of Kenneth Charles Greene

Ken 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 and Legal Editor of Leasing News.

Scott Hansen | AvTech Capital, LLC

Scott Hansen has an extensive professional career including 12 years in the finance industry at AvTech Capital.  The past eight years have been dedicated to the Broker Desk at AVT, writing deals and funding transactions in all industries for all types of equipment.  As a Senior Account Manager Scott’s role is to work closely with Brokers and Customers to navigate industry conditions and generate funding terms that meet the needs of both Lessee and Lessor.  Scott is an excellent communicator and fosters trust and confidence in all aspects of his work.


Linda Kester | Jupiter Financial Services, Inc.

Linda Kester is a bestselling author, success coach and marketing guru. She’s helped countless people transform their sales results with her products, speaking engagements, newsletters, seminars, and book. The Leasing Power Tools Press bestseller, 366 Marketing Tips for Equipment Leasing continues to sell twelve years after it was published. Linda and her work have appeared in a variety of media outlets including the Philadelphia Inquirer, Selling Power Magazine, and The Monitor.

Roderick Knoll, CLFP | Marathon Commercial Capital

Roderick Knoll, CLFP, is a partner at Marathon Commercial Capital a Louisville (Boulder), Colorado based firm that began operations in 2005. At Marathon, Roderick has specialized in real estate finance and real estate consulting. His consulting has included financial planning for new construction, due diligence for property acquisitions, strategy and operational guidance for property turn-arounds, and property problem-solving. Regarding equipment finance, Roderick concentrates on portable cabins and manufactured/modular houses. Earlier in his career, Roderick worked for a regional bank in the private equity department. He also worked closely with the commercial loan officers on several deals. Roderick is currently serving as Vice President on the AACFB Board of Directors.

Cory Krogen, CLFP | Channel

Cory Krogen joined Channel in 2009, and currently serves as Senior Vice President of Sales for the Eastern Region. In this role, he leads a sales team and holds responsibility for establishing and executing sales strategy, growing partner relationships, and expanding Channel product penetration for both working capital and equipment finance. Cory began his sales career at Channel and has served in various account manager roles since the company’s inception. His early years were focused on working capital sales to end users through equipment finance company referrals and operating in a broker capacity. Cory was named Director of Sales in 2020 and has expanded his experience through Channel’s evolution to become an on-balance sheet lender, launching an equipment finance product offering, and more. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Hamline University’s School of Business. He achieved his CLFP designation in 2021. 

David C. Lee | North Mill Equipment Finance

David C. Lee has over 30 years of executive financial services experience as an investment banker, private equity investor, lender and operating executive. He has served as the Chairman and CEO of NMEF since December 2016 and previously was the CEO of Colford Capital Holdings, the former parent company of NMEF and its asset-based lending affiliate, North Mill Capital, from 2012 until the sale of NMEF to Wafra Capital Partners in August 2018. Previously, David served as President of D.B. Zwirn & Co., a $6.5 billion AUM alternative asset manager and successfully navigated that firm through the 2008 financial crisis and eventual merger integration into Fortress Investment Group. He was the Founding Managing Partner of Saturn Venture Partners and a Partner with the private equity firm of Sandler Capital. For the first half of his career, David was an investment banker, most recently serving as a Managing Director at Lazard, where he advised on M&A transactions valued in excess of $50 billion. He graduated magna cum laude from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1986.

Jim Merrilees, CLFP | The Alta Group

Jim Merrilees, CLFP, has been in the equipment leasing industry and related businesses for over forty years. He has been on the board of several leasing associations including ELFA and NEFA. He is a past President of NEFA (National Equipment and Finance Association) and the CLFP Foundation (Certified Lease & Finance Professional). Jim has been an active participant in the industry and encourages others to get involved and educated as it relates to individual success as well as how the industry is perceived. He is currently Vice Chairman of The Alta Group. He is a CLFP and has a BS from Miami University in Oxford, OH and an MBA from Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA. He currently resides in Costa Mesa, CA with his wife Renee.

Cindy Novak | FileInvite

Cindy Novak is the National Sales Manager for FileInvite. She proudly calls Highlands Ranch, Colorado home, and is mom of two grown children and two amazing kitties. With a strong background in sales management, she enjoys the challenge of building a brand. Her goal is to establish FileInvite as a leader in helping businesses automate document collection. She loves to travel and explore new destinations and loves everything Disney – that’s her form of therapy! Cindy is excited to be an integral part of FileInvite's growth and is looking forward to establishing new relationships and partnerships.

Pat O’Connor, CLFP | Quality Equipment Finance

Pat O’Connor, CLFP is a Senior Sales Consultant with Quality Equipment Finance. He is a Certified Lease & Finance Professional with more than eight years of experience in the commercial equipment finance industry and more than twelve years of experience in finance. Before joining Quality, Pat worked for a large independent commercial equipment finance company, where he was responsible for syndication, giving him a thorough understanding of credit needs and exposure to a myriad of equipment types. He enjoys working with customers and helping them achieve their business goals and dreams. Pat resides in New Hampshire with his wife, Carolyn, and his Bernedoodle, Oakley.

Shervin Rashti | SLIM Capital, LLC

Shervin Rashti has over 20 years of experience in forming, capitalizing, operating and exiting start-up ventures. Shervin started in the leasing business in 2004, when one of his investors for his digital media distribution company offered him the opportunity to manage a leasing portfolio. After surpassing funding capacity for the fund, Shervin used his experience and ability to underwrite and sell full package transactions to launch a commercial division for CapNet Financial Services. Shervin served as VP of Commercial Lending for CapNet and was able to succeed in placing commercial transactions for the multitude of deals being originated. He then co-founded a direct sub-prime specialty finance company, Maxim Commercial Capital in 2008. After nearly 10 years, in 2017, Shervin chose to sell his interest in Maxim and launch SLIM Capital, LLC as a direct, independent equipment lease and finance company specializing in both credit-based and structured, collateral based transactions. Shervin earned his BS from University of California at Riverside.

Reid Raykovich, CLFP | Certified Lease & Finance Professional Foundation

Reid Raykovich, CLFP has been the Executive Director of the Certified Lease & Finance Professional Foundation since April 2012. Reid began her equipment finance career at Great American Insurance (formerly Premier Lease & Loan Services) in April 2003 and obtained her CLFP designation in 2005. She then held various positions within the industry at McCommon Leasing, Irwin Commercial Finance and Financial Pacific Leasing. She has been active with the NEFA (formerly UAEL) as a Regional Director, and was the Conference Chair Person for the Fall 2009 Super Regional Exposition.  Recently, Reid was honored as a Pioneer Icon by Monitor Magazine as well as one of the Top 50 Most Influential Women in Leasing and was Leasing News Person of the Year in 2018.  Additionally, Financial Pacific Leasing honored her with the Above and Beyond Leadership Award.

Vickie Rocco | Entegra Capital LLC

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. 

Lynn Smith | 360 Equipment Financing

Lynn Smith, from Austin, Texas is a highly accomplished business development professional and currently Vice President of Sales for 360 Equipment Financing. Lynn is a results-driven, sales strategist with over twenty-five years of experience in building relationships with equipment leasing brokers, banks, and privately -owned financial institutions. His experience and skills were generated from past employers such as Dell Financial Services, TEAM Funding Solutions, Marlin Business Bank, and Centra Funding. Lynn is married with three children and lives on lake Travis. He enjoys the outdoors and his deer friends.

Gary Souverein, Pawnee Leasing Corporation

Gary Souverein joined Pawnee Leasing Corporation in 1993 and since 2005 has served as its President.  As Pawnee’s longest serving employee, his career has been focused in the leadership of the business in credit underwriting, documentation, business development, analytics, finance and servicing.  He has played a central role in building the foundations of the Company’s refined monitoring tools and operating systems.  Gary is active in each of the professional industry associations, has served on numerous industry committees and boards, and has been instrumental in the strong growth of the Company’s leased and financed assets which exceed $1B. He was a key leader in Chesswood’s Initial Public Offering team in 2006 that acquired Pawnee and is integral in leading the company’s current market initiatives and strategic direction.

Kalah Sprabeary, CLFP, HUB Funding Solutions

Kalah Sprabeary has been involved in the alternative financing sector as a broker and direct lender. Her experience in multiple industries such as oil and gas, agriculture, construction, and real estate has provided a depth of direct industry knowledge. Kalah and their team at HUB focuses on customized funding solutions, ranging from equipment funding, factoring, working capital, commercial real estate, and supply chain.

Melissa "Mel" Vinson, CLFP, CLFP Foundation

Melissa “Mel” Vinson, CLFP, is the Director of Academies at the Certified Lease & Finance Professional Foundation. She is a native of Portland, Oregon, and a graduate of Oregon State University. She began her career in banking with U.S. Bank back in 2012 and found that this was a great path for her – there was so much to learn and so many avenues for growth in the industry. Mel started in consumer banking where her passion to help her customers better understand the ins and outs of finance yielded great success and built many positive relationships. This quickly blossomed into eagerness to help business customers succeed financially. Mel moved into the Equipment Finance division of U.S. Bank a few years later and found that Leasing and Finance was truly where she belonged. After becoming CLFP certified, Mel was ready to give back and support future CLFPs obtain their certifications and immediately began volunteering to teach ALFP courses. Mel’s joy to help others and enthusiasm for education helped launch her into the new Director role with the CLFP foundation.

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.

Lisa Whitehead, CLFP | First Foundation Bank

Lisa began her career in Equipment Finance as Sales Manager for a branch of AVCO Financial Services’ Equipment Finance Department before moving into a role as Customer Service Manager and then the Broker Division Representative in their newly formed Syndication Division.  Three years later, she moved to the Originator side of the business working for various third party originators in credit, documentation and funding before joining First Foundation’s Equipment Finance team just over five years ago when the division was in its infancy.  Lisa’s current role as Vice President, Sales & Service requires her to have a strong understanding of all aspects of credit and operational processes, enabling her to be a strong advocate for third party originators for the Equipment Finance Division.