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Why I became a CLP-- Carl Villella
"Be a student of your profession"

This is the seventeenth article in a series about the Certified Lease Professional program, explaining why individuals decided to become a CLP, the process, and their reaction to the knowledge and other benefits gained. It is recommended you read others in the series, a cross section of the equipment leasing industry to learn how this helped the individual person and their career.

Carl Villella, CLP

Acceptance Leasing and Financing Service, Inc.
Moon Township, Pennsylvania

I decided to go on my own about 3 years ago. I was compelled to strike out on my own both from a family background as well as personal growth. The CLP designation helped me to establish credibility with funding sources. Every funder I applied to accepted me except one. The process to become a CLP is challenging and rewarding. All the material is well put together and the authors are very knowledgeable.

"Be a student of your profession"

My philosophy is to always be a student of your profession. When I started in this industry in 1993, like my grandfather did so many times before, I knew nothing about the industry. I was in a learning process from day one. I learned anywhere I could from whomever I could.

One of the first books was by Bill Graneri, "The Anatomy of an Equipment Leasing Sale." I absorbed that book. Everything he talked about, sales, marketing, relationships, came from the auto industry.

I had arrived to this industry fresh from my father-in-law's company, two automobile dealerships.

Meet the Press Tim Russert has two best selling books on learning from your father, "Big Russ and Me," and " Wisdom of Our Fathers: Lessons and Letters from Daughters and Sons." I learned from my grandfather.

My grandfather never graduated grade school, not to mention high school. He ventured out of the comfort zone of a good paying job in the steel industry to go into his own business. Even though he knew nothing about repairing cars, he owned a successful gas station. He sold that and bought a bar and restaurant that he and my grandmother operated successfully. When he sold his successful business, he bought and opened a coin operated laundry. During this time, he also taught himself electronics and maintain all the equipment himself. He died a wealthy man.

I was in my early 20's then, but the lessons he taught me stay with me today. I worked for my grandfather and looking back, his and the nun's at the Catholic school I attended for eight years, were a great life boot camp.

My grandfather always told me to learn as much math as possible in school and get an education. "Learn as much math as you can always." he said. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree and minor in statistics in 1979 from Pennsylvania State University (Penn State). I was hired by a division of Tenneco, Inc, a company called Packaging Corporation of America.

Today everyone is approaching their vendor relationships, quoting a payment with every price. I noticed the lack of training material available. There were some very good technical books, such as the one written by Amembal and Dean, but not many on improving your education in the equipment sales business.

I joined the United Association of Equipment Leasing to learn more about my profession, as they had a great emphasis on education. I jumped on every opportunity to study and even go for a Certified Lease Professional designation.

The standards of becoming a CLP are high, but attainable. If you meet them and honor the ethics, the guidelines, then you deserve the designation.

I think it is essential to preserving the industry that we have people in it who know what they are doing and owe a benefit to the funders they work with.

Carl Villella, CLP
Acceptance Leasing and Financing Service, Inc.
894 Beaver Grade Rd.
Moon Township, Pa. 15108

Phone: 412-262-3225
Fax: 412-262-1154

For more information:

   Cindy Spurdle - Executive Director

   610-687-0213 direct
   610-687-4111 fax
   CLP Foundation
   Attn: Cindy Spurdle
   PO Box 302
   Wayne, PA 19087