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Why I Became a CLP
John Winchester-- "One World Chairman" 2006

This is the fifteenth 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.

John Winchester--"One World Chairman" 2006

In 1981, John Winchester joined Garrett Financial Services, eventually being named Executive Vice President. While with Garrett, John started Winchester Company a d/b/a Company that is active in the micro-ticket equipment leasing today.

John joined Communications Leasing, Inc. in 1987 as President. In 1988, John purchased the portfolio of Communications Leasing, Inc. from Southeastern Telecom. CLI became a founding member of One World the National Equipment Finance CO-OP. CLI/OneWorld now manages (bills, collects, files sales taxes and UCC-1's on all equipment financed) a portfolio of more than $12,000,000.00 with over twenty-five (25) banks and other funding companies. CLI/OneWorld has a staff of 12 people that produce, fund, document, bill and collect leases.

John served six years on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Equipment Leasing Brokers (NAELB). He was regional director of the Northeast Region and headed up the education committee. John is a CLP (Certified Lease Professional) and served on the Board of Directors of the CLP Foundation. Communications Leasing, Inc. is a member of OneWorld Business Finance (the national Equipment Financing CO-OP). He was recently elected Chairman of the Board on the OneWorld Business Finance Board of Directors.

(John wanted to note his son Micheal Porter just made Tech-Sergeant USAF, Combat Arms Instructor, and his other son, Luke Winchester, is vp commercial loan officer, First Freedom Bank. He also sent in a picture of his grandkids:)

While I was a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Equipment Leasing Brokers (NAELB,) I felt one of the primary roles of the NAELB was to lead the way in education. At one time I even suggested the NAELB should form a Chair at the University of Chicago where Jimmie Johnson, PHD was a tenured professor and leasing educator.

I still feel that would be a great idea to have an annual $500.00 scholarship for a college student from the leasing profession.

Today I am very proud of the NAELB Master Member Designation for those who take an active interest in their association. I think this rewards those who participate and some of that education is bound to rub off in the association with the annual conferences and regional events. That way if a person just doesn't want to take the test they can be rewarded for active participation.

When I was president and pushing education so much and trying hard to get others to join in that endeavor I felt I should at least attempt to achieve the CLP designation. I attended a couple of review classes and finally took the review in Atlanta lead by Bob Baker. When we were finished and ready for the test I decided to take the test just to learn more about it. I thought there was no way I could pass the test. I took it just for the practice to learn what it was about, as I thought it was very difficult. In fact, I was studying on my own for the retest when word came I had passed. Even my wife couldn't believe it.

I knew I had to study harder as I get nervous at tests, particularly since so much was riding on it for me. I thought it was one of the most difficult things that I have ever done. Number one as a member of the NAELB board of directors if I failed it could be a reflection on the board and me. Second I hate tests and thought I knew enough about leasing and had come a long way from 1981 class by Sudir's partner Mr. Terry Isim.

I remember when Terry was teaching the HP38B and after about 20 minutes I asked him how do you turn this thing on? Who needs more education? Third I had evaluated and determined that since I worked for myself NO ONE would give me any more money (a raise) or a promotion (when you own it you can give yourself any title you want.)

so what did I gain? I gained the knowledge that enabled me to pass the test number one and I join an exceptional group of people that have excelled in our industry. No money, no promotion, but the self satisfaction that I am a CERTIFIED LEASE PROFESSIONAL.

I like that now you can retake portions of the CLP test and not have to take the entire test this is much better and will encourage more people to sit for the exam. In looking back, I psyched myself out that I didn't have enough knowledge to pass. I would also like to add I get more respect around the house because I passed the test on the first run (although I would not have been ashamed to have to have taken a second time because the way to succeed is not to give up, but to pick yourself up and go at it again.)

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