Why I Became a CLP
Part 3-"NAELB Legal Counsel"
Joseph Bonanno, CLP
Jim Coston, CLP
Barry Marks, CLP
This is the tenth 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.
Since there are only three attorneys who are Certified Lease Professionals, this will be in three parts.
Joseph Bonanno, CLP
"NAELB Legal Counsel"
Joseph Bonanno (MBA, JD), is admitted to the Massachusetts Bar and Federal Bar for the District of Massachusetts, specializing in the representation of those in the equipment leasing industry. In addition to maintaining his own practice, he is General Counsel to the National Association of Equipment Leasing Brokers (NAELB). In 1998, he succeeded Barry Marks, CLP as NAELB Legal Counsel. Bonanno states, "There are many people that put in long hours to contribute to the growth of the NAELB, which is approaching 800 members and is now the largest equipment leasing association."
He has served on the Massachusetts Governor's Council task force for the Adoption of Article 2A and for revision to Article 9 to the Massachusetts Uniform Commercial Code.
Mr. Bonanno has published in The Monitor, The Lease Closer, The International Leasing Resource Exchange and Leasing Logic, as well as Lawyer Journal Newsletters, "Equipment Leasing Newsletter." He is a co-author of UCC Article 2A Personal Property Leasing, and a contributing author for "Power Tools for Successful Leasing," having written a chapter on Broker/Funder Relations. He also serves on the faculty of the Leasing Institute of America: http://www.leasinginstitute.org and is a present member of the Board of Directors of the Certified Leasing Professional Foundation: www.clpfoundation.org
The CLP designation is something that is valuable to all those in the leasing industry, including licensed professionals such as myself that take pride in their level of service to the industry. There are a few topics pertaining to the CLP that I would like to touch on:
The exam and studying. If you are committed to this industry, then the exam is something that you can successfully pass. Yes, it is work and study time, but it can be done at your leisure. I spent most of my time studying for the exam at the beach on Sunday afternoons. The study process was similar to what I went through in law school: read the material, create your own outline and condense that outline. That way, the night before the exam you are studying perhaps 15 - 20 pages of material, not looking through the entire handbook in a panic. Like any other test, study and preparation are keys to success. I am convinced that anyone that has experience in the industry, studies seriously for the exam and takes the exam seriously will be successful in the exam. The exam was a full day exam, but the most important thing to remember about the exam was that you could always try again. In fact, I looked at the exam not as intimidating, but as something that was fun, a chance to show exactly what I knew about leasing.
The reasons to become a CLP. There are both personal and industry reasons for becoming a CLP. In a selfish way, I can address the personal reasons. Passing the CLP examination demonstrates a mastery of the body of knowledge that is required to be proficient in the leasing industry. From the perspective of the industry as a whole, an industry - wide designation of proficiency in the industry is a much better alternative than industry - wide regulation. Therefore, it is beneficial to the industry as a whole to encourage industry participants to participate in the CLP program. Think of it as your contribution to helping avoid industry regulation.
Why I took the CLP. Professional Development, that's key to any business ranging from the practice of law to equipment leasing. It is important for anyone in any industry to continue to educate themselves, to obtain knowledge that makes them more competitive in what they do and to have a finer appreciation for the reasons why an industry functions the way that it does. Equipment leasing by definition is multi-disciplined and multi-dimensional. The CLP credential demonstrates that the CLP has an understanding of the multi-disciplines that are required to be proficient in the leasing industry. This understanding is what, in my opinion, leads to professional development in the leasing industry.
And selfishly, the CLP designation helps me to better serve my leasing industry clients. And it can do the same for those in the industry that want to serve their customers, vendors funding sources or brokers. I recommend the CLP program for individual professional development and advancement in the industry.