It’s Leadership---Part II


by Christopher Menkin



Part 1 covered the largest, Equipment Leasing Association, and the

second largest, the National Association of Equipment Leasing Brokers,

June to June membership.



December 31, 2001,


343 Members

228 Members



379 Members

June 2002


232 members

202 Members


460 Members



December 31, 2002,


263 Members

216 Members



378 Members

June 2003


260 members

191 Members


437 Members






This association is in a re-building mode with a new executive director, Graham Hauck and executive assistant,. Brian Mandrier. There dues remain at $650.

‘We currently have 260 members. The me Graham Hauck membership dues remain at $650.”


They increased 28 members from June to June, the only leasing association

to have a membership increase.


The body count may not be a true way to gauge the number of companies

who belong. As many people as would like to from any one company may join. One person must be designated the Regular Member and pay $650/year dues. The other members are designated Additional Members and pay $150/year dues.


The point being to compare previous members does not take into account one

major company leaving, taking ten or more members with their demise.

AGLF was founded in 1981 to serve municipal leasing industry. Publishes

Bi-monthly newsletter; sponsors 2 annual conferences; 50-state leasing

survey; federal leasing survey; and conducts numerous industry projects.


“Municipal leasing is a $30 billion a year industry. Almost all the transaction are “tax exempt” and based on “interest in time,” most have a $1.00 out or nominal purchase at the end, and are subject to annual appropriations ( California and Indiana have abatement laws and other state have different regulations, as do tax entities.) Entities may vote the end of appropriations and contracts, plus who signs them, and the tax exempt status often require legal counsel fees.


It is a highly technical and specialized marketplace, most unlike other

commercial leasing or financing transactions. In the municipal market place, the originator wins the transaction, and then finds a specific funder for the transaction, and often in the documents cannot assignment, and should they, must remain active in the collection and service of the lease.


The Equipment Leasing Association has a municipal-government committee,

plus conferences and is very active in relating this niche to its members. The

other three association appear to ignore this marketplace. The captive vendor

market appears completely ignored by all five, as a side note.


After attending the three day Spring conference, I was reminded of the

F. Scott Fitzgerald quote, which I paraphrase to say, ”The municipal and federal

government leasing sector are very different from the commercial leasing

sector.” This is not a field that you break into easily, or quickly. In addition,

the bond market is funny today. My family trust has a lot of bonds, all

types, and before the demise, we got more into it as Merrill-Lynch

told us this was smart to do. Today we are selling some.


My impression of this group is they are as “family” as the nucleus of UAEL

and EAEL. I would think with the income and sales tax decrease, more

government entities would be looking at leasing. Perhaps under the new

executive director and leaders this group will continue to grow.


Non-members are very welcome at their conferences. For registration materials, they can call 202.742.AGLF (2453) or email

2004 Annual Fall Conference

November 12-14, 2003 / Loew's Ventana Canyon Resort, Tucson, Arizona



Wednesday, November 12

Noon Annual Golf Tournament

2:00 PM – 4:00 PM Basics Session

Thursday, November 13

8:00 AM – 1:30PM Keynote Speaker, General Sessions and Luncheon

Evening – Annual Conference Dinner Event

Friday, November 14

8:00 AM – Noon General Sessions, Ending with the Lawyers’ Panel



To lose 93 members from June to June is serious. 137 members from

December, 2001, is a third of your membership; that’s even worse.


“Shame. Shame. Shame,” as Gomer Pyle would say. Here is an organization

that had it all until Dr. Ray Williams was asked to submit his resignation.

There is more to the story, and Leasing News printed it.


Bob Rodi, who was UAEL president at the time, who “accepted the resignation,” wrote Leasing News on April 3,2003: ”Ray wanted to be Mike Fleming when he grew up. In retrospect, his leadership was misdirected and ineffective at best. A long succession of Western Association of Equipment Leasing /United Association of Equipment Leasing executive committees renewed Ray's contract and his concept for ‘growth.’ has confirmed it.”


From a Western based organization the association changed its name

and became a national group. Williams attended many regional meetings,

seemed to be everywhere, and was very popular with members. He obviously

had a “divided” board of directors.


Unfortunately the move to let go a professional executive was at the wrong time

and wrong place. It was up to new presidents Chuck Brazier and Bob Fisher,

immersed in their own leasing company problems, to re-build. They ran

into “The Perfect Storm” scenario.


In his departing speech, Brazier was proud he saved the foundation. " There was a crack on our foundation a year ago, " he began his farewell address at the Fall

conference at the San Antonio, Texas Hyatt Riverside Hotel.



He and his board should be given a lot of credit for doing so. However, Bob Fisher was next in line to hold it together. The decision to save money brought the original conference manager Joannie Dalton into the position, then along came past president Joe Woodley, a very popular and leasing knowledgeable person. He had no experience in running a large non-profit association, but soon would get

“on the job” training.


As cut backs continued, the office was closed in Oakland, California, staff let go, and now operates not far from where Mr. Woodley lives in Southern California, and current president Betty Kerhoulas’s company is based. In reality, it was a financial move to close the office and Bob Fisher’s press release that the rent was too high was only part of the dilemma. When the board went to Philadelphia on July 27th, 2002, after canceling the regional meeting due to lack of attendance,

the writing was on the wall. The board went nevertheless and asked

members to join them for lunch and to get feed back on the direction

UAEL should take. There were only a few who joined the board.

Denial was not a city in Egypt.


UAEL had run into “the List” with dwindling financial assets,

membership decline, and past directors going to other associations.

Ginny Young, past membership chair, is no longer a member and

devotes her energies to NAELB conference. Even current board

member Bob Teichman is becoming more active with NAELB.

At his recent Sausalito, Regional get together, past director Ken

Greene, was there, who is no longer a member, and Bill Grohe

said Barry Dubin of Cooper-White-Cooper, San Francisco, a

past director, had dropped out after the firm’s Jeff Wong died,

Grohe explained. Both Ken and Barry are active with ELA.


It is ironic that the incoming UAEL president is an attorney, Jim Coston,

who’s office is in Chicago, Illinois. Nevertheless, there is a nucleus

that will hold the organization together, but most likely membership

will continue to dwindle until the association finds direction.





There has been talk for years that the Eastern Association of Equipment

Leasing and the United Association of Equipment Leasing would merge.

The goals of EAEL are quite different.


One important distinction in EAEL membership recruitment is that they do not solicit Brokers/ Lessors west of the Mississippi River.


EAEL is primarily a regional association with 67% in the Northeast (New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut), an additional 5% in Pennsylvania and Maryland, and the remainder in 25 states and Puerto Rico.


Executive Director Alison Pryor reports the current membership breakdown:


Lessors/ Brokers 127

Funding Sources 28

Service Providers 14

Attorneys 22


There is a close bond among its members, and due to its size, personal connection

is fostered.


The dues are also very reasonable:

$300.00 FULL MEMBERSHIP (less than 3 employees)

$600.00 FULL MEMBERSHIP (less than 50 Employees)

$800.00 FULL MEMBERSHIP (more than 50 Employees)

$800.00 FULL MEMBERSHIP (funding source)

$800.00 SERVICE MEMBERSHIP (attorneys, accountants, etc.)


More importantly, the loss in membership, according to Executive Director

Alison Pyror, is primarily from companies no longer in business, or

those that have been acquired by larger leasing companies.


This association is stable. In fact, many of their members belong

to other leasing associations, but want to be connected and attend

both regional meetings, conferences, and get- togethers.


Recently an e-mail message board was put on line for members.



(If you missed part 1 of this Six Month Leasing Association Membership

report, please go to:


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