Jim Adler-Jim created a lease document that was the most widely used in the industry while at Colonial Pacific Leasing Corporation. All lenders accepted it and many lessors made it their standard document. Jim being available to explain the document and how to use it to my advantage in marketing and enforcement. Though this is a marketing driven industry without an ironclad document; none of us would be successful.
Joe Bonnano, CLP--He and Barry Marks should be credited with the great help they gave in the formation and beginning of the National Association of Equipment Brokers. In 1998, Barry left from alternating as the Legal Counsel for the association. Joe has not only contributed much here, but also to members and non-members with legal questions and dilemma's, and brought the progress of education, ethics, and good will, including serving on the CLP Foundation board for many years. A major influence in the leasing industry, always available to answer questions, seemingly day and night.
Clark Covert: Original developer of the small-ticket, vendor leasing program & platform for the PC market. He designed and built Dell's vendor program in 1988, then later introduced the model to CompUSA, Staples, NEC, Micron, Gateway and others. He built proprietary workflow systems and automated documentation systems in the early 1990's, which produced faxed contracts and 2 hour turn-around times from application to equipment release. He introduced today's major PC funding sources to the idea of funding this equipment, and coached them on the importance of this market.
John C. Deane---Founder of The Alta Group, the major independent "think tank" to the leasing industry, with principals and associates all over the world; past president of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association, active in it as well as the Equipment Leasing and Finance Foundation. He has served as the CFO and president of several major financial corporations. Highly respected and his opinion carries much weight in the industry world wide.
Thomas Depping, founder of Sierra Cities and Main Street Bank; organized a large company by combining many smaller successful operations into one; major influence in securitization and how business is conducted, perhaps revolutionized the way business is done today in the private label program. What he did prove is acquiring a bunch of smaller, independent leasing company's with a strong management team is failure which did influence a course of events but in a negative way.
Bruce Kropschot-created the channel by which leasing company's could sell to each other. Influential, yes, his focus on the leasing marketplace allowed him to obtain specialized knowledge on how to evaluate a leasing company, which continues today
John Kruse, System 1/Capital Stream, instrumental in the first low cost software for brokers and small lessors to keep track of leases, contact management, as well as automatically type contracts of many leasing companies, unheard of in its day and quite inexpensive. Developed private label programs for the one person office to compete with much larger operations. The program grew for use with medium sized lessors and new owners wanted it to reach a more lucrative client usage. He is also known for introducing the automated front end system to the small brokerage industry but he copies the AOL model and gave the program away thinking people would come back to him for more.
Charlie Lester- Charlie has always been an innovator in our Industry and gave his time freely to help the small broker understand the business and succeed. He helped lead the organization and success of National Association of Equipment Leasing Brokers at its inception. When Charlie had LeasePro, he was always the ultimate creditable person at all times and the word integrity was born with him. With his organization of LPI, he again plotted his course and success followed and his true honesty prevailed.
Elaine Litwer. Elaine dedicated herself to improving the leasing industry. She fought tirelessly to abolish lessor vicarious liability in New York State. She was involved in the auto industry from almost every aspect, being a lessor, a sales rep, working in the offices at GM, lobbying in Albany. She was involved in the National Leasing Vehicle Association at the state and national levels. She always was there to answer other lessor's questions.
Paul Menzel, CLP - Highest of ethics, good clean portfolios, quality leader. He has been active in two leasing associations himself, also supporting others, giving his time to the industry for many years. Paul is a leader who believes in "do as I do, not as I say". He has set a great example for all his years in the industry. (He also is the First Leasing News Person of the Year: http://www.leasingnews.org/archives/January%202006/01-03-06.htm#person editor)
Jim Merrilees, now with QuikTrak, first to develop a "wide area network" BLISS before the days of the internet. Steered the Pegasus dealer program, and under his watch a computer credit scoring profile for both vendor and broker business in a highly quick process. The internet version of BLISS, BLISSnet, was created long after Jim had left the company. Where I see Jim's "influence" is through his contribution to the issues found in the industry.
Ben Millerbis/Brad Peterson-They created a unique funding mechanism whereby a lender turn downs would automatically be transferred to Pentech for review. This created an additional funding mechanism that allowed a broker to obtain an approval from a reliable source without having to search other lenders. This business had incredible growth in a very short period of time and were it not for the current credit crisis they still would be growing.
David Murray, co-founder Direct Capital/Preferred Lease, founded the first telemarketing company based on computer program information, copied by many today, hiring college students and young people to follow a script, then selling the leases off in groups to funders. He copied the TransLeasing model for using a leasing credit card. He was innovative in that he sent everyone a "pre-approved" card in a mass marketing campaign. Trans only used it for doctors they had done a deal with before through an internal credit line. This was very innovative but the business failed badly when they forced their growth on Advanta and took advantage of the weak credit underwriting.
Paul Weiss, best known buyers of capital equipment portfolios beginning in the 1980s, working on innovative financing structures and finding new ways to structure transactions that had considerable residual value upside. In partnership with Beau Clarke, Weiss acquired ICON Capital in 1996 and introduced the first sizable portfolio acquisition strategy to a public fundraising vehicle. ICON became one of the largest independently owned leasing company; the largest public leasing program sponsor in that industry's history, changing the way that industry operating and causing many imitators who were unable to match ICON's dramatic success.
Walter Rabin-created a platform that went from zero fundings to over $1.4B in the last 10 years. All Points Capital is a dominate funding source for the broker community, especially in the Northeast.
When the list exceeds 25, there will be a point when the top 25 on the list will be finalized; meaning not everyone nominated will make the top 25.