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Why I Became a CLP---
Clune & Company LC

This was in the February 10, 2006 Leasing News edition, the first 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. While there will be new "testimonials" in coming editions, this is the first one written.

There are some changes, such as then Kevin Clune was in the leasing business for 32 years, now 38 years. He mentions how he got started on this using the CLP Handbook, which today has 18 chapters. That Jim McCommon was a mentor (he still is, and there are other mentors).

Clune & Company is based in Mission, Kansas, founded in 1957 by Bob Clune, who retired in 1991 and Kevin took over the business. He is active in the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association.

February 10, 2006

Even though Kevin Clune (now CLP) has been in the equipment leasing business for 32 years, he decided to not only support the program, but get all twelve of his employees involved. His observation was "it is the only certification program in our industry"

"Basically we incorporated the CLP process into our personnel program, "he said.” All of our employees had the option to participate."

"We had eight of our twelve employees go through the program, six sat for the test and four passed, "Clune, CLP, explained.” Their job responsibilities were all over the place.....sales, lending, collections, accounting and management. The newly revised CLP Handbook is very well done--- a collaborative effort of 20 leasing professionals. The book has 16 chapters so we structured a 16 week course, about an hour long class each week. Each of us was responsible for "teaching" two chapters. Peer pressure was such that everyone did a great job in preparation even if they weren't particularly well versed on the subject."

The company paid the employees for their time in studying and taking the course and exam, plus for the handbook and all fees in taking the test. The exam fee is $550.00. The CLP Handbook is 59.95 + postage = $64.00. If the CLP Applicant completes the application and orders the handbook at the same time they save a few dollars. The total cost would be $600.00 instead of $614.00.

Jim McCommon, CLP, McCommon Leasing, Bellevue, Washington, flew down to Kansas City, and then was picked up to spend time reviewing and helping those study for the test.

"We paid for Jim's airfare and hotel room but that's it, "he said.” Counting travel time Jim was away the better part of three days. He did an all day review before we sat for the test. He did a fabulous job and really helped us focus on areas in which we needed help."

Jim was not reimbursed for his time from the foundation. Cindy Spurdle of the CLP Foundation did all the coordination and helped with the arrangements. Joe Flannery, Security Leasing Services, Inc. in Kansas City, Missouri, who is not a CLP, donated a full day of his time to be the proctor for the written examination held in the Clune Conference room. Reportedly Joe Flannery was one who encouraged the CLP process to be started at Colonial Pacific Leasing when he was there. He left before it was implemented, but has been interested in it ever since.

"We are very proud of all of our crew, especially those who sat for the test, whether they passed or not, "Clune, CLP, said with enthusiasm.” It was a great learning experience, even for me after 32 years in the business. Our other CLP's are Amy Holsapple, Bernadette McDevitt and Ned Luce. The process caused us to grow in our knowledge of the industry and it is a great training tool.

"On a personal level, it was worth it to me to achieve the designation after being in the equipment leasing industry since 1996," said Bernadette McDevitt, CLP. "On a professional level, I believe it provided me with a higher level of proficiency and confidence in all areas of equipment leasing, not just the area my position as a Credit Analyst serves.

"It was a challenge that required personal commitment and quite a few hours of study in addition to the in-house classes and review, but all the effort was worth it. I am pleased to have earned the CLP designation and grateful to have been part of the process."

"It was an eye opening process," Amy Holsapple, CLP, said. "Like Bernadette, I've been with Clune for 10 years; I work in the accounting area. The process of preparing for the final exam enlightened me to what other employee's positions entailed. Also, I felt the employees that did not take the course learned a lot as we often shared what we learned in class.

"I believe not only our knowledge increased but also our company has become a closer-knit organization. I keep my CLP manual at my desk and refer to it frequently."

Clune said he "...credited our recently retired VP & GM Ned Luce with spearheading the process here. He worked closely with Cindy Spurdle who does a fabulous job in making everything run smoothly."

"The process we went through started with 8 of us in the study program, from all areas of the company, "Luce, CLP explained.” When I went into the process, I had worked 8 years for IBM Credit, 5 years as a broker on my own, and 4 years for Kevin. Yet, the way we did it exposed me and the others to additional parts of the business and industry. Thus, we all learned a lot more sharing experiences and perspectives.

"We predicted that additional knowledge of the material in the CLP Handbook would be the result of our effort when in fact it went further than that with expanded appreciation of the way a company like ours operates in the industry. We all ended up having broader and deeper knowledge, not all of it from the CLP Handbook."

"It is a very tough test," Clune, CLP, concluded. "It looks like one of the two will go for it again but it takes a lot of guts to want to go through something like that again. Cindy has even offered help."

(As a side note, all those named are still CLP's today).

For more information, please visit:

Why I Became a CLP---series