Equipment Leasing and Finance Association - Equiping Business for Success


July 17, 2019 - July 18, 2019

Grand Hyatt Washington DC
Washington, DC

Emergence2019 Logo Brought to you by the Emerging Talent Advisory Council (ETAC), Emergence2019 is a leadership program for emerging talent from ELFA member companies.

Who Should Attend?

This event is open to ELFA members who did not attend Emergence2018. Attendees should be those who have the ability and desire to lead, grow and make a positive impact on others. These are individuals considered to be high-potential future leaders in their respective organizations and the industry.

Registration Fee

The registration fee for selected attendees is $495. Attendees of Emergence2019 are welcome to attend the Emerging Talent Networking Event the evening of July 17th. Space is limited to 75 and 3 attendees per company.


Contact Alexa Carnibella at

Emergence2019 is sponsored by Key Equipment Finance.
Key Equipment Finance

Registration Fees

Price Description Amount
ELFA Member $495.00

View cancellation and other policies

Grand Hyatt Washington
July 17-18, 2019  
Wednesday, July 17th
11:30am-5:00pm - Sessions
5:30pm-7:00pm - Emerging Talent Networking Event
Thursday, July 18th
8:30am-3:00pm - Sessions

Available Functions


Martha Ahlers

United Leasing & Finance

Martha Ahlers is President of United Leasing & Finance. She has over 20 years of commercial leasing experience and started with the company in 1996. Ms. Ahlers holds a Bachelor's Degree in Economics from the University of Illinois. She is involved in numerous civic and community organizations including the Ronald McDonald House Charities, Evansville Executive Forum, Tri State MS Association Board, and Carver Community Daycare. She has previously served on the Equipment Leasing and Finance Foundation Board of Directors, and is currently Chair-elect of the 2019 Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) Board of Directors.

Kaitlin Bonner

Associate Relationship Manager
Farm Credit Leasing

Garland Brooks

Business Enablement & Sales Optimization
Dell Financial Services

Garland currently works as a Business Enablement & Sales Optimization Advisor for Dell Financial Services. He has 18 years of experience with finance and service based companies serving the automotive and technology industries. He is currently focused on driving business initiatives that foster change in the DFS technology practice, consolidate resources, create new tools and further automate workloads. He is also helping define the data strategy for how DFS leverages analytics to more effectively penetrate the market.
Working for ELFA member companies for the last eight years he decided to take a more active role in the ELFA by joining the ETAC in 2017 focused on the continued success of our industry.

James Cress

Vice President & General Manager
Stryker Flex Financial

James Cress is the Vice President and General Manager of Stryker Flex Financial, the captive finance arm of Stryker, one of the world's leading technology companies.  He joined the company in 2008 and is responsible for its equipment finance operations in the United States, Europe and Canada.
Prior to joining Stryker, James was Senior Vice President and Vendor Business Unit Director for eight years at National City Commercial Capital in Cincinnati, OH.  There he managed operations for multiple vendor markets including healthcare, office equipment, technology and manufacturing.  He also spent several years at US Bank as a Vice President in Small Business Banking.
James has been an active member of ELFA since 2000.† He served consecutive terms on the Captive and Vendor Finance Business Council Steering Committee.  He has also been a participant in Capital Connections for the last 5 years and is an ELFA Guest Lecturer at Michigan State University.
He attended Northern Kentucky University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a Master of Science in Executive Leadership and Organizational Change.  James resides in Kalamazoo, MI with his wife and three children.

Alexandra Dressman

Sales Coordinator 3, AVP
Huntington Equipment Finance

Lexie Dressman is the Operations Process Manager and an Assistant Vice President at Huntington Equipment Finance.  She has been a licensed attorney since 2011.  With Huntington since 2015, she was previously a Sales Coordinator on the Documentation Team.  Prior to joining the Equipment Leasing & Finance industry, Lexie served as a Public Defender for 3 1/2 years.  Active in the industry and her community, Lexie is currently on the ELFA's Emerging Talent Advisory Council, where she leads the Guidance Committee and recently helped establish the new "Ask a Leader" interview series.  She is also a member of the Cincinnati Art Museum Emerging Leaders Council and the Charities Guild of Northern Kentucky.  Lexie has her B.A. in History and Political Science from the University of Kentucky and her J.D. from the Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law, where she was a Henry Clay Scholar.  She enjoys reading, traveling and, most importantly, spending time with her husband, 21-month old daughter and dog.

Jeffry Elliott, CLFP

Sr. Managing Director
Huntington Equipment Finance

Mr. Elliott is Senior Managing Director of Huntington Asset Finance (“HAF”) a division of The Huntington National Bank. HAF has five business units; Huntington Equipment Finance, Lender Finance, Huntington Technology Finance, Asset Based Lending & Huntington Public Capital®. Mr. Elliott leads Huntington Public Capital®, which focuses on lending to the municipal, university, school & hospital (“MUSH”) entities and more recently launched the Renewable Energy Finance group that focuses on solar, wind, battery and other renewable energy generation projects. Additionally, Mr. Elliott's role includes acting Head of Strategy & Corporate Development for the HAF. In that capacity, he has been responsible for product & marketing strategy, development of new products initiatives, mergers and acquisitions within the HAF. Responsibilities include development and implementation of business strategies to meet profitability & budget goals, portfolio risk management, corporate risk management & compliance, sales efforts, process improvements, hiring, credit decisioning, portfolio monitoring and operations.  
Mr. Elliott began his banking career with Security Pacific a Subsidiary of Bank of America in 1993 in the consumer finance division. Prior to Huntington, Mr. Elliott was Vice President with U.S. Bank as Manager of the Indirect Funding Group; he joined Huntington in 2001 as part of the newly established Huntington Equipment Finance Division.
Mr. Elliott specializes in analyzing equipment finance related financial contracts as it relates to wholesale lending activities or merger & acquisition transactions. He is an active participant in the syndication markets, both on the buy and sell side of equipment leasing and loan transactions.
Mr. Elliott holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Finance from the Richard T. Farmer School of Business at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and a Masters of Business Administration from the Williams College of Business at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Mr. Elliott is a Certified Lease Finance Professional (“CLFP”) and was formerly an active member of the CLP Board of Directors. Mr. Elliott was formerly involved with the Mid America Association of Equipment Lessors, where he served as Vice Chairman/Board of Director. Currently he is an active member of the Equipment Leasing & Finance Association. Mr. Elliott is the Chairman of the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation and the former Chairman of the Research Committee and a member of the Board of Trustees. Mr. Elliott is also a retired member of the Ohio High School Athletic Association as a High School Basketball & Football Official.
Mr. Elliott enjoys the pursuit of the culinary arts, wine appreciation and collecting and golf, where he is a member of Avon Oaks Country Club. He resides in Bay Village, Ohio with his wife and two children.

Jacob Fahl

Opportunity Development Leader, Funding & Portfolio Services
Hitachi Capital America Corp.

Jacob is an Opportunity Development Leader for Hitachi Capital America Corp. offering equipment finance solutions for 3rd party relationships. Before that he held positions at U.S. Bank Equipment Finance in a similar service. Jacob has held leadership positions within his own community and comes from an athletic background playing college basketball at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, MN where Jacob still resides today.

The development of a personal philosophy and pursuing objectives with love and discipline has allowed Jacob to achieve alignment with his personal and professional vision. A continuous learner who treats opportunities as an adventure, pushing past limits and allowing himself to fail. At the heart of leadership, Jacob believes it requires a simple approach; enabling the full potential of not only others, but yourself.

Sabrina Fest

Credit Analyst
John Deere Financial

Jon Gerson

Executive Solutions for Leasing and Finance, Inc.

Jon Gerson is President of Executive Solutions, a second generation Executive Search firm that has focused exclusively on the commercial equipment leasing & finance industry since 1990. He first joined Executive Solutions in 2004 while on sabbatical from Rutgers University. He finished his degree and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Rutgers while working full time as an executive recruiter.

Executive Solutions provides Talent Solutions for all functional roles and levels of seniority in equipment leasing for bank owned equipment finance firms, captives, independents, brokers, and everything in between. In addition, ESLF provides consulting services including on compensation plans, interview structures, and general business strategy.

Jon is an active member of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association, serving on the Emerging Talent Advisory Council since 2017, the membership committee starting in 2013 and the Service Provider Business Council Steering committee off and on since 2012. He has also presented several times at the ELFA annual conference.

Jon lives in Atlanta with his wife Jessica, their daughter, and too many pets.

Nathan Gibbons, CLFP

Chief Operating Officer
Innovation Finance USA LLC

Nate began his career in equipment leasing with First American Equipment Finance in 2006. As an early career professional, he attended the ELFA's Future Leasing Leaders Institute, which helped solidify his desire to become an effective and influential leader. In 2013 he was the recipient of the "Chairman's Award" (First American's highest honor) for excellence in character and leadership. In the same year he was also promoted to Vice President and helped develop and manage the company’s learning and professional development strategy.

Nate currently works for Innovation Finance where he is responsible for overseeing the operational strategy of the company. With an emphasis on emerging technologies and automation, his energy is focused on operational design that results in dramatic improvements to the customer experience.

Following his passion to help people reach their potential, he has served as Chair of the ELFA's Emerging Talent Advisory Council, and also serves on the Board of Directors for the Certified Lease & Finance Professional Foundation.

Nate resides in Webster, New York with his wife Keila and their two sons Noah and Micah.

Michael Hube

VP, Syndications
Fifth Third Equipment Finance Company

Jeff Jensen

Senior Director
Keybridge Research, LLC

Jeff Jensen is a Senior Director at Keybridge, where he serves as an economic and policy advisor for small businesses, industry associations, and government agencies. Jeff has more than a decade of experience in applying economics, data analytics, and decision analysis to a wide range of public policy issues, including macroeconomic policy, federal regulatory policy, environmental policy, immigration policy, hazard mitigation, credit and debit card markets, and equipment finance.
Before joining Keybridge, Jeff spent 5 years at the U.S. Government Accountability Office, where he served as a Senior Analyst and specialized in transportation security and related homeland security issues.
Jeff holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Carleton College and two Master’s degrees in Public Policy and Environmental Management from Duke University.

Emily Latham-Bolt

HR Business Partner

Matthew LeSage

Chief Commercial Officer
Wells Fargo Equipment Finance

Matthew LeSage is Chief Commercial Officer for Wells Fargo Equipment Finance.  Prior to joining Wells Fargo, Matt was Chief Commercial Officer of Equipment Finance at GE Capital.  He is also a member of the ELFA Board of Directors.  
Matt received a BBA from University of Michigan - Ann Arbor and an MBA from University of California - Berkeley.  

Kara Miyasato

Sr. Manager, Marketing
Stryker Flex Financial

Kara Miyasato is the Sr. Marketing Manager for Flex Financial, Stryker’s financial services arm. In this role, she and her team are responsible for the creation of new financial products, marketing communications, analytics, and events & training for North America and Europe.
In 2007, Kara began her career at Stryker and has held multiple individual contributor and management roles within Flex Financial in both operations and marketing. She has also held roles on Stryker’s Government team and data standards team. Her focus throughout her Stryker career has been around employee engagement, customer service, and continual process improvement.
Kara holds degrees in philosophy and economics from Santa Clara University, attained her Master’s degree in Finance from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). She sits on the board of directors for the Kalamazoo Junior Symphony Society and resides in Kalamazoo, Michigan with her husband, Cullen, and her son, Kai.
Kara is passionate about diversity & inclusion and has led sessions with Stryker to help shed light on unconscious bias and other related topics.

Ralph Petta

President and CEO
Equipment Leasing and Finance Association

Ralph Petta is the President and CEO of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA), the premier trade association representing 550+ member organizations in the $1 trillion equipment finance sector. Mr. Petta leads the organization in executing its mission to foster business development, deliver industry information and analysis, provide educational opportunities and advocate for the industry. He is also President of the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation, which is dedicated to inspiring thoughtful innovation and contributing to the betterment of the equipment leasing and finance industry.

Mr. Petta, an authority in the business of equipment finance, has been with the association since 1987. Before assuming the role of President and CEO in January 2016, he served as Chief Operating Officer for six years, providing coordination, direction and oversight of ELFA programs and services designed to add value to the association's member organizations. Prior to that, he served as Interim President. From 1987 to 2010 he was Vice President-Research & Industry Services, managing ELFA's information, benchmarking and market research initiatives. Throughout his career at ELFA, Mr. Petta has assumed leadership roles in virtually all functional areas within the organization, including governance, membership marketing, communications, business and professional development, state advocacy and the association's affiliated Foundation.

He is often quoted in industry trade publications and is a frequent speaker about the role of equipment finance in the U.S. economy and trends and developments in the equipment finance sector.

Mr. Petta is a member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), as well as ASAE's Key Industry Association Committee (KIAC).  He completed the ASAE/University of Maryland College of Business and Management executive development certificate program in association management. He also was selected for and participated in the ASAE Future Leaders Conference. Mr. Petta is a member of the Exchequer Club of Washington, DC.

Before joining ELFA, Mr. Petta worked for nine years in the office of United States Senator Sam Nunn, serving in a variety of professional capacities. He was Senator Nunn's legislative assistant when he left to join the association. Mr. Petta graduated from Syracuse University, earning a B.A. degree in political science.  

Pierre Quinn

Motivational Speaker

Pierre Quinn is on a mission to help people from all walks of life harness the courage to live, learn, and lead with confidence. Pierre is the author Leading While Green: How Emerging Leaders Can Ripen Into Effective Leaders and Leading While Scared: How To Find The Courage To Keep Going. Today as founder of The Cardell Group he travels the country speaking to leaders at conferences, conventions, retreats, and training sessions.
While Pierre does love motivating, challenging, and inspiring leaders, he loves his wife and two daughters even more. He and his family live in the Washington Metropolitan Area.

Ryan van de Boogaard

Leasing Manager
Key Equipment Finance

Van de Boogaard has over 10 years of Equipment Finance experience. His knowledge and experience spans the entire life of a lease from front end to back. Ryan began his career in Operations managing a team that was responsible for on-boarding all new Originations into the lease accounting system and then the continued maintenance/servicing of the entire multibillion dollar portfolio. After managing the Booking and Account Maintenance team, Ryan was promoted to Senior Team Lead of Originations. Ryan and his team were responsible for all on-boarding activities (i.e. documentation and funding process) as well as assisting business development to on-board new vendor programs. His latest career move was into Sales were he is now responsible for the entire Sales process as well as bring in new strategic vendor programs.


Hotel Information
A block of rooms is being held for attendees of Emergence2019 at the Grand Hyatt Washington hotel, 1000 H Street NW, Washington, DC 20001, at a discounted rate of $235 +tax. Check in time is 3:00pm and check-out time is Noon.
Please call Reservations at 1 (800) 233-1234 or use the link below before the discounted room rate deadline of Tuesday, June 25, 2019. Reservations made after June 25, 2019 are based on the hotel pricing and this group rate will no longer be offered.
Make hotel reservations online here:

Grand Hyatt Washington DC
1000 H Street NW
Washington, DC 20001

Get directions

If you would like information on exhibiting at this conference, please contact Steve Wafalosky at or 440.247.1060.

If you would like information on exhibiting at this conference, please contact Steve Wafalosky at or 440.247.1060.

If you would like information on exhibiting at this conference, please contact Steve Wafalosky at or 440.247.1060.

If you would like information on exhibiting at this conference, please contact Steve Wafalosky at or 440.247.1060.

If you would like information on exhibiting at this conference, please contact Steve Wafalosky at or 440.247.1060.

If you would like information on exhibiting at this conference, please contact Steve Wafalosky at or 440.247.1060.

If you would like information on exhibiting at this conference, please contact Steve Wafalosky at or 440.247.1060.

If you would like information on exhibiting at this conference, please contact Steve Wafalosky at or 440.247.1060.

If you would like information on exhibiting at this conference, please contact Steve Wafalosky at or 440.247.1060.

If you would like information on exhibiting at this conference, please contact Steve Wafalosky at or 440.247.1060.

If you would like information on exhibiting at this conference, please contact Steve Wafalosky at or 440.247.1060.

If you would like information on exhibiting at this conference, please contact Steve Wafalosky at or 440.247.1060.

If you would like information on exhibiting at this conference, please contact Steve Wafalosky at or 440.247.1060.

If you would like information on exhibiting at this conference, please contact Steve Wafalosky at or 440.247.1060.

If you would like information on exhibiting at this conference, please contact Steve Wafalosky at or 440.247.1060.