November 06, 2018 - WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association today announced that it has added new language to its mission statement and 2019-2021 Strategic Plan that explicitly embraces diversity and inclusion. Earlier this year the ELFA Board of Directors established a Diversity Work Group, and at its October meeting the Board accepted the Work Group’s recommendation to update the mission statement and strategic objectives. The new language affirms ELFA’s commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion across the association and the industry.
The updated mission statement reads (new language in bold): “The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association is the trade association representing financial services companies and manufacturers in the $1 trillion U.S. commercial equipment leasing and finance sector. ELFA exists to provide member companies a platform to promote and advocate for the industry, including attracting and developing new and diverse talent; a forum for professional development and training; and a resource that develops information about, and for, the industry.” The updated 2019-2021 Strategic Plan is available at
“Diversity and inclusion are easy to say but are often harder to achieve,” said ELFA Chairman Jud Snyder, President of BMO Harris Equipment Finance Company. “I am proud that the ELFA Board of Directors has adapted, and adopted, both our mission statement and our goals to make a difference for our member companies. By focusing on increasing the engagement of diverse talent at all levels in our association and member companies, we are putting a stake in the ground to say that our work here is not done yet. As we look at the future of our industry, it’s clear that if we stand still, we’ll be left behind. Innovation only happens with different voices coming from different backgrounds.”
“We are proud to represent and serve the diverse and vibrant equipment finance industry,” said ELFA President and CEO Ralph Petta. “Our aspiration as an association is that the people powering this great sector—including our members and their customers—will represent a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives. We believe that by focusing on diversity and inclusion, we’re empowering not only the people who make up our member organizations and the markets they serve—but also our entire industry. Together with our member companies, ELFA looks forward to advancing further initiatives to support diversity and inclusion across the association and the industry. As we grow these efforts, we believe they will not only result in better decision-making, but also are the right thing to do. In the wake of recent tragedies that have taken place around the nation, ELFA reaffirms its commitment to diversity and inclusion and denounces intolerance of all types.”
ELFA will be pursuing a number of strategies and tactics to advance this effort. The association has formed the ELFA Women’s Council, which is working to increase the participation and leadership of women across ELFA and the equipment finance industry. The association also established the Emerging Talent Advisory Council, which is working to encourage new and diverse industry professionals to get involved in the association early in their careers and attract the best and brightest to the industry.
The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) is the trade association that represents companies in the $1 trillion equipment finance sector, which includes financial services companies and manufacturers engaged in financing capital goods. ELFA members are the driving force behind the growth in the commercial equipment finance market and contribute to capital formation in the U.S. and abroad. Its 575 members include independent and captive leasing and finance companies, banks, financial services corporations, broker/packagers and investment banks, as well as manufacturers and service providers. For more information, please visit