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July/August 2011


Message From the Executive Director

It may still be summer, but the Foundation is hard at work planning to end 2011 with a bang and has even begun to focus on the new year. I also am proud to announce that our fundraising efforts have not been dimmed by the tough economic times, as industry members continue to see the value of investing in the Foundation. We have reached 94 percent of our annual fundraising goal. The success of our fundraising directly impacts the amount of new research the organization can provide, so we are pleased that the industry continues to invest in our work.

Thanks to our generous donors we will be debuting several new studies this fall covering such topics as securitization, cloud computing, community banking and a new economic forecasting report. When you arrive at the ELFA 50th Annual Convention this October please thank the Foundation contributors (who will be wearing special ribbons on their badges) for their foresight and investment in the Foundation. (And, I hope you are one of them!)


Kelli Jones Nienaber


Monthly Confidence Index Shows Caution and Thoughtfulness Among Industry Leadership

The Foundation’s Monthly Confidence Index (MCI-EFI) for July is 56.2, up 6.8 percent from the June index of 52.6. When asked to evaluate the current U.S. economy, 72 percent of the leadership surveyed reported it as “fair,” up from 66.7 percent who said so in June. Just 27.9 percent rate it as “poor,” down from 33.3 percent last month. Clearly, the economy’s continued hesitation is causing industry leaders to remain cautious.


New Study on Business Process Improvement

A new Foundation study has debuted! Titled, Effectiveness of Business Process Improvement for Equipment Financing Companies, the new report  examines the success of business process improvement (BPI) practices for the equipment finance segment, including addressing the effectiveness of general, customer-supplier, Six Sigma, and lean management BPI practices.
The study was researched by Charles R. Gowen III, PhD, Professor, Department of Management, College of Business, Northern Illinois University.


Foundation Reaches 94 percent of Fundraising Goal

As of the beginning of August, the Foundation had reached 94 percent of its fundraising goal, which is tracking slightly ahead of funds raised that same time period last year.
With a total of just over $400,000 raised, kudos go to the Development Committee for their hard work in spreading the Foundation message that contributions are the lifeblood of the organization. Through the generosity of donors, the Foundation is able – and continues to -- produce forward-thinking research on behalf of the industry.


Fall Brings New Studies, New Economic Outlook Report

The Foundation will debut several new exciting projects this fall. 

          First, a new report, Equipment Lease Securitization Performance versus Other Asset Classes, will be available later this summer. Levon Goukasian and Scott Miller, associate professors of finance from Pepperdine University produced the report, which includes a study of the performance of equipment lease and loan-backed securities (ELL-ABS), assessing their risk factors and their performance during the financial crisis in 2008. The report’s findings show that during the recent financial crisis ELL-ABS performed better than almost all other asset-backed securities. (The only asset class that has performed better than the ELL-ABS is US Treasury securities.) The report indicates that the use of equipment lease and loan securitization as a source of funding is well justified.


Can You Guess the Most Downloaded Foundation Product?

The Foundation makes all its research reports and studies available for purchase and download online. (Donors receive them at no cost!) The most downloaded Foundation product by far is the 2011 Industry Future Council Report. To date this year, the next most downloaded reports or articles, in order, are:

Check out these reports and articles online today at the Foundation library.


Foundation Plans Strong Presence at ELFA 50th Annual Convention

The Foundation has big plans for the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association’s 50th annual convention to be held October 23-25 in San Antonio.
     The Foundation will host its popular annual awards and recognition luncheon on Monday, October 24. Donors will be called to the stage for special recognition, acknowledging their contributions. (Get your contributions in now so you can join the other donors on stage.)

   Also, Garrison Wynn (pictured), president of Wynn Solutions and author of the Real Truth About Success, will speak at the luncheon. Wynn helps people learn how to make the jump from being great at what they do to understanding and developing the qualities it takes to be chosen for the job. He helps people understand why their products, services or leadership styles - or those of their competitors - are selected.

     Additionally, during a special convention break out session, the Foundation will host a panel of experts to help debut the annual State of the Industry Report. The Report will debut at the convention.
     The Foundation also will have a booth in the main hall, where attendees may access new and popular reports, meet the Foundation Trustees, and get advance notice of new studies planned for 2012.

    To register for the annual convention, visit the ELFA convention page.


Foundation Events
  • If you have an idea/topic you’d like to make into a Journal article, please visit our "Write for the Journal" page on the Foundation website. 
  • The Foundation is 100 percent supported by donations. Contributions to the Foundation may be made online! Visit the Giving page to make your contribution today. 
  • The Foundation Board's next meetings will be on September 8th and November 16th 2011. 
  • The Foundation Research Committee is always looking for research ideas and proposals! For more information on applying for grants, visit our website. Make sure to submit your research grant application or topic to the Foundation by the first of the month, to be reviewed by the Research Committee, which meets every third Thursday.


Quick Poll

Does your company engage in ongoing business process improvement?

  • No, we don’t engage a formal BPI process
  • Yes, we use or have used lean
  • Yes, we use or have used Six Sigma
  • Yes, we use or have used other BPI tools and processes (not listed here)

To submit your responses click here


Last Month's Poll

Question: The outcome of the upcoming 2012 presidential election will have:




A great impact on the success of the industry


Some impact on the success of the industry


Very little to no impact on the success of the industry



Did You Know?

The most often deployed BPI tools (customer satisfaction evaluation, employee rewards, and teams) do not result in the highest combination of quality improvement, customer satisfaction increase, net cost savings, and reduced frequency and severity of errors. Some lesser utilized BPI tools result in greater overall benefits for all company types, size, and markets, suggesting competitive advantages for all financing firms that implement uncommon BPI practices well.

(Source: Effectiveness of Business Process Improvement for Equipment Financing Companies study commissioned by the Foundation and researched by Charles R. Gowen III, PhD, Professor, Northern Illinois University)


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Contact the Foundation:
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Washington, DC 20006
Phone: 202.238.3400
Email: foundation@elfaonline.org