And So it Begins

And So it Begins


We spend a great deal of time being consumed by work matters, family matters, current events, and media. When do we get time for “ME”? For most of us, the answer is we don’t. This blog is about “DIVERSIONS” from the serious preoccupations above. I am hoping that “DIVERSIONS” will provide a small bit of time to view, read and think about self-care! What things do we enjoy if given the time to just “be” and “enjoy” some of life’s simple pleasures. For me, and I suspect some of you, that has to do with enjoying a fine handmade cigar, sipping a great wine or spirit, reading for pleasure and telling or listening to some stories about the same. Oh, and do not jump to the conclusion that this is a “boys only” affair. By no means! Believe it or not, I know quite a few women who enjoy these DIVERSIONS as much if not more than the boys.

So “DIVERSIONS” is meant to bring you some of the best of cigars, spirits and stories. DIVERSIONS will provide interesting and informative bits of information about cigars, wines, and spirits. Guest experts will educate us about these finer forms of diversions. Besides the experts, we want to hear from YOU! What are your favorites in terms of cigars, wines, spirits, etc… We will also publish content sometimes in text and others in video from people in the equipment finance and commercial finance industry sharing their special enjoyments. So, we encourage you to share what you enjoy, why you enjoy them, your favorite pairings, your favorite establishments, and more. Do not be shy! I will start with one of my favorite cigars and paired with my preferred beverage along with where to get them. I will of course end with a quick story of my cigar education and enlightenment.


So, here is one of my favorite cigars and beverage when given an hour or so to relax either in solitude or better with friends.

Cigar:

My Father Le Bijou 1922 –(see picture) Cigar Aficionado’s cigar of the year in 2015. The price is between $10-$15 per cigar depending on the size selected. The tasting notes (as I see it since taste varies for everyone) that I can depend on are: chocolate covered raisins, cocoa, nutmeg and a richness that is totally relaxing while being intriguing with each puff. While the Le Bijou looks very dark, because of its oscuro tobacco wrapper, it is not strong but rather very flavorful which is often confusing to novices. Strong and dark are not the same. You can have a very light-colored cigar but that is very strong (e.g. Cohiba).

Link to Stogies website for this cigar

Beverage:

Diplomatico Reserva Exculsiva (see picture). Price is very affordable at $35-$40 per bottle. The tasting notes that I can really look forward to are: molasses, caramel and vanilla that compliments the LeBijou’s tasting notes incredibly well. This pairing frankly is a real treat for the senses and my favorite. This bottle can be had at most fine liquor stores in your area. It should not be hard to find.

Story:

I have been smoking cigars for about 4-5 years but only became seriously aficionado for the last 3 years. I view myself as a life long learner and always try to find out all I can about a topic of interest. Anyway, about 3 years ago, I joined one of the most quaint “down home” cigar clubs in Cincinnati, Bells House of Tobacco, owned by a really interesting and engaging fellow, John Bell. I used to drop in and buy a short cigar (known as a robusto) and only hang out for a short while to smoke said shorty. One day, I went back to the smoking lounge early one afternoon and I had it all to myself. Mr. Bell came back about 10 minutes into this cigar (by the way, a My Father Le Bijou 2922 robusto.). As I recall, the conversation went something like this:

JB: “Bob, we need to talk. You like being a member here right?”

Bob: “Of course I do. Why”

JB: “Well, I have to tell you that something has to change or you are not going to be a member much longer.”

Bob: “What?”

JB: When you come here you always get a short cigar, you pace, fidget, work on email and otherwise make everyone nervous with your nervousness. Bob, that has to stop. Do you ever relax?”

Bob: “Sure I do. That is what I am doing right now.”

JB: “That is not relaxing Bob”. Now here is the deal. I am going to go out to the humidor and select a proper cigar for you. You are going to sit here and smoke it and you better not bury yourself in your phone and work. If you do not do that you will not be a member any longer.”

A few minutes later Mr. Bell returned with a very long and thick cigar.

JB: “OK! Here we go. This is a dynamite cigar that I know fits your taste profile from what I know. It will take you a good hour and a half to finish it. Put your phone away.”

Bob: “Alright!” so I proceeded to properly cut and light the stick. I then sat back and just smoked and well started to just think. About 30 minutes later a few other members showed up and we just started to talk. Wow, I think I get it. Smoking a cigar is about really relaxing. What else am I going to do for an hour or two while it takes to finish a cigar like this. Mr. Bell returned to the lounge.

JB: “Well Bob, what do you think?”

Bob: “John, I think I get it. The cigar actually tasted better when not buried in email or pacing and I am not sure I have any relaxed like this.”

JB: Mr. Bell put on his trademark broad wide infectious smile and as also commented in his trademark remark. “That’s right! You got it!”

As I look back on that episode, I can honestly say this. He saved my life from a mental standpoint. I learned to enjoy just, well, just being and enjoying the finer points of hand-crafted fine cigars and beverage pairing with them. I also enjoyed the discourse that takes place in a cigar lounge. There is something about a cigar lounges and the folks that frequent them. The cigar culture is one of camaraderie, sharing experiences, cigar selections, beverages and of course story and story.


My Conversation with Susan Carol for the Equipment Finance Advisor

I always enjoy my too infrequent visits and conversations with Susan Carol! She always asks great, thought provoking questions and makes me think. I firmly believe that the status quo in the commercial lending space is about to be disrupted in many more and unexpected ways. Fintechs started that movement years ago by exploiting vacuums in very specific niches left by the traditional lending platforms (banks). Susan and I only touch on the very surface of what could have been a 2-3 hour conversation and brainstorming session.

Link to the article on the EFA site>


Bob Rinaldi Posts New Interview with Industry Pioneer Edward Cherney

In time for the industry’s 50th convention, Bob Rinaldi has posted a video conversation with Edward Cherney as part of its Pioneers in Equipment Leasing and Finance series. The series features conversations with entrepreneurs who share first-hand accounts of events as they happened, and perspectives on the future of the industry.

Edward Cherney has made a lifelong career as an entrepreneurial executive. He is currently chairman of TIP Capital. He has led industry renowned equipment leasing companies such as CMI Corporation, ENCORE, and AT&T Systems Leasing. Cherney’s 40-year career has mainly involved directing end-user sales staffs and operations that originated sophisticated, financial-oriented lease transactions. He is credited for financing billions in hardware and raising equity in excess of $500 million dollars. Cherney is recognized for his expertise in strategic business planning, profit improvement in turn-around situations and a talent for reading market conditions and taking the appropriate risks to grow the business.

His video is posted at bobrinaldi.com/edward-cherney

Founder Bob Rinaldi invites viewers to comment, ask questions, review the latest industry news, and connect with colleagues worldwide at bobrinaldi.com/blog.


Edward Cherney

Edward Cherney has made a lifelong career as an entrepreneurial executive. He is currently Chairman of TIP Capital. He has led industry renowned equipment leasing companies such as CMI Corporation, ENCORE, and AT&T Systems Leasing. Edward’s 40-year career has mainly involved directing end-user sales staffs and operations that originated sophisticated, financial-oriented lease transactions. Edward is credited for financing billions in hardware and raising equity in excess of $500 million dollars. He is recognized for his expertise in strategic business planning, profit improvement in turn-around situations and a talent for reading market conditions and taking the appropriate risks to grow the business.

Edward Cherney has made a lifelong career as an entrepreneurial executive. He is currently Chairman of TIP Capital. He has led industry renowned equipment leasing companies such as CMI Corporation, ENCORE, and AT&T Systems Leasing. Edward’s 40-year career has mainly involved directing end-user sales staffs and operations that originated sophisticated, financial-oriented lease transactions. Edward is credited for financing billions in hardware and raising equity in excess of $500 million dollars. He is recognized for his expertise in strategic business planning, profit improvement in turn-around situations and a talent for reading market conditions and taking the appropriate risks to grow the business.

Throughout his professional career, Ed has contributed generously of his leadership, time and resources to numerous community and charitable organizations. He has helped raise millions of dollars for the retirement fund of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Sisters of Monroe, Michigan.

He has been an active supporter of the Detroit Country Day School, by serving as a board member for over 25 years and assisting the school in a wide range of activities. Former organizations include: University of Detroit-Mercy – Trustee Emeritus, Y.M.C.A. – Director, Metro-Board, and Harvard University, New Parent Fund.

After graduating with a degree in Finance from the University of Detroit, Edward then attended the Detroit College of Law. He remained at the leading edge of the leasing profession by actively contributing to the leasing professional associations. Edward is Past Chairman of the Computer Dealers and Lessors Association (C.D.L.A.) and Past Board Member of the Equipment Leasing Association (E.L.A.).

Edward is married to Joanne and the father of five children. His daughter is a graduate of the University of Michigan, two of his sons are graduates of Harvard University and another is a graduate of the University of Virginia and the University of San Diego Law School. His youngest son will be attending college in 2012. Joanne is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University.


John Deane, Global Consultant, Points to Opportunities Ahead

For Immediate Release

John Deane, Global Consultant, Points to Opportunities Ahead
In Leasing Avenues Skype Interview

Oct. 17, 2011—“Grim confidence.” That’s how executives at a recent equipment leasing roundtable characterized attitudes in the industry today. It’s a far cry from how things were in the early 1970s when John C. Deane entered the business.

Deane, who began his career in banking and today is CEO of the global consulting firm, The Alta Group, helped pioneer the equipment leasing and finance business.

“Economic factors today are more significant to our industry than ever,” Deane said in an interview recently for Leasing Avenues. Today the action “is not in product development, but in management and execution,” he said.

When Deane entered equipment leasing, the business was new and entrepreneurial, and the U.S. was in recession. Fifty years later, the industry is mature and the nation is emerging from an even deeper recession. But Deane sees numerous opportunities in new vertical niches, in international expansion (both inbound and outbound), and in trimming costs and improving management.

Although the last decade wrought more negative than positive occurrences for the industry, solid growth occurred mid-way through, Deane said, allowing many companies to survive and prosper. The industry “hasn’t done anything wrong,” he said; “[but] there may have been some ‘overly creative’ structuring in the late 1990s.”

Deane practiced equipment leasing and finance from 1971 to 1992 and then started The Alta Group. Soon afterward, the consultancy produced Perfect Storms, a research paper written for the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation that is still downloaded today. “It was a deep dive into what went wrong in some well-known equipment leasing companies,” Deane said.

In the video interview with Susan Carol, Deane talks about his entry into equipment leasing and the satisfaction the business has provided over the years. He also discusses high points of his career, one being his role as chairman of the ELFA.

Leasingavenues.com was created by equipment leasing industry veteran, Bob Rinaldi, in 2010 to feature pioneers in equipment leasing through recorded Skype interviews conducted via the Internet. The site also highlights current industry insights at bobrinaldi.com/blog.

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Media Contact:

Susan Carol
sca@scapr.com
540-361-1274


John C. Deane

John Deane is a founder of The Alta Group and its chief executive officer.

He leads the global consultancy composed of five major practice areas: consulting, merger & acquisitions, legal support services, professional development, and vendor and captive programs.

Prior to co-founding The Alta Group, he served as a principal in the firm of Amembal, Deane & Associates, the world’s leading provider of training, educational and consulting services for the equipment leasing industry. He has been CEO of both Great Western Leasing and BancOne Leasing and has served as the CFO and president of several major financial corporations.

His broad expertise over more than 35 years was fortified by his work as chairman of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) and as a member of the World Leasing Council. Click here for his full bio.

”Grim confidence.” That’s how executives at a recent equipment leasing roundtable characterized attitudes in the industry today. It’s a far cry from how things were in the early 1970s when John C. Deane entered the business.

Deane, who began his career in banking and today is CEO of the global consulting firm, The Alta Group, helped pioneer the equipment leasing and finance business.

“Economic factors today are more significant to our industry than ever,” Deane said in an interview recently for Leasing Avenues. Today the action “is not in product development, but in management and execution,” he said.

When Deane entered equipment leasing, the business was new and entrepreneurial, and the U.S. was in recession. Fifty years later, the industry is mature and the nation is emerging from an even deeper recession. But Deane sees numerous opportunities in new vertical niches, in international expansion (both inbound and outbound), and in trimming costs and improving management.

Although the last decade wrought more negative than positive occurrences for the industry, solid growth occurred mid-way through, Deane said, allowing many companies to survive and prosper. The industry “hasn’t done anything wrong,” he said; “[but] there may have been some ‘overly creative’ structuring in the late 1990s.”

Deane practiced equipment leasing and finance from 1971 to 1992 and then started The Alta Group. Soon afterward, the consultancy produced Perfect Storms, a research paper written for the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation that is still downloaded today. “It was a deep dive into what went wrong in some well-known equipment leasing companies,” Deane said.

In the video linked to this article, Deane talks about his entry into equipment leasing and the satisfaction the business has provided over the years. He also discusses high points of his career, one being his role as chairman of the ELFA.

John Deane’s Biography >>


Sudhir R. Amembal

Mr. Amembal, chairman and CEO of Amembal & Associates as well the CEO and editor of Global Leasing Resource (GLR), is interviewed about his experience as an educator and entrepreneur featuring his global perspective. This pioneer, like others interviewed here, remains extremely active in the industry and has recently launched both the GLR and the World Leasing News.

Sudhir P. Amembal is Chairman and CEO of Amembal & Associates as well the CEO and Editor of Global Leasing Resource. He began his professional career in lease education, consulting and publications by co-founding Amembal & Isom in 1978, the first entity in the world to serve the global leasing industry.

Entities under his stewardship became the world’s most highly respected training and consulting firms in the field of equipment leasing. These entities have trained over 70,000 leasing professionals throughout the world. Mr. Amembal has conducted technical presentations on leasing in over 75 countries.

As a government advisor, Mr. Amembal has spearheaded lease consultancy engagements conducted on behalf of over 20 governments including China, Indonesia, Korea and Nigeria. These engagements required him to review the overall leasing industry in each country and devise strategic recommendations to facilitate the growth of the industry. His most recent assignment was to assist in the introduction of operating leases into Bangladesh.

He has co-authored 16 books on leasing and has appeared as a keynote speaker at numerous domestic and international conferences. He has addressed conventions held by all four of the global regional associations – African Leasing Association, Asialease, Leaseurope, and the Latin American Leasing Association. He has chaired each of the annual World Leasing Conventions from 1993 to date. He will chair the forthcoming World Leasing Convention to be held in Cairo, June 7 & 8, 2011.

Mr. Amembal is the publisher of an online global magazine, WorldLeasingnNews.com and he serves as an advisor to Sigma Consultancy, a global provider of lease management software. He recently launched World Leasing News – Global Resource Guide & Directory, a unique product/service that seeks to revolutionize the dissemination of critical information to the leasing industry.

For a period of five years from 1997 to 2002, Mr. Amembal was Chairman of Amembal Capital Corporation, a middle market leasing company. Prior to 1978, he was a member of the faculty at the College of Business, University of Utah, prior to which he worked with Ernst & Young in New York City.

He has a B.Com from the University of Bombay, an MBA from the University of Utah and is a CPA qualified to practice in New York.


James Renner

Jim Renner, a consultant with The Alta Group, has extensive expertise helping financial institutions succeed in equipment leasing and finance markets. Prior to joining the global consultancy in January, 2011, he was president of Wells Fargo Equipment Finance and its forerunner, Norwest Equipment Finance for 15 years, before retiring. Jim led the growth of its leasing portfolio from $530 million to $7.5 billion, establishing Wells Fargo as one of the largest bank leasing companies in North America. Jim was president of First Bank System Leasing prior to joining Norwest.

His career began in the credit training program of Irving Trust Company in New York City right out of college. He later returned to Minnesota and joined First Bank of Minneapolis, where he was a commercial lender in the real estate department before starting its leasing operation.

Still based in Minneapolis, Jim is well known for his leadership in the equipment leasing and finance industry. He has been active in the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) for more than 25 years, serving on committees and as a director, vice chairman, and chairman in previous years. He also has been a trustee, chairman, and national development chairman of the ELFA Foundation, which honored him with a special recognition award in 2005.

Jim graduated from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor of arts degree in economics.


Bob Rinaldi Site Features Interview with Bank Leasing Pioneer Dennis Neumann

 

CINCINNATI, OHIO, March 8, 2011–Bob Rinaldi, the founder of LeasingAvenues.com, interviewed equipment leasing industry pioneer and leader Dennis Neumann, currently the CEO of BNY Capital Funding LLC. The Skype video interview is in four parts covering Neumann’s early career and his long-term experience within the bank leasing and large-ticket sectors of the industry.

Rinaldi and Neumann first met years ago through their involvement with the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) and worked together on its board of directors.
Neumann, who entered the industry in the large-ticket sector, speaks about leveraged leases funded by banks, syndication, investment tax credits, and in the future what it will take for new entrants in the equipment finance business to succeed.

Rinaldi says he has a number of pioneer interviews that are going to be added soon. “Each one shares fascinating accounts of events as they happened and each one is insightful,” he added. Rinaldi hopes the videos will provide inspiration and spur comments, questions and contributions from visitors to the site.

“This is also a place for you to comment, ask questions, review the latest industry news, and connect with colleagues worldwide,” said Rinaldi of his blog site, LeasingAvenues.

Rinaldi, who has almost three decades of experience in the equipment leasing industry, joined CSI Leasing last year as a senior vice president to spearhead the IT leasing company’s expansion into other markets. Previously, he served as executive vice president of National City Commercial Capital Company (NC4), now a part of PNC, and he also was president of NC4 Canada.

LeasingAvenues is an independent venture by Rinaldi launched last year at the ELFA convention. He established the website to capture industry stories from many leaders who carved out career opportunities and who have deep knowledge, vision and advice to be shared and valued. Please visit http://www.leasingavenues.com.


Dennis Neumann, Leasing Pioneer

Bob Rinaldi interviewed leasing pioneer, Dennis Neumann, currently the CEO of BNY Capital Funding LLC. The Skype interview was captured on video Jan. 8, 2011. Bob and Dennis had first met years ago through their involvement with the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association and their roles on its board of directors.

Mr. Neumann entered what is known in the equipment leasing industry as the large-ticket sector through a company called North American Car (NAC) Leasing in 1978. He came to NAC from First National Bank of Chicago where he was an investment officer for large corporate pension funds. At NAC he was responsible for syndicating leveraged leases to banks and credit companies used to finance rail cars to a variety of railroads and shippers. These deals generally involved 100 to 150 railcars–not large by today’s standards–but, nevertheless, rewarding for NAC and also for Mr. Neumann. It was in this position that he developed what became a lasting relationship with Bank of New York.

When NAC was sold to GE, he was hired by First Chicago Leasing to join a team to reinvigorate the then dormant leasing company. After leading their leading their syndication division for a number of years, he was recruited to join BNY in 1989.

This Interview (in three segments) captures Neumann’s story, discusses bank leasing, investment tax credits, large-ticket deal-making and also what he thinks it will take for new entrants to succeed today in the equipment finance business.