Chris Walker Education Fund Accepting Grant Requests and Announces Availability of $20K in Grants to Support Education Initiatives

May 13, 2024

The Chris Walker Education Fund Committee is continuing its annual mission in honoring late NEFA Member and Member of NEFA’s Board of Directors, Chris Walker. The Chris Walker Education Fund focuses on an issue near and dear to Chris’s heart – education and the idea of a “lifetime of learning.” The Board is now actively raising funds and accepting grant requests to honor Chris’s great service to the industry until the application deadline of June 15, 2024. The fund will award a total of $20,000 in grants to be distributed by the end of August 2024. The grant application process is available to individuals as well as associations, foundations, and institutions. Individual grants may be requested up to $1,500, or an amount equal to the cost of qualified industry-related education.

Funds available through the Chris Walker Education Fund may be used for any project or need that provides industry education opportunities for leasing professionals. This includes grants for industry-related education, certifications (such as the Certified Lease and Finance Professionals (CLFP) designation), educational initiatives of the NEFA, or other educational initiatives related to the equipment finance industry. Through its founding in 2011, the Chris Walker Education Fund has now funded over $100,000 in educational grants. All grant requests must be submitted online through the following link:

About the fund

Education was always important to Chris Walker, as a NEFA Member and Member of NEFA's Board of Directors. When Chris passed away in 2011, many NEFA Members and other industry professionals wanted some way they could make a donation to honor Chris and continue his great service to this industry. This resulted in the creation within NEFA of the Chris Walker Education Fund. The Board of Trustees is industry leaders who donate their time and talents to promote the mission of the Chris Walker Education Fund. For more information on the Chris Walker Education Fund, visit

Committee Members:

Laura Carini, CLFP

Financial Pacific Leasing

Kim King, CLFP

BankFinancial Equipment Finance


Jaimie Haver, CLFP

Happy Manufacturing, Inc.


Dave Gruber

Great American Insurance

Tim McConnell, CLFP

Navitas Credit Corporation


Travis Melchior

LTi Technology Solutions

Brett Rondeau

Universal Finance

Chad Sluss