CLFP Foundation Surpasses 1,500 Members

May 24, 2024

The Certified Lease & Finance Professional (CLFP) Foundation reached a new milestone of 1,500 members. The CLFP Board of Directors is pleased to announce the 1,500th CLFP is Sharon Pietras of Huntington National Bank.

“The milestone is such an achievement for the Foundation, as I am one of many that contributed to this experience,” shares Sharon.

Sharon attended an Academy for Lease & Finance Professionals (ALFP) with a cohort of teammates from Huntington National Bank in mid-May. When asked about her experience and preparation for the ALFP and CLFP Exam, she said, “Before the Academy, our Huntington cohort spent weeks together [preparing]. The Huntington CLFP leaders - Andrea Schmid, Paul Knowlton, and Mike Gregan - spearheaded weekly review sessions with guest Huntington CLFP alumni who each gave us their unique perspectives on the subject matter we were studying that week. It was the best part of the whole experience; we felt like we were in it together.”

“The best encouragement I can give a new CLFP candidate is the same encouragement I received: ‘Trust the process and trust yourself’,” shares Sharon. “There will certainly be some concepts or chapters in the Body of Knowledge that may be harder for you, or perhaps all of it feels like completely new territory.  Each piece of knowledge or learned skill is a step in the right direction. So, enjoy the journey and reward yourself for taking the first steps.”

Mel Vinson, VP of Marketing and Development at the CLFP Foundation shares, “To see the camaraderie, support, and teamwork across the many ALFPs has been inspiring. To reach the 1,500-member mark and see our CLFP Family continuing to grow daily is incredible. I am deeply grateful for the individuals, companies, and CLFPs prioritizing our mission of building a better commercial equipment leasing and finance industry.”

“One consistent theme I saw in action during my CLFP Journey was the spirit of giving,” says Sharon.  “From my classmates, Huntington leadership, and CLFP leaders, it was evident that CLFP is all about giving of ourselves to help our colleagues, our industry, and the next generation of candidates.  I am happy to be a support for future CLFPs while continuing to learn and gain experience in the industry.  We’re all better tomorrow when each of us is better today.”

The CLFP designation identifies an individual as a knowledgeable professional to employers, clients, customers, and peers in the commercial equipment finance industry. There are Certified Lease & Finance Professionals and Associates located throughout the United States (including Puerto Rico), Canada, India, Pakistan, Africa, and Australia. For more information, visit