NVLA LeaseWire
07/05/2020 | Issue 17

President's Message
Shaking Settles the Soil

Every new building experiences some settling of the soil around its foundation after the completion of construction. A proficient builder takes great care to ensure that the fill around the foundation is adequately shaken and compacted and that there isn’t any wood or debris that could shift the soil and cause the foundation to move, resulting in anything from sticking doors or window frames, to cracks in tile or plaster, to a complete building collapse.

I am impressed with the resiliency and optimism of the lessors, funders, and industry associates whom I have communicated with over the last few months. Now, it’s time to set down the popcorn that we have been eating while watching the intense shaking of our economy and execute our strategies so that we can prosper from the lessons we recently learned about our businesses and ourselves.

This includes ensuring that nothing is rotting around the foundations of our businesses that could compromise their strength. Shake it up. Be thorough and make sure that you don’t concentrate simply on the aesthetics and design. Like sheetrock, these are only decorations and are not the core of what you build. The framing and studs and other structures underneath the optics are what will provide strength and stability for years to come.

NVLA is committed to assisting in and being part of your journey forward from here. In a few days, we will have our first Zoom AGM, during which we will celebrate the strong sense of community within the NVLA family. Don’t miss the chance to be a part of this historical undertaking that will exemplify what we are about.

Our 2020 conference, which will be held in October, will be another key tool for success. The conference committee is honing a slate of expert speakers and thought leaders. The occasion will not disappoint.

These initiatives are the results of the efforts of the NVLA board of directors, staff, and committee members who have tirelessly persevered throughout these shaking times. We are especially grateful to Mike Mathy, our executive director who just left NVLA to assume the position of executive director of the Ohio Foot and Ankle Medical Association, for his effective leadership and guidance. Mike leaves us much stronger than when he arrived. We wish him continued success in his career, and we look forward to announcing his successor in the near future.

NVLA General Membership Meeting [NVLA Members Only]

NVLA President Doug Moore has called a special General Membership meeting to share important association updates and hold elections for the 2020-21 Board of Directors.

The NVLA General Membership Meeting – typically held each year at the NVLA Annual Conference – will instead take place via Zoom videoconference on Thursday, June 25, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern/10:00 a.m. Pacific.

Board of Directors Election
The NVLA Nominating and Elections committee met on May 21 and is pleased to present the following slate of candidates for your consideration:

President:                                         Douglas Moore, Somerville Leasing
First Vice President:                         Ken Sopp, CULA
Second Vice President:                    Tarry Shebesta, Automobile Consumer Services
Third Vice President:                        Pete Stevens, Corporate Fleet Services
Treasurer:                                         Ben Carfrae, Manchester Leasing
Secretary:                                         Chris Pontarelli, GT Leasing
Director-at-Large:                             Jeff Barron, The Bancorp Leasing
Director-at-Large:                             PJ McMahon, McMahon Auto Group
Director-at-Large:                             Nick Markosian, Markosian Auto
Director-at-Large:                             Paul Najarian, Jr, ACT Leasing Inc
Assoc. Director-at-Large:                 Tim Lawrence, LHPH, LLC
Assoc. Director at-Large:                 Sloan Schickler, Schickler PLLC
Assoc. Director at-Large:                 Mike North, Katz, Sapper & Miller

Unelected Board of Directors Positions
Immediate Past President:               Ed Kaye, Access Commercial Capital

The candidates selected to serve on the Board of Directors by NVLA regular members will serve a one-year term beginning July 1.

Click to see the full meeting agenda and to register for the meeting.

Leveraging the Power of LinkedIn
Aaron Larsen, director of growth marketing at Cathedral Consulting
The past few months have presented many challenges to business owners around the world, especially those who typically rely on foot traffic, test drives, and face-to-face interaction with clients. Due to government regulations aimed at curbing the spread of the COVID-19 virus, many of these businesses have been forced to pivot and focus their marketing strategies on digital communication. This has ushered in a new era of sales and marketing--a digital tipping point.

Now, more than ever before, it is essential for businesses to leverage the power of the internet to drive sales, especially through inbound marketing and digital advertising. Many leaders in the auto leasing space are embracing this new reality as an opportunity.

Nick Miota, president of Southgate Lease Services, is one of them.

According to Miota: “As we navigate our business in the new post-COVID-19 / Zoom video conference world, we are pivoting the sales and marketing strategy to better align with the new normal of social distancing both at home and in the workplace. To help us reach our organizational goals for growth, we have chosen LinkedIn as the digital platform for reaching out and networking with prospective clients and making the professional connections that we are not able to make in person given the current environment.”

He’s not alone. Miota is a member of the Leasing Competitive Edge program (a high-level mastermind program for auto leasing industry leaders). According to a recent survey completed by members of this group, one of the preferred digital advertising platforms is LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional networking site.

With over 630 million members, and four out of five of them driving business decisions, LinkedIn can be an effective tool for prospecting and connecting with your potential customers. Here are five tips to help you leverage the power of this digital platform.

1. Optimize your profile.
If you haven’t updated your profile in the last 30 days, it’s time to dust that puppy off. For members of your team who will be engaging prospects on LinkedIn, it’s important that they optimize their profiles in a way that communicates the value of your business.

Here’s a short checklist:

     Use a professional headshot. If employees don’t have one, consider hiring a photographer to come in and take care of this for you. In doing so, you’re adding value to your employees and setting them up for success when reaching out to potential customers.

     Optimize the headline. Stand out from the crowd. Instead of listing the type of position you hold (a.k.a. “sales professional”), utilize this space to clearly communicate the value you provide. Something like “I help businesses discover smart, cost-effective solutions when choosing vehicles” will attract more attention. Additionally, use this description to highlight your own strengths.

     Connect with your company page. Your business should have a company page that posts content regularly. Employees should list you as their current employer. Even better, content from your company page should be clearly present on your employee's profiles.

2. Hone in on your ad campaigns.
LinkedIn provides several different ways to advertise on their platform. A couple of the most powerful options include contact targeting and dynamic targeting.

      Contact targeting allows you to upload a list of contacts from your CRM or email list that LinkedIn then matches with its database and delivers the ads. If you want to just target a certain industry, you can create a list with company names for LinkedIn to match and then utilize the ad platform to narrow the audience. You can also deliver ads to prospects who visit certain pages on your website.

      Dynamic ads automatically pull the prospect’s information into the ad, providing a more personalized experience.

3. Supercharge your prospecting.
To fully leverage the power of LinkedIn’s database, consider using the premium Sales Navigator tool. It’s essentially prospecting on steroids. With Sales Navigator you have access to advanced search features and insights that will allow you to expedite your efforts in finding qualified prospects, keep a pulse on their activity, and more easily reach out to them. For example, I just used Sales Navigator to search for “fleet managers” and found 56,142 prospects. Of those, 604 changed jobs in the past 90 days, which is typically a trigger to indicate a social selling opportunity. Additionally, you can save prospects to a custom list and tag them within LinkedIn. If you have the “Team” plan, your sales team can share those custom lists, which will help them stay organized and on the same page. Prospect smarter, not harder.

4. Synergize outreach with value-driven content marketing.
One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is neglecting to seamlessly and strategically integrate sales and marketing efforts. With LinkedIn, sales and marketing teams should work together to create valuable content that can be shared and downloaded at specific times along the customer journey. Take time to plan out and make content readily available so that the sales team can use it to add value to prospects upon first contact and throughout the sales cycle on LinkedIn. This kind of content could be a whitepaper, a link to a fuel efficiency calculator, a downloadable vehicle maintenance schedule, etc. Always lead with value.

5. Engage daily.
Make it a part of your daily routine to engage with prospects on LinkedIn, especially for the sales team. Strategically select blocks of time throughout the day for them to spend 15 - 30 minutes focusing solely on this task. To help with productivity, I suggest setting a timer (most smartphones have them), or creating a “five song challenge,” which would be a challenge to reach out to as many qualified prospects on LinkedIn as you can, in a meaningful and effective way, for the duration of five favorite songs. When the fifth song is over, you must stop and move on to the next task. Prospecting can be fun!

These five tips will help you truly leverage the power of LinkedIn. If you would like to dive deeper, be sure to sign up for this free training webinar we’ll be hosting in the weeks ahead on how to “Turbocharge Your LinkedIn Marketing.” Sign up here.

I'm looking forward to connecting with you on LinkedIn. Feel free to drop me a line at if you have any questions or if I can help in any way.



Aaron Larsen is a certified digital marketing expert with over a decade of experience. He currently serves as the director of growth marketing at Cathedral Consulting where he helps industry professionals collect and connect with the resources they need to build value in their businesses. Learn more about Cathedral Consulting at
NVLA Executive Director Moves Down the Road
Ed Kaye, co-founder of Access Commercial Capital
After more than five years in the driver’s seat at the National Vehicle Leasing Association, Mike Mathy stepped down from his role as executive director at the end of May and is taking a new position as executive director of the Ohio Foot and Ankle Medical Association. A search for his replacement has begun, and the professional staff at Association Acumen has taken over the management responsibilities on an interim basis.

In his time as executive director, Mike helped improve the NVLA and became an agent of positive change for the organization by innovation, strengthening its fiscal stability, and positioning the association for future growth and success. 

During his tenure, Mike organized and managed several well-attended and informative annual conferences, helped revitalize the CVLE program, established member email campaigns, and helped to increase the association’s overall membership and relevance in the automotive industry.

I had the pleasure of working closely with Mike when I was president of the board of directors from 2018 – 2019.  He always understood the delicate balance between the volunteer board members and his role as the NVLA’s professional executive director. An exceptionally talented director, Mike was quick to come up with great ideas but always respectful of the will of the board.

In a farewell to the organization, Mathy thanked the board members, noting, “I’ve relished every opportunity we’ve had to get together as a group – whether via teleconference, at NVLA annual conferences, or at our always memorable summer board meetings. I’ll genuinely miss the spirit of camaraderie that is at the core of NVLA. It is truly something special and unique.” He added, “Instead of saying goodbye, I’ll simply say, 'See you down the road.'”

While we will truly miss working with Mike, we wish him and his family much success in his new opportunity.

National Vehicle Leasing Association
N83 W13410 Leon Road
Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin 53051
United States | 414-533-3300


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