Foundation Announces Inaugural Scholarship Awards to Three Students

Washington, DC, August 6, 2020 –The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation (Foundation) announces that three outstanding students are the first recipients of The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation Scholarship, a program inaugurated in 2020 for students interested in potentially pursuing a career in the equipment finance industry. Each student will receive a scholarship of $5,000 for the 2020-2021 academic year. The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation Scholarship is the newest addition to the Foundation’s Academic Outreach Program.

The scholarship recipients are:

  • Thomas DeFrancesco, a finance and marketing major set to graduate from Seton Hall University in May 2021. He has previously interned at Eastern Funding LLC, and looks forward to entering the finance field upon graduation.
  • Allan Fiallos, an accounting major at Stephen F. Austin University set to graduate in December 2021. Upon graduating, he plans to become a licensed CPA.
  • Yusuf Lewis, a finance major at Morehouse College set to graduate in May 2021. He has interned at Accenture and has exhibited strong entrepreneurial spirit and experience.

“I’m delighted to congratulate Thomas, Allan, and Yusuf on receiving their Foundation scholarships and on their excellent academic achievements to date,” said Scott Thacker, Foundation Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Ivory Consulting Corporation. “All three were choosen based upon their exemplary accomplishments, strong leaderhip potential and a demonstrated goal to join the finance industry upon graduation. They are the type of people we want to attract to the equipment finance industry, and I wish them well as they finish their academic careers.”

The Scholarship Program is an outgrowth of the success of the Foundation’s Guest Lecture Program, a long-standing component of its Academic Outreach Program, in which industry professionals volunteer to lecture at colleges and universities about the equipment finance industry and its possible career paths. In the past several years, Foundation volunteers have lectured frequently at Stephen F. Austin University. In May 2020, Morehouse College received its first Guest Lecture, which was the Foundation’s first conducted virtually.

“These inaugural scholarships represent not only the accomplishments of our three recipients, but recognize that the efforts made by our generous guest lecture volunteers are making a difference in introducing students to our industry,” said Zack Marsh, Foundation Academic Outreach Committee Chair and CFO of Orion First Financial, LLC. “The Foundation’s Academic Outreach Program plays a critical role in supporting the future talent of equipment finance and the scholarship program is an example of how hour industry is paying it forward to make a lasting impact.”

To learn more or to apply for a scholarship, visit



The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization that propels the equipment finance sector and its people forward through industry-specific knowledge, intelligence, and academic outreach programs that contribute to industry innovation, individual careers, and the overall betterment of the $900 billion equipment leasing and finance industry. The Foundation is funded through individual and corporate donations. Learn more at


Media contact: Anneliese DeDiemar, 202.238.3425,