I grew up in Seville Spain as a child while my father (USAF Capt Tony Grace) was in Vietnam. After the war we all moved to Kadena Air Base on the island of Okinawa Japan where we lived for nearly another 4 years. In 1976 we moved to the great city of Columbus, OH.
I attended school in Columbus and by chance earned a Basketball Scholarship to THE Ohio State University where I played both guard an forward with some really great athletes. After this I was lucky enough to play professional basketball in Europe (that means I wasn't good enough to play for the NBA, lol).
While in Europe I made a lot of wonderful connections and in 1989 was introduced to a company in Treviso Italy where I was offered a position to start a in-house financing division to help their customers finance equipment that they wanted to purchase. In 1996 we started to export this equipment to the US where I came back and did this again from the great city of Columbus, OH.
In 1998, I asked the company if I could break out on my own and still keep the financing part of their company. They agreed and an Equipment Finance Broker was born.
Since then we have grown to add several manufacturing companies to our list of private financing. We eventually expanded in to invoice factoring and now asset based lending.
In 2017 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Did you know that men could get breast cancer? I had no idea. Well, let me tell you that it changes your view on a lot of things. Glad to say, I am cancer free and hope to be that way for years to come.
Joining the NAELB nearly 20 years ago and now being a part of the AACFB has been one of the best decisions I have ever made concerning my broker business. I have devoted nearly all my time in this organization volunteering on several committees, giving several sessions at various of the conferences to even planning a few conferences and being on the committees on several others.
If there is any broker that I could help with all my years of experience, they only need ask.
Was recently on the Board of Directors before being removed at the beckoning of some of the older members. Being stabbed in the back by some of my fellow board members was one of the toughest experiences I have ever had to deal with. Even though a smear campaign against me by a few of the old guard was devastating to me personally (especially after nearly 20 years of volunteering my time for the association) I can only wish its members the very best. I still believe this association is one of the best for the broker community and with strong leadership can move it in the right direction for the future.
As always, GO BUCKS!