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Tuesday, Feb 7, 2023
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Powell, Fiorina to Offer Perspective

The commercial finance industry must be doing well these days.

At its annual convention Nov. 9-11 at the San Diego Convention Center, the Commercial Finance Association, representing lenders that provide financing to primarily smaller businesses, hired a trio of high-powered speakers, including former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Other speakers appearing at the convention, which has more than 1,500 registered attendees, are Carly Fiorina, the former chairwoman and chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard Co., and Howard Putnam, former CEO of Southwest Airlines.

The notables all command speaker fees well above what a typical commercial finance executive would charge, but will likely capture more attention, said Patricia Burns, who chairs the convention committee, and heads up San Diego-based Primary Funding Corp.

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Powell’s fee is the largest at $125,000 plus the costs for flying him here via private jet.

“This is the first time we’ve had such high-profile speakers,” Burns said. “We felt it was time we stepped up to the plate with some credible keynote speakers.”

To close out the convention, CFA lined up ’80s rock act Hall and Oates to perform for attendees after dinner. Bet they do “She’s a Rich Girl.”

, Mike Allen

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