The National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA) hosted its 46th annual meeting and announced the election of two new officers and four new board members.
Chris Miller, who has served as NAFA president, introduced Ford von Weise as the newly elected president and Jim Blessing as the vice president. “NAFA’s incoming leadership team brings a fresh and invigorating perspective to continue serving the needs of our membership,” said Miller.
Ford von Weise, serves as the head of Global Aircraft Finance at Citi Private Bank. The global aircraft finance group at Citi Private Bank provides private aircraft financing solutions to individual ultra-high net worth clients and their companies throughout the world. Mr. von Weise has over 20 years of aviation experience and was honored to be selected to preside over such an esteemed organization as NAFA. He has been a member of the association for 16 years, both in his current role at Citi and in previous capacities as well. His appointment underscores both Mr. von Weise’s and Citi Private Bank’s deep-rooted presence in the aircraft finance space. His expertise covers a wide range of corporate and personal aircraft finance, both domestically and internationally. Mr. von Weise, when discussing his new officer role, said, “I look forward to furthering the initiatives of the National Aircraft Finance Association and I am excited about the projects we have on the horizon”. “This organization is an important partner to the global aviation industry, representing its members’ interests and providing thought leadership and education forums around the financing, leasing and insuring of general aviation aircraft.”
Jim Blessing, is the vice president of AirFleet Capital, Inc., a finance firm focused on aircraft lending to the “owner-flown” segment of the aviation industry. At AirFleet, Blessing oversees all functions of the company, to include strategic planning, marketing and sales, and he participates regularly with credit evaluation and underwriting. Blessing joined AirFleet in 1999 and has helped participate in its growth from a new entrant in aircraft lending to one of the larger firms in the segment.
Board members Officers include:
- Ford von Weise, Citi Private Bank - President
- Jim Blessing, AirFleet Capital – Vice President
- Tobias Kleitman, TVPX 1031 Exchange Services – Treasurer
- Anthony Kioussis, Asset Insight – Secretary
- Chris Miller, Shearwater Aero Capital – Ex-Officio
- David Warner, Lane Powell – General Counsel
- Karen Griggs, NAFA – Executive Director
New Board Members:
- Richard Barret, Huntington Equipment Finance
- J. C. Ferrerr, Hollard & Knight
- Dave Labrozzi, Global Jet Capital
- Lee Rohde, Essex Aviation Group
NAFA also recognized outgoing board members:
- Chris Miller, Shearwater Aero Capital (will go to ex-officio)
- Stephen Friedrich, Rolls Royce
- David Jarvis, Banc of America Leasing
- Erin Van Laanen, McAfee & Taft
- Wayne Starling, PNC Aviation Finance