FAEF Kickoff Meeting


FAEF Kickoff Meeting

On November 19th and 20th, First American Equipment Finance held their annual Kickoff Meeting. In recent years, the company-wide meeting has been held in downtown Toronto. This year, First American held the 271-person meeting over Zoom, while some members of the leadership team live-streamed from company headquarters in Rochester, NY. The meeting serves as a time to connect with colleagues, reflect on the past year, and get inspired for the year ahead.

Meeting Highlights

Day 1:

  • The meeting opened with an inspiring video featuring First American colleagues reflecting on their experiences at the start of the pandemic earlier this year. You can watch the video here.

  • Alan Sikora, CEO delivered a State of the Company presentation, sharing that First American had a record-breaking year financially, surpassing origination and profitability goals.

  • Taylor Hastrich, Assistant Vice President, led a session on gratitude, inviting colleagues to share what they are grateful for in 2020.

  • Members of First American’s Marketing and IT Departments gave an update on What’s New in Marketing & Digital for colleagues.

  • Concurrent Sessions were led by First American colleagues and participants could choose from one of eight topics to attend, including virtual scavenger hunts and panels discussions.

  • Day 1 came to a close with keynote speaker, Jon Gordon. Gordon is the author of many best-selling books, including The Energy Bus, The Coffee Bean and The Power of a Positive Team. Gordon shared an inspiring speech on the leading factor of success, grit.

Day 2:

  • National Sales Director Mike Wiedemer shared his perspective on First American’s Growth & Opportunity, followed by a session of reflection, Why were we successful this year? led by Andrew Eller, VP, Operational Risk Management.

  • Gerard Cassidy, Head of U.S Bank Equity Strategy & Analyst at RBC Capital Markets led an afternoon session providing insights into the economy and banking sector.

  • Colleagues were invited to share their top ten learning and development initiatives with one another during a session led by Gil Foster, VP, Learning & Development.

  • In a lightning round format, executive leadership team members were asked to share departmental highlights in 3 minutes or less.

  • To close out the meeting, Sikora shared a closing video, focused on the strength that comes from working through adversity. You can watch the video here.

“2020 will go down in First American history as one of the most, if not the most successful year in our company’s history. Not only financially, but the amount of the sheer will and determination to create success and create a business that is thriving is so inspiring and really unbelievable given the events of 2020,” said Alan Sikora, CEO of First American Equipment Finance.

Award Winners

During the virtual awards ceremony, peer nominations were shared, and many deserving colleagues received recognition for outstanding performances and upholding First American’s values, including:

  • Operations Person of the Year - Mike Clune

  • Salesperson of the Year - Sonia Cliffel (Direct channels) and Crystal Doro (Indirect channels)

  • Sales Rookie of the Year - Nick Shotwell

  • Sales Breakthrough Performance of the Year - Jennifer Giefer (Vendor), Sarah Yarnes (CNB Support), Nick Borkowski (Education)

  • Outstanding Performance in Marketing - Katelyn Saxton

  • Excellence Award Winners - Jackie Collins, Whitney Gross, Mike Poore, Traci McKenrick, Kelly Lyon, Stanley Bigord, Gil Foster and Becky Farmer

Supporting Local Businesses

While celebrating the awards show at home, colleagues enjoyed packages full of Rochester-based goodies, including refreshments from Other Half Brewing and Living Roots Winery, and snacks from Rubino’s Italian Foods, Hedonist Artisan Chocolates, East Hill Creamery, Rochester Kettle Corn, Emmy’s Organics, Wilson Beef Farms and Scratch Bakeshop.


Watch the highlight reel from First American’s Kickoff Meeting below.

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First American Commercial Bancorp, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of City National Bank. Deposit products and services are offered by City National Bank Member FDIC. City National Bank is a subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada. For California clients: Loans made or arranged pursuant to a California Finance Lenders Law license. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Additional terms apply and can be found by visiting faef.com/terms.

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