A Remembrance of Things Past

Jay Terry, AGLF Legend

When I retired from the Air Force in the spring of 1981 after 24 years as a judge advocate, I joined the recently opened D.C. office of our law firm which to that point had only its three Texas offices. Suddenly becoming a municipal bond lawyer, I knew absolutely nothing except that lease-purchase is hyphenated and nonappropriation is not.

That April my partner Tom Leonard entered into discussions with Greg Eden concerning the then innovative concept of large pools of tax-exempt lease-purchase fundings. Greg, a USN pilot during the Vietnam conflict, had practiced with Kutak Rock in Omaha during the 1970s when that firm and the Leonard firm had each broken ground by researching and assembling files on the laws impacting tax-exempt lease-purchasing in each of the 50 states. He had recently joined a Charlottesville investment corporation.

Then in May 1981, Tom Ingoldsby and I from our D.C. office met with Tom Leonard and Greg in Charlottesville (note that the AGLF logo is a stylized Monticello). It was at that meeting, inter alia, that detailed discussions were first had regarding the formation of a nonprofit national association of participants across the gamut of lease-purchase transactions.

It was decided to: (1) incorporate the Association as a DC nonprofit corporation; (2) prepare initial by-laws; (3) enlist 10-15 active lease-purchase participants to each contribute $1,000, become the original members of the Association and constitute the initial board of directors; and (4) plan for the first meeting of the Association and its board in October or November 1981.

As the new kid on the block joining a cabal of heavy thinkers, I became scribe and drafted by-laws and articles of incorporation of the Association for Municipal Leasing and Finance (emphasis supplied; the name was changed in 1986 to be more representative). Articles were filed in August 1981, naming Eden, Leonard, Mark Schickendantz and Jim Colfer as the initial directors.

Beating the bushes for contributors was successful, and the original members/directors met at the Stapleton Plaza Hotel, Denver on November 19, 1981. Eleven were in attendance; two were absent. Greg was elected chairman of the board; Mark Schickendantz, president; Jim Colfer, secretary; and Tom Leonard, treasurer. Bob Bauers was elected the second president of the Association when Mark resigned a year later.

Greg emphasized the basic focus of the Association as constituting a valuable meeting and education locale for the very diverse participants in the lease-purchase industry. Following this essentially organizational meeting, the Association began its now traditional practice of annual spring and fall gatherings of the membership and entrants into the practice with meetings in New Orleans, Chicago, Baltimore and San Francisco. During those years, under the continuing leadership and administrative services of Greg Eden, the Association grew and prospered in membership and meeting attendance.