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News & Press: NVLA News

NVLA 2018 Keynote Speaker Announced

Tuesday, February 27, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Mike Mathy
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NASA Astronaut Kimbrough to Deliver Keynote Address at NVLA 2018 


Menomonee Falls, Wis. – The National Vehicle Leasing Association (NVLA) announced Tuesday that NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough will serve as keynote speaker of the 2018 NVLA Annual Conference, to be held April 18-20 at Estancia La Jolla near San Diego.


Kimbrough will share the inspirational story of his journey from West Point to Commander of the International Space Station, where he served as commander of the orbiting laboratory for nearly six months.


NVLA President Chris Pontarelli, vice president of Jacksonville-based GT Leasing, said Kimbrough is the perfect keynote speaker for the 2018 NVLA Conference, which marks the 50th anniversary of the association of choice for the independent vehicle leasing community. 


“Much like the space program, the independent vehicle leasing community has a strong history, but faces many challenges and opportunities in the future,” said Pontarelli. “Shane Kimbrough’s inspirational presentation will encourage conference attendees to challenge conventional wisdom and expand their horizons.”


Kimbrough was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in 2004. He completed his first spaceflight in 2008 on STS-126, where he spent 16 days on the mission to expand the crew living quarters to accommodate a six-member crew.


In 2016, Kimbrough flew on the Expedition 49/50 mission where he served as Commander of the International Space Station for nearly six months. During Expedition 50, Kimbrough performed four spacewalks, logging over 26 hours. He now has a total of six spacewalks, over 39 hours outside the orbiting laboratory, and a total of 189 days in space.


NVLA conference chairman Ed Kaye, co-founder and vice president of Access Commercial Capital, said Kimbrough’s presentation dovetails nicely with the theme of the 2018 NVLA Annual Conference: Honor the past, embrace the present and define the future.


“The 2018 NVLA Annual Conference will feature top-notch speakers and engaging panel discussions on the most important topics in leasing,” said Kaye. “The diverse program features something for everyone, including a review industry best practices, an examination of current trends and a look at the issues that will shape our industry in the future.”


Founded in 1968, NVLA provides educational opportunities, promotes responsible legislation and communicates with members regarding developments and trends in vehicle leasing. NVLA promotes the leasing concept while encouraging the highest ethical and professional standards. Membership is made up of independent leasing companies, automobile dealerships, banks, credit unions and suppliers of goods and services to lessors.


For more information about the NVLA Annual Conference, please visit



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