William G. Sutton CAE
President & Chief Executive Officer
EQUIPMENT LEASING & FINANCE ASSOCIATION
William G. Sutton, CAE, serves as president and CEO of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA), the premier trade association representing more than 580 member organizations in the $725 billion equipment finance sector. Sutton leads the organization in its missions to foster business development, provide industry research and analysis, and deliver educational opportunities through conferences, webinars and meetings. He oversees the advocacy efforts on behalf of the organization and the industry while coordinating forward-looking research, which is the primary mission of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Foundation (ELFF).
Immediately prior to ELFA, Sutton served as interim president and chief executive officer of the Association, Education and Business Institute, Inc., in Arlington, VA. A former U.S. Navy Rear Admiral with 30 years' military service, Sutton previously served as Assistant Secretary of Manufacturing and Services, a unit of the U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration. Appointed by President George W. Bush, Sutton was unanimously confirmed by the Senate.
Sutton joined the Commerce Department after serving for five years as president of the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI), an association that represents manufacturers of more than 90 percent of North American-produced central air conditioning and commercial refrigeration equipment. During his ARI tenure, Sutton served as an officer of the National Association of Manufacturers' Council of Manufacturing Associations, and he served on the Boards of Directors for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), North American Technician Excellence (NATE), the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology Institute (ARTI), and the Clifford H. "Ted" Rees Scholarship Foundation.
During his time in the U.S. Navy, Sutton served as Naval Aide to President Ronald Reagan and Director of Programs in the Navy Office of Legislative Affairs, in addition to numerous operational at-sea assignments, including ship, squadron and group commands.
Sutton attained the Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential in 2007 through the American Society of Association Executives. He is also an active member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Committee of 100.
Sutton holds an M.S. in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a B.S. in Naval Engineering from the United States Naval Academy.