Celebrating American Business Women’s Day

Members of our team reflect on what leadership means to them

Photo Credit: Evansville Business Magazine

Happy American Business Women’s Day to the 68 million working women and 7.7 million women business owners throughout the U.S.! September 22 marks the founding in 1949 of the American Business Women’s Association, a national organization with the mission of bringing together women in diverse occupations to provide opportunities for growth, education, and networking.

We’re fortunate at United to have women working and leading in our organization at every level, from our CEO and president to our managers and department heads. In honor of this national holiday, we asked several of our female team members to share their thoughts on what being a leader at United means to them:

Amy Romain Barron Headshot Circle

Leadership is a responsibility that goes far beyond what happens in the board room. Leading by example and not being afraid to do what you are asking of others has allowed me to grow into the person I am today. You can also never stop learning! I’ve been blessed with some amazing women in my life and have learned leadership qualities from each of them. I feel so fortunate to be surrounded by so many wonderful examples of female leaders both inside and outside of our company!”

—Amy Romain Barron, CEO, Amy was chosen to be in IBJ Media’s Indiana 250 list of the state’s most influential and impactful leaders this year!

“As President of United Leasing & Finance, I am most passionate about the development of our employees and growth of our business. Proven leaders today have to adapt, become leaner with resources, and be sensitive to the needs of their employees. While I still expect results, growth, and performance, the path to arrive there is through a collaborative and people-oriented approach. To be a part of something much bigger than yourself and play a part in the education, training, and mentoring of our next generation is a huge motivator for me. Above all, leaders should strive to begin each day with a grateful mindset, do things with passion, and lead with their heart.”

—Martha Ahlers, President

Martha Ahlers Headshot Circle
Kris Conner Headshot Circle

“When I first started at United Leasing & Finance in 1981, I never imagined it would lead to a lifelong career of 42 years and counting. In my time here, I’ve worn many different hats and taken on a wide range of duties that allowed me to grow as a leader. It’s been rewarding to not only see where my journey with United has taken me, but to also watch so many others within the company advance and grow over the years. A good leader is one that is always learning and evolving, and I’m thankful to continue to have the opportunities to do just that here at United.”

—Kris Conner, Executive Assistant, Kris is the most tenured employee at United aside from our Executive Chairman Ron Romain!

“My journey with United Companies started 18 years ago. I love that I have had the opportunity to grow into a leadership role. I believe it is pertinent to grow your people while continuing to grow and learn as a leader. I feel that being a leader means working with your team to provide the most efficient work while also providing a positive working atmosphere. Clear, concise, and open communication are always a priority for me.”

—Heather Frederick, Title/Registration Manager

Heather Frederick Headshot Circle
Amy Herrera Headshot Circle

“Being a leader means more than holding a position of authority. It involves inspiring and guiding others toward a common goal, while fostering a positive and inclusive environment. A leader leads by example, displaying integrity, empathy, and resilience. Leaders must possess strong communication skills, listening actively and effectively while conveying the company’s vision and expectations. A leader empowers their team members, encouraging their growth and development, and recognizes and values their contributions. They make tough decisions, taking responsibility for the outcomes. A true leader inspires trust and confidence, builds strong relationships, and cultivates a culture of collaboration and excellence.”

—Amy Herrera, Collections Manager

“I am thankful for the opportunities I’ve had throughout my career at United Leasing & Finance. I am able to work with a great group of people, lead and assist with various process improvement projects, and help build our team into emerging leaders themselves. It’s exciting to be able to work on quality initiatives within the company to encourage growth not only for our employees but also for the business and its future. Being a leader at United Leasing & Finance has also taught me that it’s most important to support, teach, and encourage those around you.”

—Emily Kendrick, Controller

Emily Kendrick Headshot Circle
Shanta Khatri Headshot Circle

“I personally believe that every individual has leadership qualities in them which cultivate and flourish under the right atmosphere. I am grateful for the opportunities and growing atmosphere United Leasing & Finance has provided throughout my career to set me on the path for leadership. It has been a great learning experience to work with proven leaders and a group of individuals who cherish growth and have a great positive attitude. As a leader here at United Leasing & Finance, I hope to continue to learn, listen, and inspire the people around me to reach beyond their limitations.”

—Shanta Khatri, Treasury/Accounting Supervisor

“United Leasing & Finance is a wonderful organization that is instrumental in developing emerging talent into servant-leaders — a leadership model that is essential for the 21st Century. Leaders at United learn to lead collaboratively. They care about the people they lead and understand they must lead by example from the front. United invests in its leaders by providing training, mentoring, and experience. I have been blessed to have had the opportunity to fill a leadership role at United and greatly appreciate all that United has done to help me grow and advance in my career.”

—Debbie Lewis, Vice President of Operations

Debbie Lewis Headshot Circle
Tracy Liebert Headshot Circle

“Being a leader means more than just a title — it is our responsibility as leaders to support and achieve the objectives that are set before our team. We can influence and make changes that are necessary to achieve our company objectives and goals. Being a leader is a privilege and a continual learning process as well as an integral part of our companies’ successes.”

—Tracy Liebert, Senior Executive Assistant

“Leadership at United is more than being a boss. It is empowering others to be their best, mentoring them to achieve their goals, and leading quality initiatives and process improvement. Leadership is about making others better as a result of your leadership and applauding them when it is recognized.”

—Tristan Robinson, Documentation & Compliance Manager 

Tristan Robinson Headshot Circle
Laura Scheessele Headshot Circle

“Being a leader is more than a responsibility. It is an opportunity to share time, experiences, and wisdom with others, as a manager, as a mentor, or as a team member. I feel being in a leadership position here at United Leasing & Finance, as well as previous positions in my career, has allowed me to offer training, guidance, share knowledge and real work experiences, and set examples in order to build an environment that offers support, adaptability, continuous learning, and opportunities for growth and self-assurance. Being a leader is also an opportunity to encourage those around me and teach them along the way as we work together on this continuous learning and evolving journey within our career paths here at United.

—Laura Scheessele, Portfolio Manager

“Being a leader at United Leasing & Finance has allowed me the opportunity to work with an amazing group of people. As a leader, I have enjoyed supporting, encouraging, and collaborating with my colleagues. A good leader is one that is constantly growing and learning, and I am thankful for the opportunities that United Leasing & Finance has provided to do so.”

—Cindy Williamson, Sales Admin Manager

Cindy Williamson Headshot Circle

This American Business Women’s Day, as we reflect on the insights shared by our team members, it’s evident that leadership at United is not just about guiding employees or heading departments. It’s also about empowering each other, fostering growth, and building an inclusive community. Looking to the future, we remain committed to nurturing and elevating the next generation of American businesswomen.

About United Leasing & Finance

Founded in 1964, United Leasing & Finance is an independent direct lender committed to providing equipment financing solutions to businesses across the U.S. and Canada. Our experienced team of finance professionals shares a passion for helping businesses grow. We understand every business is unique, which is why we work closely with our clients to create custom financing solutions tailored to their specific needs. With almost 60 years of experience, we’ve built a reputation for being a trusted partner to businesses of all sizes, from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies. Partner with us to see how we can help your business grow.