Over the course of her career, Martha Ahlers has worked within all facets of the finance industry, recognizing that her early experiences with consumer and commercial buying and collections were invaluable. As she became more familiar with the equipment finance customer base and value proposition, she moved on to sales, which is where she ultimately found her passion. She is most proud of her engagement with customers and her ability to grow deeper relationships with them, believing this has helped contribute to her path to leadership. 

Over the past ten years as president of United Leasing & Finance, Ahlers has focused on innovation and process improvements within the company, streamlining workflow and ease of use for customers. Proud of her team’s accomplishments, she hopes part of her legacy at United will include her influence with customers and concentration on growth and innovation. 

“Along with her peer group of outstanding executives, Martha consistently delivers business results while demonstrating leadership, integrity and work ethic. Where she is in a class by herself is her ability to fully engage customers from all walks of life. By her own behaviors, Martha is the ultimate role model which has ensured customer relationships are the focal point of the ULF culture,” says Dick Lynch, chief people officer, United Companies. “Under her leadership, the ULF workforce has become family. Both long standing and new employees know they can count on Martha to mentor and develop them, and the result is a culture of trust and engagement.”

Ahlers has spent the past nine years on the ELFA board of directors, where she is currently serving as chair. She has also served on several nonprofit boards, but at present finds it more rewarding to make a deeper, personal connection within those agencies. She is proud to give back by talking with abused women about finding the strength to move forward, serving lunch at a local daycare or volunteering to mentor young women both within and outside United. 

“Making a difference by interacting directly with those you are trying to help seems to be the most meaningful way I can connect with our community,” Ahlers reflects.