The personality of a closely held company is largely defined by its leader. Fred Summers is defined by energy, enthusiasm and perseverance. Everything VFG is today is the direct result of Fred’s leadership and vision.
Prior to starting VFG, Fred served in the equipment leasing & finance industry with a number of prominent companies including Capital Associates, Joy Finance, Banc Boston Leasing, GE Capital, and American Financial. Always a top performer, Fred attributes much of his success to following advice he received from his father many years ago.
“My parents never had a formal education. My dad worked on the railroad in Tennessee and Ohio. I’ll never forget the advice my dad gave to me and my brothers while we were growing up. He simply said, ‘Work hard and always do what you say you will do.'”
Whether he is helping customers grow their businesses or celebrating when his employees reap financial rewards to share with their families, Fred’s passion is helping others to be successful. “The measure of my own personal success is in direct proportion to how well our employees can provide for their own families. I’m reminded of my blessings when I witness our employees and associates comfortably caring for their own families. It is fulfilling for me to see our team grow both personally and professionally.” When asked what specific attributes he looks for in potential employees, Fred doesn’t hesitate to answer: “I want the people who represent Vision Financial to out-respond the competition. I’m looking for people that do exactly what they say they will do. I’m impressed with individuals who aren’t afraid to embrace a challenge and take ownership of any situation – both good and bad. We don’t sell a tangible product. Our success stems directly from our ability to deliver the extra effort and value to the customer over and above a lease rate.”
A leader’s effectiveness is measured by what the team accomplishes. When asked to describe Fred, comments from the “Vision Family” include:
“Fred’s ‘can do’ attitude is contagious and sets the pulse to our business.”
“It’s refreshing to work for a company and owner who care about me and my family.”
Outside of business, Fred’s favorite activities are golf and singing to his grandchildren “since nobody else will listen.” (Which may have something to do with the fact that Fred was once “respectively asked” to resign from his church’s choir.)
Fred has been married to Babs, his high school sweetheart, for over 50 years. Their three children gifted them with six grandchildren. Fred is an avid sports fan. His favorite teams are the Pitt Panthers, Georgia Bulldogs, and Pittsburgh Penguins. He enjoys traveling and developing friendships (often over golf, sports or Italian food). Fred serves on his church’s Building and Fundraising Committees.
Fred served a three-year term (2007-2010) on the Board of Directors for the Equipment Leasing & Finance Association.