Bill Stephenson inducted into Florida State University College of Business 2016 Hall of Fame

Apr 01, 2016

Tallahassee, FL - Bill Stephenson, who made history by becoming the first non-Dutch national to lead De Lage Landen International B.V. (DLL), a global provider of asset-based financing, was inducted into the 2016 College of Business Hall of Fame on March 31.

DLL’s CEO, chairman of its Executive Board and a 1982 management graduate, was among four business leaders recognized for their professional accomplishments and community contributions at the 14th Annual Hall of Fame Dinner and Ceremony at the Florida State Turnbull Conference Center. Since 2003, the college has honored 39 alumni who embody the qualities that the College of Business strives to instill in its students:  integrity, respect, innovation, excellence and leadership. They have excelled in their careers and made significant contributions to the college and their professions.

“Not only has Bill had a remarkable career, but he also has distinguished himself as a philanthropist and a loyal and generous supporter of FSU and the College of Business,” said Michael Hartline, the college’s interim dean. “Successful graduates like Bill enhance the reputation of the university and the college. We are proud of him and pleased to recognize him as a member of our Hall of Fame."

Not only has Bill had a remarkable career, but he also has distinguished himself as a philanthropist and a loyal and generous supporter of FSU and the College of Business. "

Since joining DLL in 1987, Stephenson has served in several key leadership positions and played an integral role in the emergence of DLL as a global market leader within the vendor finance and equipment leasing industry. Prior to being appointed as CEO, Stephenson was DLL’s chief commercial officer and a member of the executive board, responsible for the overall activities of the Global Vendor Finance Business, which includes offices in more than 35 countries within Europe, The Americas, Asia and Australia. Due in large part to his commercial leadership, the company has grown its managed portfolio to more than $40 billion.

In the fall of 2015, Stephenson received Leasing Life’s 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to building and shaping the international leasing industry. He was also appointed chairman of the Board of Directors of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA). Stephenson serves on ELFA’s Executive and Personnel committees and is a former member of ELFA’s Small Ticket Business Council Steering Committee, Audit Committee, Investment Committee and the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation’s Board of Trustees.

Stephenson also is a tireless advocate of corporate social responsibility. He was honored as Philadelphia’s Philanthropic CEO of the Year for his leadership, devotion and commitment to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants wishes for children with life-threatening medical illnesses. He has helped raise more than $3 million for the nonprofit since 2002 through DLL. In 2012, he also served as chairman of the organization.

He is an avid supporter of FSU, both financially and with his time. Stephenson is a Platinum Chief scholarship contributor to Seminole Boosters, which supports FSU’s student athletes, and a lifetime member of the FSU Alumni Association. He also endowed the Linebacker Scholarship for an FSU football player and was a major contributor to the Bobby Bowden legacy campaign and the iconic Osceola statue at Doak Campbell Stadium. In addition to earning his bachelor’s degree from FSU, Stephenson also is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.

The three other College of Business alumni who were honored at the Hall of Fame event are:

  • Nan Hillis, retired bank executive, who graduated in 1976 with a degree in marketing and finance.
  • J. Robert “Bobby” Jones, retired partner at Bluff Point, who graduated in 1975 with a degree in accounting and finance.
  • John Thrasher, 15th president of Florida State University, who earned a degree in business administration in 1965 and a juris doctorate in 1972.

Kelly Furia

Regional Communications Manager, Americas

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