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Contact: Karen Klugh
Virginia Beach Executive Receives Financial Services Industry Award
WASHINGTON, April 23, 2012Nathan Benson, chief executive officer of Tidewater Finance Company in Virginia Beach, was recently honored with the American Financial Services Association (AFSA)’s Outstanding Independent Award.
The Outstanding Independent Award is given to an individual who has contributed significantly to the success of the financial services industry and the AFSA Independents Section (for independently owned and operated consumer finance companies) through active involvement and participation in the community and the association. Benson received the award during the opening session of AFSA’s 29th Annual Independents Conference & Exposition, held April 18-20 in San Diego.
Benson started Tidewater Finance Company in 1992. Since that time, the company has grown to 300 employees and an outstanding receivable base of over $200 million.
A member of AFSA since 1996, Benson has held various leadership positions in the association. Previously, he served as chairman of the Independents Section Advisory Board, and today he is a member of the AFSA Board of Directors, Executive Committee, and Vehicle Finance Board. He recently spearheaded the formation of the Independent Auto Finance Executives Group. In 2007, Benson received AFSA’s Distinguished Service Award, which is given to individuals who have contributed significantly to the industry and the association’s growth on a national level, advanced its mission and objectives, and raised its image. 
Benson began his career in the financial services industry in 1977. After completing his undergraduate studies at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, he joined accounting firm Rosenberg, Shulman & Gordon before relocating with his family to the United States. For the first two years he was in the country, Benson worked at a CPA firm in Virginia Beach, and then joined L.M. Sandler & Sons as chief executive officer.
Benson is also involved in charity work, serving as chairman of an annual golf tournament in honor of Sam and Reba Sandler that has raised more than $1,000,000 for funding a summer camp for autistic children and the Holocaust Commission of Tidewater.
Based in Washington, D.C., AFSA (www.afsaonline.org) is the national trade association for the consumer credit industry, protecting access to credit and consumer choice. Its 350 members include consumer and commercial finance companies, auto finance/leasing companies, mortgage lenders, credit card issuers, industrial banks and industry suppliers.
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