Tony Lavender, the long-time vice president of client relations for GELCO (General Leasing Company) in the New York City area, passed away on Feb. 4, after a long illness. He was 86.
Lavender was born England and served as an engineer in the British Army. He and his wife, Mari, moved to the U.S. in the late 1950s.
Eventually, Lavender joined Lease Plan in New York as a client relations representative. At that time, Lavender joined a Lease Plan business unit owned by PepsiCo.
In the early 1970s, GELCO acquired Lease Plan from PepsiCo. Following the acquisition, Lavender was asked, along with several other LeasePlan employees, to join GELCO.
After joining GELCO, Lavender was based in GELCO's New York branch office, where he was responsible for many major accounts, such as Xerox, Philip Morris, Nestle, and Avon. During his career with GELCO, Lavender won many company awards for outstanding service. Tony was a colorful as his name; a New Yorker by choice and a Britisher by birth, his accent was real. This helped him become one of the most like and best-known people in the industry.
When GE Capital acquired GELCO in the late 1980s, Lavender stayed on and worked in the same capacity. He left GE in the early 1990s to join Avis Leasing, where he worked for several years before retiring with his wife to Florida.
By Mike Antich
Originally posted on Automotive Fleet