ABOUT US – Our History
In 1987, out of a home office and one phone and fax machine, Lisa Gladstone created a concept that would change F&I (finance and insurance) forever. She called it “F&I outsourcing,” and a company called Priority One Financial Services was born.
In the beginning, Priority One operated strictly in the marine industry — providing F&I services to dealers by taking the place of an expensive in-house F&I manager. Dealers no longer had to handle F&I themselves or throw it to an untrained and inexperienced sales person or office manager. The original idea expanded through the years to include all types of recreational dealerships, and in 2007 Priority One was acquired by Forest River, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc.
Continuing to grow and expand their service offerings, in 2010, Priority One now provides services for hundreds of recreational, commercial and municipal dealerships across the country. Their current dealer portfolio includes marine, RV, bus, trailer, truck slide-ins and more.
Now lead by president, Heather Mariscal, Priority One is located in St. Petersburg, Florida and employs over 70 hard working, dedicated employees and has built strong relationships with multiple lenders and industry partners.
ABOUT US – Employee Bios
Commercial Finance Manager
Tom is no stranger to Priority One as he started here as a retail business manager and is currently a dealer account executive and part-time equipment finance manager. Tom’s 25 years of experience in the recreational industry and knowledge of retail and commercial financing provides one-stop service for your dealership and provides your customers the finance package of their specific needs. In his free time he likes to spend time with his two children, boat racing, camping, flying and cheering on the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Heather started her career at Priority One in 2003 and served as vice president of operations before becoming president in 2009. In her time as president, she helped navigate the company through the most significant economic downturn of recent time, has grown employment opportunities within the company by 13.5%, oversaw the development of numerous new services and benefits to the dealer base including the creation of a specialized specialty finance department and expanded the companies offerings to include an equipment finance division.
She has been recognized as one of Southern Business Leader’s Women Extraordinaire as well as one of Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Businesswomen of the Year. Under her leadership the company has been recognized three times as a top workplace in both the Tampa Bay area and within the State of Florida.
She, her husband, two young sons and two dogs enjoy kayaking, paddle boarding, and hiking.
Vice President of Sales & Marketing
Nicole’s has over 15 years of marketing, managing, sales, human resources and project management knowledge. These skills have allowed her to quickly move up the corporate ladder from national sales manager to director of sales and marketing to her current position of vice president of sales and marketing. Throughout her career at Priority One she has helped work with dealers nationwide and helped launch new finance programs and services in new markets including the equipment finance division. Her energy, motivational skills and exceptional leadership abilities drive her team to do their best every day and her extensive past experience and continuing education ensure that our dealer partnerships exceed expectations.
Vice President of Finance
David oversees all aspects of the company's finance function, including financial management, performance analysis, and internal controls and compliance and works closely with the management team in formulating the strategic direction of the company. His prior experience includes time as dealership controller at Mercedes-Benz of Tampa, assistant controller at MarineMax, and internal audit at Asbury Automotive Group. Additionally, he has held finance and accounting positions in the telecommunications and manufacturing industries. His broad depth of accounting, finance, and audit experience has cultivated an attention to detail and quality assurance that are assets to all Priority One stakeholders. He received his MBA and Accounting degrees from the University of Florida and is a Florida CPA. When not at work, he enjoys being outdoors and spending time with his family and friends.
Vice President of Lending
Lorraine has over 30 years of F&I experience with 20 of those years in recreational lending. She has built relationships with the largest recreational and equipment lenders and vendors in the country and has financed customers from $5,000 to multi-million dollar units. She has spoken at several RVDA conventions as well as authored many articles concerning consumer financing. Lorraine enjoys helping dealers and their customers meet their finance goals as to their new purchases.
Vice President of Technology
Mark graduated from University of South Florida in Management Information Systems and started his career as a programmer writing applications to perform advanced spectral analysis for a predictive maintenance company. He then moved on to head-up the software development and network operations of a national medical billing company. Mark joined the Priority One team in 2003 and has initiated and led the design team behind the creation of our propriety dealer resource center (DRC).
When not at work, Mark enjoys spending time with his daughter, photography, and many outdoor activities including kayaking and stand up paddle boarding.
Commercial Finance Manager
Karin brings more than 15 years of experience in the equipment finance industry and understands that partnerships with customers and teammates lead to loyalty and long lasting relationships, thus increasing revenue. Karin is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor degree in Marketing and also received an Associate degree in Accounting Principles from St. Petersburg College. She moved to St. Petersburg, Florida from Pittsburgh, PA in 1999. She is a past finisher of Ironman Florida and enjoys the many water sports and activities that living in St. Petersburg offers.