Tom Nord Retiring as Willis Lease Finance General Counsel; Dean Poulakidas Promoted to Executive Team

NOVATO, Calif., March 5, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Willis Lease Finance Corporation (Nasdaq:WLFC), a leading lessor of commercial jet engines, today announced that Tom Nord, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, will be retiring on March 31, 2013. Dean Poulakidas, currently Senior Counsel for Willis Lease, will succeed Nord as General Counsel.

"Tom has served as our general counsel for nearly ten years, and we have benefited greatly from his knowledge and advice," said Charles F. Willis, Chairman and CEO. "Among other accomplishments, during Tom's tenure he helped facilitate all of our major financings, including the two WEST securitizations, a preferred stock offering and multiple expansions of our revolving credit facilities. We thank him for his many years of service and wish him a long and leisurely retirement. 

"We are looking forward to Dean Poulakidas stepping into the role of General Counsel for us," continued Willis. "In the year and a half that Dean has been with us, he has impressed us with his involvement in a wide range of situations. He has traveled extensively to facilitate various transactions for us. We expect him to add significant value to our ability to pursue business opportunities globally and continue refining our capital structure."

Prior to joining Willis Lease in September 2011, Poulakidas was Vice President and Corporate Counsel with International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC), where he managed a wide variety of aviation transactions working with airlines, OEMs, purchasers, financiers, service providers and aviation authorities in many jurisdictions around the world.  Prior to ILFC, he was a Senior Associate with the Corporate, Securities and Financial Institutions Practice Group of Pillsbury Madison & Sutro where his transactional experience included Latin American, European, and Asian joint ventures, as well as international and domestic mergers and acquisitions. 

Poulakidas earned his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Los Angeles, his masters from Columbia University and his law degree from the University of California's Hastings College of Law in San Francisco. 

About Willis Lease Finance

Willis Lease Finance Corporation leases spare commercial aircraft engines, APU's and aircraft to commercial airlines, aircraft engine manufacturers, air cargo carriers and maintenance, repair and overhaul facilities worldwide. These leasing activities are integrated with the purchase and resale of used and refurbished commercial aircraft and engines.
 

CONTACT: Brad Forsyth
         Chief Financial Officer
         (415) 408-4700