ORLANDO, Fla. (August 10, 2021) – Robert M. Steenbergh, founder and CEO of AutoPayPlus by US Equity Advantage, has been named one of the 2021 CEOs of the Year by Orlando Business Journal. The annual program recognizes the highest-level company executives in Central Florida who have had significant achievements in their careers in the past year, have a strong record of innovation, outstanding performance in their work, and are actively involved in the community.
Under Steenbergh’s leadership, AutoPayPlus has become a recognized leader and innovator in the automotive finance industry. Since 2003, the automated biweekly and early loan payoff service has enrolled more than 250,000 members and processed more than $5.65 billion in loan payments. A privately-held company with a 12% compounded annual growth rate (CAGR), AutoPayPlus currently has 68 employees, 29 of whom were hired with in the last 12 months, representing a 75% growth rate in the middle of a pandemic.
Like many CEOs, COVID-19 was, by far, Steenbergh’s most significant challenge over the past 12 months. His response management included:
- Activating the company’s robust business continuity plan, beginning with shifting all 68 team members to remote-work nearly overnight.
- Confronting the pandemic’s increasing cybersecurity risks head-on by directing the company’s chief technology officer to implement more robust security measures and safeguards, including enhancing AutoPayPlus’ cybersecurity policy to incorporate best practices in the areas of employee education and training, securing and monitoring network operations, and continuously auditing, testing and improving its procedures.
- Implementing an empathetic initiative early in the pandemic to help customers weather unexpected economic hardships by randomly selecting customers to receive $250 gift cards.
In the past year, Steenbergh also negotiated a sponsor bank relationship with a federally chartered and FDIC-insured financial institution whose ACH services allowed auto dealerships nationwide to offer the company’s accelerated loan payment service. The following month, AutoPayPlus set a single-month enrollment record for its 17-year history.
Steenbergh was nominated by AutoPayPlus Director of Card Services Robin McWatters who has worked alongside Steenbergh for 26 years, calling him a pioneering, passionate and principled CEO, beloved by his staff and humbly worthy of recognition. “Since 1997, Robert has been a groundbreaker in automotive financing, driving innovations that have made AutoPayPlus the nation’s leading provider of biweekly loan processing for the automotive industry,” she said. “In my book, innovation is his #1 quality. From our early days together until now, he is always looking ahead for new and outside-the-box opportunities to improve his companies and their market penetration.”
About AutoPayPlus by US Equity Advantage
Headquartered in Orlando, Florida, AutoPayPlus is an industry leader in automated biweekly and early loan payoff services for automotive, RV, boat, home and student loans. A seven-time Dealers Choice Diamond Award-winning biweekly loan payment service, AutoPayPlus helps members budget better by matching their loan payments to how they are paid; all while offering them credit protection and avoiding late payment fees. The company also offers dealerships AutoPay+PERKS, an industry-first fintech solution for increasing profits from customer-pay service and boosting customer retention by combining the company’s biweekly loan payment service with the added advantage of a Mastercard debit card at no additional cost to the customer or dealer. For more information, visit www.AutoPayPlus.com.