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 60 hard working, dedicated employees and has built strong relationships with multiple lenders and industry partners.


ABOUT US – Employee Bios

Lorraine Mariotti
  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.

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Jared Zimlin
  Business Development Director

Jared has been with Priority One since 2000. He started as a dealer account executive and then advanced to a national sales manager. Jared is currently Priority One’s business development director and seeks avenues through which to bring financing options to recreational and commercial dealers and their customers. Deeply committed to the growth of the industry, Jared has conceived, created and implemented many profitable programs to assist dealers nationwide with their financing needs. Jared initiated the equipment financing department within Priority One that assists dealers of buses, trucks, trailers and other commercial equipment with their financing and leasing needs.

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Nicole Armstrong
  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.

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Thomas Newell
  Dealer Account Executive

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.

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Rob Auer
  Business Manager

In 2008 Rob joined Priority One and during his tenure Rob has worked in several departments including sales, retail financing, specialty financing and is currently a senior business manager plus works in our equipment financing department part-time. His extensive knowledge in all facets of financing, subprime deals and product sales are key components in assisting dealerships at all levels from deposit to delivery. Rob was also instrumental in developing exclusive RV programs for Priority One where his duties included communicating with lenders, gathering marketing information and feedback on dealership and customer needs and evaluating market data. Prior to Priority One, Rob ran his own mortgage business and was responsible for managing and training employees as well as developing many partnerships with business members. Outside of work Rob enjoys spending time with his wife and young daughter.

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John Gissal
  Business Manager

Fast paced and a quick learner, John is not one to sit still for long. Having been in the financial industry since 2002 as a licensed mortgage broker and real estate agent and with Priority One since 2011 as a business manager in our retail financing department, John now spends part of his days helping with our new equipment financing department.His love of working with dealers and customers and experience as a persistent, results-driven sales executive will benefit your dealership and increase revenue growth.

His customer service skills are exceptional and in 2012 he won Priority One’s prestigious Dealer’s Choice award for going above and beyond his duties. Off-duty John is an avid road cyclist and racer and promotes a training race series in Tampa. He also enjoys golfing when time permits.

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Heather Mariscal
  President

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.

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Jeff Wyatt
  CFO

Jeff Wyatt has been in the F&I industry since 2009. Prior to joining Priority One, Wyatt owned and operated a home building company with residential and commercial projects throughout the gulf coast of Florida. He has also served for over 15 years as a Controller and Vice President of Finance for some of the nation’s largest homebuilders, including Lennar, Mercedes and Lexington Homes where he was responsible for all aspects of financial reporting and cost control.

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Mark Siler
  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.

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