Nannette Bringard Named 2018 CMA Credit Executive of the Year

Congratulations to Nannette Bringard, Credit Manager for Breakthru Beverage, who was named 2018 CMA Credit Executive of the Year at CreditScape.

Nannette volunteers on the CMA Board of Directors as its treasurer, where she is an active participant in the meetings and in the future of CMA. She is active in two CMA credit groups, and always comes to meetings prepared, setting an example for other credit professionals. She has her entire staff engaged in CMA, active in anscers and/or the meetings and webinars. She regularly attends CMA-sponsored events and also encourages her staff to do so. She has been at Breakthru Beverage (formerly Wirtz Beverage) since 2002, and we are very lucky to have her participation in CMA.

Breakthru has been a CMA member company since 1991.

The CMA Credit Executive of the Year Award was presented during the Membership Meeting portion of the CreditScape Spring Summit in Garden Grove, CA on April 5, 2018.

Nannette Bringard, right, of Breakthru Beverage, was named 2018 CMA Credit Executive of the Year at the 2018 CreditScape Spring Summit

Rosa Moody and Ahern Rentals Named 2018 CMA Member of the Year

As a CMA staff member, we hope that companies can at least understand the benefits that CMA offers, from Credit Reporting services to Industry Credit Groups to lien filing and collections assistance. Rosa Moody, and her company Ahern Rentals, is the type of member that CMA hopes that every company could be: they participate in all CMA-sponsored events, they have evaluated and used nearly all of CMA’s services, they actively participate in CMA’s Industry Credit Groups, and Rosa has even personally trained and encouraged her entire staff to understand and fully use CMA services. Ahern Rentals has been a CMA member since 1999, and we’re honored to have them under our umbrella.

The 2018 CMA Member of the Year Award was presented during the Membership Meeting portion of the CreditScape Spring Summit in Garden Grove, CA on April 5, 2018.

Rosa Moody of Ahern Rentals, left, accepts the CMA Member of the Year Award from Tracy Rosenbach

CreditScape Spring Summit Helps Identify and Prepare For Change in Credit

The CreditScape Spring Summit, Powered by United TranzActions, helped attendees uncover areas in their company’s credit operations where they could help implement change in their credit operations to improve the performance of their department. The event was an interactive learning seminar and workshop, which took place April 4 and 5 at the Hyatt Regency Orange County.

Based on the preliminary results of the post-event survey, attendees said they were provided with dozens of ideas to bring back to the office.

“This is an excellent opportunity to evaluate best practices and learn how to implement within your credit and finance team,” said Melissa Kobus, Assistant Director of Credit for Walters Wholesale Electric.

With the common theme of “dealing with change in the credit department,” attendees commented that the sessions met or exceeded their expectations, with every attendee who responded to the survey commenting that they would likely recommend CreditScape to a colleague.

CreditScape gave attendees insights on using social media to track their delinquent customers, tips on automation and how robotic process integration (RPI) will change the credit function in the near future, customer terms pushback assistance, preference claims, customer service tips, credit card surcharge strategies, reading and understanding your customer’s financial data, and a lot more.

Thanks to the attendees, sponsors and CMA members for their support of the event, and we look forward to having you at the next one in 2019!

Here are some photos from the event:

Bob Shultz addresses the audience at the 2018 CreditScape Spring Summit, powered by United TranzActions.
Keynote speaker Joel Block talks about managing change with the audience.
What would an event be without a selfie with keynote speaker Joel Block?
Eddy Sumar gives tips on good customer service techniques during one of the breakout sessions at the event.
Popular speaker Christopher Ng, Esq., updates the audience on construction law changes in California.
CMA Chairman Gent Culver addresses the crowd at the membership luncheon at CreditScape.

Piece by Piece, Step by Step, by Joel Block

Goal setting is very difficult for many people, in part because they try to swallow the whole elephant all at one time. Sometimes goals are very easy to understand but for whatever reason, they’re very difficult, confusing, and sometimes seemingly impossible to achieve.

In the 1991 movie “What About Bob,” Dr. Leo Marvin wrote a book called “Baby Steps” and that pretty much summarizes the way that goals need to be achieved.

I travel frequently. Let’s say that I’m going to Florida. I don’t focus on going to Florida; I focus on the many steps that it takes to get to Florida. For example, first, I have to get in my car and make sure that the car has gas. Second, I have to get myself to the parking area at the airport. Then once at the parking area at the airport, I have to get myself onto the shuttle bus to the terminal. And once I’m at the terminal I have to get through security. And once I’m through security I get to the gate, board the plane, take my seat, change planes, whatever the next series of steps are. There might be 15 different steps, but when I travel I focus on doing one step at a time until I’ve arrived at my destination.

Business goals, educational goals, personal goals, and social goals all work the same way. Break them down into little pieces.

Sometimes it’s easier to understand sports than it is to understand real life, because sports are so definable. The rules are so clear and well understood. Any game or sporting event is easy to follow if you understand the rules. Everyone on the field understands the rules, and everyone in the stadium understands them too, and for those reasons, everyone knows when a player is making the right move, the wrong move, or if he is completely off course. But somehow in our life, setting goals just doesn’t work the same way.

We have to get in the habit of breaking big and seemingly impossible goals into bite size pieces. For example, writing a book is not a book, it’s a series of chapters. Or maybe the focus shouldn’t be on the whole chapter but rather on a number of pages or a series of paragraphs. And maybe those paragraphs follow a series of outlines that require some research.

One way or the other, you have to ask yourself, “What are the pieces that will eventually get me to the place I want to go?” By asking that critical question, you will eventually get yourself to the goal line. It’s very tough to get through the Red Zone to the goal line. The first 80 yards are pretty easy, but once you get into the Red Zone, those last 20 yards, the field is short, players are on their guard and there just isn’t a lot of margin for error. The Red Zone is where most of the fumbles take place but it’s also where the points are made.

Taking the ball 90% of the way down the field isn’t good enough because you don’t get any points for 90%. You have to cross the goal line. You have to identify your goals, you have to understand the objectives, and you have to really be clear about what it is you want to do and why you want to do it. When you understand what the outcome is going to be and what the reward is to you when the job is done, it gets a lot easier to plan the work and break the job into lots of little pieces.

We’re all doing more with less these days. As the organization changes, how can credit professionals create meaningful goals despite internal and external changes that are beyond their control? How can credit professionals proactively bring change to their organizations by changing process and policies to increase cash flow? How do you create a credit culture where people think about doing business differently and are purposeful about making and accepting change that they believe will make a positive difference? Attending CreditScape will help arm you with tools to do your job better. Visit CreditScapeConference.com for more information. I hope to meet you there.

Joel Block is a business advisor and long-time venture capitalist and hedge fund manager (gobbledygook for “professional investor”) who is based in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles. He will speak on Managing Change in Your Credit Department at CMA’s Spring CreditScape Summit on April 4-5, 2018. For more information about the event, visit www.CreditScapeConference.com.

Predicting the Future, by Joel Block

Did you ever notice how some people always know when the light is going to turn green while sitting at a red stoplight? Do you think maybe that they are looking side-to-side for the predictor about when the green light is going to turn red going in a cross direction? The same in business, there are some people who just are more in touch with signals and signs that point to trends and activities that are about to take place.

Driving is a great example of being predictive and looking for signs that indicate trouble or that help to change your strategy. There are clear rules in driving. One should stay a certain distance from another car in driving. However, sometimes cars do not apply their brakes evenly and they will jerk on their brakes a lot like in business sometimes people do not do things in the smartest way. When you are behind that kind of driver, maybe the best strategy is to look at brake lights of a car ahead of him so you can get a sense of when the slowdowns are coming. Business people need to develop signs of their own that are similar to the kinds of signs that drivers work toward or use. Similarly, traffic signals and the way that you can predict when a light is going to turn red based on the yellow or when a light is going to turn green based on the crossing red. What are the signs you are looking for?

When you come to CreditScape, I’ll be talking about some of these predictors in helping you navigate a changing business environment. With more metrics than ever before available, and the adage of “doing more with less in credit” becoming a reality for most businesses, attending an event like CreditScape will help arm you with tools to do your job better. Visit www.CreditScapeConference.com for more information. I hope to meet you there.

Joel Block is a consultant and long-time venture capitalist and hedge fund manager (gobbledygook for “professional investor”) who is based in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles. He will speak on Managing Change in Your Credit Deparment at CMA’s Spring CreditScape Summit on April 4-5, 2018. For more information about the event, visit www.CreditScapeConference.com.

Sometimes, You Have to Get On an Airplane, by Joel Block

Unfortunately, we can’t accomplish everything by telephone, email, webinar, TeleSeminar, text or Skype. There was a great United Airlines TV commercial in the 1990’s with a CEO passing out airline tickets to his team telling them to get “face to face” with the customers once in a while.

Some years ago, I found myself in a similar situation, up against such a frustrating problem, that I finally got on an airplane to go and solve the problem in person. The result was shocking, and fast.

I started my career in the CPA business in the mid 1980s, when I worked for PriceWaterhouse (now called PwC). The last account I worked on at PwC was a giant syndicator. My job, with an army of other guys, was to convert the books and records of over 500 partnerships into tax returns. The accounting was horrible and the tax work was tedious but I loved reading the partnership agreements. So I left the firm and went straight into real estate syndication but along the way, I became a CPA in Colorado but I gave up my license after 10 years because I didn’t practice accounting anymore.

At one point in time, it became advantageous for me to reactivate my CPA license. As an Expert Witness, having a CPA license adds to my credibility.

Even though I worked for PwC 25 years ago, the HR department sent a letter to the California State Board of Accountancy indicating that I did work for the firm, but the CPAs at the firm who I worked for have all either left or by now, retired. Therefore, no one could vouch for the work I did. Unfortunately, the State Board of Accountancy wanted a CPA to sign off on my hours worked at the firm.

I was unable to get a CPA at PwC vouch for me and the State Board of Accountancy wouldn’t budge. This went on for over two years and I couldn’t bring it to resolution although there was one woman at the State Board that been overseeing my case and the back and forth of our discussions.

One day I had enough and I decided the only way to break the log jam was to get on an airplane, go to Sacramento and physically show up at the offices of the State Board of Accountancy. I didn’t have an appointment but I knew they were open.

When I arrived in Sacramento, I called the State Board of Accountancy. As expected, the person that I had been dealing with was in the office. Not having an appointment would normally be a terrible idea but showing up unannounced seemed like a better tactic in this situation. So I showed up.

I explained the problem to her in person one last time – that no CPA at PwC would sign off on my hours, but their HR Department had done so, and it just didn’t seem reasonable that I should be penalized because I wasn’t able to find a CPA willing to sign off on my hours.

When I explained the situation in person, it seemed to make more sense to the woman who was working with me. Maybe she was more focused on the problem because I was standing in front of her. She went and got her manager who ran the initial licensing unit, and after I explained my story to her, it wasn’t five minutes before she signed her name on an approval slip and attached it to my file. A problem that I had been working on for over two years was resolved in less than 15 minutes.

There’s a big lesson here. Sometimes you have to just get on an airplane and deal with the problem head-on and face-to-face. If you don’t do that, sometimes you’ll drown in your problems for years on end. If you deal with people that are far away or if you sometimes get in the habit of talking to people only by telephone or other electronic media, you’re missing the boat. Sometimes you just have to change things up, get on an airplane, and go make it happen. It worked for me. Maybe this advice will help you.

When you come to CreditScape, I’ll be talking about change, including changing your mindset about how you do your job and approach credit. As the credit profession (and the whole world, for that matter) has changed with technology, attending an event like CreditScape will help arm you with tools to do your job better. Visit www.CreditScapeConference.com for more information. I hope to meet you there.

Joel Block is a business advisor and long-time venture capitalist and hedge fund manager (gobbledygook for “professional investor”) who is based in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles. He will speak on Managing Change in Your Credit Department at CMA’s Spring CreditScape Summit on April 4-5, 2018. For more information about the event, visit www.CreditScapeConference.com.

How CreditScape Can Help You Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions, by Gent Culver, ICCE

As a seasoned credit professional of more than 30 years, I have never seen so many changes in my career as I have in the past few years. From electronic payments and credit cards, to fairly consistent paying customers changing their own terms, to expanding markets and doing more with less, change is something that’s been happening at a much more frequent rate. How you deal with these changes can really make or break your company’s credit department, its cash flow, and ultimately your career.

Now that we have all made our “New Year’s resolutions,” and a month has come and gone since we made them, I urge you to make sure you don’t drop the ball on your personal and professional goals.

Maybe you would like to improve your own personal skill set and the overall skillsets within your organization. Or perhaps you want your team to get up-to-date with the latest credit training / information in the marketplace. For me, as I plan for 2018, I look at ways to improve our credit department and include them in my budgeting process. I urge you to please take some time to review the latest CMA CreditScape Spring Summit information. By attending the two days of workshop training, I believe that it will propel you and your department to the next level.

What will be covered this spring…“Dealing with Change Management.”

Here are a few of the items that stood out to me:

  • All Levels of Expertise Welcome – Good for beginners to experts in your departments. With 14 sessions, there is something in there for everyone, including customer service skills, stress management, and financial statement analysis.
  • Skills for the credit manager of 2022 – What should credit professionals be doing now to make sure they’re ahead of the curve in 5 years, and what skills should they already have.
  • Customers who change their own terms – With an increasing number of companies trying to dictate their own terms, what can, and should, credit professionals do?
  • Changing existing processes through automation.
  • Managing change within and outside of your company.
  • Getting a “seat at the table” with upper management.
  • …and a lot more.

Plus, the discussions are led by practitioners, not marketing people, to provide you with tangible results to bring back to the office.

In an environment where a credit professional’s time is at a premium, we hope to have your support and attendance to help “prove” that CMA is doing what’s best to help your company’s credit department.

I hope you have a great year and are able to reach your personal and professional credit goals. Please remember that CMA is here to help.

Thanks for reading!

Nominations for 2018-2019 CMA Board of Directors Now Being Accepted

The CMA Nominating Committee is now accepting nominations and applications for service on the 2018-2019 Board of Directors. If you would like to nominate a candidate for service, or you are interested in applying for a Director position directly, please complete a Candidate Nomination or Application form and return it to CMA by February 1, 2018.

Click here to download the forms and for more information.

Save the Date: Credit Management Association Announces CreditScape Spring Summit and Annual Meeting

— Education Summit will focus on Change Management April 4-5, 2018 in Anaheim, CA–

 

Glendale, CA (June 27, 2017) – Credit Management Association (CMA) has announced plans for a Spring CreditScape Summit and Annual Meeting, a two-day event which will feature educational content that addresses how your company and credit operations can manage change in these turbulent business times. The event follows up several successful and highly-rated CreditScapes in Southern California, Las Vegas and Sonoma.

The CreditScape Spring Summit and Annual Meeting, taking place April 4-5, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Anaheim, CA, will feature workshop exercises, peer panel discussions, expert practical advice, and networking with other credit professionals.

“CreditScape was born out of feedback from members who asked us for help with making their business processes more efficient. Survey results showed us that members learned a lot from subject matter experts and seasoned credit professionals sharing their experiences through discussions and interactive workshops. We plan to take that feedback and build a strong, expanded program for next Spring,” said CMA President and CEO Mike Mitchell.

“We’ve been listening to feedback from the past event surveys, from conversations with members, and in our Group meetings recently. In these turbulent business times of consolidation, automation and reorganization, the theme we heard most often is that companies are always looking for ways to deal with change. We are currently developing content around that overall theme,” Mitchell added. “We will continue to strive for a unique learning and networking experience that incorporates the latest techniques in content delivery for adult learners. Our goal is to create a thought-provoking and practical meeting experience that produces valuable take-aways and sustained value for participants and their finance and credit departments.”

Senior-level credit executives will be invited to attend the Credit Executives Symposium on April 3, the day before CreditScape begins, at the Hyatt Regency Anaheim. The one-day event offers a roundtable discussion of high-level business issues and trends, best-practices and tips on valuable resources, facilitated by veteran credit executives.

CreditScape Summits are offered in the Spring, focusing on different aspects of the Credit Management landscape. It is one in a series of in-person educational opportunities offered by Credit Management Association. To learn more about the other sessions and topics, visit www.creditmanagementassociation.org/events or call 800-541-2622.

About Credit Management Association

Credit Management Association (CMA), which was founded in 1883, is a Glendale, Calif.-headquartered trade association with approximately 1,100 member companies representing over 250 different business categories selling regionally, nationally and internationally. CMA focuses on providing products and services that allow companies to make informed business decisions based on trade credit. CMA is one of the largest affiliates of the National Association of Credit Management (NACM), whose 33 affiliates serve all of North America. For more information, call 800-541-2622, or visit www.creditmanagementassociation.org.

# # #

Media Information:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 27, 2017

Contact: Alan Dicker
323-573-0840
adicker@emailcma.org

CMA Elects New Board of Directors Members for 2017-2018

Congratulations to new CMA Board of Directors Members, whose term with CMA began on May 1.

The new directors are:

  • Kim Howard, Cemex
  • Mark Speiser, Unified Grocers Inc.
  • Janet King, Joseph T. Ryerson & Sons

Additionally, following is a current list of CMA’s Board of Directors members.

Gent Culver, ICCE (Chair), IGT
Pam Craik, CCE (Vice Chair), McKesson Drug
Matt Johnston (Treasurer), United Site Services
Tracy Rosenbach, CCE (Counselor), Silgan Containers LLC
James M. Bradley, Reliance Steel Company
TJ Nance, Walters Wholesale Electric Co.
Alvin Moreno, MBA, Nestle USA Inc.
Sherry Raposo, VSS International Inc.
Nannette Bringard, Breakthru Beverage Nevada
Tim Cratty, Jackson Family Wines
Kim Howard, Cemex
Mark Speiser, Unified Grocers Inc.
Janet King, Joseph T. Ryerson & Sons
Alternates

Brian Atteberry, BSH
Joe Lucas
Hector Benitez, CBF, Equinix
Advisors

Darrell Horton, CICP, Aristocrat Technologies, Inc.
Melissa Kobus, CCE, Walters Wholesale Electric Co.

Special Advisors

Chuck Schultz, Interface Financial Group
Robert Shultz, Quote to Cash Solutions LLC (Q2C)