Meet CMA Board of Directors Member Melissa Kobus

CMA Board of Directors Member Melissa Kobus of Walters Wholesale Electric

Melissa Kobus, CCE, the Assistant Director of Credit for Walters Wholesale Electric in Signal Hill, CA, is our favorite type of member. CMA’s 2018 Mentor of the Year, Kobus is a huge supporter of CMA, having been on the CMA Board of Directors since 2008, serving in several roles including Chairman and Advisor. On the Board and in her credit group, she is a great leader, setting an example for others. Her fellow Board members have described her as having a huge heart, always thinking of others first, full of helpful knowledge, as she visibly goes out of her way to help and answer questions or find information. She also participates in nearly all CMA events.

Kobus says that industry credit group membership with CMA is the benefit her company most uses. “The connection with other industry members has saved our company money, we avoid a potential bad credit decision,” she said.

“My first industry credit group meeting in Northern CA was challenging. There were so many people who had been attending that meeting for a long time that it was a little intimidating. Their confidence and experience pushed me to grow and become more involved. I became a group chair and started taking CMA’s education classes. Today, I encourage others to participate fully in the industry group meeting and reach for their goals.”

“To me, the biggest challenge in credit today is finding good credit managers. I’m thankful that I have CMA to help me put together a network of credit managers in my industry who I have created relationships with and that I regularly call on both professionally and personally,” she said.

While her profession causes her to sometimes travel locally doing customer visits, Kobus and her husband enjoy travelling internationally as much as possible. “Some of the best places I’ve been have included Paris, Lucerne, Budapest and Vienna.” She’s also a fan of the TV show Game of Thrones. “I binged watched the first 6 seasons in 2 weeks and became hooked. Not sure that I can wait until next year for the 8th season,” she added.

Kobus has this advice for younger credit professionals: “When in doubt, DO SOMETHING. It’s become a popular phrase, but it is so true.”

We appreciate Kobus’s great and can-do attitude, and we hope you get to meet Kobus at an upcoming CMA event.

Meet CMA Board of Directors Member Janet King of Joseph T. Ryerson & Co.

Janet King is the Credit Supervisor, North/West Region for Joseph T. Ryerson and Sons, and is a member of the CMA Board of Directors. A 25+ year credit veteran (and a 25+ year member of CMA), King knows the value of her CMA membership: priceless. “For me, I use CMA for the anscers.com website, industry credit groups and support. anscers is a beneficial tool that our group uses on a daily basis. It is the best source out there to get information regarding customers.”

In addition to actively participating in CMA’s groups, King encourages her team to attend CreditScape and the Credit Executive Symposium, and attends herself. “Attending CreditScape each year is beneficial, providing a great opportunity to get together with likeminded professionals to discuss issues that we all have in common, regardless of industry.”

“As a credit professional, I know that CMA has our best interest at heart, and I try to support CMA in every way I can. For those who are not taking advantage of all of its benefits, I recommend that you call your CMA representative and get involved in the Groups or its wide offering of education events. I promise you won’t be disappointed.”

Outside of credit, King enjoys playing in a band with her family, and is an avid concert goer and music fan.

Meet CMA Board of Directors Member Tracy Rosenbach of Silgan Containers

Tracy Rosenbach, Financial Services Manager for Silgan Containers LLC, has been a CMA member since 1995. In her more than 20 years in credit, Rosenbach said that the networking opportunities she’s had with CMA members has been invaluable to her experience as a credit manager. “To have the opportunity to speak with other credit professionals about credit situations and how they handled them has been a great help. I believe that being able to network strengthens the profession.”

In addition to networking, Rosenbach said that using CMA as a resource for services has been great for Silgan. “We purchase our credit reports through CMA which has helped to save my company money,” she said. Rosenbach also attends many of the education sessions that CMA offers, including CreditScape. “Attending these events has been beneficial on multiple levels. Receiving the educational updates and networking with other credit professionals has been a tremendous boost professionally. I believe our biggest challenges in credit are keeping up with changes in laws that directly impact how we handle our customers and being aware of the latest changes in technology. As credit managers, we are impacted by so many areas, sometimes all at once. Attending conferences and webinars helps us to keep up with the changes in our profession.”

Rosenbach has served on the CMA Board of Directors for a number of years, including a run as Chair of the Board of Directors from 2016-2017.

As a veteran credit professional, Rosenbach said this for new credit managers: “My recommendation for people joining the profession is to become a member of Credit Management Association and join an appropriate trade credit group. Take in as much education as you can and get out and meet the people that can help you the most.”

In her personal life, she enjoys traveling as well as photography. For example, last year she flew to Guatemala with a customer-lead group to work with local children. “I feel so strongly that travel also provides an opportunity for education. The understanding of and compassion towards another culture is so important in the world today.”

Rosenbach resides in the greater Los Angeles area with her family.

Meet CMA Board of Directors Member Pam Craik

Pam Craik, the Regional Director of Credit for McKesson Corporation, knows the value of being a CMA member, as she demonstrates by actively participating in CMA Industry Credit Groups and educational and networking events. A 20-year CMA member, Craik says that her experience with CMA’s Industry Credit Groups is the main reason her company is a CMA member. “The professional development and networking has helped my company by allowing team members to learn more about credit, how we approach credit, and how others do as well. It has allowed us to be rounded and considerate about how we go to market. It allows us to grow while also measuring and understanding risk. We have learned about new tools to help us advance. This includes technology and generally all types of enhancements,” she said.

Craik, who has been in credit for 30 years with McKesson, said that her time volunteering with CMA and participating in Group meetings and other events have helped her both professionally and personally. “Taking the time to serve as a volunteer board member has helped me to grow my own leadership skills and make sure my company stays relevant. Being on the CMA Board, I have met so many people I may not have otherwise known. I have learned about other industries and challenges in business. It has been one the most rewarding professional experiences I have ever had. I encourage others to get involved and make a difference.”

Craik holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Phoenix and an MBA from the University of Sacramento.

A self-described “practical joker,” Craik said that she is the quiet one that you need to watch out for, or you might become the subject of her pranks.

Craik lives in the Placerville, CA area with her husband.

Meet CMA Board of Directors Member Robert Shultz

If you’ve ever attended a CreditScape event or Credit Executive Symposium, you probably already know Robert (Bob) S. Shultz, a partner at Quote to Cash Solutions (Q2C) LLC, Trade Information Exchange LLC and Cutting Edge Business Resources & Solutions. Shultz has been consulting at these companies since 2002, and has been working in credit since 1980. A CMA member since 1984, Shultz said his favorite CMA benefit is the great networking opportunities and sharing of best state-of-the-art practices and resources.

“The professionals I have met in my years of membership have helped me repeatedly with ideas on how to streamline processes and how the credit department can add value to any company,” he said.

“By regularly meeting with peers, a credit manager will quickly realize that they are not alone. No one in your company truly understands your role or challenges like the people you connect with through your industry groups, or events like CreditScape, and other valuable CMA events.”

Shultz said that he believes the biggest challenge in credit is that trade credit management is quickly evolving into a multi-faceted responsibility with a critical role in a company’s overall working capital management. To gain a seat at the upper management table, it is essential to grasp credit’s role in the bigger picture. “The key for any credit professional today is to keep up with all the technological changes and evolving business priorities. The best way to do this is through networking, access to information and education, education, education!”

Outside of credit, Shultz loves the outdoors, especially camping, hiking, and fishing. He says he is also fortunate to have had many animals; horses, chickens, rabbits, ducks and goats. “They keep me landed and add to the life balance we all need with busy careers.” Bob and his wife, Cathie, enjoy their family, particularly their six grandchildren.

Meet the CMA Board of Directors: Rosa Moody, Ahern Rentals

Meet Rosa Moody, director of credit for Ahern Rentals and a member of CMA’s Board of Directors. Rosa has been with Ahern since 2008 and has been in the credit profession for 25 years. A self-professed “credit nerd,” Rosa has been a CMA member for 10 years and says her favorite CMA member benefit is being able to access the incredible knowledge of CMA’s members and credit tools that are available to her credit team. “CMA does an amazing job of offering training on new reports and all other tools that can help a credit professional manage risk,” she said. “Attending the annual CMA meetings such as CreditScape reminds me that I’m not alone on this Credit Island.”

“The toughest part in credit for me is to educate our sales team on what it is that we do, and that we are here to help them. I’ve learned some practical ways to demonstrate our department’s function to our sales team through CMA events such as CreditScape and Group meetings. My CMA membership is one of my best tools as a credit manager.”

Aside from Credit, Rosa has one guilty pleasure that she says that many people don’t know about her: her favorite artist is Snoop Dogg.

Rosa and her company Ahern Rentals were recently named CMA Member of the Year for 2017-2018 for their support of CMA, and we are lucky to have her on our Board of Directors.

For more information about CMA and its services, visit www.CreditManagementAssociation.org or call 818-972-5300.

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.

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)

CMA Introduces Board of Directors for 2016-2017

On May 1, 2016, CMA announced its new Board of Directors for the 2016-2017 fiscal year. The Board is comprised of the following CMA members: Tracy Rosenbach, CCE (Chair), Silgan Containers LLC; Gent Culver, ICCE (Chair-Elect), IGT; Pamela Craik, CCE (Treasurer), McKesson; TJ (Tom) Nance, Walters Wholesale Electric; Joe Lucas, SRS; Hector Benitez, Equinix Inc.; Nannette Bringard, Breakthru Beverage Nevada; Matt Johnston; Tim Cratty, Jackson Enterprises; Jim Bradley, Reliance Steel Company; Sherry Raposo, VSS International Inc.; Alvin Moreno, Nestle USA Inc.; Melissa Kobus, CCE (Advisor), Anixter Inc.; Darrell Horton, CICP (Advisor), Aristocrat Technologies, Inc.; Bob Shultz (Special Advisor), Q 2 C Inc.; Chuck Schultz (Special Advisor), Interface Financial Group; and Michael Fenner, CBA (Counselor), Beacon Sales Acquisition, Inc.

 

2016 CMA Board of Directors

We wish to congratulate these super volunteers and thank them for their service to the CMA members and the credit management industry.

CMA Chairman’s Blog: Advancing your Career through CMA by Michael W. Fenner, CBA

Year after year, as we go through our careers, we are always looking for ways to improve ourselves and advance in our professions. I know for me, I got complacent with my job and quite frankly I didn’t know where to go and or who to turn to. My luck changed when I ran into Mike Mitchell, CAE President of CMA at the Las Vegas airport in 2008 after attending a Western Region Credit Conference. I mentioned to him that I was looking for more in my career and he said to me, “You are already being considered.” I wasn’t entirely sure what he meant by that at that moment, but shortly thereafter I received a phone call to join CMA’s Board of Directors. I thought it was a great opportunity to be able to volunteer and help our association, understand more about how a business works, as well as work with my peers from all different companies and credit backgrounds. The rest is history…

Let’s take a look at some of the platforms that have assisted me through my career:

  • Professional Credit Certification – It’s never too late to get your designation or move to the next level. Here are the available designations.
    • Certified Credit and Risk Analyst (CCRA) – For analysis and interpretation of financial statements.
    • Credit Business Associate (CBA) – This includes three credit courses basic financial accounting, business credit principles and introduction to financial statement analysis.
    • Credit Business Fellow (CBF) – The lessons include business law and credit law.
    • Certified Credit Executive (CCE) – You must be proficient at accounting, finance, domestic and international credit concepts, management and law.
    • Professional Development Programs – CMA offers a variety of courses in person and online. The anscers.com website (on the education tab) is constantly being updated with the latest information for all of us. As an example some of our options today include (but not limited to) the Spring and Fall CreditScape Summits, NACM’s annual Credit Congress, numerous lien law seminars in many states, a course on alternative for financing the sale of goods, and credit risk and risk mitigation techniques. Please go check them out and see which one can assist you in your career.
  • Board and Committee Service – By volunteering my time on the CMA Board of Directors and serving on board committees it has allowed me to grow as a person and become a more of a diverse credit manager and move up in my career. I have been able to make lifelong friends as well as expand my credit knowledge to move forward in my field just by participating in discussions and working with my associates.
  • Industry Credit Groups (ICG’s) – My ICG helped assist me in my credit decision process to run a more thorough credit department. Currently we have 60 diverse groups. They network with each other, share factual information timely, and you get responses promptly from your group members so you can make educated decisions with your new accounts and or your current A/R. Feel free to contact Diana Escobar directly at (818) 972-5342 for more information about groups that pertain to your industry.

We all know how important it is to stay up-to-date with our education. And finding the time to go to events or take classes can be a challenge. Things won’t change unless we change them. Invest in yourself and your teams, and challenge them to improve and grow.

Make sure you encourage your teams to support CMA which is your association. It is important to always network with your colleagues and make some new friends as you go through this process. Make sure you always bring back your experiences to incorporate them into your jobs.

Let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear your feedback.

Michael W. Fenner, CBA, is the Credit Management Association Chairman and Manager of Corporate Credit Operations for Beacon Roofing Supply, Inc. He can be reached at 714-321-8187, or mfenner@becn.com.

Thanks for a Career in Credit Management, Jim Morrow

CMA, along with the members of the Southern California Electric Group, would like to extend warmest wishes to longtime group member Jim Morrow who will be retiring at the end of January. Jim has been a valued group member for 25 years and in the Construction Industry for over 30 years. He served numerous terms as a group officer and has served the rest of the association on the CMA Board of Directors since 2010.

We will miss his loyalty to the group, his professionalism to the job and mostly the kindness and friendship he has extended to all for over a quarter of a century.

Congratulations and enjoy your well-deserved retirement!Jim Morrow - I AM CMA

Now Accepting Nominations and Applications for CMA Board of Directors

The CMA Nominating Committee is now accepting nominations and applications for service on the 2016-2017 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 January 29, 2016. Click here to download the forms.

Board of Directors Qualifications and Responsibilities

As provided by the Bylaws of CMA, the Board of Directors oversees the general operation and sets policy for the Association. It is, therefore, essential that members of the Board understand their responsibilities and be willing to commit the time and effort necessary to do justice to this great organization.

The responsibilities and qualifications of a member of the Board are as follows:

1. Read and be familiar with the Bylaws of the Corporation.

2. A Board member must be the authorized representative of his/her company to CMA.

3. Attend the Annual Meeting and Installation of Officers and Directors, March 24-25, 2016.

4. Attend regular Board meetings, four times per year.

5. Attend the Annual Board Retreat (two days in February).

6. Review and accept financial and operating statements of the Association.

7. Review and approve reports of committees and project teams.

8. Serve on various committees of the Association as assigned by the Chair of the Board.

9. Show support for the Association and its programs by participating in CMA’s member services and by attending educational and networking functions, and promote CMA’s services to other members and prospective members at every opportunity.

10. When possible, attend the annual NACM Credit Congress held each May or June, and/or CMA’s CreditScape Summits (Spring and Fall).

CMA Chairman’s Blog: ‘Tis the Season for Giving Back: Why You Should Volunteer With CMA, by Michael W. Fenner, CBA

Michael Fenner, CMA Chairman of the Board of Directors
Michael Fenner, CMA Chairman of the Board of Directors

I hope everyone enjoyed their time away from the daily grind and that you were able to be with your family this Thanksgiving season. As I write this blog, I was thinking that we all like to give around the holidays, to our families, friends, the community etc. In 2007, Credit Management Association awarded me with a scholarship to attend the Western Region Credit Conference. I was very grateful for the opportunity as it really helped my career. And for that very reason I wanted to give back to CMA. Ironically, I ran into Michael Mitchell, CMA President and CEO at the airport after that conference and told him I wanted to “give back” to the association and the rest is history. I was nominated to the Board of Directors and I have served on the committees listed below to help make our association better for you.

I wanted to share a few bullet points today so you too can consider ways that you can give back and make your association a stronger, better organization for all of us. Please take a few minutes to read below and if you are interested in helping out just let me know. I would be happy to point you in the right direction. I appreciate your time and consideration.

  • CMA Board of Directors – The board meets five times a year and determines the policies and direction of the Association. The Board is responsible for monitoring progress towards the achievement of the strategic and operating objectives of the Association. This has been a very educational experience as you work with credit managers from different types of companies. It’s both challenging and rewarding as you go through the process.
  • Membership Committee – This team focuses on membership issues such as member benefits, acquisition and retention, as well as member engagement, and member categories. This group is interesting and stimulating, they help members understand the “value” of their memberships.
  • Professional Development – This is the committee that sets the direction of the educational courses, seminars and webinars that CMA offers. As an example, they work on the Spring and Fall CreditScape sessions that feature roundtable experiences taught by veteran credit professionals. These meetings are taught at an advanced and high level. Discussions include business issues, best practices and tips on valuable resources.
  • Honors and Awards Committee – This committee focuses on member recognition, with a primary responsibility of selecting members for CMA’s annual awards as well as nominating members for NACM’s National awards. There is nothing more gratifying than nominating your peers who have worked so hard in the industry.
  • Nominating Committee – This group selects nominees for the Treasurer and other Director positions available for election for the year. This committee assists in the review of candidates, through systems and checklists. Another opportunity to select outstanding peers in the credit community.

What can you do to help your credit association? Please reach out as we are always looking for talented people to be nominated and share their experiences through their leadership and volunteer work.

Please remember we need you to support “your” credit association when you can and as always “thank you” for your support. I encourage you to send in any ideas to improve your credit association. Let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear your feedback. Thank you for taking time to read my blog.

Michael W. Fenner, CBA, is the Credit Management Association Chairman and Regional Credit Manager for Beacon Roofing Supply. He can be reached at 714-321-8187, or mfenner@becn.com.