Lee Clutter, CBA, Honored with CBA of the Year Designation at CreditScape

Being nominated by your peers for an award is something special. It is an accolade just in the nomination itself. It gives you time to pause and reflect on your accomplishments.

Lee Clutter, CBA, the CBA Designation of Excellence winner for 2017, received over 15 letters of recommendation from his peers, coworkers and credit professionals. He has worldly knowledge of credit surpassed by very few. He has been in credit for over 40 years and truly demonstrates credit excellence. He is a second-time award winner, who is actively involved with CMA’s programs and services. Congratulations to Lee Clutter, CBA from Smart Modular Technologies.

The CBA Designation of Excellence Award was presented during the Annual Meeting portion of the CreditScape Spring Summit in Garden Grove, CA on April 12.

CMA Member of the Month, July 2016: Lorie Mohs, American International Supply

lorie mohs
One of the greatest benefits of joining an association is the offering of professional educational opportunities to advance its members’ knowledge. The July CMA Member of the Month is someone who has taken advantage of that knowledge, and in turn received her professional designation.

In this past testing period, Lorie Mohs of American International Supply, was the only CMA member who passed the certification to receive her Credit Business Associate (CBA) designation. In addition, she regularly attends CMA and NACM events, including the recent NACM National Credit Congress in Las Vegas, along with other seminars and webinars offered throughout the year.

She is also a regular and active contributing member of the HVAC and Plumbing Suppliers industry credit group.

“The NACM certification program is a way for credit professionals to demonstrate their skill levels across many different industries,” said CMA President and CEO Mike Mitchell. “After speaking with several hiring managers from prominent companies, they acknowledged that having obtained a professional designation puts a credit professional at an advantage over others who have not done so. We applaud Lorie for her commitment and hope she continues to advance through the entire designation program.”

On behalf of the Credit Management community, congratulations Lorie for this honor, and thanks for being an active member of CMA.

Members of the Month are nominated by CMA members, Group members, volunteers and CMA staff to highlight those members (or member companies) whose engagement with CMA has helped improve the overall credit profession for others.

For more information on how you can participate in any of the areas mentioned within this article, or to nominate any members for this honor, contact Diana Escobar at descobar@emailcma.org or 818-972-5300.

“I Am CMA,” by Tracy Rosenbach, CCE

I am CMA, by Tracy Rosenbach of Silgan Containers
I am CMA, by Tracy Rosenbach of Silgan Containers

“Being a member of CMA has been a great experience for me. I look to the Association for education and networking opportunities. The webinars offered are such a wonderful example of efficiency. There is minimal outlay of resources for maximum benefit. I also attended a one-day session on international credit lead by Eddy Sumar which was fantastic. Attending the Western Region Credit Conference for years has been yet another wonderful education and networking opportunity. I firmly believe that knowledge is the key and it is what keeps us ahead in our profession.

In addition to CMA, our national credit organization (NACM) supports our quest for education in many ways including through the professional designation program. I am a big believer in education as one can tell so that is why I worked toward each professional designation (CBA, CBF & CCE) and finally achieved the CCE designation after several years. Earning the CCE designation was a valuable and useful experience that I reference in my career every day.

Networking is also very important for us as credit managers. CMA provides many opportunities for us to connect and reconnect with one another. Sharing our experiences at venues such as the CMA Annual Meeting or an Industry Credit Group meeting is truly invaluable as a credit professional. CMA provides other services for the credit manager as well. One of the most important things that CMA provides is a staff that cares and supports the credit professionals in our area.”

Tracy Rosenbach, CCE
Silgan Containers LLC
CMA member since 1995


“I Am CMA” is a Membership Committee driven initiative to allow members to share the most valuable aspects of their membership with CMA members. The monthly series explores CMA’s different programs and services and how they have helped members. With a full range of business credit services from Industry Credit Groups to credit reporting to construction forms filing services to collections to business insolvency, we hope the series will inspire you to utilize CMA more to help provide information to reduce your company’s overall risk.

For more information on the blogs, or to be featured, contact CMA Communications Manager Alan Dicker at 323-573-0840 or adicker@emailcma.org.

CMA Congratulates Recent NACM-Certified Professionals

The NACM professional certification program, sponsored by the National Association of Credit Management, has helped define and establish professional standards in this demanding and rapidly changing field, and fosters recognition of those individuals who possess special expertise. Among credit management professionals, the professional certification program is respected and appreciated. Not only is participation in the program a mark of distinction throughout the profession, but it offers expanded knowledge of the credit profession, better career opportunities, heightened professional recognition, and demonstration of standards of professional excellence.

Congratulations to the following Designees who passed their NACM-Certified Professional Certification exam in November.

• Diane Lukens, Village Nurseries (CBA)
• Trevor Kuramata, Reliance Steel and Aluminum Co. (CBA)
• Jonathan Chandler, Western Oilfields Supply Co. (CBA)
• Paul Wikoff, Wilbur-Ellis (CCE)

For those who are interested in obtaining their certifications, a free informational webinar explaining the benefits of the designation program is available on demand under the education tab at www.CreditManagementAssociation.org. CMA has scheduled its Winter courses for the Credit Business Associate (CBA) program, which can also be accessed via the education tab.

For more information on how to achieve your Designations, please contact Lisa Wong, Member Representative Associate at (951) 672-0581, or lwong@emailcma.org.

Again, congratulations to these members for their achievements!

CMA Chairman’s Blog: Why I Chose to Pursue Professional Credit Certification, by Michael W. Fenner, CBA

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

Are you looking for a way to be more successful and become more knowledgeable? Have you ever thought about making yourself more valuable at your current job or expand your career opportunities? Would you like to have a level of respect among your colleagues? How about being the best you can be at your current position? For me, my CBA designation helped with all of the above.

First, let’s take a look at the different professional credit certification levels:

The National Association of Credit Management’s (NACM) levels of certification are as follows:

  • 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.

Once I made the decision to get my designation, everything else fell into place. Some of my questions were: Where can I get more information? Should I do the classes online or should I do them in a classroom setting? How much does it cost and where do I apply?

I chose to take all my courses in a class room setting and do the Credit Administration Program (CAP). I then networked and studied with a friend. My CBA designation has given me tremendous confidence to do my job and more credibility to my position and credit department.

We all want to grow and continually improve our abilities. The program is definitely worth it and I would highly recommend it.

I won’t be able to answer all of your questions in this blog so make sure you head over to the NACM website for complete information. CMA will be offering the CBA program again in the Fall. Stay tuned to CreditManagementAssociation.org as dates will be released soon.

As we all know, there are no degrees in the credit field, so a professional credit certification is definitely the way to go. Team up with some of your colleagues and learn together. Have fun with it! Let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear your feedback.

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.

President’s Blog: Practice What We Preach, by Mike Mitchell, CAE

CMA President Mike Mitchell
CMA President Mike Mitchell

I have always been a big proponent of continuing education. My degree programs gave me the opportunity to serve in my current executive role at CMA, and earning my Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation helped me continue to grow into this complex management and leadership role. Having spent the last 15 years working closely with credit professionals in dozens of different industries, I have observed that most credit management positions require a depth of knowledge across a broad range of disciplines – financial, legal, customer service, and organizational leadership. The first three require study and practice to gain a proficiency for effective management. Organizational leadership requires proficiency for the first three, plus the confidence that comes from experience.

To be leader in your organization, you need to be good at what you do, and you have to bring new ideas and prospectives to your team and to the company. When I was studying for my CAE, I read up on many areas of association management that helped fill gaps in my knowledge, but I learned just as much from my colleagues who took the course with me. Their collective experience greatly enhanced my learning and insights, and gave me new ideas to bring back to CMA. How often can you say that about an educational course?

CMA’s online course format was designed to deliver just his kind of experience. We wanted to make education convenient for time-challenged participants without sacrificing the live classroom-style interaction that is so valuable for real learning and the exchange of ideas. Lectures are delivered by the course instructor in a live webinar format to allow for real-time interaction with them and other learners. Course assignments are assigned weekly in a virtual classroom and completed by learners at their own pace and posted to the classroom for sharing.

Continuing education is really about sharing knowledge and experience. There is a great scene in “Good Will Hunting,” a movie about a brilliant young man who is afraid to confront his own life’s extraordinary potential. Will’s therapist tells him that there’s nothing he can learn about his patient that he can’t read in a book, unless Will is willing to share his thoughts, ideas and experiences with him. Learning is about shared experience. Some of that experience is captured in a text book, a linear, fixed perspective which forms the basis on which to understand the multitude of shared experiences you will encounter from the subject matter expert and fellow learners.

I believe in the value that continuing education creates for professionals and the companies they work for. I also believe that we should practice what we preach. Almost 10 years after CMA launched its first online certification course, I have decided to experience CMA’s online courses myself. I am currently enrolled in Business Credit Principles with the goal of earning a CBA designation.

Stay tuned…

Kimberly Wagenman named CMA 2015 Student of the Year

Kimberly Wagenman Named CMA 2015 Student of the Year. Pictured (left to right): CMA Chair Melissa Kobus, Wagenman, Pam Craik
Kimberly Wagenman Named CMA 2015 Student of the Year. Pictured (left to right): CMA Chair Melissa Kobus, Wagenman, Pam Craik

Kimberly Wagenman was named as CMA’s 2015 Student of the Year at the 2015 Credit Management Association Annual Meeting on April 9. Wagenman is an enthusiastic supporter of continuing education. She has a BS in Business; she is currently working to obtain her CBA and will be attending Credit Congress this year for the first time. Congratulations to Kimberly Wagenman!

What’s on Your Tool Belt?, by Michael C. Dennis

Michael C. DennisWhen I earned my MBA, I learned new skills and added them to my tool belt. Then, I got my first job as a collector and found I needed an entirely different set of tools. CMA offers a variety of educational options that will provide you with some new tools…new ways to think about how you might solve a problem or approach your work differently. When you attend a webinar/seminar/class, think about how you can apply that knowledge to address real-world problems. I am convinced that the ability to effectively apply skills and capabilities (tools) to address new challenges is critical to your success in any job.

Also, for those of you looking for employment, my experience both as a job candidate and as the hiring manager has been that the applicant who can successfully describe how their current talents can be applied to the new task, challenge or position automatically becomes worthy of further consideration.

What’s the biggest factor you consider when hiring a potential new employee, or the one you think was the biggest factor in you getting hired in your job? I welcome your feedback.

Michael is the author of the Encyclopedia of Credit (www.encyclopediaofcredit.com), a free, fast, internet resource for credit and collection professionals. He is a consultant, and the author of “Credit and Collection Forms and Procedures Manual” as well as a frequent instructor at CMA-sponsored educational events. He can be contacted at 949-584-9685.

Patricia Montanez CBA Named 2013-2014 CMA Student of the Year

Patricia Montanez, CBA
Patricia Montanez, CBA

Congratulations to Patricia Montanez, CBA, who has been named 2013-2014 CMA Student of the Year. CMA considers continuing education for credit managers as one of the best things you can do for both your career and for your company. Fortunately, Montanez was inspired by the support she received from her Direct Supervisor, who encouraged her to continue her education.  She began taking NACM/CMA courses and obtained her CBA in 2013. Not intending to quit there, she’s currently working to achieve her CBF.  She was the CMA Student of the month in January 2014 (see the full article on that here), and has encouraged and inspired many to continue their education.

Congratulations on this well-deserved honor!