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Apr 01 2019
Today's Article is Brought to You by the Letter V

To many of you that phrase was a blast from the past. Sesame Street broadcast for the first time when I was a year old and I learned a lot from Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers and The Electric Company. Public television was a staple at our house. I digress, back to the letter V. There is so much I want to say about a few words that start with the letter V.
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Apr 01 2019
Character in the Credit Department

I was recently asked by the Vice President of our flooring division what we are doing in the credit department that is different from years past. It was a huge compliment. He continued to tell me that he used to get calls and comments from customers about issues they were having with the credit department and they were not happy. He said now all he hears is good things! As I thought about what has changed over the past few years, I realized that it is Character.
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Apr 01 2019
What Will a Credit Designation Do for Me?

How could four hours change your financial future? In four hours, you could go golfing or do a yoga session just to name a couple things. Or, you could begin the steps toward becoming a Certified Credit Executive (CCE.) July 25th, 2011 is a date that I will always remember, on that date I chose to spend four hours demonstrating that I was among the best of my peers; I was recognized for having
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Mar 01 2019
ICEL RECAP The Art of Knowing: A Framework for Being Happy at Work and in Life

"Once we know better, we can be better." Personal development coach Stefanie Gallagher addressed The Art of Knowing: A Framework for Being Happy at Work and in Life at the February ICEL Meeting. Stefanie used humor and her extensive experience in various corporate roles to share her thoughts on getting to know ourselves and practicing self-care. She spoke on developing skills that will better allow us to meet the challenges we face each day.
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Mar 01 2019
Recipe for Career Success

I get ideas for articles from lots of different places - and since I have had to do one a month for a year, I take inspiration from wherever I can get it. A great credit manager we all know and love inspired this article - you know who you are. In reading about career success, I found this post on lifehack.org. It is a recipe for career success. We all strive for career success and we all know how to follow a recipe, so I liked the concept and am sharing my take on it here.
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Mar 01 2019
When Technology Isn't Enough: Personalizing the Creditor-Customer Relationship

Credit managers are seeing the profound effects of technology in their day-to-day operations. Software programs are conducting credit investigations, sending customers collection notices and even handling payments once they are received. In a job where efficiency is key, technology is certainly beneficial; however, credit professionals are finding there is one task technology cannot replace: personalizing the creditor-customer relationship.
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Feb 01 2019
Focus on Your Strengths in 2019

Let's face it, there are some things each of us just aren't cut out to do. I certainly don't have some of the talents that others I know possess. It is amazing how our culture places so much emphasis on improving our weaknesses when, at best, we will only be able to be adequate in those areas no matter how hard we try to improve them. From the time that we are young children to the time that we are making our way in the workplace, we are taught to spend more time and energy fixing our weaknesses rather than developing our strengths. All too often, our natural talents go untapped. However, we can take the time to discover our strengths and use them to our advantage rather than spend time improving upon our weaknesses.
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Feb 01 2019
Unraveling Stressors: A Self-Care Reminder

A career in credit management and collections can sometimes be onerous and emotionally taxing. Expectations and performance goals are often set by outside forces. Credit managers may be at odds with customers, vendors, sales team members, management or legal teams. At any given time, on any given day, the actions of others can have an effect on me and my team. I would like to say that on most days, I can shrug off the negative and hurtful things people say to me as I do my job. However, taking a constant barrage of negativity can be taxing emotionally and mentally. More times than I like to admit, I take my work attitude home with me and let my work-life affect my home-life.
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Feb 01 2019
It's Time to Evaluate Your Scorecard

As we start the New Year I often reflect on the prior year and take in all the past year's challenges, achievements and overall successes. One of the critical aspects of this process for me revolves around finding activities or decisions that I found happiness in and that ultimately help me find my highest level of achievement. The attempt is designed to move past the standard key performance indicators or the black and white delinquency numbers that we all strive to attain year to year. Those are important but the processes we follow and personal choices that lie underneath those metrics are more important.
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Dec 01 2018
Be Silent. Be Still.

Do you want or need to get people's attention? You can get it with volume and movement: yelling and screaming and waving your arms. It's hard to resist looking, when you hear a sudden squawk from a baby or voices raised in an argument, isn't it? But then what do you do? The noise gets your attention, but does it keep your attention? Once you get over the shock, you tune out the noise (assuming you can!) and go back to what you were doing.
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Dec 01 2018
How to C.A.P.T.U.R.E. Your Own Communication Skills

Every day, people communicate with one another. Whether it's face to face, over the phone or through social media, people are constantly engaging to accomplish daily tasks. For credit managers, Syntesis Global LLC President and CEO Rick Hernandez says communication is pretty much in the job description, as it is the key to running a successful operation with colleagues and customers alike. As part of FCIB's leadership webinar series, Hernandez explored how best to communicate with these parties during his presentation, "C.A.P.T.U.R.E. the Excellence of Communication," in April.
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Dec 01 2018
Dare to Achieve!

Perhaps many of us have had one of those moments in our lives that has inspired us to make a needed change. Oftentimes these pivotal moments are when we turn a negative event or circumstance into a positive experience that we learn and grow from. If you haven't had one of those moments, surely you will. One of these instances came to me about 15 years ago shortly after an unforgettable meeting I had with my company's CEO who had just broken the news to me that our firm had acquired a competitor and that my position was going to be eliminated and replaced with the new company's department head.
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Oct 01 2018
Natural Disasters Impact Business

You can't turn on a newscast today without seeing a report of fires, hurricanes, tropical storms or other natural disasters. The reports can be devastating, and the lives affected enormous. People being displaced, homes and business damaged, lives in danger, it's all so nerve racking. As I have watched the devastation from the fires so close to my home I've felt almost a doomsday vibe, but when I stop and really looked at things closer it could be much worse.
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Oct 01 2018
Something You Haven't Considered

How did your last experience trying to hire a great collector work out? What are the characteristics of that unique person that will change the world and drive those AR $'s down and down again? Maybe you were looking for a person with great speaking skills, who is good on the computer and able to hold your customers accountable to the payment commitment they made to your company at the time of the sale. Maybe you were looking for a friendly, non-abrasive person. Maybe you were looking for a "get the money-now" person.
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Oct 01 2018
Susan Archibeque, CCE to Retire

Congratulations go out to Susan Archibeque, CCE on her upcoming "semi-retirement" from Nicholas & Company. For over 18 years, Susan's vision and dedication to the credit profession helped foster excellence and financial success at Nicholas & Company. While she is stepping down from her role as Director of the Credit Department, she will be a Credit Business Consultant and will continue to work on special projects. Susan is the recipient of numerous NACM Awards, including the prestigious Credit Executive of the Year and Instructor of the Year.
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Sep 01 2018
People vs A.I. - Why You Should Embrace Life Long Learning

Recently, I was catching up on some reading I had set aside and found an article about machines and computers artificial intelligence (A.I.) replacing people in the July 2017 Entrepreneur Magazine. The article was not trying to use scare tactics like a horror movie but was putting workers and executives on notice. The message was "People need to adapt faster than ever." My first thought on reading the first paragraph of the article was this people vs. A.I. thing has been going on a long time. One of my favorite old movies stars Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy; Desk Set from 1957. It is about this very topic - a computer moving into the research department of a network TV Station. Who knew that when I first saw this movie on the afternoon movie show after school decades ago
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Sep 01 2018
Dealing with Difficult People

As credit managers we all have marginal accounts that are higher risk. These accounts take extra monitoring, time and care, to be able to protect the balance due to your company. As you know, any account can become past due. In your attempts to collect that past due balance, your customer may give you various reasons for non-payment, broken promises etc. At that point, decisions must be made that the customer, as well as the sales department, are not happy with.
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Sep 01 2018
What's in Your Tool Bag?

It is impossible to ignore that the internet, electronic devises, and social media have an overshadowing presence in our personal and professional lives - and it is still growing. Can you recall the last time you saw a student consulting an encyclopedia? Today there is such a wealth of information stored electronically that it would exceed 4,500 stacks of books from the earth to the sun, which is 93 million miles away! In the summer of 1995 Amazon sold its 1st book in the garage of Jeff Bezos. Today Amazon has more warehouse
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Aug 01 2018
Myth or Fact - The Truth About Multitasking

I attended Credit Congress in Phoenix in June and had the opportunity to go to several amazing classes. One of the most interesting things I heard during this week was just a side note in a larger presentation. It was a statement about multitasking. In this day and age, we hear the term all the time. I have even seen it in job descriptions: Must be able to multitask. The interesting piece of information that I heard is that multitasking is a myth. I have thought myself to be a very effective multitasker, so this idea was confusing to me. I decided to do some research.
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Aug 01 2018
Networking - Yeah! or No Way?

Networking - a word that has some of you are saying YEAH! Others NO WAY! I am here to advise you on the importance of making it a "Yeah" in your life. Networking is underrated in its value. In my experience and a little bit of study on the subject proves that networking is an essential part of career advancement and achievement. As parents we know this because when our children are in school and preparing for college and adult life we encourage networking (only we don't call it networking). Some scholarships weight the "networking" part of a student's life as important as the grades.
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