Magazine article Business Credit

Scott Tillesen, CCE, CICP

Magazine article Business Credit

Scott Tillesen, CCE, CICP

Article excerpt

The Beginning

My college studies include an undergraduate degree in accounting, an MBA in finance and some additional post-graduate work in economics and international business. I applied that schooling to positions in corporate accounting, financial analysis and financial planning positions.

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In 1980, I was offered a position as a division finance director for a building products manufacturer. That position included a 12-person credit staff. While the processes of credit analysis and bankruptcy were intriguing, it was the interfacing of credit with the sales department and customers that had me hooked. I focused a lot of energy on learning all I could about credit. Following a number of other assignments that contained a credit function with that same employer, a corporate reorganization in 1990 led me to a position that was responsible for five credit offices. Credit was now my full-time duty.

NACM, CRF, FCIB--Can I Join Anything Else?

It was about this time that I learned about NACM. David Spitler, one of the credit managers in my group, had been deeply involved with the NACM Chicago/Midwest Affiliate. In addition to having been chairman of the board of the affiliate, he was also one of the first recipients of the CCE designation. Dave recommended that if I wanted to learn more about credit I needed to become active in the affiliate. That is when I first met Bill Dearhammer and Bob Healy.

Bill Dearhammer was the president of NACM Chicago/Midwest. Bob Healy was a past chairman of that affiliate and an NACM-National Board of Directors member. Bill encouraged me to join one of the affiliate committees, which I did promptly. Bob Healy impressed me with his dedication to the profession by using most of his personal vacation time to deliver credit presentations throughout the United States. I was eventually appointed to the local Board of Directors. Separately, I completed a designation roadmap, prepared for and passed the CCE exam. The credentialing roadmap eventually became a critical step in the development of my staff. We eventually required all new college degreed employees to take evening classes at the affiliate headquarters that were requisite to qualify for the CBA exam. We paid for their courses and exam fees and presented them with a nice gift following certification. We also purchased an associate membership to encourage their ongoing interest.

Bill Dearhammer introduced me to Paul Mignini, then NACM-National President, during a visit he made to Chicago. Paul encouraged me to join the research committee of the Credit Research Foundation as a way to continue my credit growth. I became an active member of that group and also joined one of the national NACM committees. Later I was appointed a trustee of the Credit Research Foundation (CRF). My involvement continued to grow and for about six years I attended every Credit Congress, regional NACM meeting, CRF conference, FCIB conference and industry trade group meeting that was held. I was also the chairman of the Construction Products Industry Day event at a Credit Congress. It was then that my career took a turn.

Changing Jobs, Gaining Knowledge

I left the global building products manufacturing company for the position of CFO, treasurer and corporate secretary of a regional building products distribution company. …

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