Magazine article Business Credit

Nancy Sellars, Credit Manager

Magazine article Business Credit

Nancy Sellars, Credit Manager

Article excerpt

Reflecting on Her Life and the Extended NACM Family

there is a common thread that connects NACM to one another, regardless of industry, geographical location, or number of years in the profession, partly because of a mutual understanding of the day-to-day work requirements, challenges and frustrations and partly because of a common work ethic, desire for professional growth and dedication to your company's best interests.

In many ways, it is like an extended family. Even if you have a core of close friends, your circle of contacts can extend from one end of the country to the other. One of the benefits is being able to feed off of one another professionally. Naturally, many personal life experiences are shared as well.

The most painful is the loss of a fellow member, even one who you might not know well or even at all. In July 2008, Nancy Sellars, the 48-year-old corporate credit manager at Kalmbach Publishing in Waukesha, WI was killed on her bicycle by a drunk driver, just two weeks after completing the Race Across America bike competition.

Nancy was my first American Check Management (ACM) client. I met her in February 2003 during my first month with ACM. She had attended an NACMsponsored ACM EFT (electronic funds transfer) seminar in Milwaukee and was interested in what was then our newest service. We spoke numerous times by phone and I found her to be exceptionally pleasant and competent. She was very professional and thorough in looking at all the different angles before introducing ACM's new service to her company and made sure she didn't leave anything out of her research. In March, we met at her office to complete the enrollment process. Being a hobby and craft publication company, her work environment had a warm and fuzzy feeling that came with muted lighting and train and embroidery displays as part of the office décor. Nancy's own caring and inviting personality was an exact reflection of her work environment. She was a perfect fit for her company and vice versa. Nancy signed up with ACM that day and, other than a few phone calls, that was the last time we spoke.

Since then, I have been reassigned to other NACM markets and have had the great fortune to travel the country and meet with over a thousand NACM members to discuss ACM's various services. In the meantime, Kalmbach Publishing continued to use ACM's EFT program successfully without any problems.

Several weeks ago, however, I received a call from Jen Jones, formerly my contact at another ACM check guarantee client, who recently moved from Maryland and had taken over the corporate credit manager position at Kalmbach. She was happy to know that once again she was an ACM client and wanted to explore additional services with us. I happened to mention that I remembered her predecessor, Nancy, to be extremely competent and nice. It was then that Jen told me about Nancy's tragedy. Since I had not spoken with or seen Nancy in over five years, I had to piece together my memories of her. Constant travel week after week from coast to coast had clouded my memory.

Jen explained that Nancy had been a long-time triathlete, one of the most demanding athletic endeavors. On June 19th she had just completed the grueling Race Across America, a 3,000-mile, eight-man team bicycle race in only eight days, and raised over $60,000 in the process. It was the realization of a lifetime dream. Two weeks later, she and a friend were out riding their bikes and were hit by a drunk driver. She died later that night from her injuries. I was stunned and tried hard to retrieve everything I could remember from my limited experience with her so long ago. …

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