Meet Rich Heavener, CCE: Vice President, American & Efird, Inc

Business Credit, April 2004 | Go to article overview

Meet Rich Heavener, CCE: Vice President, American & Efird, Inc


Rich Heavener has worked in the credit field for almost 35 years, and has been an NACM member since 1973, when he joined NACM-Carolinas while employed with Gifford Hill. Later, he joined NACM's New York affiliate and now is a member of NACM South Atlantic.

Rich went to school with the idea of obtaining a position in Commercial Finance upon graduation from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with a degree in Business Administration. He was hired by Southeastern Financial Corp, a division of American Credit Corp, in their factoring and receivable financing areas. (The company was bought by Barclays American and later by C.I.T. Group.) He was a Credit Officer, Accounts Receivable Manager and eventually head of the Legal Collections Department. He says he loved the diversity of clients that he worked with there; it gave him the opportunity to learn many different industries and corporate cultures, in a very organized environment.

He says it was a challenge, as a Credit Officer, to deal with various clients and keep their respect and patronage--when you did not approve of some of their target customers. Additionally, "If a customer was approved for one client and other clients began to sell to the same customer, you were approving multiple credit lines for the same customer." The Legal Collection Manager's job entailed receiving all accounts over 90 days past due, collecting them, sending them to agencies or attorneys, or writing them off as bad debts. "My business law training helped greatly", he says, "as did my experience in dealing with financially challenged customers,"

Rich left that position to accept a job as Area Credit Manager for Gifford Hill & Co., based in Dallas, Texas with a regional office in Charlotte, NC. "I learned quite a bit about materialmen's lien laws in various southeastern states. The products for which I was approving credit sales were prestressed and ready-mixed concrete, cement, aggregates and related chemical products. This was at the time of the energy crunch and the commercial construction business, especially in Atlanta, was seriously restricted."

A position was then offered to him in Greensboro, NC with Blue Bell Inc. (Wrangler Jeans and other labels) and Rich accepted. This was an easy transition for him, as he had many clothing clients with Southeastern Financial. Rich was promoted to National Credit Manager and handled credit for various Blue Bell and later, VF labels, for everything west of the Mississippi--with five regional credit managers and their staff reporting to him. …

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