Sherry Lynn Wood, CCE - June, 2006

sherryThanks For The Memories

It’s been an exciting year and a privilege to have served as your National Chairman; never in my wildest dreams did I think that I’d have the many experiences I’ve enjoyed this past year. I’ve pinched myself many times trying to figure out how I was afforded this fantastic opportunity.

I’d like to share with you, just a little, what the past year has been like for me. My term serving as your Chairman started out last June at the New Orleans Credit Congress. How proud I was to take the oath of office and to be honored with such responsibility! The thoughts running through my head while being on that General Session stage included, “How will I follow such great footprints left by those who served before me?”

As your NACM Chairman, I also serve as a member of the Board of Directors of FCIB (Financial, Credit & International Business) and the Board of Trustees of CRF (Credit Research Foundation). Immediately following last year’s annual convention, my first endurance test arrived: I was home just 24 short hours when I turned right around and headed to Brussels. While I was in Brussels for the FCIB Board meeting, I also had the honor of attending the FCIB Spring European conference with attendees from all over Europe, as well as from the United States. That trip gave me a new appreciation for the expansive reach of credit: it’s truly a global environment in which we now work.

I also attended the FCIB Board meeting and conference last Fall in Palm Beach, Florida where the discussions focused on Central and South America; and the FCIB Board meeting held during the International Credit Executive’s (ICE) conference last month in Chicago. For any of you whose companies are involved with international sales, I would strongly recommend you take time to consider the benefits offered through this branch of our organization.

And for those of you who sell direct to the federal Government and know first-hand the difficulties with communication and getting paid, don’t overlook NACM’s Government Business Group (GBG). The Financial Services Center of the Department of Veterans Affairs in Austin, Texas has honored GBG by selecting it to co-sponsor its very first Open House in July. Any of you that are interested in a one-on-one meeting with your VA rep, touring the facility and finding answers to persistent payment issues should sign up now. The event is limited to only the first 20 respondents!

NACM’s Asset Protection Group (APG) is now retooling its offerings and will unveil a new strategic alliance with Verifraud in the next few weeks. APG, together with Verifraud, will help you to proactively identify new orders that are fraudulent. Verifraud’s cutting-edge technology will be a huge asset to APG members… and there’s more on the horizon—including educational modules that will help us, as credit professionals, to be better prepared to combat and stop business fraud from our front-line position.

I also had the pleasure of attending CFDD’s Pacific Northwest Conference. The education was plentiful and the opportunities for networking were endless. CFDD is my roots—my membership in CFDD is what helped change my job into a career and gave me the opportunities that I enjoy today!

Last fall and again in late April, I was in Washington, DC for our Legislative Conference and NACM Advocacy Day. Accompanied by my Affiliate President, Don Conklin, I walked to Capitol Hill to visit the Senators and Representatives of the great states of Alaska and Washington. I was thrilled to know first-hand that serving as an advocate for NACM works! One hill staffer said to me: “I remember you and NACM—you were here before, talking about bankruptcy.”

Please consider becoming an NACM Advocate! It’s important work and very fulfilling: you’ll learn that your members of Congress are very interested in what you have to say and how the laws that they are writing impact commercial credit.

It’s all winding down now, and it has indeed been a wonderful year. I’ll put my suitcase away and return to “normal” life as a “mild-mannered” credit professional. Before I sign off as your Chairman, however, I’d like to thank each and every one of you for your support. It’s your continued support of this organization that makes it shine. I’d also like to thank the members of the National Board and the national staff for their unwavering support—they’ve all stood by me, helping me along the way. And, for that, I will be forever grateful.