Dawn Wallace Cook, CCE - February 2005


Dawn Wallace Cook, CCE

On December 16, 1773, a group of men calling themselves the “Sons of Liberty”, struck a blow for freedom by dumping 342 crates of tea into the Boston Harbor. April 19, 1775, 70 armed Massachusetts Militiamen stood face-to-face against an advanced troop of the British Army. An unordered “shot heard round the world” marked the beginning of the American Revolution. February 1783, England officially declared an end to the war, and democracy as we know it today was on its way.

In 1920, after 72 years, the campaign to win a Constitutional Amendment to guarantee women’s right to vote was successful.

1965 saw the passage of the Voting Rights Act: it survived 57 days of fighting on the Senate floor. Voting requirements such as literacy tests are now against the law, as a result.

As you can see, democracy and the individual’s right to vote was a lengthy and hard-fought process. It is our inalienable right—and civic responsibility, to participate in the democratic process, whether it is at the municipal, state, national or association level.

Notice how I segued so slyly to the subject of NACM and the upcoming elections? Four years ago, the NACM National Board passed an amendment to their bylaws, allowing you, the Member, to not only nominate the candidates for the National Board of Directors, but also the right to vote and elect the representatives to your National Board.

NACM was created over one hundred years ago to provide a vehicle for credit professionals to come together, share credit experiences and to improve credit practices. Over the years, our association has evolved into so much more. Today we not only network and share credit experience through industry trade groups, but we also work to improve credit practices through legislation at both the state and national levels. In addition to offering educational seminars and conferences, we now have a wide range of online educational offerings. We created a credentialing program to define various levels of credit expertise; and recently added Certified Expert Witness to the existing designations of CBA, CBF and CCE. Your National Board and staff are currently working on additional certification categories. We have established business units specifically to investigate and uncover business fraud, to educate and assist members who sell to the government and for the member who deals in international credit. NACM has become the comprehensive resource for credit professionals at every level of experience.

Working in the credit profession today, you know only too well that credit is not immune to change. The entire business model for the credit profession, as well as that of the credit association has changed. Processes, from the credit application through to the final collection of payment have changed, and will continue to change. Your NACM National Board, by representing its members, is prepared to meet the challenges facing both the credit profession and this credit association.

Who is better equipped to know the challenges facing the credit profession today than the credit professional? I urge each of you to participate in all the benefits of membership in NACM. Not everyone is able to serve on the Board, for a myriad of reasons. But every member is able to vote for their candidate of choice. Be part of the process! Please take the time to read the candidate statements that will be mailed with the March issue of Business Credit magazine, and cast your vote. You have the option to vote by mail, fax, or electronically.

In 1860 “Vote the Farm” was a campaign slogan for Abraham Lincoln. I would like to borrow from both Lincoln—and a well-known sportswear manufacturer—and say, “Just Do It, Vote the Board”.