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Educational Sessions


#1 Reason to Attend: Unsurpassed Education Sessions

Credit Congress offers more than sixty compelling and relevant educational sessions from which you may choose. Ranging from the fundamentals to more sophisticated, challenging subjects. Based on your experience, interests and goals, tailor a conference agenda that is most applicable and affords the greatest return to you and your company.

Session Pre-Registration
If you have already registered for the conference, please help us by indicating the sessions you think you may be attending. Using the link below, choose the sessions you currently plan to attend. You are not obligated to attend these sessions but session pre-registration does assist us in designating the appropriate rooms and seating arrangements for each session. We appreciate your help!

Selecting Sessions
Depending on prior experience or knowledge of a subject, session levels, when not looked at in conjunction with the description, may be subject to personal interpretation. Please be sure to read each session description carefully when choosing one to attend, as there is much to be learned in every presentation.

Educational sessions are denoted as one or more of the following based on the presenter’s view of their content:

B = Basic
Presents material or topics at an introductory level or covers a topic in a more general manner.

I = Intermediate
Best suited for those with a cursory knowledge of a subject.

A = Advanced
Applicable to those with a working knowledge of the subject, providing a more in-depth exploration of the topic.

O = Overview
Provides a general review of a subject area from a broad perspective or reviews several subjects and may be appropriate for professionals at all levels.

U = Update
Presents a review of new developments and is best suited for those with some knowledge of a subject wishing to remain current.

Int = International
Sessions are a part of FCIB’s specially designed international education track.

Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday
May 18 May 19 May 20 May 21 May 22

Saturday, May 18

Certificate Session Courses
The Business Credit Principles and Financial Statement Analysis 2 certificate courses are week-long classes, separate from all other educational break-out sessions. Participants must attend all five segments (30 hours) of the course and must successfully complete the exam offered on the last day (Wednesday, May 22) to pass the course. A certificate course fee of $379 and the purchase of the course textbooks are required in addition to the Full Delegate registration fee.

28001–28005. Certificate Course: Business Credit Principles
Instructor: Toni Drake, CCE, TRM Financial Services, Inc.
3.0 Total CEUs
This is an intensive course, which offers a comprehensive look at the credit function. It is intended for those preparing for the Credit Business Associate (CBA) exam. Topics include: Credit in the Business World, Credit in the Company, Organizing the Credit Department, The Credit and Sales Partnership, The Legal Forms of Business, The Legal Environment of Credit, The Uniform Commercial Code, Credit Policy and Procedures, Credit Applications, Terms and Conditions of Sales, Credit Investigations, Business Credit Fraud, Making Credit Decisions, International Trade, Financing and Business Insurance, Negotiable Instruments, Bankruptcy Code Proceedings and Bankruptcy Alternatives. Participants must attend all sessions and pass an end-of-course exam to receive course equivalency toward the CBA designation requirement. Pre-registered attendees will receive a course outline and advance reading assignments. Participants are encouraged to purchase and review the textbook, Principles of Business Credit, from the NACM Bookstore in preparation for the class.

28011–28015. Certificate Course: Financial Statement Analysis 2: Credit and Risk Assessment
Instructor: George Schnupp, CCE, Anixter, Inc.
3.0 Total CEUs
This intermediate financial analysis program has been designed for credit analysts and managers seeking comprehensive understanding of what’s behind the numbers in financial reports. It is designed to improve the credit professional’s ability to analyze and interpret financial statements leading to quality credit risk assessment. The program gives equal weight to the process of financial reporting, the analysis and interpretation of financial statements and the steps required to write a quality credit line recommendation. This course is an excellent preparatory class for the Certified Credit Executive (CCE) designation exam. Participants must attend all sessions and pass an end-of-course exam to receive course equivalency toward the CCRA designation requirement. Pre-registered attendees will receive a course outline and advance reading assignments.

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Sunday, May 19

CCE Exam Review
Speakers: Georgette Bevan, CCE, CGA, NACM Business Credit Services; and Lynnette Warman, Esq., Culhane Meadows PLLC
.45 CEUs
This session assists examination candidates in identifying exam preparation strategies and also provides guidance on the exam format. Attendees are encouraged to purchase and review the suggested study textbooks for the CCE exam. Please visit the NACM Bookstore website to reference these books. A boxed lunch is provided for attendees. Pre-registration and an additional fee required.

Exam Review Sessions
Sessions 28007 and 28008 are valid for .30 CEUs.

28007. CBF Exam Review
Speaker: Karen Hart, Esq., Bell Nunnally & Martin LLP
An exam preparation strategy will be outlined during this session to help exam candidates formulate a plan of study. Attendees are encouraged to purchase and review the suggested textbooks listed on the NACM Bookstore website in preparation for the CBF exam. Pre-registration and an additional fee required.

28008. CBA Exam Review
Speaker: Lisa Keller, CCE, CGA, NACM Business Credit Services
This CBA review session covers the basic topics tested on the CBA exam. General information on the exam format is also provided for exam candidates. Attendees are encouraged to purchase and review the suggested textbooks listed on the NACM Bookstore website in preparation for the CBA exam. Pre-registration and an additional fee required.

28001–28005. Certificate Course: Business Credit Principles
28011–28015. Certificate Course: Financial Statement Analysis 2: Credit and Risk Assessment

28009. An Introduction to the NACM Certification Program
NACM’s certification program has helped define and establish professional standards in this demanding and rapidly changing field, and the program fosters recognition of those individuals who possess special expertise. You’ll join a select group of individuals who have made the commitment to excellence in credit management, career advancement and an ongoing pursuit of knowledge. Learn how to get started on the path towards earning your CBA, CBF, CCE or the new CCRA.

28010. First-Time Attendee Welcome Gathering
Take the first step in maximizing on your Credit Congress attendance. Join other first-time conference attendees, as well as conference veterans, as the Credit Congress journey begins.

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Monday, May 20

28000. General Session
Featured Speaker: Brett Culp
Valid for .15 CEUs and CCE Recertification Points

We welcome Brett Culp as our keynote speaker for the 2019 Credit Congress Opening General Session. Brett is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and founder of the not-for-profit, The Rising Heroes Project. He is known for the films, Legends of the Knight, and his latest project, Look to the Sky, both of which explore the power of heroic stories and heroic individuals to inspire us to believe in a better tomorrow. His films are featured on Amazon, iTunes and Hulu, as well as other digital platforms. Brett is also the author of Look to the Sky, a behind-the-scenes look at his filmmaking journey with real-life heroes. Through his groundbreaking nonprofit documentary work, Brett has pioneered the art of creating “mini-movements” that inspire the super-human spirit in us all. Brett encourages audiences to find the superhero within and their own path to “everyday leadership.” His insights on connecting individuals to an organization's mission and goals resonate, helping us realize our greatest personal and business potential. Conference participants will have the distinct pleasure of meeting Brett in the Expo Hall after his presentation. He will also be signing copies of his book, Look to the Sky.

28001–28005. Certificate Course: Business Credit Principles
28011–28015. Certificate Course: Financial Statement Analysis 2: Credit and Risk Assessment

Concurrent Educational Sessions
Sessions 28020-28027 are valid for .125 CEUs and CCE Recertification Points.

28020. Technology Solutions to Credit Management Challenges    I
This session continues in #27030.
Together credit professionals and service providers will share how technology has solved specific credit-related challenges, issues and other problems. (Part 2 will follow the same format and will cover different challenges and providers; attendees do not have to attend both sessions.)

28021. Current Conditions and Outlook in Global Credit Markets    U    Int
Speaker: Ed Altman, Ph.D., New York University
Most credit market analysts assume that the world is still in a benign credit cycle. But how long can we expect this cycle to last and what will be the consequences when the cycle turns to a more stressed environment? Dr. Altman, father of the Altman Z-score, reviews a number of his concerns about the current benign credit cycle and evidence of the enormous buildup in global debt levels, especially in the nonfinancial corporate sector. He will explore the latest data on default and recovery rates, yield spreads and liquidity in the leveraged financed markets.

28022. Protecting Your Company in the Internet Age: The Role of Social Media in Credit and Collection    I
Speakers: Bruce Nathan, Esq., Lowenstein Sandler LLP; and Val Venable, CCE, Ascend Performance Materials
Social media can be a valuable tool for both credit investigation and for collection purposes. Credit professionals should be aware of what they can and cannot (or should not) do when using social media as a tool to evaluate credit risk and collect claims. This program will focus on the various social media sites that credit professionals can look to, the types of information available through social media, the pros and cons of relying on social media for credit evaluation and collections, the legal risks of acting inappropriately and suggested provisions in your company’s social media policy to help mitigate the unique risks inherent in the use of social media.

28023. Protecting the House: Dealing with Customer Requests to Revise Your Credit Terms and Conditions    I
Speaker: Matthew Jameson, Esq., Jameson and Dunagan, P.C.
The session will discuss what to do when a customer tries to change/revise your credit terms. The three main points of the presentation will be: the impact of the revisions/changes from a contractual standpoint and a discussion of how to make sure customer revisions don't become part of the contract going forward, an explanation of common credit terms and why they are important and steps that credit departments can implement to uniformly handle situations in which a customer wants to revise a contract/credit application term and condition.

28024. Never Give Up: The Survivor Way    B
Speaker: Holly Hoffman
Former Survivor TV show contestant, Holly Hoffman, shares with you how faith, attitude, determination, confidence and perseverance aid in your personal and professional journeys. Opportunities taken often let you see beyond your expectations. These unforeseen opportunities, though, often come from risk-taking. We learn from risk, and those lessons may lead us on an important new path. The attitude you set and your determination keeps you on your path of achieving goals. When you believe in yourself, you are more likely to take action. In the end however it’s not always about winning, it’s the lesson learned along the way.

28025. Finding the Dark Cloud Behind the Silver Lining    O    Int
Speaker: Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., Armada Corporate Intelligence
There is a reason economics is referred to as the Dismal Science. Economists can never just sit back and enjoy the ride. The last few years have been exceptionally good in terms of growth and employment and the like, but this has come at a price. When do we start paying for all this with higher inflation, bigger deficits and expanded debt? Is 2019 the year we face the consequences from trade wars and other skirmishes? Does any of this change the world of the credit manager? Of course it does! We can talk about how.

28026. Executive Exchange: Building & Construction    O
Moderator: Chris Ring, NACM Secured Transaction Services
Join this open peer exchange as credit and finance-related building and construction issues, challenges, resources and solutions are discussed. Attendees are encouraged to participate by posing questions, adding insights, sharing experiences and proposing solutions. A moderator will help keep the conversation flowing and productive to maximize on the time available. A panel of experts will also be present to provide specialized expertise, information and guidance.

28027. Escheatment Reporting: Where, When & How?    A
Speaker: Troy Wangen, True Partners Consulting LLC
Escheatment/unclaimed property is already a nuisance to your everyday job. But now you have been assigned with filing your company's annual reports. Where does one even start to know how to start filing in all 54 jurisdictions? With multiple filing dates, different dormancy periods, online vs. paper vs. CD, this session will break down the annual compliance process and provide best practices for implementing an effective compliance process.

Concurrent Educational Sessions
Sessions 28030-28037 are valid for .125 CEUs and CCE Recertification Points.

28030. Technology Solutions to Credit Management Challenges    I
This is a continuation of session #28020.
Together, credit professionals and service providers will share how technology has solved specific credit-related challenges, issues and other problems. (This session continues to look at challenges and technology solutions for credit departments and is not a repeat of the morning session; each session will cover different providers and challenges.)

28031. Dealing with the High Maintenance Customer: Credit, Financial and Legal Issues for the Credit Team    A
Speakers: Mark Speiser, CCE, Archer Daniels Midland Company; and Scott Blakeley, Esq., Blakeley LLP
The high maintenance customer (HMC) has led some suppliers to re-evaluate the profitability of the trade relationship, especially the resources the credit team devotes to reconcile the account. Whether the customer has unjustifiably disputed invoices, taken unauthorized discounts, taken unearned deductions, unilaterally changed terms or simply refused to pay. In response, some credit teams are quick to put the customer on credit hold or even recommend "customer divorce," thereby devoting more attention to customers paying according to terms. However, for many suppliers, even those selling in a competitive niche with narrow profit margins, there may be a more effective strategy to manage the HMC than ending the relationship. This session will address the many approaches to these customers and remedies to alleviate drastic measures.

28032. Cannabis Law: Everything You Wanted to Know but Were Afraid to Ask!    B
Speaker: Karen Hart, Esq., Bell Nunnally & Martin LLP
This timely topic addresses the quickly evolving legalities of cannabis usage. This session covers the history of legalized cannabis, what is legal (and where) as well as business and liability implications for everyone (in states where it is legalized or if doing business with companies in those states).

28033. Dominate at Mediation; Don't Settle for Less    I
Speaker: Chris Jameson, Esq., Jameson and Dunagan, P.C.
Don’t miss this one. You have not earned your stripes as a credit professional until you have been to mediation. Many courts require parties to attend mediation before a case goes to trial. A seasoned commercial collections attorney will present funny and outrageous real-life mediation stories. Chris will walk you through an introduction to mediation, how to be prepared and how to evaluate a settlement offer. Mediation can be an effective tool to resolve a disputed account, and every credit professional needs to be familiar with the mediation process.

28034. Lead Simply: Model, Connect, Involve    B
Speaker: Holly Hoffman
Former Survivor TV show contestant Holly Hoffman presents how to Lead Simply. Leadership does not have to be complex. Holly will share the lessons she has learned, including the importance of creating a team and your framework for successful leadership.

28035. How Are the Other Four Doing?    U    Int
Speaker: Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., Armada Corporate Intelligence
The five biggest economies in the world are the U.S., China, Germany, Japan and the U.K. All have their share of challenges. How is China handling the trade war, will Germany be the same without Merkel, has Japan turned a corner or is deflation still a threat and what will the U.K. really be like after Brexit? For U.S. firms that do international business, the majority is done in these four. What does the future hold for them and what will that mean for the U.S.?

28036. Advances in AI Technology for Accounts Receivable    I
Speaker: Diana Eagen, Esker, Inc.
This presentation addresses what an AI Engine is and why your business should care. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is explained as well as RPA solutions within AR. Additionally, this session touches on AI within the AR automation journey, including tasks automation can handle, invoicing and global compliance, cash application, collections management, forecasting, credit approval and deductions.

28037. Why Did My Salesmen Do That? The Sales and Credit Relationship and Conflict Resolution    I
Speaker: Kevin Stinner, CCE, CCRA, Pinnacle Agriculture Distribution, Inc.
Anyone who has worked in credit has at one time been frustrated by the sales department; however, credit and sales can enjoy a symbiotic relationship. The simple truth is that credit does not exist without sales, and sales relies on credit to help insure expansion and continued profitability for the firm. The two parties working against one another create friction, and an environment that is not advantageous for the firm. By partnering together, the two will find they have much more in common than they thought. This session will explore why having a strong partnership between credit and sales is so important, how to create new bonds and strengthen the relationship, and finally, how to maintain that good working relationship between both credit and sales.

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Tuesday, May 21

28001–28005. Certificate Course: Business Credit Principles
28011–28015. Certificate Course: Financial Statement Analysis 2: Credit and Risk Assessment

Concurrent Educational Sessions
Sessions 28040-28047 are valid for .15 CEUs and CCE Recertification Points.

28040. Navigating Trade Deals and Tariffs    A    Int
Speakers: Doreen Edelman, Esq. Lowenstein Sandler LLP; Karen Gerwitz, World Trade Center Denver; and Chad Hart, Iowa State University;
Today’s trade environment remains volatile, making it challenging and critical that companies understand how the ever-changing trade landscape impacts them. Credit departments need to understand how treaties and tariffs affect them and their customers and with whom responsibility lies.

28041. The Ardent Mills’ Story: Kneading A/R Challenges with Integrated Receivables and 50% Less Cost    I
Speakers: Jill Barnes; and Marjorie Beede, Ardent Mills
Ardent Mills is the industry innovator with the largest portfolio of traditional, specialty and whole grain flours and ingredients. This new joint venture was created in 2014 from the milling industries of Conagra Brands, Cargill and CHS and had an aggressive deadline to move all processes to homegrown systems. Given the new ERP with limited functionality, the A/R team had to rely on a large number of contract hires just to manage day-to-day operations in collections, cash application and deductions. In this session join Jill Barnes, Sr. Manager–A/R and Treasury, and Marjorie Beede, Cash Applications Supervisor, as they explain why they chose to put all their eggs in one basket with a cloud-based integrated platform for order-to-cash to move to fully automated operations with just 50% FTEs.

28042. Effective Ways to Have a Difficult Conversation with a Customer    I
Speaker: Kevin Stinner, CCE, CCRA, Pinnacle Agriculture Distribution, Inc.
We have all had trouble having difficult conversations with customers. What is the best way to break it to a customer that you must deny them a line of credit, or what is most effective way to inform a customer that you cannot approve them for an order because of their past dues? This is one of the most difficult parts of a credit professional’s job. The question is how do you work with a situation where you are telling a customer no. The answer is much more complicated than the question itself. This will be an interactive session looking at multiple situations the credit staff faces and ways to handle them. The session will also explore psychological ways to deal with customer’s reactions, including belligerent and emotional ones.

28043. I Think I'd Like to Surcharge Credit Card Payments, But Now What?    I
Speakers: Wanda Borges, Esq., Borges & Associates, LLC; and Matt Fluegge, Worldpay
More and more B2B companies are not only considering it, but are actually implementing credit card surcharging. However, confusion remains high regarding how to implement a compliant surcharge program and what is contractually permitted through the Card Networks versus legally permitted from state-to-state. In this presentation, Matt Fluegge and Wanda Borges will review recent questions regarding the Credit Card Network Surcharge Rules and developments as a result of state laws and surcharge litigation.

28044. Active Listening: The Business of Communicating    B
Speaker: Kit Welchlin, Welchlin Communication Strategies
We spend more time listening than any other communication activity. Often our minds drift and we can miss critical information and look foolish in our interactions. Listening is a skill admired by all and practiced effectively by few. The good news is that listening is free and the benefits are immense. The ability to be an effective listener is too often taken for granted. Listening requires paying attention, interpreting and remembering. A survey of personnel directors found: effective listening was ranked highest among the skills defined as most important for employees. Listening is a skill that can be learned.

28045. Push the Limits!    U
Speakers: Lynnette Warman, Esq., Culhane Meadows PLLC; and Kenny Wine, CCE, Ryerson
To achieve your credit goals in the current business climate presents challenges to even the most experienced credit manager. Be sure you know what business and legal limits affect your responses to those credit challenges and learn a few new creative solutions and best practices to meet and solve them.

28046. Executive Exchange: Performance Metrics    O
Join this open peer exchange as performance metrics topics, challenges, resources and solutions are discussed. Attendees are encouraged to participate by posing questions, adding insights, sharing experiences and proposing solutions. A moderator will help keep the conversation flowing and productive to maximize on the time available. A panel of experts will also be present to provide specialized expertise, information and guidance.

28047. What Everyone Ought to Know About the NACM National Trade Credit Report    O
Speakers: Gina Calabrese Sylvester, CMP, CGA, NACM Tampa; and Phil Lattanzio, CCE, CGA, NACM Connect
In a nutshell, the NACM National Trade Credit Report is the product you need to vet new and existing customers. Join us for this powerful session and learn about the NTCR and other valuable tools to better target risk, improve your relationship with sales, reduce delinquency and share with upper management how well your organization is performing. Need help with those pesky credit references? We’ve got you covered with the Non-Member Credit Reference tool. Need help analyzing your AR portfolio? We’ve got that covered there too with the Portfolio Risk Analysis. Oh, and there’s the Account Monitor Service. You may want to know more about that too! This is a session you don’t want to miss!

Concurrent Educational Sessions
Sessions 28050-28057 are valid for .25 CEUs and CCE Recertification Points.

28050. Global Hotspots: How to Do Business in Challenging Countries    A    Int
Moderator: Robin Walters
Panelists: Jay Tenney, Trade Risk Group; Luis Noriega, ICCE, Wells Fargo; Lizbeth Rodriguez-Johnson, Esq., Reed Smith; and Byron Shoulton, FCIA Management Company, Inc.
Back by popular demand. Panelists will provide a 360-degree view of what to expect in some of the toughest countries in which they do business. The session will include insights from a banker, an economist, a credit insurance broker and a U.S. compliance and regulations expert as credit executives guide the conversation about the challenges they face as they manage corporate credit portfolios. The session will also include a working break that will provide an opportunity for networking.

28051. Working Capital: The Lifeblood of Your Company    I
Speaker: Ryan Thomas, Innovative Risk Consultants, LLC
Many financial professionals consider working capital as the lifeblood of a company. What exactly is working capital, though? In short, working capital is what companies use to cover upcoming debt obligations. The cost of working capital causes large burdens on companies due to the amount of cash required to sustain a profitable working capital position. The cash burden imposed by working capital is the second-most-common reason companies experience financial difficulty, with failure to continuously generate a profit as the most common reason companies fail. Over-dependence on working capital requires a lot of cash, which can make it difficult to pay suppliers and even employees. The amount of working capital a company requires depends on the business model of that particular company, the industry it operates in and how it positions itself with its customers.

28052. Grooming a Construction-Oriented Credit Professional    I
Speakers: Carl Davidson, Blue Water Industries; Chris Ring, NACM Secured Transaction Services; and Sam Smith, Crescent Electric Supply
Grooming a credit professional is no small task. Universities and community colleges offer no courses on the subject to allow employers the ability to gauge a potential internal or external applicant on their understanding of the subject matter. Companies should consider themselves lucky when they have an employee(s) that strives to educate themselves on the subject. Construction Credit requires additional skills that need to be mastered to help the employee(s) and the company be successful. From this session, attendees will walk away with a better understanding of the subjects and lessons an employee(s) needs to learn to be a Construction-Oriented credit professional.

28053. Cutting-Edge Issues in Credit    A
Speakers: Lynnette Warman, Esq., Culhane Meadows PLLC; and Val Venable, CCE, Ascend Performance Materials
Evaluating credit applications, requests for credit limit extensions and overdue accounts at today's fast pace presents new challenges every day. Stay ahead of the game by learning about current credit challenges and some tips and tricks to manage them effectively.

28054. Managerial Communication: What Makes an Effective Leader?    B
Speaker: Kit Welchlin, Welchlin Communication Strategies
Day in and day out, as a manager, we are faced with problems and issues that we couldn’t have imagined. It is crucial to have a ready reference of smart moves to guide our staff to achieve measurable results. Utilizing strategies that yield success bolsters our managerial confidence. Hundreds of studies have sought to identify what it is that differentiates effective managers from ineffective ones. All studies generally conclude the effective manager must be competent in these four skills: conceptual skills, human skills, technical skills and political skills.

28055. Missing Link in Credit Management: Data Analytics    I
Speaker: Pam Krank, The Credit Department
CFOs are concerned that credit managers lack a thorough understanding of data analytics needed to bring value to the organization. In this presentation, you will learn about which data analytics today's finance leaders need to improve their organizations and maximize cash flow.

28056. Chapter 11 Boot Camp: What the Credit Team Needs to Know    I
Speakers: Wanda Borges, Esq., Borges & Associates, LLC; and Bruce Nathan, Esq., Lowenstein Sandler LLP
The speakers will first discuss the importance of understanding the papers filed at the beginning of a Chapter 11 case, the risk of doing business with a Chapter 11 debtor that has not yet obtained the approval of financing or use of cash collateral, the impact of the automatic stay that arises when bankruptcy is filed and critical vendor protection. The speakers will then cover Bankruptcy Code Section 503(b)(9), which has also significantly enhanced trade creditor rights by granting goods sellers whose customer has filed bankruptcy an administrative priority claim for the value of their goods received by the debtor within 20 days of bankruptcy, and discuss how to assert these claims, the defenses that can reduce recovery on these claims and the difference between these claims and reclamation rights. The program will also cover the rights of creditors that are parties to "executory contracts," such as supply and services agreements and purchase orders, and the steps creditors should take to protect these rights after their customer files bankruptcy. Finally, the speakers will discuss the importance of creditors' committees in Chapter 11 cases and best practices for defending preference claims.

28057. There Is No I in Team … But There Is an M and an E    B
Speaker: Kevin Stinner, CCE, CCRA, Pinnacle Agriculture Distribution, Inc.
Have you ever worked on a team that was just not working? Or the team was working but one of the members was not? Have you ever been the leader of the team but one of the members felt they should be? Working with an effective team leads to greater productivity among the group; however the opposite is true if you are on a team full of conflict. This session will look at the complexity of working on a team, and why it can be so hard at times. We will look at conflicts within a team, how to address them and ultimately overcome them to become a better, more-collaborative team. We will also look at ways to take a good team to the next level. This session will utilize instructional methods, questions and answers, and a small group activity to teach and discover ways to turn your team into a much more effective one!

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Wednesday Morning, May 22

28001–28005. Certificate Course: Business Credit Principles
28011–28015. Certificate Course: Financial Statement Analysis 2: Credit and Risk Assessment

Concurrent Educational Sessions
Sessions 28060-28067 are valid for .15 CEUs and CCE Recertification Points.

28060. Conducting a Credit Investigation in Mexico    I    Int
Speaker: Romelio Hernandez, HMH Legal
This session, built around several actual fraud cases, will highlight the importance of conducting a thorough credit investigation on sellers in Mexico, include valuable resources to help conduct credit investigations and provide the steps and best practices to follow.

28061. “Winning Together”™—Integration and Change Management: Change Optimization and M/A Integration: Bridging Communication Silos and Adapting to a New Future    B
Speaker: Rick Hernandez, Syntesis Global, LLC
In this highly interactive “Winning Together”™ segment, participants increase their confidence around interpersonal communications and in creating collaborative partnerships, thereby, enhancing their ability to understand, adapt and lead their teams through change, productively and successfully. Participants learn to interpret change as a personal and career growth experience. Aligning business drivers with future vision systematically inspires people to “buy-in” to new direction, while defining the meaning of cultural and systems integration. Peak performance, accountability and results are produced as a natural consequence to creative problem solving. This mini-workshop represents the "AGILITY" Phase of Syntesis Global's Conscious Leadership Model and offers insights, skills and strategies needed to provide individuals with the structure, information and support necessary to implement a successful, results-driven change initiative. A comprehensive and intrinsic roadmap sets the foundation for new ideas and a solid toolkit for reinforcing session concepts on the job are key takeaways. NOTE: This session may be attended individually or, for even greater benefit, we encourage attendance at all four related sessions today (28061, 28071, 28081, 28091).

28062. No Financials, No Problem!    B
Speaker: Ed Bell, DBA, CBA, ICCE, W.W. Grainger, Inc.
We have all had situations where we need to determine the proper risk and exposure we are prepared to offer a customer without the benefit of having financials. This session explores the options and tools that are available to help you determine the appropriate credit limit to successfully manage your risk and exposure. The main points of the presentation are: the credit review process including what information is needed, the sources of the information and the steps to complete the review.

28063. Building a Culture That Lasts    I
An abbreviated version of this session is offered in session #28097.
Speakers: Erica White, CCE; and Shelley Clark, CCE, Ferguson Enterprises, Inc.
This session begins with a discussion of employee development through cross training. Building a structure of strong employee engagement on all levels, through all departments and age groups is stressed. Additionally, the speakers emphasize the need to make the right hire so there is company culture buy-in to have unification and a positive morale.

28064. Electronic Signatures, Electronic Credit Applications, Where Technology Is Going and How the Courts Are Reacting    I
Speaker: Wanda Borges, Esq., Borges & Associate, LLC
Despite the fact that the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act was signed into law by President Clinton in the year 2000, it is only in the last few years that many companies are creating and adopting actual procedures for utilizing and accepting electronic signatures on credit applications, contracts and other binding documents. For years, companies have been accepting documents by email or other electronic means, mistakenly believing those documents constituted “electronic signatures.” This program will include a discussion on: the legalities of electronic signatures and the laws on which these legalities are based; what companies need to do to effectuate the creation and use of “electronic signatures”; how to create a truly binding electronic contract; and how the courts are reacting to these electronic documents.

28065. Using Predictive Default Models in Credit Dashboards    A    Int
Speaker: Martin Zorn, Kamakura Corporation
Portfolio management (credit risk management) is different late in the business cycle and by many measures we are currently late in the cycle. The speaker will explain how predictive or quantitative models can be used as an early warning sign (a flashing yellow light if you will) to help a credit manager focus on where risks may be emerging and where they should do a deeper dive on the financial performance and risks with their counterparty. The tool used is the inverted default curve where short-term risk is greater than long-term risk. You will learn why this is an important tool late in the cycle.

28066. Dominate the Opposition: Effectively Using Experts in Creditors' Rights Litigation    A
Speakers: Thomas Fawkes, Esq.; and Brian Jackiw, Esq., Goldstein & McClintock LLLP; and Bradley Sargent, The Sargent Consulting Group, LLC
From time to time, a company will be required to engage in litigation with a present or former customer, whether in order to collect past-due receivables, or to address fraud or fraudulent transfers, or to defend against a bankruptcy avoidance action. In these instances, it may be desirable—if not necessary—to retain the services of a qualified expert to support the company’s claims, defenses and damages. However, the selection and use of an expert often presents a host of challenges that must be carefully addressed in order to maximize his or her effectiveness. During this presentation, the speakers will provide guidance on best practices that companies should follow in selecting an expert and getting maximum value from an expert engagement. Among other things, we will discuss: (i) the process of determining whether an expert should be retained; (ii) how to identify the right expert for your case; (iii) the judicial process by which an expert is qualified to testify; and (iv) tactical considerations that companies should consider when preparing an expert for depositions or trials. We will also share real-world examples of situations in which the effective use of an expert brought about successful results in creditors’ rights litigation matters.

28067. Tax Document Automation and Compliance    A
Speakers: Silvia Aguirre; and Matthew MacNeil, Avalara CertCapture
This session will describe best practices and the type of automation necessary to maintain proactively various tax and business documents, including sales and use tax exemption certificates, federal W-9s and W-8s, and VAT registration evaluations. Additionally, how the latest Supreme Court WayFair decision will affect business processes and needs around tax and credit departments, and automation required for growth.

Concurrent Educational Sessions
Sessions 28070-28077 are valid for .15 CEUs and CCE Recertification Points.

28070. Managing Shared Service Center Challenges and Best Practices    I    Int
Speakers: John LaRocca, CICP, Hitachi Vantara Corporation; Val Venable, CCE, Ascend Performance Materials; and Brett Wegner, Cargill, Inc.
Depending on where they are in the world, shared service centers can operate differently and each can have its own set of challenges. Hear from credit professionals about how they manage those challenges and the best practices they have developed to make them efficient and run smoothly.

28071. “Winning Together”™—Conscious Leadership—Leading with Effective Communications: Leadership Development    B
Speaker: Rick Hernandez, Syntesis Global, LLC
Successful business growth, negotiations and direction always involve the clarity of communication from competent leaders—and whose performance imperative requires a return on investment and return on time (ROI/ROT). This leading-edge session is based on the book, Creating a Culture of Excellence—the 3 Awareness, and introduces the "PRECISION" Phase of Syntesis Global’s Conscious Leadership Principles that drive the psychology behind helping individuals and management teams clarify their understanding around the elements specific to leading others, selling their ideas and communication “buy-in.” This “Winning Together”™ segment, underscores the development of an essential competency around how to lead with conviction, integrity and a sense of urgency. Further, learn how to effectively inspire and motivate through influence, purpose and personal accountability to “Create a Culture of Excellence.” Participants explore the opportunities associated with leadership development and how anticipating change can be productive, while improving efficiencies and the bottom line. The key takeaway is the ability to formulate action plans and systems to create an environment that ensures employees and managers have the framework to improve performance, while contributing to growth and sustainability. NOTE: This session may be attended individually or, for even greater benefit, we encourage attendance at all four related sessions today (28061, 28071, 28081, 28091).

28072. The Dragon and the Bull Market    I    Int
Speaker: Kevin Wiley, Esq., Hicks Law Group PLLC
This session addresses how a potential trade war with China could impact the bull market in the construction industry. The speaker will discuss the impact of tariffs on the steel and concrete industries, the dangers of providing credit to firms contracting for international projects and, finally, securing collateral with firms doing business internationally.

28073. Differences in Risk Evaluation for Public and Private Companies    I
Speaker: Dr. Camilo Gomez, CreditRiskMonitor, Inc.
Dr. Gomez will explore the differences between public and private company financial risk and how credit managers must assess each with a distinct and proactive mindset. He will explore the models for each type of analysis and the accessible information tied into that analysis.

28074. Bankruptcy Point-Counterpoint from the Vendor’s Perspective    I
Speakers: Wanda Borges, Esq., Borges & Associates, LLC; and Bruce Nathan, Esq., Lowenstein Sandler LLP
The speakers will present a point-counterpoint discussion of the different perspectives on hot issues facing trade creditors when their customer files bankruptcy, including whether claims based on drop-shipments are entitled to priority status as a 20-day goods/§ 503(b)(9) administrative claim; hot consignment issues arising out of the Sports Authority bankruptcy; and preference claims/defenses, including whether the new value defense is lost for court-approved paid invoices that are part of a vendor’s 20-day goods/§ 503(b)(9) administrative claim. Additional topics include different approaches to compare payments prior to and during the preference period in proving the subjective part of the ordinary course of business defense; and whether reclamation rights are a viable remedy where the debtor’s secured lender has a blanket lien in all of the debtor’s inventory.

28075. Credit Scorecards: Scaling Your Credit Process    I
Speaker: Rhonda Buras, Dun & Bradstreet
Credit scorecards are a great way to streamline the decision-making process! Credit managers can’t spend hours looking at spreadsheets, reading credit reports or calling trade references before an order can be filled or a new account can be onboarded. Routine credit decisions need to be made quickly and efficiently to shorten the sales cycle so time and resources can be better spent on more strategic projects or managing the customer account portfolio. With a scorecard, credit teams can quickly identify the customers who might pay late or pose otherwise serious credit risks, alleviate time-consuming manual reviews and provide more consistent credit decisions.

28076. Secured Transactions in Latin America    A    Int
Speaker: Romelio Hernandez, HMH Legal; and Ty Knox, ICCE, EFCO Corp.
Before you sell into Latin America’s most challenging markets you need to know how to assess, choose and implement the correct security devices to best protect your transactions. Learn how secured transactions in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico can enhance a creditor’s position against debtors; how security devices in these countries compare with those available to creditors in the U.S.; and what transactions or situations present unique or additional risks.

28077. Preparing the New Generation of Credit Professionals    B
Speaker: Ed Bell, DBA, CBA, ICCE, W.W. Grainger, Inc.
Whether we want to embrace it or not, a new generation will soon be at the helm of the credit profession. Rather than resisting the change and denying the inevitable, we should acknowledge and prepare for this eventuality. The future of the credit profession will be determined by how well we make this transition. In this session, we will learn more about the generational differences and explore ways to make the generational transformation a little easier.

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Wednesday Afternoon, May 22

Concurrent Educational Sessions
Sessions 28080-28087 are valid for .1 CEUs and CCE Recertification Points.

28080. Conducting International Due Diligence    I    Int
Speakers: Tim Bastian, ICCE, Western Oilfields Supply Company dba Rain for Rent; Jonathan Clark, Export-Import Bank of the United States; John Leonard, Deloitte FAS; and Cynthia Wieme, CCE, ICCE, MICM
Credit reports will only get you so far. Even if they are not manually pulling together the information, credit managers need to understand where agencies are pulling information and how to assess it. Failing to conduct timely and thorough credit investigations can lead a company down the rabbit hole when it comes time to collect on a debt. Learn about some of the common due diligence pitfalls and how to avoid them, how to supplement information found in credit reports and what steps to take to conduct a comprehensive credit investigation.

28081. “Winning Together”™— Conducting Difficult Conversations    B
Speaker: Rick Hernandez, Syntesis Global, LLC
In this pragmatic “Winning Together”™ segment, master the purpose behind how to resolve and navigate crucial and "uncomfortable" dialogue for increased leadership influence and maximum organizational impact. No matter how compelling the vision or how brilliant the strategy—without empathy and clarity of communication—understanding, agreement and “buy-in” are short-lived. This powerful, results-oriented session provides you with practical techniques to shape your leadership messages, hone an authentic leadership voice and engage in difficult conversations that achieve positive results. Additionally, from this practical "RESILIENCE" Phase of the “Winning Together”™ competency model, you'll gain confidence and critical tools to prepare and frame a message that increases your ability to minimize dissension and increase solutions. Further, you'll learn to manage upwardly, improve the propensity to achieve stated goals and to influence others who may not report to you. Finally, by developing your ability to conduct crucial conversations, you'll gain enhanced commitment from people at all levels: direct reports, peers and bosses. NOTE: This session may be attended individually or, for even greater benefit, we encourage attendance at all four related sessions today (28061, 28071, 28081, 28091).

28082. Forest Guide to Machine Learning in Risk Management    B
Speaker: Brodie Oldham, Experian
This session will explore how machine learning has been used in the past to make decisions and how it compared to standard regression in commercial risk assessment. Does machine learning really add value for the cost of implementation? What is being used in the market today and where are we finding success? What is the next evolution of this technology and how can we prepare? These and more questions will be addressed by Mr. Oldham in this presentation.

28083. The Power of Pivot Tables    I
This session is repeated in #28093.
Speaker: Ruth Smith, Applied Desktop Services, LLC
This session focuses on Microsoft Excel’s powerful tool, Pivot Tables. Pivot Tables enable users to summarize, filter and report data from different angles. The strength lies in the ability to group data and rearrange it into more than just a list—it becomes powerful information. In this session, we focus on several key points: preparing your data, creating pivot tables, filtering using slicers and timelines, creating calculations in pivot tables, drilling down into data and charting the results.

28084. Creating a Values-Based Credit Department    I
Speaker: John Markham, CCE, CICP, Ferguson Enterprises, Inc.
This session helps give credit leaders a blueprint for creating core values to better align the goals of your department. Whether you are part of a credit department with hundreds of associates or a small business, the creation of core values is a great tool for creating uniformity in purpose, decision-making and direction as a credit department. The presenter will explain: why a values-based credit department can take your team to the next level; the process for creating core values and getting buy-in; using values to recruit, retain, develop and hold associates to account; and, creating organizational leaders using core values.

28085. Hidden Fees on Your Merchant Processing Statement    B
Speaker: Robert Day,
You will learn how to spot hidden fees on your merchant processing statement, and what you need to do to get them removed.

28086. Life After Debt    I
Speaker: D'Ann Johnson, CCE, A-Core Concrete Cutting, Inc.
What do you do when an account stops paying? What remedies are available for your company to recoup monies owed? This session covers the basics on how to file small claims, collect on NSF checks and alternatives for debtors without an application or account.

28087. Vendor Vetting: Why Screen Your Service Vendors?    I
Speaker: Blake Browder, CIC Credit
To limit the potential for statutory or regulatory violations and related consumer harm, companies should take steps to ensure their business arrangements with service providers do not present unwarranted risks to consumers. These steps would include, but are not limited to: (i) conducting thorough due diligence to verify the service provider understands and is capable of complying with federal consumer financial law; (ii) requesting and reviewing the service provider’s policies, procedures, internal controls and training materials to ensure the service provider conducts appropriate training and oversight of employees or agents that have consumer contact or compliance responsibilities; (iii) including in the contract with the service provider clear expectations about compliance, as well as appropriate and enforceable consequences for violating any compliance-related responsibilities, including engaging in unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices; (iv) establishing internal controls and ongoing monitoring to determine whether the service provider is complying with federal consumer financial law; and, (v) taking prompt action to address fully any problems identified through the monitoring process, including terminating the relationship where appropriate.

Concurrent Educational Sessions
Sessions 28090-28097 are valid for .1 CEUs and CCE Recertification Points.

28090. Communicating Across Cultures    I    Int
Speakers: Cynthia Wieme, CCE, ICCE, MICM; Sandi Langdon, CPA, CMA, CCE, ICCE, Clariant Corporation; and Val Venable, CCE, Ascend Performance Materials
Learn how to navigate communication challenges due to cultural differences. Presenters will share tips and techniques for communicating with customers and team members from other countries and cultures.

28091. “Winning Together”™— Delegating: Optimizing Teams    B
Speaker: Rick Hernandez, Syntesis Global, LLC
Delegating in a new economy is the "New Normal." In this “Winning Together”™ segment, (The RESILIENCE Phase), you'll significantly enhance your ability to achieve your business objectives, and simultaneously secure stake holder "buy-in," more effectively than ever before. How? By checking the critical steps necessary to invoke performance compliance and higher responsiveness. Learn the true skills of how to delegate—effectively—by giving up a little of what you would like to hold onto (a measure of control), while exploring the advantages of growing and teaching your audience to become more accountable. Your takeaways: you will not only improve your effective delegating competency, but will increase your own productivity by focusing your efforts on high-value work; you will also empower your employees, improve their confidence and grow their competence, as well. Join us to augment your ability to build collaboration, inspire cooperation and to groom successors as a component to succession planning. NOTE: This session may be attended individually or, for even greater benefit, we encourage attendance at all four related sessions today (28061, 28071, 28081, 28091).

28092. Modernization: Artificial Intelligence and Process Automation Across the Credit-to-Cash Cycle    I
Speaker: Keith Cowart, FIS
In today's world, it is more important than ever to modernize your credit-to-cash process. Combining Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Process Automation in every aspect promotes a continuously improving environment that is sustainable in the short and long term. Learn how combining AI and automation can reduce operational expense and improve cash flow.

28093. The Power of Pivot Tables    I
This is an encore of session #28083.
Speaker: Ruth Smith, Applied Desktop Services, LLC
This session focuses on Microsoft Excel’s powerful tool, Pivot Tables. Pivot Tables enable users to summarize, filter and report data from different angles. The strength lies in the ability to group data and rearrange it into more than just a list—it becomes powerful information. In this session, we focus on several key points: preparing your data, creating pivot tables, filtering using slicers and timelines, creating calculations in pivot tables, drilling down into data and charting the results.

28094. Advanced Collection Techniques in the Construction Industry    A
Speaker: Christopher Ng, Esq., Gibbs Giden Locher Turner Senet & Wittbrodt, LLP
This session addresses the more complex collection techniques applicable to the construction industry, such as evaluating available statutory remedies (mechanic’s lien rights, bond claims and stop payment notices/claims on construction funds) on private and public projects. Mr. Ng will also discuss how to pursue Miller Act bond claims for federal projects, how to avoid getting caught in fraudulent schemes when selling MBEs/WBEs/DVBEs, and how to enforce claims against contractors’ license bonds. He will further present how to enhance pre-lawsuit collection efforts (including strategies for impactful demand letters and exploring claims against third parties), how to navigate the Bankruptcy Court when your customer, the general contractor or the owner files bankruptcy, as well as handling the contractor’s purchase order and avoiding the “Battle of the Forms.” 

28095. Financial Shenanigans    I
Speaker: Antje Seiffert-Murphy, Equinox Global
Financial shenanigans can range from creative interpretation of accounting rules to outright fraud. These actions can make a company’s credit risk look healthier than it really is and potentially go undetected for many years. This type of chicanery poses significant analytical challenges for credit professionals and has caused sizeable losses to the credit and investor community. For example, major cases in the recent past include Enron and WorldCom. During the session, Ms. Seiffert-Murphy will discuss types of financial shenanigans that include earnings manipulation and cash flow as well as explore ways to detect manipulations with the help of examples where companies reported false or misleading financial results.

28096. The Changing Face of Credit Management—Shifting from a “No” Department to the Core of the Finance Value Chain    B
Speaker: Michael Koehler, Serrala
In the face of an ever-more-complex global risk landscape, the image and reputation of credit management appear to be undergoing significant changes. While long regarded an inhibitor for sales, credit management today is finding itself at the core of the financial value chain. Learn how credit managers can fulfill the expectations associated by: putting the processes and systems in place to enable credit managers to act quickly and flexibly; enabling a 360-degree view of the customer to facilitate sales while protecting the company; and leveraging data sources and analytic tools to detect and estimate risk accurately and with precision.

28097. Building a Culture That Lasts    I
An expanded version of this session is offered in #28063.
Speakers: Erica White, CCE; and Shelley Clark, CCE, Ferguson Enterprises, Inc.
This session begins with a discussion of employee development through cross-training. Building a structure of strong employee engagement on all levels, through all departments and age groups is stressed. Additionally, the speakers emphasize the need to make the right hire so there is company culture buy-in to have unification and a positive morale.

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Continuing Education Unit (CEU) Information
The Education Department of the National Association of Credit Management® has reviewed the educational content of the sessions on the Credit Congress program. Participants attending these group-live sessions will earn continuing education units (CEUs), and where noted, CCE recertification points.

The continuing education units have been awarded in accordance with the standards recommended by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). The CEU is a nationally recognized unit designed to provide a record of an individual’s continuing education accomplishments. One CEU is awarded for each 10 contact hours of instruction.

International Continuing Education Units (ICEU)
For those holding FCIB’s ICCE designation, you can earn recertification points by attending designated Credit Congress sessions. ICEU points are calculated as one education point equal to one hour of continuing education.

Many thanks to our conference sponsors:

  • Billtrust
  • BvD
  • C2FO
  • CIC
  • Dun & Bradstreet
  • IAB
  • NTCR
  • Rimilia
  • UTA