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Jan 01 2018
A Fond Farewell - Dean Wangsgard to Retire
Shane Inglesby, CCE, Geneva Rock Products, Inc.

Dean Wangsgard, president of NACM Intermountain, will retire at the end of this month after 38 years of service to our association.

For many this change will be hard to comprehend. Very few, if any credit professionals in our affiliate, have any remembrance of their dealings with NACM without Dean being a part of our association that we rely upon and trust to provide us with information needed to help us excel in credit management.

Dean started with NACM on November 26, 1979. Many will be surprised to know that Dean's career in credit was firmly in place even before he joined the ranks of NACM employment. It could be argued his career started in 1966 with his part-time job, while attending high school, when he worked for a collection agency.

He later went to work for J.G. Read & Brothers as a credit manager. He later worked for Olympus Glass. It was here, as a member of NACM's contractors group, he learned about and accepted an opportunity with NACM to work in sales. After four years, he moved into working with accounting and bankruptcies.

In 1987 he was promoted to the office of Vice President where he managed the collections department and all aspects of bankruptcies including adjustments. In July of 2005, the board of directors extended an offer to take over all aspects of the association when his predecessor, Logan Bagley, retired.

As with any job, especially one with the same company for 38 years, there have been many accomplishments along with a few challenges. Dean's greatest challenge was managing the association during the Great Recession. Sales were down, memberships declined, and many pressures were in place to close the Las Vegas mortgage department. Dean not only directed the association through this challenging time but ensured its continuing success when several other NACM affiliates across the country were unable to endure the challenges of a severely stressed economy.

Dean considers his greatest accomplishment to be realigning the mortgage department with Credit Information Services (CIS). As Factual Data Services announced its intentions to sever a long-standing relationship, the move to CIS maintained the viability of the mortgage department which has been and continues to be vital to the overall economic health of our association as it provides an important revenue stream for the association.

Dean was also instrumental in developing NACM's education department. Education has always been a part of NACM. However, at one point in time, it was not a focus for the association. Dean initiated what is known today as Credit Boot Camp. This overview of how a credit department should operate was the springboard for all other educational services currently offered by NACM. Dean has taught every class NACM offers to it members. As a result, many credit professionals have achieved their professional designations. These designations have played a key role in promoting the credit profession in our state.

In the words of one credit manager, "Dean has the ability to make you feel like you are the smartest and most important person in the room. He has an amazing ability to put others at ease, to build confidence and to inspire." In the words of his successor, Georgette Bevan, "Dean has built and elevated the credit profession in Utah."

As most who have had a successful career, Dean has had several mentors along the way. He considers his greatest mentor to be Robin Schauseil, President of NACM National. As they have worked together for many years, he has learned from her work ethic and appreciates her keen insight as she works through challenging projects. He also admires how she is able to address and articulate replies while in challenging situations that require thoughtful, appropriate and direct responses. He has learned much from her while watching her address a wide variety of topics.

Dean looks forward to spending more time with his grandchildren. He also plans to pursue his passion for photography. He and his wife, Deb, are also planning to serve a mission for their church when Deb retires.

Dean will be sorely missed but his influence in the credit community will live on. We wish him the best in the years to come.