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Jun 01 2019
Debie Wangsgard, CCE Retires
Shane Inglesby, CCE, Geneva Rock Products, Inc.

After 42 years of working in the credit profession, Debie Wangsgard, CCE, retired from BMC as its Corporate Credit Compliance/Project Manager.

Deb's start in the field of credit may sound familiar to many. She never really aspired to work as a credit manager but when she moved with her husband, Dean, to Salt Lake City from the Ogden area, they did not anticipate the increase in the cost of living. As a result, Deb decided to follow Dean's lead and do part-time collection work for bad checks from home while her children napped in the afternoon. Her clients consisted of Pizza Hut along with two dentist offices.

She later went to work for a cabinet shop where she did full-time collection work, some payroll and even got involved with some design work. She then worked for four years for an electrical supply house, Amfac, before moving to Norbest, a turkey marketing co-op.

It was at Norbest where she was mentored by LeGrande Wright. He encouraged her to increase her knowledge of credit. Her transition from the construction industry to the food industry required a significant change of mindset and skills. She left behind the world of net 30-day terms to that of net 7 days. She was required to collect much larger past due balances but through it all, LeGrande coached her, was her greatest advocate and encouraged her to be the best that she could be.

During this timeframe, she was attending an NACM graduation ceremony where a member of the board asked why she was not a "part of it." This conversation triggered a commitment by Deb to pursue her certifications including her CBA, CBF and CCE - which she received in 1986. Receiving her designations kept her motivated to move forward in her career and helped her feel like she knew what she was doing. She also knows the designations gave her credibility she would not have had otherwise. Deb says, "Without NACM by my side, I would not be where I am today." She has tried to give back to NACM by serving on many boards and committees over the years.

In 1999, she received her bachelor's degree in business with a minor in Finance from Westminster College. Looking back, she is not quite certain how she accomplished this goal as it required nine years of taking evening classes while working full-time, being a mother and serving in her community.

Deb later left Norbest. LeGrande encouraged her to spread her wings and become a manager. She applied to be the Corporate Credit Manager for Swire Coca Cola, got the job and spent the next 10 years there.

She later went back to her roots in the construction industry as the credit manager for the Utah Division of BMC West. After four years, she was recruited to work for Stock Building Supply where she was assigned the task of creating a corporate training and compliance program for all of its credit managers. Part of this assignment required teaching CBA classes to credit associates across the country and centralizing and automating the cash application function in Raleigh North Carolina.

During the downturn she and another coworker were tasked with heading up the Bad Debt Department for Stock to ensure all bad debt write-offs were actively tracked to recover money from these write-offs.  She later became responsible for the cash applications department that was set up in India. She was also responsible for the roll out of two new software tools and the conversion of the credit piece of the ERP system to the BMC locations after Stock and BMC merged.

Thanks to the merger of Stock and BMC, Deb returned to the ranks for BMC where she would finish her career. She would like to thank her BMC Family for the support they have given over the last 14 years.

Deb strives to live by the adage she has displayed on her desk, "Do something that scares you every day." She believes people need to see beyond what they are doing today and realize they need to improve upon themselves. She believes employees need to learn beyond the world of credit and understanding the actual business of the company they work for. In the end, it will bring greater value to both the employee and company they work for.

One of the books that has been most influential for her is The Exceptional Presenter by Timothy Koegel. It has helped her be a better teacher and communicator. She also likes a series of books entitled Essential Managers that are shorter reads and get right to the point of many leadership/management topics. She has found them to be helpful in her career and mentoring others.

Deb is especially grateful to her husband for the love and support he has given her throughout her career. She looks forward to serving a mission with him for her church. They enjoy photography and getting out in nature to capture some great photos. Cuba is also high on her bucket list of places to travel. She wants to master speaking Spanish as she has always wanted to be fluent in that language. She also plans to volunteer at the assisted living center where her father resides and looks forward to spending more time with her family.

Deb's goal of retirement is now achieved. We thank her for her service to NACM and wish her the best in her future endeavors.