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Jun 01 2014
Don't Skip Dessert
Shane Inglesby, CCE, Geneva Rock Products, Inc.

Periodically I enjoy indulging in a good buffet. I love the variety of food that is offered and the fact that I can choose what I want, when I want and the portion that I want. Candidly, I don't spend a lot of time with the salad bar. Yes, I know it's healthy but that need can be met at another time and another place as other more exotic options seem to scream my name and beg me to indulge.


Typically, before I even fill my first plate (notice, I said first), I will check out the dessert section of the buffet to see what is offered. These temptations often drive my dining "strategy" for the course of the meal as I do not want to miss tasty conclusions that can offer the perfect ending to a fine dining experience.


As I consider my years of membership with ICEL, I can't help but think about how ICEL can be considered a type of buffet for credit professionals. No, I am not talking about the many buffets that we have consumed at the Red Lion Hotel. I am looking at the big picture of what ICEL has to offer us as members.


I know that I have been made a better credit manager by the programs that have been offered at our monthly meetings. Speakers bring insights and expertise that have helped me become a better credit manager. Some of the topics have been more on the healthy side while others a bit more on the light side - but all have been nutritious.


I have also learned from the many articles that appear in the CreditWise newsletter. I marvel at the expertise and experience of my peers.


ICEL truly offers many morsels upon which we can feast . Yet, ironically enough, I believe many of our members side-step the figurative desserts that are offered. The networking opportunities offered by our association are plentiful and appealing.


Our monthly meetings offer opportunities to meet face-to-face with fellow credit managers that are dealing with many similar challenges. Many of these credit managers are finding solutions to difficult situations. Table-talk at our meetings provides opportunities to create relationships that can provide a wealth of resources that can be tapped when challenges arise.


The most delectable dessert ICEL has to offer, which many choose to pass up, is that of serving on an ICEL committee. Working with other credit managers with a shared goal to try and give back to the association - whether it be through scheduling speakers, improving the quality of our newsletter, focusing on educational opportunities or simply trying to get more members - fosters a spirit of camaraderie that can enhance your experience as a credit manager for many years to come.


I have been the beneficiary of these types of relationships that develop through committee service. I have, in all seriousness, been in a job interview situation when a fellow committee member interviewed ahead of me. Afterwards I learned that this individual realized she was not a fit for the position but then indicated to the interviewer that the person best suited for the position was me and that I was the next interview. I am still amazed by the benevolence of this individual. I was offered the position and I still work in that job to this day. I know that such a recommendation would have never been given had it not been for the shared experience we had of serving on a committee together.


Committee service offers a knowledge and insight that goes beyond the interactions offered at our monthly lunch meetings. You are literally working side-by-side with individuals that share the same goal of working to help improve our association. Along the way, you come to know them on a more personal level which provides benefits and knowledge that would, otherwise, be impossible to obtain.


If you are like me, the term "networking" can seem rather mechanical and impersonal. I have learned through ICEL that networking is a very natural and pleasant experience when committee service is involved.


Many plentiful desserts are available for the taking as we utilize our membership in ICEL to its fullest. The question is - are you taking full advantage? Service and networking opportunities abound in our association. Please do not hesitate to partake. We need you! Let me know where your interests lie and I will make sure we find a committee assignment that will be meaningful for you and for ICEL. I am confident you will look back after you have seized the opportunity to serve and realize the bite you took was sweet and delicious.