Nurturing Excellence: The Transformative Power of Mentorship

NACM National

Kendall Payton, Editorial Associate

All of us start our careers as a new professional with little-to-no experience, hungry for education
and excited for what lies ahead. Mentorship is the bedrock of professional growth and development
in the modern workplace. It is the bridge between experience and aspiration.

For those seeking guidance, mentors provide a unique opportunity to tap into the wisdom of those
who have walked the path before, offering valuable insights, advice and a safe space to learn from
both successes and failures. Mentors often find renewed inspiration and a sense of fulfillment in
guiding the next generation of talent.

Mentors can help develop your personal professional development and set goals and hold you
accountable to achieve those goals. In fact, employees with a mentor are five times more likely to
get promoted than those without a mentor, and 71% of Fortune 500 companies have mentoring
programs, according to research from McCarthy Mentoring.

NACM’s Mentors & Milestones program gives members the opportunity to learn from seasoned
credit professionals and network with other industry leaders. “All of what we do from a mentor’s
standpoint is valuable to somebody,” said Scott Chase, CCE, CICP, global director of credit at
Gibson Brands, Inc. (Nashville, TN). “A truly great mentor is hard to find, difficult to part with and
impossible to forget. The discussion group was born out of the need to get the conversation going
and there are so many professionals who have done it all and want to share what they’ve learned
over the course of their careers.”

D’Ann Johnson, CCE, credit manager at A-Core Concrete Cutting, Inc. (Salt Lake City, UT) has more
than 25 years of experience as a credit professional. As one of the featured mentors of NACM’s
Mentors & Milestones group, Johnson said mentors and mentees are all in the same community
regardless of the specific industry. “Having a community to go to and ask questions or someone
with experience that you can tap into and learn from is what this program is all about,” she said.
“You can learn so much, no matter what side of the coin you are on.”

As the older generation is starting to retire, eventually the torch will need to be passed. Passing the
valuable knowledge along to those who are next in line is a great way to give back to a profession
that has given you fulfillment. Mentorship can help the credit industry grow stronger, said Terri
Eggebeen, assistant manager, credit and collection specialist at Fechheimer Brothers Company
(Cincinnati, OH). “Within the discussion group, credit professionals can connect with others who
are in the same position they are that have the same questions or issues and get assistance,”
Eggebeen added. “The more meetings we have and conferences we attend, we can promote the
group to grow even more.”

Mentors come in all different shapes and sizes. Mentorship takes experience and passion for what
you do. “I love hearing how different people and industries navigate credit, corporate politics, build
teams and determine best practices. I’ve even incorporated several ideas and concepts that have
been brought up,” added Johnson. “Never stop being a student! Listen, learn and be open to new
ideas or different viewpoints.”