PPAI PromoTalks Presents: “Expert Advice For Secure Credit Practices”
In this episode, PPAI PromoTalks Presents: “Expert Advice For Secure Credit Practices” with our panel of credit experts: Mike Hopkins, Credit Manager at Paramount Apparel; Chris Birdwell, Credit Strategies Manager at Pioneer Balloon Company; Eric McMahon, Credit Manager at Leed’s and Diane Crimmins, CBF, CGA, Group Manager for the Promotional Products Industry Credit Group AND program administrator for PPAI Credit Services powered by Forius. Our panelists today are involved in the Industry Credit Group, are members of National Association of Credit Management (NACM) and are active users of the PPAI Credit Services platform.
Our moderator is Tina Berres Filipski, director of publications and editor at PPAI. Listen to expert advice from our panelists as they discuss their best business practices and share their experiences.
Eric McMahon has worked over 17 years in credit management. He spent the first eight years were with Sherwin Williams in the painting and coatings industry, before moving over to Polyconcept North America as their credit manager in 2012. Eric joined the National Promotional Products Credit Group (NPPCG) in 2012. Shortly after in 2015, he began serving on the board of directors as a Director-at-Large. His education began with a bachelor’s in Business Administration from SUNY at Oswego, followed by receiving an MBA from Waynesburg University. Eric is currently working toward a certification with the NACM.
Diane Crimmins is a 42-year veteran of NACM North Central, DBA: Forius and PPAI Credit Services. She earned her CBA (Credit Business Associate) Designation from NACM North Central in 1994 and her CBF (Credit Business Fellow) Designation in 2004. She serves as Group Manager for several industry groups, including the National Promotional Products Credit Group. She has been working with the Promotional Products Group since 1999 and PPAI since 2000. Diane has been married for 37 years, they have two children and two grandchildren.
Chris Birdwell has been working in the credit profession for over 30 years. For last 19, he has held the position of Credit Strategies Manager for Pioneer Balloon Company in Wichita, KS. He is currently CFDD National Vice Chairman overseeing Membership Services and Publicity for (NACM) the National Association of Credit Management. His leadership pathway includes serving as a board member for NACM's National Promotional Products Credit Group for the past 20 years and holding positions of Education Chairman, Vice Chair, and National Chairman. Chris served three years as president of Wichita chapter of Credit and Financial Development Division (CFDD) and two years as Area Director, earning him the special “Star Award” and “Key to Success” in 2019 for the Wichita chapters excellence and for organizing OKC CFDD new chapter launch. Chris believes it is critical that credit teams are recognized as 'Profit Centers' that maximize sales and mitigate risk, while protecting one of the largest corporate assets.
Mike Hopkins has worked in the credit field over 30 years, spending the last 26 years at Paramount Apparel International, a privately owned business that wholesales headwear and apparel to a diverse customer base. Paramount Apparel sells to the promotional products market, but also services the golf industry, major sporting goods, discount, and department store chains as well as high-end specialty boutique stores. Mike is responsible for all aspects of credit and collections and has one other staff person.
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