Award Presented by the National Association of Credit Management

July 19, 2012: Columbia, MD—The National Association of Credit Management (NACM) honored Lawrence O'Brien, CCE, ICCE of Algonquin as the 2012 NACM Mentor of the Year during the association's 116th Annual Credit Congress and Exposition, held in Grapevine, Texas, June 10-13.

Lawrence O'Brien, is not only a mentor, but a teacher and volunteer who encourages others to do the same. Guided by that belief, O'Brien implemented a unique approach when he secured budget money to promote continued education and professional designations for the credit staff at his company, Potash Corporation in Northbrook. So far, four of five Potash credit managers have done so, earning their CCE and CICP designations.* In addition, Potash's credit department staff are members of many industry organizations and associations.


He believes that although the price of participation and education may be high, the rewards far outweigh the risk of making costly mistakes due to a lack of knowledge, lack of information, or a weak network. "It's your job to bring things up to management. You're responsible for alerting management to what's happening, why it's important and giving a blueprint," said O'Brien at Credit Congress.

His staff holds him in high regard. "He's fair, open-minded and always willing to listen and provide solid guidance you can count on," said Jennifer Geeve, CCE, CICP. "He understands that lack of knowledge can be more expensive in the long run than the tuition for a few classes." Another credit manager, George Curylo, CCE, CICP noted, "I consider myself very lucky to be working for such a great mentor."

In 2005, O'Brien joined the staff of Potash, the world's largest fertilizer company by capacity with operations and business interests in seven countries, as a credit manager, and was promoted to director of corporate credit in 2007. He is responsible for the management of all active accounts, including reviewing and monitoring credit line renewals. He has worked in the credit profession for over two decades, successfully completing NACM's certification program and earning the CCE, CICP and ICCE designations in 1995, 2008 and 2012, respectively.

O'Brien is involved in many industry and professional credit organizations. He served as chairman of the International Division of the National Chemical Credit Association and also received top honors from his company for outstanding achievement in management skills during the credit crisis of 2008-2009. He is a frequent speaker and educator on topics of domestic and international credit and financial statement analysis. Currently, he serves on the NACM Connect Board of Directors based in Rolling Meadows.

As a volunteer, he is extremely active in his local church where he chairs blood drives, special Olympics and other events.

O'Brien is a graduate of Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and Lewis University in Illinois.

The National Association of Credit Management warmly congratulates Lawrence O'Brien on being honored as the 2012 Mentor of the Year.

About the National Association of Credit Management

NACM, headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, supports more than 15,000 business credit and financial professionals worldwide with premier industry services, tools and information. NACM and its network of Affiliated Associations are the leading resource for credit and financial management information and education, delivering products and services, which improve the management of business credit and accounts receivable. NACM's collective voice has influenced legislative results concerning commercial business and trade credit to our nation's policy makers for more than 100 years, and continues to play an active part in legislative issues pertaining to business credit and corporate bankruptcy. Its annual Credit Congress is the largest gathering of credit professionals in the world.

*NACM Designations and the Honors and Awards Committee

The NACM certification program is comprised of three designations on the domestic side: the Certified Business Associate (CBA), Credit Business Fellow (CBF) and the most prestigious, the Certified Credit Executive® (CCE®). Under NACM's international division, the Finance, Credit and International Business Association (FCIB), NACM also offers the Certified International Credit Professional (CICP) and International Certified Credit Executive (ICCE) designations. The NACM-National Honors and Awards Committee bases its awards on a scoring system that rates nominees in nearly 50 areas of professional life, including their participation in NACM activities on local and national levels, service on local and national industry credit groups, educational attainment in the credit field, continuing education participation, professional accomplishments and dedication to the profession.

NACM has a wealth of member experts in the fields of business-to-business credit and law. Consider using NACM as a resource in the development of your next credit or finance story.

NACM-National Contact: Caroline Zimmerman, 410-740-5560

Affiliate Contact: Phillip Lattanzio, CCE, NACM Connect/NACM Midwest, 847-483-6477


Source: National Association of Credit Management

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of Credit Management

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