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Credit Q&A - Erika Rayer

Associate Director, Credit Services at ABC-Amega

What is your background?

I attended SUNY Fredonia where I received a B.S. in Communication – Audio/Radio Production and completed a minor in Music.  Between college semesters I interned as a collections representative at ABC-Amega, where upon finishing college I was welcomed into a full-time position.

How did you first enter the field of Credit?

After my first year of working at ABC-Amega I applied for a credit analyst position within the company.  Despite my inexperience in the credit field, I was interested in the opportunity to expand my knowledge and skills and to learn first-hand from experienced professionals within the industry.

What is your job title and what are your responsibilities?

I am the Associate Director, Credit Services.  In this role, I manage the GAIN credit group (Gift Associates Interchange Network) which is a member-driven association of credit professionals within the giftware, specialty foods, greeting cards, home décor, toys, and other related industries.  I work closely with the group’s Steering Committee to organize meetings, an annual educational conference, and to ensure the group continues to develop and remain healthy. Currently,  I also assist with accurately billing and recording payments across all credit groups managed by ABC-Amega.

Can you describe your typical day?

Something that I greatly value in my role is that each day is filled with its own responsibilities and challenges.  Whether I am advising a credit group member on how to navigate our database and make the most of their membership or spending my time learning the intricacies of our software and services, the variance in each day keeps things interesting!

What would you say are your greatest accomplishments in this industry?

I would say that one of my greatest accomplishments has been growing from someone that didn’t know what a credit interchange was to being knowledgeable enough to train new colleagues on our department’s various services and responsibilities.

It has been 10 years since I began at ABC-Amega as an intern and 7 years since I’ve worked full-time.  I am proud to be able to say that I have worked and advanced my career at a company for as long as I have, which feels like a rare thing to hear of nowadays within my generation.  The fact that I was invited to participate in this Q&A is an honor, and I am immensely thankful for the wonderful colleagues that have nurtured my potential and guided me to where I am today.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Five years doesn’t seem far away at all!  I look forward to continuing to grow where I am now and welcome anything new that comes my way.

What advice would you give someone thinking of entering the field?

My greatest advice would be to never let the fear of failure keep you from accepting new opportunities, and to absolutely learn as much as you can from those around you with more experience and wisdom!

If you weren’t working in credit, what do you think you’d be doing career-wise?

In the past, I’ve loved producing audio-based content such as documentaries, radio dramas, and music, but it’s been through both my professional experiences and creative endeavors that I’ve discovered my passion for organized and highly detailed work, record keeping, and bringing talented people together to work towards a common goal.  I’m thankful to feel fulfilled where I am now, but if I pursued something else I feel that so long as it was a career that allowed my skills and passions to flourish, I would be happy.