Paul Grolemund, Divisional Vice President at ABC-Amega, will retire in the next few months. After a long career, the last 31 years spent at ABC-Amega, Paul shares his thoughts on his career and what he’s looking forward to in his retirement.
How did you first enter the credit field?
I’m not a credit practitioner, I’ve always worked in finance until I started at ABC-Amega. A good friend of mine, Paul Catalano (ABC-Amega President & COO) and I had worked together at one of my previous jobs, and when I found myself looking for a new position, I called him. There was an open position at ABC; General Manager for Industry Credit Groups, so I asked Paul, “What’s a credit group” and I dove in!
Is there anything you wish you’d known before entering the field?
I wish I’d known just how important credit groups are to individuals and companies. The networking opportunities and the long-term relationships that are formed with other professionals in the field are invaluable.
What are some of the companies you’ve worked for and what positions have you held?
Before I worked for ABC-Amega, I worked in Finance in the computer industry. I was a Branch Financial Manager at Burroughs Corporation, and then went to work at Sperry Corporation as the District Controller. Those two companies merged into Unisys, where I was District Controller and then Regional Leasing Manager for the financing arm, Unisys Finance Corp.
What would you say are your greatest accomplishments in this industry?
I’d say increasing the number of credit groups we manage at ABC-Amega. When I started with the company, we managed three groups, and through the years, we’ve grown and now manage nine. It has taken a lot of time and focus, but it’s definitely something that I feel very proud of as I look back.
What advice would you give someone who is just starting their career in credit?
The best advice I can give is to make sure they talk to their boss and senior members of the company about membership in a credit industry group. There is so much value from membership, both professionally and personally. Attend as many conferences and meetings as possible, and make it a priority to network and meet your industry peers. The groups are a vast resource, and the more you put into these groups, the more you get in return. Don’t be afraid to take a leadership role in the association.
Would you like to share some parting wisdom?
Treat everyone with respect, especially when you’re in a leadership role. Treating your team like colleagues, and not subordinates, goes a long way.
What are you looking forward to most during your retirement?
I’m looking forward to spending more time with my friends and family. Playing golf, exercise, reading more, and some travel. I think it’s important to recognize and appreciate everything we have, especially good health, which we can often take for granted.