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Credit Q&A - Rob Gagliardi

Credit Manager, Trademark Plastics

What is Your background?

I earned my Bachelor’s degree in economics and finance from Buffalo State College.

How did you first enter the field of Credit & Collections?

When I graduated from college, it was December, so my plan was to work in a restaurant for a few months and take advantage of the holiday rush. After working for a few weeks, however, one of the customers started a conversation asking what my future plans were, and he told me to come to his company on Monday, which was an outsourcing firm, and that’s how I got my first job. I was working as a credit analyst for six companies, so that is how I got into the field. After some time, I moved to the credit information side of the business, where I managed credit groups. I managed credit groups for media, chemical, giftware, and the paper and print industries. At that point, my job was to educate credit professionals in different industries.

What is your current job title and what are your responsibilities?

I am currently Credit Manager for Trademark Plastics, a global distributor of plastic resin, where I oversee the global credit and collections department.

Can you describe your typical day?

Every day is different; this is a very fast-paced industry that requires you to be constantly on your toes. I’m helping internal team members, helping customers, and I’m working with credit insurance companies and credit reporting agencies. Ultimately, my job is to analyze companies from a credit perspective, set credit limits, and release credit orders. I have to give approval on all orders or they don’t ship.

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

I feel that my greatest accomplishment in the field has been planning and executing strong educational events and conferences for credit professionals. Sharing useful relevant information and providing an opportunity that allows credit people to network is extremely satisfying, because I know how beneficial this is to people and their companies.

My greatest accomplishment in my position at Trademark has been analyzing current processes and being able to improve them, as well as utilizing new programs to increase efficiency.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I plan to still be doing what I’m doing, as well as continuing to educate myself about the industry.

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

There is no formal education or degree path to enter the field, so my recommendation would be to join an industry credit group or association. This is the best way to learn about the industry and to learn how other professionals have been successful, and about how they’ve also made mistakes along the way. The positive relationships you make will take you a long way , regardless of the industry you chose to work in.

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

When I first started college, I was an education major, and my plan was to be a teacher, so I think I might be working in a school system. Luckily for me, my career has allowed me to be an educator in a different way. I am educator within credit groups and as a mentor to the employees on my team. I also frequently get opportunities to present webinars and write articles for different industry publications.