NACM Connect Names Hanley the Robert M. Healey Credit Executive of the Year
Being named the 2017 Credit Executive of the Year by the National Association of Credit Management Connect is especially meaningful for Mark Hanley. Mark retires at the end of 2017 after a decades long career in credit and finance, primarily working in the plastics and chemical industry. For the past 11 years, he served as director of credit for M. Holland, and as he looks back on his career — the people he’s known, the friends he’s made, the things he’s learned — he is humbled and grateful to be honored by the NACM.
But the award means more than that. You see, the award is named for Robert M. Healey (Bob), a friend and former manager of Mark’s who played a role in shaping his career. Back in the 80s, Bob was director of credit for Unocal Corp. in Schaumburg, Ill., and was a respected boss and friend of Mark’s for five years until the chemical division of Unocal was sold and Mark left the organization. He’s kept up with Bob over the years, who is 86 today.
“One of the most important things I remember about Bob is that he was a big supporter of education, of learning more,” Mark says. “He expected and required his staff to continually educate themselves. He encouraged us to earn a master’s degree, to speak at various industry functions, or to teach others as we grew more seasoned in our careers. This commitment to learning more and sharing knowledge with others helped to shape my career.”
The Robert M. Healey Credit Executive of the Year award honors the credit professional who displays exemplary service as demonstrated through actions like teaching, speaking, writing and mentoring that has an impact on the profession. NACM Connect is the industry’s leading trade association for credit professionals.
Over the course of his career, Mark worked in finance for chemical and plastics conglomerates and distributors in New York and Chicago, crossing paths occasionally with M. Holland. When the opportunity arose in 2006, he joined the company and assumed responsibility for the credit function, transforming it into a highly respected department. He built a team of professionals and worked to improve credit and collection metrics, a contributing factor to M. Holland’s success. Mark and his team developed a credit insurance program with the highest discretionary credit limits permitted by an insurance company in the industry. They implemented customer review processes, established a credit committee, reduced write-offs, and improved DSO by more 10 days. Mark also served as a member of M. Holland’s ISO committee.
As his former boss Robert M. Healey taught him, Mark continually learned and shared his knowledge. He was an adjunct instructor at Harper College for 23 years teaching courses in financial reporting. He created and led courses for M. Holland University, and developed a series on financial management for non-financial managers that helped to elevate financial acumen among the M. Holland team. He also conducts credit and collection workshops for customers, acting as a resource to many of his counterparts at those organizations. He’s active in NACM Connect as well as the Association of Credit Executives, and he serves on the board of the National Chemical Credit Association.
He worked to transition M. Holland’s credit department to his successor Susan Fattore, who he has known for nine years. Susan first came to M. Holland as a contractor in the spring of 2016 and was named to lead the department following Mark’s retirement.
“Susan is doing an outstanding job with M. Holland credit,” Mark said. “She is smart, experienced and has tremendous knowledge and passion for the job. When she first came to M. Holland, she got involved right away, rolled up her sleeves, and interacted with everyone to learn our business processes and explore where we might find ways to improve.”
Now, as he looks forward to retirement, he wants to spend more time with his four grandchildren and do some traveling (he just purchased a pass for entry into every national park in the United States) while he considers his next endeavor.
He is grateful to be honored with an award named for his respected friend, and grateful for the opportunity to close out his career working with M. Holland.
“This is the job I always wanted in life, and I got it at 55,” he said. “I had the opportunity to use my skill and talent to make the company better, and the reason this happened is because Ed (Holland, M. Holland CEO) and Pat McKune (M. Holland CFO) allowed me to try new things. They create an atmosphere that empowers us and sets us up to succeed. Ed has a big-picture vision of where we as a company are going, and he creates a culture that allows us find ways to contribute to that direction.”
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