CICM Awards Content Hub
Awards, trophies, accolades, gongs, whatever you call them, some people spend their lives trying to achieve the highest honours in their chosen fields.
It's not often you come across someone who finds their joy, their happiness, and their fulfilment in their everyday job; however, that's what you come across when you meet Dee Weston.
Dee is one of the more humble people you could ever hope to meet. When we sat down to talk about her win, and her career, it proved to be quite the (pleasant) challenge as she was too focused on praising the team around her and emphasising her love for credit rather than her own successes.
"Even now, part of me feels very happy, but then a bigger part of me feels quite embarrassed! It's very weird," she says.
"I think it's because I've never really put myself out there. I genuinely enjoy my job so much, and I do it because I believe in what we're doing. So, when some lovely person nominates you for an award, you almost feel like a fraud for winning because you're doing something almost for fun!"
Katherine Bailey is a ‘lifer’. An educator and professional credit manager, credit management has been her passion since she took the first steps into the industry. And it’s that passion and commitment that saw her recognised at The British Credit Awards in 2020 when she received the Giving Back Award.
“Being a Fellow of the CICM, the BCA awards was the one I wanted to win because it’s the Institute I’m a member of and they’re the exams I worked hard to complete. It’s the award I’m most proud of, and when I eventually get a mantel piece, it will take pride of place.”
Whilst receiving an award as prestigious as this would, during any normal period, be monumental for Katherine and her company, Valor Hospitality, the pandemic put a tiny pin in celebrations thanks to nationwide shut down of the entire hospitality industry.
“I suppose all of the benefits we could have seen as company from winning an award such as this were subsumed by the pandemic because everything else was far more important at the time.”
However, the award gave her team the confidence they needed to get through a difficult time: “Within the business we celebrated the award completely, and it gave our team a massive confidence boost. Particularly because credit in hospitality is often adjoined to accounts, so it allowed the team and the credit controllers on site to see someone in credit being recognised.”
Credit Management speaks to former Credit Professional of the Year Elisabeth Doppelhofer, to find out what it’s like to win one of the biggest awards in the credit industry.
For Elisabeth Doppelhofer, Head of Credit and Support Services at the Adecco Group UK & Ireland, the world’s second-largest Human Resources provider, the British Credit Awards is the gold standard in credit management.
“Being a finalist, or even better, winning an award, is such an achievement. To be recognised by an Institute as respected as the CICM is the biggest compliment anyone in our industry can achieve.”
And for Elisabeth, her journey started many years ago thanks to her former boss, and previous Adecco Group UK & Ireland Head of Credit, Martin Kirby: “I used to work under a Head of Credit who I very much looked up to and around five years ago, I was there when he won his award for Credit Professional of the Year. Seeing how much that meant to him was inspiring.
To some, a career, or a ‘job’ as many label it, is a means to an end. A way to earn the money they need to live the life they want to lead. For others, however, their career is more than just a job, it’s a service they devote years of hard work and effort towards.
Charles Wilson very much falls into the latter category. A Solicitor by profession, Charles, in the eyes of his peers, is much more than that, which is a key reason he was recognised as the winner of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management’s Outstanding Contribution to the Industry Award at the 2020 British Credit Awards. It’s something he remains very humble about to this day.
“I won the award after 25 years in the industry and whilst it ‘officially’ recognised my achievements, in reality, it was recognition of our business and the people behind it. That was, for me, the most important thing, that these dedicated people who work so hard behind the scenes were recognised for their incredible work. To an extent, I was just the one at the front.”
A Platform for Change – Women in Credit
In an industry dedicated to celebrating other achievements, championing can be difficult. For Jenny Oldfield, she believes it's vital for building confidence and inspiring those in the industry to push their career forward. Especially for women.
At the 2022 British Credit Awards, the CICM introduced a new award, The Jenny Oldfield Supporting Women in Credit Award, sponsored by Jenny, a long-standing Fellow of the CICM, for women working in credit management.
Jenny believes the BCAs created a platform for young credit managers to champion their careers by meeting colleagues and co-workers and being seen by the industry “I think awards dinners and events, they encourage people to be seen, meet the right people and connect and that’s really important for people looking to progress their careers.
”This award is presented to two women currently working in credit management, who display a passion and drive for personal development in the credit industry regardless of their age, length of service or experience.