Thea Dudley, ProSales' credit and collections guru and author of the popular Thea's Mailbag column, will lead a special pre-conference workshop on March 1 for executives and managers attending the ProSales 100 Conference this coming March 1-3 in San Antonio, ProSales announced today.

Details for this first-ever pre-conference session--which will be free to conference attendees--are still being worked out, but the 3-1/2 hour session is expected to include:

  • A presentation by Dudley on how to implement a culture that will turn your credit department into a profit center.
  • A session on operational issues, including such thorny issues as when to take credit-card payments, which benchmarks are right for you, and how to decide whether you're better off using technology or people to handle an issue.
  • A combination Q&A session and guided group discussion in which conference attendees will share experiences, discoveries and best practices.

Attendees who want answers but have privacy concerns will be able to pose questions anonymously.

Thea Dudley has been a credit manager for more than 30 years. Today she is vice president of financial services and customer care at Guardian Building Products in Greer, S.C. For several years, she has written the "Thea's Mailbag" online column as well as columns for ProSales' print editions. She also is a much-in-demand speaker at industry conferences.

The pre-conference workshop will take place from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 1, just prior to the conference's formal start with an opening reception. The conference then resumes Thursday morning, March 2, with a keynote address by John Grotzinger, chief scientist and head of strategic science planning for NASA's $2.5 billion Curiosity rover mission to Mars--the most complex spacecraft ever to land and operate on another planet.

Aside from Grotzinger, this year's conference also will include:

  • An executive panel with leaders from companies like Hancock Lumber, GMS, 84 Lumber, and McCoy's Building Supply.
  • Our annual M&A panel featuring officials from Central Network Retail Grup, Kodiak Building Partners, US LBM, and investment firm Building Industry Partners.
  • A session on Six Sigma lean manufacturing featuring US LBM's lean expert and consultant Todd Drummond.
  • A special economic outlook from Metrostudy chief economist Mark Boud.
  • A special session on home health, led by Hayward Lumber's Bill Hayward and a Seattle remodeler who specializes in healthy homes.
  • A panel of future leaders featuring the ProSales Four Under Forty Class of 2017.
  • Sales insights from "Sell Sheet" columnist Rick Davis.
  • And editor-in-chief Craig Webb's updated "60 Ideas in 60 Minutes."

The conference is open to executives of lumberyards, specialty dealers, and distributors. Click here for details and to register.

Attendance for building product manufacturers is limited to sponsors. To become a sponsor, contact Dan Colunio.