Women’s History Month Employee Spotlight: Amber

Copper and Brass Sales is celebrating Women’s History Month, in part, by spotlighting members of our staff whose exemplary work and inspiring stories further our mission and values. Stay tuned throughout the month as we spotlight these inspiring employees.

Amber, Senior Manager of Credit and Master Data first heard about Copper and Brass Sales through a friend that worked at our Los Angeles facility. This friend thought Amber would be a good addition to the CBS credit team after hearing of the success she was bringing to her then-employer. Since our Credit Manager at the time was about to retire, the CBS hiring manager agreed and asked to setup an interview. The only issue is that Amber wasn’t at all interested in changing jobs! Thankfully, she entertained the idea and took the interview. Her reservations were addressed, and now 18 years later, we’re here to share Amber’s story of success.

Amber began her career at Copper and Brass Sales as a Credit Analyst to train underneath the soon-to-be retired Credit Manager. Upon her retirement, Amber was promoted to West Region Credit Manager for Copper and Brass Sales. At that time, account data management was decentralized, with credit personnel making changes across all the different systems. In 2009 these efforts were centralized under SAP and Amber took on Master Data Management for the West Region at her request. After the acquisition of Online Metals, Amber incorporated their credit management into her team. In 2017 Amber was promoted to Senior Manager of Credit and Master Data for the Western Region along with leading the teams for Master Data Management for all of the One Source Group.

During her time with Copper and Brass Sales, Amber has taken a three-pronged approach towards her responsibilities, which has been very successful.

In her role as Senior Credit Manager, Amber works to identify credit issues with customers and helps them find ways to resolve those issues. It often pays to evaluate why some customers might have bad credit and see how we can help the customer succeed. For example, one particular customer had been allowed, via a verbal agreement, to pay another supplier outside of their agreed upon terms. However, the official payment terms had not been modified, and to Dun & Bradstreet showed the customer to have delinquent pay history, leading to a negative rating. Amber worked with this customer to buy more from Copper and Brass Sales and pay on time which allowed the customer to rebuild their credit. When the customer later requested to have their payment terms extended, we were able to grant that request.

Another way Amber helps the business is by working to build new business with new accounts. She works with a list of growth possibilities, takes time to build a relationship with those customers, evaluates their goals, and asks how we can assist from a financial standpoint. She shared a story about one successful trip to Louisiana with sales where they worked with a list of businesses in the area that used metal to fabricate their products. They went door-to-door generating new accounts.

Additionally, Amber has also influenced positive change when she has gone out with our sales team to help them grow existing business. While these efforts have been hampered by the global pandemic this past year, she’d typically tour the customer’s facility, talk to buyers, learn about what they’re making and understand what they’re doing. In doing so, she builds the relationship and then helps to find out how much more credit customers can be given as a whole. Amber said, “we’re risk mitigators, but we should be the backup to sales to help them grow their business by identifying key customers.”

Amber has worked hard over the years as a full-time credit manager while also being the single mother to two kids of her own and taking on the guardianship of her three nieces for a time. We discussed how her home life may have contributed to her being a better manager of people both by managing up and with her direct reports. Earlier in her career with a former employer, her supervisor would conduct interviews with women and ask potential employees if they were married, had kids, who took care of their kids, and many other now forbidden questions. When she was asked these questions, she simply referred him to her former employer for a reference who would speak to her quality, attendance, and dedication to her career. Amber likes to work hard and is always trying to find a way to help the business from whichever angle helps bring the most success.

Amber now shares inspirational quotes via email with anyone who wants to be on the daily distribution list – enjoying the opportunity to bring a bit of positivity and motivation to people. Perhaps Amber wasn’t looking for a new position 18 years ago, but we’re glad she accepted the invitation to join Copper and Brass Sales. We’re fortunate to have shared in Amber’s success and be a part of her inspiring story through our celebration of Women’s History Month.

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