A touch of humility goes a long way, as does a little self-deprecating humor. John LaRocca, CICP, of Hitachi Data Systems Corp., demonstrates plenty of both. He also demonstrates the kind of leadership and team-player-mentality that made him a perfect fit as the fourth ever recipient of FCIB’s Service Development and Growth Award.
FCIB bestowed the well-earned distinction on a surprised LaRocca at FCIB’s 23rd Annual Global Conference in Philadelphia last week. LaRocca, when asked about the achievement, quipped, “They must have run out of people to give it to.” That's hardly the case.
LaRocca, who is based in California but works closely with employees at shared services centers like one in Poland as well, has served FCIB and the community of international credit professionals in a number of ways, not the least of which include serving as an expert panelist at repeated industry events like the latest Global Conference, recruiting and involving the next generation of credit professionals to get involved with FCIB. He also was cited for helping FCIB greatly on its website redesign. Still, LaRocca typically thought it best to deflect and share the attention.
“It’s recognizing participation and involvement, but it’s really recognizing efforts of the Hitachi Data Systems team,” he said a few days after receiving the award. “While I’m being singled out, there are so many people who have contributed.”
Since its inception in 2011, the award has been presented twice annually. It is designed recognize the valuable contributions volunteers are making to further grow and develop FCIB's member services and to encourage more people to serve. The first winner of the award – Mannes Westhuis, CICP, of Bierens Collection Attorneys – further described it as something that represents a win-win situation: one where the credit professional is “getting in touch with leads, customers while being socially and professionally responsible.”
LaRocca said, after years of involvement in FCIB, he continues to see it as an organization that offers real and “terrific” value for those who get involved:
“It really enables people to come together. It is good to see how others are doing things and take it back to their companies. There’s a terrific value in that.”
Other previous winners of the Service award are Texas-based Luis Noriega, ICCE, of JPMorgan Chase Bank, and Regine Hilgers, CICP, EMEA credit controller based in Germany for Ashland Specialty Ingredients.
-Brian Shappell, CBA, NACM staff writer