AdColonized: Getting to Know Teresa Simms

Posted Aug 26, 2020

Meet Teresa Simms, our Director of Accounts Receivable in our San Mateo office! Teresa is a seasoned expert in her field and a great resource to her team. She’s been making the most of the pandemic stay-at-home lifestyle by playing piano, learning French, and listening to audiobooks. Get to know her better in this week’s AdColonized!

What exactly does a Director of Accounts Receivable do at AdColony? What’s an average day like for you?

My position as Director of Accounts Receivable entails supervising the credit & collections team, ensuring that the clients our sellers bring on board are capable of meeting their financial obligation to AdColony and alerting senior management when they show signs of serious financial decline. Additionally, I am responsible for training and supporting the team’s ambitions and goals. An average day includes resolving nonpayment issues with customers, negotiating payment plans, working with 3rd party collection agencies, reviewing and analyzing data to approve credit applications to onboard new customers, reviewing aging reports for potential risk and bad debt, reviewing cash receipts, and whatever else pops up from  an impromptu Zoom meeting with a team member to troubleshoot an issue, resulting in establishing or revising processes or participating in planning a baby shower.

Tell us a little about your experiences prior to joining AdColony and how they have prepared you for your role here.

Prior to joining AdColony, I built and managed the credit team at Rocketfuel. My accomplishment that I am most proud of there was setting up a credit department and working collaboratively with sales ops, client services, and revenue to automate the order to cash, credit review, revenue, and campaign approval process in Salesforce. Prior to Rocketfuel, I managed the credit & collections department at where my team reduced DSO significantly. Prior to, I spent several years on the credit & collections team at Yahoo! where I learned to be flexible yet assertive, I learned to focus more on utilizing people’s strengths rather than trying to correct their weaknesses, as well as the importance of establishing relationships with sales, buyers, and client finance management. I also learned to never question doing the right thing as it’s always the best course of action.

What makes AdColony the right fit for you?

I love that Adcolony allows me the flexibility I need to have a work life balance. I  appreciate the manager that I have, the confidence he has in my ability to lead my team, and how he supports the teams’ goals. My colleagues also make AdColony special to me. They are  professional and experts in their field. I am always confident that working with them will result in a  collaborative effort and  environment. 

AdColony values employee development. How do you keep growing and learning in what you do?

I am a member of the NACM, (National Association of Credit Managers.  This organization provides continuous education and certification programs which add relevant value to me personally as well as to our company. The online media group meets four times a year in various locations. Members include companies like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Online Newspapers, etc

How do you act as a resource for the rest of your team?

First, I believe I have established a very solid relationship with each team member so that they do not feel insecure or inadequate coming to me with their questions or concerns, both personal and professional. In many cases I don’t have the answers they are looking for, so we research  and brainstorm together. I provide them with contacts from NACM, links to journals and articles, and encourage them to find classes and to develop relationships with others in our field. If I do have the information they need, I try to provide guidance by asking questions to get them on track so that they come to the best conclusion or know where to find the information they need. This helps them to use their deductive logic and critical thinking skills.  It can be time consuming but it’s well worth the investment. 

Is there someone you turn to personally or professionally?

My colleagues Robin Wright and Tristine Jew have been great sources of support and knowledge in both my personal and professional life. I also turn to former mentors Gordon Ogami and Jennifer Lewis who I try to model my management style after. All four of these individuals have made lasting impressions.

Many AdColony employees globally are still working from home. Do you have any work-from-home tips for success you can share?

Make sure you stop to eat lunch and give your kids and family members a hug! I have found that taking a break to acknowledge them helps to minimize the distractions. For me, I sheltered in place with my 86-year-old mother, so daily we have lunch from 11:45 to 1:00 and I end my day in time to watch her favorite game show (Family Feud) with her. Then I log back on later in the evening to make sure I didn’t miss anything for the day.

What are your hobbies or activities that you look forward to doing on the weekends or after work?

While sheltering in place I have renewed my interest in playing the piano and learning a language. I have also been reading and listening to audiobooks, and becoming an outdoor enthusiast working in my mom’s yard, something I would never do in San Jose since I live in a very small condo downtown.

Which app is keeping you engaged lately? Why?

Audible – This is the app I am using to learn French. I’ve also listened to quite a few books while working in the yard. This app is easy to use and the content keeps my mind stimulated. My favorite books have been Integrity: The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality, Rules of the Red Rubber Ball, and Lean In.

Tell us one or two fun facts about you.

Fun facts. Hmmm. I think most people know that I was born in Taipei, Taiwan. My father was in the Air Force and my parents traveled quite a bit before I was born. After leaving Taiwan, just before I turned 2, my father’s remote assignments were all in CA.  

I love antique jewelry. I have a friend that taught me how to spot a good diamond. Now I carry a loop everywhere I go. You never know when you may find a good little pawn shop, antique store, or flea market.

What is your favorite moment you’ve had with the AdColony team so far?

I love our Christmas team outings, white elephant gift exchange, and game day in the office. Game day shows everyone’s competitive spirit. The energy is always great.

What are you listening to lately (music, podcasts, etc.)?

In addition to the audiobooks, I find comfort and inspiration listening to Israel Houghton and Fred Hammond. When I want to bust a move…I like a little Justin Bieber or 70’s music!  

What are you looking forward to most in the next 5 years?

In the next 5 years I would like to have bought a home in Portland with views of the city.  I would also like to finish working on establishing a small college scholarship fund in my dad’s honor for African American students in Merced county.

About AdColonized
Each AdColonized feature shines a light on a different member of the AdColony team. From favorite apps and hobbies to fun facts, we cover it all! Who do you want to see on the next AdColonized? Tweet it to @AdColony. For the latest AdColony mobile news and updates, follow @AdColony on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or connect on Linkedin.

Ellen Plant
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