What advice would you offer to women
just starting out in the industry?
My advice would be to educate yourself
on the different opportunities that are
available in the industry. Commercial
finance encompasses so many different
areas that a person can specialize in. It is
important to find an area that is best suited to a person’s characteristics, skill set,
and work style. Attend training seminars
or webinars, consider obtaining industry
specific certifications, and network with
others in the industry. Building relationships within the industry is key to becoming successful.
What do you know now that you wish
you knew in the beginning of your
I wish I had understood the importance
of “internal networking” within a firm.
I learned over time that it is essential
to develop relationships in various
departments within a company. When I
Mentoring someone improves the overall
work environment because it provides
insights to employee issues and improves
What do you think the industry could do
to attract and retain the best and brightest today?
The industry needs to be involved with
college job fairs and educate potential graduates on the industry and the
different opportunities that are available. Companies must challenge young
employees with projects and keep
them involved if they expect to retain
talented employees. People want to
feel as though they contribute to the
goals of the company, so it is important
for companies to lay out their goals and
identify ways that employees can help
meet those goals. I am also a proponent
of rotational training, where entry level
employees spend time working in four
to five departments within a company
to learn how everyone contributes to
the growth and success of a firm. Many
people come into a position and learn
one job function; however, if they are
given the opportunity to work in other
areas, they become better employees.
worked in portfolio management, I found
that having relationships with people
in accounting and finance, verifications,
treasury, sales, legal, and IT helped me
to understand the functions of those departments, which gave me the ability to
be better at my job because I understood
how the departments within a company
worked together. Often, employees stay
in their own department and don’t have
a strong understanding of the different
departments, which results in a narrow
view of their job. Having relationships
outside of your primary job function
gives you more resources to solve problems, be more creative in providing ideas
or suggestions, and can provide unexpected pathways to success.
What kind of role has mentoring and/or
sponsorship played in your career?
Mentoring has played a tremendous role
in my career and my professional growth.
Having a mentor that is willing to share
experiences, assist in solving problems,
and provide feedback on performance is
invaluable for any employee. I would encourage everyone to find a mentor whom
they can go to for advice or help. I also
believe that being a mentor to someone
is just as important as having a mentor.
Executive Vice President
MBMJ Capital, LLC dba
Continental Business Credit,
Fast A/R Funding
anessa Johnson is an executive vice president at MBMJ Capital, LLC
dba Continental Business Credit, Fast A/R Funding. In 2012, Vanessa
joined MBMJ Capital, LLC, a start-up factoring company, as senior
vice president and portfolio manager, where she was responsible for
overseeing underwriting, portfolio management, and building a team
of underwriters and account executives to support growth. In 2015, Vanessa was
promoted to executive vice, president where she is currently focused on design-
ing loan management software and managing back office operations to support
Vanessa’s career started in 2004, when she joined Kerr-McGee Corporation, a
Fortune 500 company in the oil and gas industry, where she was chosen to be the
first candidate for a management development program in Corporate Finance.
Vanessa joined First Capital in 2006 and became vice president and operations manager of their Financial Services Division, where she was responsible for the day-to-day
management of asset-based lending facilities with credit lines between $2 million
and $100 million.
Vanessa attended the University of Oklahoma and graduated with distinction, earning her BBA in finance.