Collector - October 2016 - 48

LASTWORD Rising Through the Ranks From the start, Jennifer Whipple's passion for the collection industry has helped her achieve success in the family business. By Katy Zillmer J Jennifer Whipple COMPANY NAME: COLLECTION BUREAU SERVICES INC. INCEPTION: 1976 HEADQUARTERS: MISSOULA, MONT. LEADERSHIP: JENNIFER WHIPPLE, VICE PRESIDENT AND CO-OWNER; JEFFREY KOCH, PRESIDENT AND CO-OWNER EMPLOYEES: 27 48 ennifer Whipple started working at her family's collection agency, Collection Bureau Services Inc. in Missoula, Mont., at a young age. When she was five, she learned basic business acumen and honed her people skills selling Girl Scout cookies to agency employees. "When I was little I loved money, I loved to save money," Whipple said. "Being in a collection agency and the collection industry was really my cup of tea because of that." It could also run in the family. Gilbert Koch, Whipple's grandfather, founded Collection Bureau Services in 1976. Almost 10 years later, when her father, Jeffrey Koch, was injured in a car accident and couldn't continue his work washing skyscraper windows, Gilbert offered him a job as a collector at the collection agency. "He really loved numbers and being able to make those negotiations with consumers," Whipple said. Jeffrey Koch worked his way up through the agency and today serves as president. When she was a freshman in high school, Whipple started working in Collection Bureau Services' legal department, filing paperwork. "That's eventually how I learned more about the business," Whipple said. "I really learned what we did and how we did things." She worked ahead in her classes and graduated from high school early. Right about that same time, an opportunity opened up to work for one of the agency's collectors while the employee was on maternity leave. Whipple continued working at the agency while she studied business management at the University of Montana in Missoula, juggling 30 hours of work each week and a full class schedule. She set up payment plans for consumers, helped with data entry and served as a receptionist and legal assistant. Working in different departments of the agency she had visited so often as a young girl only solidified her passion for the industry. "I never really thought there was something else out there that I wanted to do," she said. Whipple was named co-owner and vice president of Collection Bureau Services in 2010. She said her vice president title is more of a formality, and that she is focused on helping everyone at the company work together. "[My grandfather] had this philosophy that he trained everyone to pick up the phone call on the first ring," Whipple said. "It didn't really matter who you were in the company ... everybody was there to pitch in and work together." In her role working with Collection Bureau Services, staff, Whipple focuses on trying to understand where they're coming from, drawing on her variety of experiences at the company over the years. "I think I am a much better leader and manager because I know how things function and how they need to function and how they should function," she said. "Having been there myself, I can have some compassion for the position my staff is in." As a 30-year-old female working in a maledominated industry, Whipple knows firsthand some challenges young professionals can face. "If you're a young professional or a young business leader, I would say don't give up, remain true to yourself and your company, and just be honest in the situation," Whipple said. "I think working your way up through the ranks is important too." Outside of work, Whipple focuses on spending time with her husband and four children, especially outdoors. "It's nice because it's a positive focus," she said. "If I have a hard day at work I can go home and spend the afternoon swimming with my kids." Katy Zillmer is ACA International's communications specialist. ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG http://www.ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Collector - October 2016

President’s Page
Industry News
Best Practices
FYI
Collection Tips
Connect the Dots
Looking Deeper
Head of the Class
Calendar
Honor Roll
The Formula of Five
How to Create Winning Bids and Proposals
A Running Start
ACPAC Election Watch
ACA’s Industry Advancement Program Aids Eleventh Circuit Win for Member Company
Compliance
ACA SearchPoint
Last Word
Collector - October 2016 - Cover1
Collector - October 2016 - Cover2
Collector - October 2016 - 1
Collector - October 2016 - 2
Collector - October 2016 - President’s Page
Collector - October 2016 - Industry News
Collector - October 2016 - 5
Collector - October 2016 - 6
Collector - October 2016 - 7
Collector - October 2016 - Best Practices
Collector - October 2016 - 9
Collector - October 2016 - FYI
Collector - October 2016 - 11
Collector - October 2016 - Collection Tips
Collector - October 2016 - 13
Collector - October 2016 - Connect the Dots
Collector - October 2016 - 15
Collector - October 2016 - 16
Collector - October 2016 - 17
Collector - October 2016 - 18
Collector - October 2016 - 19
Collector - October 2016 - Looking Deeper
Collector - October 2016 - 21
Collector - October 2016 - 22
Collector - October 2016 - 23
Collector - October 2016 - Head of the Class
Collector - October 2016 - 25
Collector - October 2016 - 26
Collector - October 2016 - 27
Collector - October 2016 - Calendar
Collector - October 2016 - Honor Roll
Collector - October 2016 - The Formula of Five
Collector - October 2016 - 31
Collector - October 2016 - How to Create Winning Bids and Proposals
Collector - October 2016 - 33
Collector - October 2016 - 34
Collector - October 2016 - 35
Collector - October 2016 - A Running Start
Collector - October 2016 - 37
Collector - October 2016 - 38
Collector - October 2016 - 39
Collector - October 2016 - ACPAC Election Watch
Collector - October 2016 - 41
Collector - October 2016 - ACA’s Industry Advancement Program Aids Eleventh Circuit Win for Member Company
Collector - October 2016 - 43
Collector - October 2016 - Compliance
Collector - October 2016 - 45
Collector - October 2016 - ACA SearchPoint
Collector - October 2016 - 47
Collector - October 2016 - Last Word
Collector - October 2016 - Cover3
Collector - October 2016 - Cover4
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