Collector - June 2017 - 48

LASTWORD

Speak Out
Employee advocacy flourishes thanks to Merchants Credit Association's strong corporate culture.
By Katy Zillmer

L

David Fagan and Scott Wiswall.

COMPANY NAME: MERCHANTS
CREDIT ASSOCIATION
INCEPTION: 1937
HEADQUARTERS: REDMOND, WASH.
LEADERSHIP: PRESIDENT DAVID
QUIGLEY, COLLECTION MANAGER
SCOTT WISWALL, COLLECTION
SUPERVISOR DAVID FAGAN,
OPERATION MANAGER CAROL
TAYLOR
EMPLOYEES: 70

48

egislative and regulatory advocacy
are at the core of Merchants Credit
Association's mission today.
For Collection Manager Scott Wiswall
and Collection Supervisor David Fagan,
advocacy has been engrained in their work
since they were first hired at the Redmond,
Wash.-based company in the early 1990s.
Wiswall has been involved with the
Washington State Department of Licensing
Collection Agency Board since 2007 and
currently serves as vice chairman.
Over the last 10 years, Wiswall said he's
gained respect for what regulators do.
"They're trying to help and protect the
people of Washington state," he said. "I think
most collection agencies that follow the law
have that same viewpoint in mind when
they're conducting business."
Fagan is a past president and board
member of the Washington Collection
Association and continues to be involved at
the state Capitol when legislation affecting
the industry is proposed.
Each legislative session, Wiswall and
Fagan head to the Capitol for Olympia Day,
which gives them the opportunity to meet
with legislators and discuss industry issues.
Fagan's grandfather served on the House
of Representatives in the early 1930s and
Wiswall's great-grandfather was also a
legislator. At Olympia Day in 2005, Fagan
said they found pictures of their ancestors on
the walls at the state Capitol.
"We're really proud of it," said Wiswall,
who is also serving in his first year on the
Washington Collectors Association Board.
"It's part of our heritage."
Of course, this passion for advocacy extends
beyond Fagan's and Wisewall's families. All
Merchants Credit Association employees

are educated about legislative processes and
current and pending regulations.
"Every single person at our company-
[President David] Quigley, [Operations
Manager] Carol Taylor, myself-every one of
us started entry level here at Merchants Credit,"
Wiswall said. "We have ongoing training and
very detail-oriented Monday meetings when
we talk about not only our production and
techniques, but also regulatory hurdles that
have been increasing over time."
Fagan added that they encourage staff to
call their senators or representatives on behalf
of the collection industry when a bill affecting
the industry is up for debate at the Capitol.
"In the legislative environment, the fact
that you're a constituent is very important,"
Fagan said. "[Legislators] hear from
businesses and trade associations all the
time. But if our industry professionals call as
individuals, that can make a big difference."
If he has one piece of advice for other
individuals in the collection industry
interested in getting involved in legislative
advocacy, Fagan said it's to overcome any fear
of talking to legislators.
"They're people just like us," Fagan said. "To
me it's been very rewarding, and I find that any
time I approach something I'm afraid of and
try to overcome it, it's always beneficial."
Wiswall noted that legislative involvement
is especially important now because industry
challenges have shifted from developing sales
and collection techniques to regulatory and
compliance hurdles.
Fagen agreed, adding, "I think there is a lot
of misinformation put out by the people that
oppose us and so it's our job, our responsibility,
because this industry has served me so well
throughout my career, that I be a resource to
those that are drafting legislation."

ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG


http://www.ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Collector - June 2017

President's Page
Industry News
Best Practices
FYI
Collection Tips
In Case of Emergency
Pulling Back the Curtain
ACA International's 2017 Convention and Exposition Preview
Calendar
Honor Roll
Seeing Eye to Eye
The Business Battle
Blueprint for Success
Federal Court Nixes CFPB Enforcement Action That Claimed a Payment Processor Ignored Fraud
Compliance
ACA SearchPoint
Last Word
Collector - June 2017 - Cover1
Collector - June 2017 - Cover2
Collector - June 2017 - 1
Collector - June 2017 - 2
Collector - June 2017 - President's Page
Collector - June 2017 - Industry News
Collector - June 2017 - 5
Collector - June 2017 - 6
Collector - June 2017 - 7
Collector - June 2017 - Best Practices
Collector - June 2017 - 9
Collector - June 2017 - FYI
Collector - June 2017 - 11
Collector - June 2017 - Collection Tips
Collector - June 2017 - 13
Collector - June 2017 - In Case of Emergency
Collector - June 2017 - 15
Collector - June 2017 - 16
Collector - June 2017 - 17
Collector - June 2017 - 18
Collector - June 2017 - 19
Collector - June 2017 - Pulling Back the Curtain
Collector - June 2017 - 21
Collector - June 2017 - 22
Collector - June 2017 - 23
Collector - June 2017 - 24
Collector - June 2017 - 25
Collector - June 2017 - ACA International's 2017 Convention and Exposition Preview
Collector - June 2017 - 27
Collector - June 2017 - 28
Collector - June 2017 - 29
Collector - June 2017 - 30
Collector - June 2017 - 31
Collector - June 2017 - Calendar
Collector - June 2017 - Honor Roll
Collector - June 2017 - Seeing Eye to Eye
Collector - June 2017 - 35
Collector - June 2017 - The Business Battle
Collector - June 2017 - 37
Collector - June 2017 - 38
Collector - June 2017 - 39
Collector - June 2017 - Blueprint for Success
Collector - June 2017 - 41
Collector - June 2017 - Federal Court Nixes CFPB Enforcement Action That Claimed a Payment Processor Ignored Fraud
Collector - June 2017 - 43
Collector - June 2017 - Compliance
Collector - June 2017 - 45
Collector - June 2017 - ACA SearchPoint
Collector - June 2017 - 47
Collector - June 2017 - Last Word
Collector - June 2017 - Cover3
Collector - June 2017 - Cover4
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