Collector - January 2018 - 52
A Career for the Ages
Don Donagher Jr. is taking his work in the collection industry to the next level with a new headquarters for Penn Credit
designed to promote employee comfort and retention.
By Katy Zillmer
DONALD DONAGHER, JR., CEO,
RICHARD TEMPLIN, PRESIDENT,
DAVID LATSHAW, EXECUTIVE VICE
on Donagher Jr. is here to stay in the
credit and collection industry. He
jokes that he told his mother at age 3,
"I want to be a bill collector when I grow up."
Donagher didn't actually have his career
goals mapped out as a toddler, but he did know
he found the right fit after starting his first job
in the industry more than 43 years ago.
Originally from Washington, D.C.,
Donagher started his career in retail
business but also worked part-time for
Central Credit Control, collecting on
unpaid water bills. In 1976, Donagher
bought Central Credit Control, which has
been in business since 1955.
With his sights set on increasing his
footprint, Donagher formed Penn Credit
with his business partner Richard Templin
in Harrisburg, Pa., in 1987. Donagher is the
CEO and partner at Penn Credit and Templin
remains president of the company, although
he sold his stock five years ago.
While regulations and consolidation
of smaller businesses continue in the
industry, Donagher said the networking,
education and opportunities to help his local
community overshadow those challenges.
Donagher and his team at Penn Credit,
which has call centers in Arizona and New
Jersey, State College and Harrisburg, Pa., and
sales offices in Florida, recently celebrated
the 30th anniversary of the company as well
as his career in the industry.
Today Penn Credit is one of the fastest
growing private companies in America,
according to Inc. 5000, and was a finalist
for the Company of the Year in central
Pennsylvania for companies with more than
100 employees. The award is sponsored
by Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney and the
Central Penn Business Journal. Penn Credit is
also a founding member of the Institute for
Donagher participates in ACA
International's Political Action Committee
and Committee of 100, and supports many
local organizations in his communities in
Pennsylvania and south Florida.
From sponsoring sports teams in the local
school district to fundraisers for breast cancer
awareness, Donagher said helping his community
is one of his biggest career accomplishments.
"In my community I've been able to do
a lot and want to do more because I came
from nothing and now I have something [to
give back,]" Donagher said. "It's just nice to
be able to pay it forward."
Donagher is also giving back to Penn
Credit employees who will work at
the company's new 35,000 square-foot
headquarters and call center in Harrisburg.
The facility, opening in April, will include
new workspaces, conference rooms, a
cafeteria and gym.
Looking back on his career, Donagher
said he's enjoyed the work, which brings him
something different every day.
Donagher's twin sons Rhett and Kyle
provide Penn Credit with its sales and
operations management and his son-in-law
Tom Foley is his "right-hand man" at the
agency, Donagher said.
Moving forward, he said his goal is to
grow his business for his sons and continue
on the path he started. "I've been lucky to
have family interested in the business," he
said. "So many others have not."
Katy Zillmer is ACA International's