Collector - May 2018 - 22
5 QUESTIONS FOR ACA'S NEW CEO
WHAT'S THE BEST COMPLIMENT YOU'VE RECEIVED?
"You've done what you said you would do." It's hard to beat that!
WHAT ARE YOUR PASSIONS OUTSIDE OF WORK?
I love to be with my kids. Macayle is 23 and just finishing up his masters in accountancy
at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Marren is 15 and dreams of dancing at the
University of Minnesota. I also play golf and run habitually, for some reason.
WHAT BOOKS HAVE YOU READ RECENTLY?
The New Leader's 100-Day Action Plan by George B. Bradt; Killing The Rising Sun
by Bill O'Reilly; 30 Days in the Land of the Psalms by Charles H. Dyer; and yes,
I'm dusting off my copy of ACA's First Fifty Years.
WHAT'S ONE THING ABOUT YOURSELF THAT
MOST PEOPLE DON'T KNOW?
I love watching Westerns and sometimes wonder if I wasn't a cowboy
in an earlier life: Doc Holiday, I think, loyal friend to Wyatt Earp.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE
OF YOUR CAREER SO FAR?
I'd have to say I'm living my biggest challenge right now. The responsibility
of leading the ACA staff is one that, to me, is immense. Pivoting from
business ownership to association management isn't easy...but then
again, if it was easy it wouldn't be any fun.
Photo: Olive Juice Studios
"I realized then and
there that the only way
to become successful
is to help other people
A painful learning experience hit
just after 9/11, when two of Affiliated's
biggest clients-representing 40 percent
of its business-quit within three days of
"We were right back where we started,"
Neeb said. "There were times when I thought
we weren't going to survive. But we humbled
ourselves, right-sized the company and got
to work. We didn't grow as fast as I wanted
to, but we did grow."
Neeb sold The Affiliated Group in
2014, spinning the education division
into a new niche collection firm called
NeebEDU. Things were good for about
three months-and then disaster
struck when the U.S. Department
of Education's contract with private
collection agencies ended and a new
one never came. The company ran out
of work, and at the end of 2015 Neeb
shut down the business.
Down but not out, Neeb pivoted,
launching a successful consulting business
and renting space in a commercial
building he owned. So why not ride that
out until retirement?
"I wasn't nearly as busy as I wanted to be,"
REACHING FOR THE MOON
Now that he's got his hands full running
ACA, Neeb is drawing on his years of
hard-won experience in the collection
industry as well as the time he's spent
working on ACA's units, committees
"I know a thing or two about what
makes agencies tick," Neeb said. "I see
my background as a unique way to serve