Collector- June 2018 - 56
Advocacy work can sometimes seem daunting. Heritage Financial Recovery Services
President Elizabeth Clifford Mallory shares her thoughts on how to get started.
By Katy Zillmer
ACA members, including Elizabeth Clifford Mallory, second from
left, attend a fundraiser for State Sen. Anthony Bucco.
INCEPTION DATE: 1961
UPPER SADDLE RIVER, N.J.
eeting with state or federal
legislators can seem like an
intimidating process, but it's
important to remember they are there to
listen to constituents and business owners
in their districts.
Take it from Elizabeth Clifford Mallory,
president of Heritage Financial Recovery
Services in Upper Saddle River, N.J., who
after nearly 40 years of working in the
accounts receivables management industry
has developed long-term connections with
legislators through her advocacy efforts.
"Our legislators are our legislators-we
put them in office to work for the good
of all, and they are open and receptive to
their constituents' needs," Clifford Mallory
said. "Give them the opportunity to get to
Over the years, Clifford Mallory has met
with U.S. Reps. Leonard Lance , R-N.J.,
and Scott Garrett, R-N.J., New Jersey
Assemblyman Robert Auth and Lt. Gov.
Kim Guadagno, among other officials.
Get your foot in the door by attending
fundraisers and town hall meetings for
state legislators or federal legislators when
they are in their home districts during a
Congressional recess, typically at the end of
the year and over the summer.
Clifford Mallory's best advice for
members and professionals in the accounts
receivable management industry is to be
yourself and be prepared.
Have some talking points ready if there is
a particular piece of legislation in your state
impacting the industry. Legislators at these
events are ready to listen to their constituents
and will want to know background on issues
and how they can help, Clifford Mallory
explained. They will also come to new issues
with an objective view, will ask questions and
can bring in other perspectives.
Small group meetings can help members
new to advocacy become comfortable with
the process, though Clifford Mallory noted
that it's best to limit the group size to no
more than three people.
She added that meetings should be
conversational. While talking points
on industry and legislative issues are
important to guide a meeting to start,
having a strict pitch and sounding
too prepared will take away from the
opportunity to build rapport with legislators.
"By advocating for our industry we are
putting a fresh face on preconceived ideas
regarding collection agencies," Clifford
Mallory said. "Collecting outstanding
receivables for goods and services received
is a noble profession, and has a positive
impact on the economy."
The conversation may start with
legislation that impacts your business or the
industry, but building relationships with
your elected officials helps open doors to
discuss general or new issues for businesses
and in your local community, according to
"You're there initially because you're
advocating for your industry, but you're also
there for your community," she said.
Katy Zillmer is ACA International's
ACA offers several resources for members
interested in advocacy. Check them out