Collector - August 2018 - 17
ack Brown III has a foot in two worlds. In one, he's
a practicing attorney and the CEO of Gulf Coast
Collection Bureau, an accounts receivable management
firm specializing in health care collections based in Sarasota,
Fla. In the other, he's a passionate angler and all-around ocean
enthusiast, spending about 500 hours a year out on his two boats.
While these worlds may seem quite different, it turns out there's
plenty of overlap.
"Jack is very driven, focused and steady-especially if you get him
out fishing on his boat," said longtime peer and friend David Kelley,
president and CEO of The Preferred Group of Tampa. "I've owned
boats for years, and Jack is one of the few people I'm comfortable
going out on the water with. If you make a mistake out there, it can be
very costly. There are some people who own boats and some people
who captain their boats, and Jack is a captain."
As the newest president of ACA International, Brown will rely
on these qualities to help steer the association through some of the
friendliest waters our industry has seen in years. While it might seem
like relatively smooth sailing right now, Brown said he's ready to take
on challenges as they come-with the help of ACA members.
LEARNING THE ROPES
Photo: Barbara Banks Photography
For as long as he can remember, Brown has loved the water. His
family moved from Illinois to Sarasota, Fla., when he was five years
old, but Brown has no memory of the frigid Midwest winters he
endured as a toddler. "Everything revolved around the water once we
got to Sarasota," he said. "If it's on the water, I want to be a part of it."
His childhood was packed with days spent surfing, swimming,
fishing and playing on the powdery white sand of Sarasota's Gulf
Coast beaches. In high school he joined the crew team, which won
the state championship, and as a Boy Scout, his troop planned
adventurous camping and sailing trips.
"In fact, I still have a picture in my office of some of our troop
members when we went diving one year," Brown said. "I'm looking at
the picture now, and my current director of IT was actually standing
on that boat with me back in 1993. He's been a good friend for a long
time, and now he's working with me [at Gulf Coast]. It's neat to see
the connections I had back then still thriving today."
Brown is a second-generation collection agency owner. In the
1980s, his father, Jack Brown II, was traveling extensively for his
steel sales job but wanted a career that would keep him close to
his family. A colleague introduced him to the accounts receivable
management industry, and Jack Brown II and his wife Shirley
opened up Certified Credit in 1989.
"I remember spending my childhood in that office, helping to paint
the walls and floors and putting together furniture," Brown recalled.
After business picked up, the elder Brown quit his sales job to run
the company full time, and Shirley left to pursue a career in politics.
Brown and his older sister, Angela, worked odd jobs at the agency
after school, but their summers were sometimes a little looser.