Collector – July 2019 - 27

Enriching Leadership
Opportunities

Jay Gonsalves, IFCCE, MCE,
president of Action Collection
Agencies Inc., served as 2008/09
ACA president and in dozens of
other leadership roles in the
association, all of which have
broadened his view of the industry.

I

joined ACA shortly after I got involved
in the collection industry, back in the
1980s. I started out like most people,
attending some seminars and going to
the annual convention. When I became a
business owner in 1991, I ramped up my
participation. I got involved with the New
England Collectors Association first, and
then on the national level with what was

Improving My Business
Practices

Brian Watkins, CCAE, president of
Southern Oregon Credit Service,
used ACA's Professional Practices
Management System to make his
company bigger and better.

I

n 2007, a friend told me that he had sent
his employees to a training for ACA's
Professional Practices Management
System and he felt like there was a lot
of really good stuff there focused on
compliance and documentation. At the time
our company was sorely in need of those
formulas and templates, so we ordered an
audio tape of one of the PPMS training
sessions to check it out.
Immediately, we knew we wanted to
pursue the certification. We went to the
training session at ACA's Annual Convention
& Expo in Chicago that year and got started.
I knew from the beginning that my
commitment was paramount to our success.

COLLECTOR 07.19

then known as the Healthcare Services
Program. My fellow HSP committee
members knew I'd served on the New
England Unit board, and they encouraged
me to run for ACA treasurer, which at that
time was a five-year commitment that put
me on track to serve as 2008/09 president.
It wasn't a cavalier decision-volunteer
leadership in that capacity is a significant
time investment. But I felt an obligation to
serve the association in any way that could
be helpful. I run a small to midsize company
with fewer than 100 people, and I wanted
to make sure agencies of all sizes were
represented in ACA's leadership. Plus, the
people who were leading ACA were, and still
are, people I respect tremendously. I thought
it'd be good to link arms with them to learn
more and grow as a leader.

I designated a team leader to spearhead the
program, but I was actively involved every
step of the way. The team leader made sure we
met all the certification deadlines, while my
role was change management-I didn't want
people to freak out over what we were doing.
Ultimately the best messaging was: "Look,
right now when you identify a problem, you
fix it. We're still doing that, but now we're just
going to be documenting how you fixed it."
We became PPMS certified in April 2008,
and now it's just part of our company DNA.
Before our certification, from a compliance/

After I was elected ACA treasurer, I
was like a sponge, just soaking up all the
information. There was so much to learn, not
only about how the association worked, but
also about its relationship to the industry, the
media and regulators. What I love about all
my leadership experiences in the association
is how much collaboration there is with
other members. Even something as simple as
serving on a committee, you learn so much
about the industry and how people run their
businesses. We have a lot of smart people at
ACA, and even when our opinions diverge,
we always end up coming together to find a
solution that's best for members. As a business
owner, it's been immensely enriching.

audit standpoint, we were a shell of what
we can do now. The data we have on pain
points, training and client relationships is
so much better. We know what clients are
struggling with and what clients are causing
us struggles. We track compliance, disputes
and escalated calls and make sure they
are resolved to conclusion. We're not only
marching forward, but upward.
We had about 26 employees when we
started and we have about 36 now, which is
steady, manageable growth that works for us.
We've moved our office twice since getting
certified, and each time we've gone back
to our documentation and said, "Oh OK,
so that's what we have to do to start from
scratch with this process."
Could we have done all this on our own?
Yes. Would it have been this good? Not
even close. PPMS gives you the structure
to get started and keep going. It gives you
targets, templates, goals, concepts, ideas
and examples-all the tools you need to be
successful. Our company is better because of it.

27



Collector – July 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Collector – July 2019

Upfront
Industry News
Best Practices
FYI
Collection Tips
What you need to know about the CFPB’s proposed new rule for the debt collection industry
“I don’t know about you, but I’ve literally never received a telegram and wouldn’t even know how to send one.”
Celebrating 80 Years of Helping Members Succeed
How Does ACA Help Members Succeed?
A History of Advocacy
8 Decades of ACA’s Annual Convention
Calendar
Honor Roll
Education Spotlight
Tell It Like It Is: Washington Hears From ACA Members
Collectors Challenge 2019: Getting Creative for a Good Cause
Balance it Out
Balance Billing Challenges Continue
It’s All About You: Helping Members Succeed
Sandbox Rules
What is a Product Sandbox?
in 11th Circuit Case Examining What Constitutes an ATDS
ACA SearchPoint
Ad Index
Membership
Last Word
Collector – July 2019 - Cover1
Collector – July 2019 - Cover2
Collector – July 2019 - 1
Collector – July 2019 - 2
Collector – July 2019 - 3
Collector – July 2019 - Upfront
Collector – July 2019 - 5
Collector – July 2019 - Industry News
Collector – July 2019 - 7
Collector – July 2019 - 8
Collector – July 2019 - 9
Collector – July 2019 - Best Practices
Collector – July 2019 - 11
Collector – July 2019 - FYI
Collector – July 2019 - 13
Collector – July 2019 - Collection Tips
Collector – July 2019 - 15
Collector – July 2019 - What you need to know about the CFPB’s proposed new rule for the debt collection industry
Collector – July 2019 - 17
Collector – July 2019 - “I don’t know about you, but I’ve literally never received a telegram and wouldn’t even know how to send one.”
Collector – July 2019 - 19
Collector – July 2019 - 20
Collector – July 2019 - 21
Collector – July 2019 - 22
Collector – July 2019 - 23
Collector – July 2019 - Celebrating 80 Years of Helping Members Succeed
Collector – July 2019 - 25
Collector – July 2019 - How Does ACA Help Members Succeed?
Collector – July 2019 - 27
Collector – July 2019 - 28
Collector – July 2019 - 29
Collector – July 2019 - A History of Advocacy
Collector – July 2019 - 31
Collector – July 2019 - 8 Decades of ACA’s Annual Convention
Collector – July 2019 - 33
Collector – July 2019 - 34
Collector – July 2019 - 35
Collector – July 2019 - Calendar
Collector – July 2019 - Honor Roll
Collector – July 2019 - Education Spotlight
Collector – July 2019 - 39
Collector – July 2019 - Tell It Like It Is: Washington Hears From ACA Members
Collector – July 2019 - 41
Collector – July 2019 - Collectors Challenge 2019: Getting Creative for a Good Cause
Collector – July 2019 - 43
Collector – July 2019 - Balance Billing Challenges Continue
Collector – July 2019 - 45
Collector – July 2019 - 46
Collector – July 2019 - 47
Collector – July 2019 - It’s All About You: Helping Members Succeed
Collector – July 2019 - 49
Collector – July 2019 - 50
Collector – July 2019 - 51
Collector – July 2019 - What is a Product Sandbox?
Collector – July 2019 - 53
Collector – July 2019 - in 11th Circuit Case Examining What Constitutes an ATDS
Collector – July 2019 - 55
Collector – July 2019 - ACA SearchPoint
Collector – July 2019 - Ad Index
Collector – July 2019 - Membership
Collector – July 2019 - 59
Collector – July 2019 - Last Word
Collector – July 2019 - Cover3
Collector – July 2019 - Cover4
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