Collector - May 2020 - 36

ORIGINSTORY

Finding Her Groove
LaDonna Bohling's natural leadership characteristics helped her learn early on
she could make a difference working with people in the ARM industry.

"I believe
our industry is
one of the most
under-appreciated
in the nation and
I tend to always
champion for
the underdog."

L

aDonna Bohling's path to
leadership in the accounts
receivable management
industry began when she was a
teenager helping her dad with his
plumbing business. She may not
have known it at the time, but
the work helped develop her
leadership style. Here's how she
got her start in the industry, in her
own words.
I'm from Augusta, Georgia, and have
three younger brothers. My father was
in the military for most of my youth.
After the military he ran a very successful
plumbing company. That was where I
got my first taste of managing people
and resources. I was making business
decisions-establishing key performance
indicators, hiring and financial-at age
14. I always liked to be the responsible,
go-to person.
After high school, I enrolled in
Augusta College (now Augusta

36

University) to study sociology and
criminal justice. While I was working
on my degree, I became a caseworker
for a government economic support
office and worked my way up to middle
management. I decided to focus on that
work instead of finishing school.
After 11 years on the job, I felt like
I wasn't helping anyone so I took a
job working for a finance company.
The company ultimately wasn't for me
because of the lack of benefits.
I was on a leave of absence from
my social work position when I saw
an ad in the paper for a debt collector.
Contract Callers Inc. (the company
had a different name at the time) was
running the ad weekly, so I figured I
would give it a try. I was excited when
they hired me.
I was promoted to manager in 1997.
At the time, there was no call recording
and training was very basic. When I first
came to the agency, the collectors would
simply ask for payment in full or ask

consumers to call back when they had a
payment. I tried to soften things up. For
instance, I took the word 'debtor' out of
all our paperwork.
Honestly, the collectors and other
managers were not very receptive to my
changes. I had to prove that it worked.
One of the collectors said, 'You're not
going to make it in this business like
that.' She and I are still friends and we
still laugh about that.
I worked at Contract Callers for 23
years before moving to my current
position as chief compliance officer for
Receivables Solutions Inc.
I stay in the industry because it's
challenging and continuously changing.
I'm never bored. I believe our industry
is one of the most under-appreciated
in the nation and I tend to always
champion for the underdog. Plus, I've
met some of the nicest people in this
industry and made some great friends.
I think I've always been very good at
developing people and getting the most
out of their skills. This industry isn't
for everybody, just like college isn't for
everybody. I often tell that to people,
whether I'm interviewing them or
they're in a new-hire class.
To balance my work and time as
a Certified Instructor and Training
Specialist for ACA International, I
started learning taekwondo years ago.
Now I have a third-degree black belt
and continue to learn about martial
arts. It helps relieve stress. I also keep
busy with my three grandchildren and
two Huskies, Buster and Dixie. My
granddaughter lives nearby, and she and
I go on adventures. I am trying to help
her become the confident young woman
I know she can be.
Reported by Katy Zillmer.

ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG


http://www.ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG

Collector - May 2020

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