Collector - June 2020 - 34
Ask the Experts:
Where Do I Begin?
We asked three ACA International award winners to
share their insights for industry newcomers.
"If someone looking to start
their career in collections
asked you for advice, what
would you tell them?"
DAVID KELLEY, president & CEO,
The Preferred Group of Tampa.
Winner of ACA's 2019 International
Fellowship of Certified Collection
"I think the first thing you have to
do, in any venture, is ask yourself:
why am I doing this and what do I
hope to accomplish? For example, do you want to make a
bunch of money? Do you want to help your community? Do
you want to be your own boss? None of those are wrong or
bad, but it's important for you to think about the reason you
are doing something. For me, I need to start at a spiritual
place. Does what I'm doing line up with my calling? I never
grew up thinking that I was going to own a collection
agency, but my passion was to have a platform to positively
inf luence people and do things in an honorable way."
JAY GONSALVES, IFCCE, MCE,
president, Action Collection Agencies.
Winner of ACA's 2019 Fred Kirschner
Instructor Achievement Award.
"First, I'd advise people not to squander
opportunities. If you are given an
opportunity, take full advantage of it.
Next, surround yourself with people
who do this well. That means you should take advantage of
networking and professional development opportunities, but
also do your own reading and research. You'll want to learn
everything you can about this business because it's complicated.
It's a compliance-laden industry and there are a lot of landmines.
Plug into people who do this well and learn from them. Asking
for help is not a sign of weakness, but one of strength. Finally,
I think having a positive attitude is critical. You can't convey
confidence to your clients, employees and business partners if you
don't have that."
TOM HAAG, IFCCE, chairman and
CEO, State Collection Service Inc.
Winner of ACA's 2019 Harry
Strausser Jr. ACPAC Ambassador
"I would encourage them to get into the
industry because it isn't what the public
perceives it to be. It's quite different,
actually, and there is an opportunity to do good and be
successful-both. We talk to people, listen to them and resolve
issues for them. It isn't about forcing somebody to pay, it's about
helping them understand what they owe and finding a way for
them to take care of that. Our company does mostly health care,
and in many cases it's the insurance company that's failing to
pay. We help consumers recover the money from the insurance
company. It's about helping people."
Collector - June 2020
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