Collector - September 2020 - 29

JONATHAN ELLIOT JUDICIAL
ADVOCACY AWARD
The Jonathan Elliot Judicial Advocacy Award
recognizes an ACA member who in the past year has been
an outstanding advocate on behalf of the accounts receivable
management industry.
This year's recipient is John H. Bedard Jr., owner of Bedard Law
Group P.C. in Duluth, Georgia. Bedard testified before the U.S. House
Financial Services Committee in September 2019 on 10 potential
bills the committee was considering related to the regulation of debt
collection activities, has defended many ACA members against
FTC, CFPB, and state attorney general regulatory investigations and
has served as a no-nonsense defense attorney on behalf of ACA's
members. As a well-respected ACA Certified Instructor, Bedard
helped create, and now chairs, ACA's Technology and Innovation
Committee and recently completed service on ACA's Education
Council. Bedard is a former member of ACA's Board of Directors and
chaired the Members Attorney Program Committee. He serves as
ACA's State Compliance chair for Georgia and Tennessee.
Most recently, ACA's Industry Advancement Fund supported
Bedard on behalf of ACA member
company Medical Business Bureau
in Rhone v. Medical Business
Bureau. Aided by fellow ACA
member Nicole Strickler, Bedard
coordinated an articulate defense
and prevailed in the 7th Circuit.

UNIT LEADER OF THE YEAR AWARD
This award recognizes members who have made the most
outstanding contributions to their units in the past two years. Unit
officers and members of ACA's Council of Delegates and Board of
Directors submit nominations, and a national selection panel of unit
leaders chooses the recipients. This year, two recipients were selected.
Melissa Nash from the Florida Collectors
Association was honored in the category of
66-100 members. Under her leadership, the
Florida Collectors Association added more
members than any other ACA unit. Nash was
instrumental in improving the unit's financial
position and set records for amounts raised to
support its legislative efforts.
Jennifer Whipple of the Montana
Collectors Association was honored in the
category of 1-35 members. In addition to
serving as the secretary/treasurer for
the Montana Collection Assocation,
Whipple is also on the unit's Legislative
Committee. She meets regularly with state
representatives to positively influence
policy affecting the accounts receivable
management industry.

MEMBER OF THE YEAR AWARD
The association's highest honor, the Member of the
Year Award, is presented to the member judged to have done
the most for ACA and the accounts receivable management
industry in the past 12 months.
This year's award was given to industry leader Jeff DiMatteo,
president of American Profit Recovery Inc. in Franklin, Mass.,
in recognition of his dedication, commitment and tireless work
related to the association's success.
DiMatteo has been president of the New England Collectors
Association for more than seven years. He has been front and center
in all the unit's advocacy efforts, and he played a key role in getting a
positive outcome in ACA International v. Healey, which challenged
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey's emergency
regulation halting almost all debt collection activities in the state.
Year after year, the Massachusetts legislature is one of the most
active legislatures in areas that impact the accounts receivable
management industry. DiMatteo frequently represents the industry
before the state attorney general's office, the Massachusetts Division
of Banks and the Massachusetts legislature.
DiMatteo currently serves as chair of
ACA's Unit and State Affairs Committee
and on ACA's Council of Delegates. He
has earned ACA's Scholar and Fellow
designations, and in 2011 was honored
with the ACA International Education
Foundation Fellow Award.

JANIS ST. MARTIN INDUSTRY
CHAMPION AWARD
Janis St. Martin was the vice president of
Collectors Insurance Agency, a wholly owned
subsidiary of ACA. This award is given to
the ACA member who most exemplifies St.
Martin's spirit of protecting the industry
from those who would seek to profit by
pursuing meritless claims.
This year's award was given to Glenn
Misiph, vice president of Glenn Associates
Inc. in Wilmington, Mass. In March, spurred
by the COVID-19 pandemic, Massachusetts Attorney General
Maura Healey issued an emergency regulation that all but
shut down the debt collection industry in Massachusetts. In
response, ACA filed a complaint and a motion for a temporary
restraining order and preliminary injunction. Misiph supported
ACA's lawsuit by filing an affidavit showing how Healey's order
seriously harmed his business.
On May 6, the Federal District Court for the District of
Massachusetts issued a memorandum opinion and order
granting ACA's motion. Misiph's work was instrumental in
getting this positive outcome.

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Collector - September 2020

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Collector - September 2020 - Cover1
Collector - September 2020 - Cover2
Collector - September 2020 - 1
Collector - September 2020 - 2
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