I got the opportunity to represent The National List at the 42nd annual International Association of Commercial Collections (IACC) conference in beautiful Miami Beach, FL this past week (Jan. 16-18th).
The conference took place at the Eden Roc resort; which provides panoramic views of the ocean, multiple pools, beach front access and amazing service from both IACC & the resort. During the conference, weather was on the verge of record setting highs at 84 degrees, so leaving 7 degree temps in North Dakota wasn’t very hard.
Although the conference was fairly short, it was jam packed with educational sessions and networking opportunities. Even with a full schedule, from start to finish the vibe of the conference was very relaxing and family friendly. I saw more spouses in attendance at this conference than I have seen at others. Not only were spouses enjoying the resort and weather, they took part in the dining and special events that IACC hosted.
Like other conferences, the IACC hosts a cocktail reception for first time attendees to meet one another and mingle for half an hour, before returning attendees join in. The reception kick started the conference and was a great way to shift into the Annual Business Meeting/President’s Banquet.
Day two of the conference was packed from early morning into the evening, but definitely my favorite day. I started my conference with a jog on Miami Beach’s beautiful boardwalk; which runs the length of Miami Beach’s west side with views of the ocean as far as you can see. It’s a true MUST if you ever travel there. Starting at 8 a.m., as a group we ate breakfast with one another amongst the vendors, and joked about the evening before. One of my true highlights was provided by one of NL’s valued law firm members and sponsors of the conference, The Guerrini Law Firm. John Guerrini had the amazing idea of providing the first ever Guerrini Bloody Mary Bar; which definitely set the pace of the day and was the talk of the morning amongst attendees while we enjoyed bloody marys and breakfast. John Guerrini noted, “The Guerrini Law Firm (California) is always pleased to sponsor events at the IACC meetings. We count IACC members among our partners in our success. There’s really no excuse to miss Miami in January and hang out with friends and colleagues.” I couldn’t agree with John more, it’s truly an opportunity to hang out with good friends and colleagues in the industry. IACC only does one session at a time, so attendees don’t miss out on any of the educational sessions. IACC also provides a session called “Meet the Attorneys”; which promoted the law firm members to agencies, giving them the opportunity to seek out a state in which they are looking for counsel and have a one on one with the firms in those states. In between sessions was an “Exhibitor/Sponsor Minute”, one of my favorite events, because it provided vendors and sponsors the opportunity to step up to the podium and provide a quick overview of the services they provide. Another spotlight of the conference was the session: “Client Customer Service: Developing More Than Just a Client”, Panelists: Randy Frazee of Randall & Richards, Inc., & Bob Ingold of Commercial Collection Corp. Randy recently completed his role as president of IACC and Bob is now the incumbent. Both gentlemen have been in the industry for many years as presidents of their respective companies. The discussion was an open forum where attendees and panelists discussed challenges and opportunities in developing and maintaining clients. To wrap up the day of sessions we put together an annual game of beach volleyball; where law firms, agencies, and law lists mingled in a friendly game. After our professional volleyball match, we changed into our dinner attire to board the Floridian Princess for a dinner cruise on a beautiful yacht; which provided cocktails, hor dourves, and a lively jazz band; a great way to unwind after such a busy day.
If you’re looking for a great opportunity to network with others in the commercial industry, in a beautiful location, I highly recommend checking out the International Association of Commercial Collections. I am confident that the IACC will continue to grow, and I look forward to the next conference. “IACC has seen great growth in Convention attendance the last couple of years and this year was no exception. We had over 160 attendees at the Convention in Florida. This group truly believes in moving the industry forward by pooling their collective experience and sharing that experience with each other. It’s always refreshing to see the camaraderie at the Convention each year. I look forward to seeing everyone next year at the 43rd Annual Convention, Jan. 15-17, 2014, at the Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach.” -Tammy Schoenberg, IACC Executive Director.
By Kacey Rask