CLLA (the Commercial Law League of America) hosted a great meeting in Chicago April 10-13th. The education sessions were diversified and informative. Most of the firms attending the CLLA Conference do all types of collection work, so diversifying the sessions was very beneficial, I think. For example, CLLA provided an “FDCPA Compliance Roundtable” (retail collections), and a session titled “Ready or not – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is Out on Patrol,” which typically wouldn’t be included in a CLLA conference. However, I heard from many of our NL law firm members that both were very educational and interesting.
Former Chicago Mayor, Richard M. Daley, spoke about his time as Mayor and shared some highlights of Chicago. The Young Members’ Section (YMS) provided very educational sessions including: “The Ethics of Marketing with Social Media” and “The Triadic System is Alive and Well.” They also held a great offsite event for YMS members. The CCAA (Commercial Collection Agency Association) provided some great educational sessions including: “Super Elastic Plastic: How to Avoid the Big Wham-O of Credit Card Fees,” “Time Management for Collection Specialists and Lawyers: How to Keep Up with Email, Master Your To-Do List, and Work Productively,” and much more.
In speaking with Erin Brereton, CLLA Marketing and Communications Director, she noted: “We premiered a number of new programs this year at the CLLA Chicago Convention — including the “Public Speaking Boot Camp,” a “Marketing and Social Media Ethics” session and the first-ever Women In Collections Networking Tea, which received a very positive response. We were thrilled to partner with PWCI (Professional Women in the Collection Industry) to co-host the event and to offer our meeting attendees a chance to connect in a new way.”
I represented NL and was personally involved in introducing the PWCI to CLLA. I asked the CLLA if they would assist in jointly hosting a networking event. They graciously accepted and provided one speaker, Lorna Walker (an attorney of ours from Sweet & Walker, PC). I asked Annette Waggoner, Executive Director of the CCAA to speak. Both women spoke about how they have personally been involved in the industry over the years, about their successes and their struggles. I started the event off by explaining what PWCI is and what they’ve accomplished in the industry since their inception 2006. Predetermined discussion topics got the women at each table talking about the struggles women face in this male-dominated industry and gave an opportunity to provide advice to women just entering this industry.
I am so happy that PWCI was received so well. I firmly believe in the value of this network and have personally benefited so much from it. A PWCI event provides amazing networking opportunities at every conference it’s involved with. The organization provides mentoring programs within the collection industry, and it recently has extended its reach to call centers, as well. It is an amazing resource for professional women. I was very excited to introduce PWCI to the CLLA, and be at the forefront of making it an annual networking event at their conferences. To learn more about PWCI, go to http://pwcinetwork.com/about_us.html
Overall, the CLLA Conference was a great opportunity to see familiar faces and friends and to network with fellow professionals. It was a busy but professionally rewarding conference for me. I encourage National List Members who haven’t attended a CLLA Conference to do so in the future.