One of the most valuable components of NARCA for me is their client meetings. Clients such as Discover, Capital One, TRAK America, Midland and Centerpoint, to name a few, host closed-door meetings with their legal networks. Each is approximately 35 minutes long and focuses on their current status and their future, and highlights some of their top performing firms. It’s valuable for The National List to attend these meetings, as these are our clients, and the more we understand about their current and future needs, the better we can assist them in building and managing their attorney networks.
The PWCI (Professional Women in the Collections Industry and Call Centers) is a strong group of women who come together at conferences to network, mentor and support one another. I’ve been an active member of PWCI for the last three years. As a current member of the NARCA PWCI Board, I was very excited to host yet another event during this conference. We decided to make this year’s event a “social hour,” because it was to be held in an open area. Attendees shared wine, networking opportunities and relaxed, surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the conference. We had a great turnout—about 40 women—some of whom had never been a part of this event before. I spoke a little about what PWCI is and how the organization has been beneficial to my growth in the industry. I encouraged the women to get more involved. We’ve lost two brave women to cancer over the last two years, which has inspired PWCI to sponsor Stand Up 2 Cancer this year. We are working hard to raise money for this amazing organization. Contact me to see how you can contribute!
During every NARCA Conference, sessions are held that provide an opportunity for attorneys to get their CLE credits, as well as to increase their knowledge along with fellow attendees. The National List was asked to participate on a panel titled “Best Practices in Creating and Maintaining Policies & Procedures.” The panel was comprised of Amanda Maklin of Gurstel & Chargo, Jessie Skibbe of KirkpatrickPrice, Morgan Smith of Unifund, and myself. Each panelist was asked to bring their experience within the industry and their recent exposure to the changes created by the new normal of “compliance.”
Properly written and managed policies and procedures have become a business-critical component of compliance. The panel’s objective was to provide our audience with information about what documents are needed, the documents’ definitions and purposes, tips on developing needed documents, document management, document lifecycle, and related-technology solutions. As a compliance attorney, Amanda was able share her experience with the changes her firm is actively making for their clients. Focusing on document lifecycle, Morgan brought the “client’s perspective” to the panel, as her firm is a debt buyer with a legal network. They have had to grow their compliance program in-house, as well as to work with their legal network on compliance-focused content development. My contribution was to share our clients’ expectations for policies, procedures, and all-around compliance, and to inform our attorneys about “what’s coming down the pike.” The panel was brought together by Jessie Skibbe of KirkpatrickPrice, a CPA firm that focuses on assisting companies in writing policies and procedures, auditing, vendor compliance and getting needed certification. It was an honor to speak on this panel with these amazing leaders in the industry, and we received very positive feedback from our session. You can listen to this recorded session, by going to www.NARCA.org .
The prevailing focus of the conference was compliance. Attendees were there to learn how to accommodate the new changes and expectations of their firms &/or organizations. Several firms are speaking with one another about “combining firms or merging” to help share the costs of compliance needed to appease the creditors and clients. Some firms are buying up smaller firms in order to create a larger regional footprint, and some firms are maintaining their smaller footprint and accommodating their clients’ requests one day at a time. It’s definitely a changing industry.
The National List’s consistent goal is to continue to assist and support our member firms with education, resources, and new business. In an ever-changing industry, it’s even more critical that we work together to successfully become more compliance-focused. Watch for our FREE compliance-focused webinar series with KirkpatrickPrice. This series only allows 80 registrants, so learn more and sign up now by visiting our blog about the webinars.