The talk amongst all the attorneys, vendors and forwarders attending the recent, very successful NARCA Spring Conference in Las Vegas was, once again, COMPLIANCE. Everyone is taking huge steps to increase their compliance standards. It was great to hear about forwarding networks that are working together with their competitors to make compliance more convenient for their law firm members. Even during the Professional Women in the Collection Industry (PWCI) event, compliance was on everyone’s minds. One of the speakers said she was going to do everything she could “not to say the word…Shhhh… ‘compliance.’”
The PWCI event was hosted by Eltman Eltman & Cooper, and the theme was “Keep Growing.” The room was decorated with red linens and black bags containing packets of basil and recipes using basil for each attendee to take home and “Keep Growing.” Amanda Smith of Resurgent and Karol Berndt of Berndt & Associates in MI, both told heartfelt stories about their experiences in the debt collection industry and their growth—personally, professionally—and the growth of the industry as a whole. One of my favorite moments was when Amanda Smith spoke about growth being inevitable. She glanced around the room and said, “Seriously, let me get a raise of hands by those who actually knew about this industry prior to working in it.” It was a lighthearted moment that helped all of us realize we are all in the same boat—and growing.
In addition to informative sessions and great vendor exhibits, there were one-on-one meetings with firms and invitation-only client meetings. Many firms were recognized by their clients during the client meetings, and I want to spotlight some of those firms here:
- 2013 Servicing Excellence Award: Babcock & Wasserman, Co.
- 2013 Performance Excellence Award: Protas, Spivok & Collins
- Strongest Audit: Love, Beal & Nixon
- Best Exception Reporting: Messerli & Kramer
- Best Overall Performance: Blatt, Hassenmiller, Leibsker & Moore
Harvest Strategy Group
- Partner of the year: Levy and Associates, LLC, Ohio
- Runner Up: Machol & Johannes, LLC, Colorado
- 2nd Runner Up: Law Offices of Timothy E. Baxter & Associates, PC, Michigan
Captial One: Customer Experience and Performance Leaders:
- Cohen & Slamowitz
- Messerli & Kramer
- Hunt & Henriques
NCO: Celebrated the accomplishments of:
- Michael J. Scott, PC
- Machol & Johannes, LLC
- Bierer & Margolis, PA
Attending industry conferences is an added perk of my position. Society today has become so fast paced and is all about immediate answers. Face-to-face time with our valued attorney members and clients, and sitting amongst peers and connecting, whether it be over a meal or just a casual touch-base meeting, is a great opportunity. I’m also excited to report that my colleague, Katie Stromstad, and I got a little star struck during the conference when Chef Bobby Flay sat at our table in his famous restaurant, the Caesar’s Palace Mesa Grill (see photo).
Katie reports, “This was my first NARCA Conference. I was happy, excited and nervous to represent The National List of Attorneys. It was wonderful to finally put faces to names, and to introduce myself to our members and clients that I communicate with daily. I found a lot of value in attending the sessions, especially the Management and Audit and the CFPB session. As NL Director of Compliance, it is important for me to stay up-to-date on all the new compliance standards and requirements. I had great client meetings, and found it extremely valuable to be there. I can’t wait for the next one!”
If you have an interest in joining NARCA, I highly encourage you to do so. I would be happy to provide you with information about the benefits of joining.By Kacey Rask, NL Account Executive With Katie Stromstadt, Director of Compliance for NL and National List Appearance Counsel (NLAC)