Being optimistic in any circumstance is a skillset that not many people possess. But it’s an important skillset for a leader, especially one in the ARM industry. The glass that Rick Bonitzer is looking at is not just half-full, it’s overflowing with potential. Read on to learn more about Rick and while it’s best not to bug him until after the second cup of coffee.
Name: Rick Bonitzer
Company: Credit Collection Partners (CCP)
Length of time at current company: 7 years
Length of time in industry: 7 years
How did you get your start in the industry?
It was a matter of relocating my family from the Chicago area down to central Illinois. CCP was a tiny little business when I took over.
What is your career highlight so far?
Definitely the abundance of elite employees I’ve been able to attract. It’s truly fascinating. We’ve got former government officials, elected officials, and industry superstars among us at CCP now.
When or how are you most productive?
After two cups of French Roast. My staff knows to tread lightly if I haven’t had coffee yet. (I’m only half-kidding)
Which industry professional do you admire most?
Well I’m still a bit green in this industry so I don’t have a whole lot of exposure to industry professionals, but I would say that our COO Nick Jarman is right up there near the top. Nick and I have been working together since he started RightAway Consulting. He’s accomplished so many great things throughout his career and is well respected amongst the premier industry networks and social circles. My vice president, Becky Jansen, is also very much admired. I perceive her to be in the “government industry” not so much the “accounts receivable industry”. Becky has been absolutely critical to our business’s success over the last several years. She’s also about the finest client advocate I’ve ever seen.
What is one thing you do better than everyone else?
Perhaps my ability to exude optimism throughout the day. Very important.
What do you like most about this industry?
It appears ripe for a revolution. Collection agencies still possess a pretty negative stigma despite so many awesome, consumer-centric, entities out there. I love the idea of changing that perception by applying modern business concepts and perpetuating a customer-service culture.
What is one thing you wish you could change about this industry?
The aforementioned negative stigma.
If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing?
Running a small business in another industry. I love the challenges that small business brings. You wear so many hats, and your responsibilities are so vast. Your specific actions and decisions are so directly influential to the bottom line.
Describe a typical work day.
Things get started with a French Roast K-Cup. I’ll generally make a pass through our call center and wish a good morning to those not on the phone. My day is then ensuring my team has the tools they need to succeed or working with vendors/strategic partners/consultants on new project implementations. Throughout the day I find myself constantly re-prioritizing where my efforts are best spent.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Well, it used to be fast food for lunch! But I switched to a meal replacement protein shake a few months back to get the cholesterol down.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
“Make your boss look good”. It’s an odd piece of advice I came across recently. Very profound.
What are you currently reading?
A 15 page MSA document for a new vendor I’m looking at. Snoozefest! I’m more of a video guy than traditional reader. There are some pretty great leadership videos out there by Simon Sinek that I was turned on to recently. I was a bit shocked I hadn’t heard of him before. He’s great! YouTube him right now if you’ve not heard of him.
What is one fact you’d like everyone in the industry to know about you?
I can’t seem to shake an obsession with Fantasy Baseball.
Who else would you like to see answer these questions?
Greg Johnson of InterProse, Vince LoBianco of Harris & Harris, or Megan Bryant of Credit Collection Partners.