It’s been far too long, but the “Getting to Know” profile series is back and is back with a vengeance. For the first time, we’ve had someone use the word “jurisprudential” in a sentence. That has to be a 2,400 SAT word, right? Kelly MacBeth does a great job explaining how the ARM industry benefits the people it is trying to collect from and articulates a strong argument for what everyone here does on a daily basis. Read on to learn more about Kelly and why the drive home from work is often her favorite part of the day.
Name: Kelly MacBeth
Company: Cash Factory USA
Length of time at current company: About two months
Length of time in industry: About 16 years
How did you get your start in the industry?
I began working for a small firm in Baltimore handling reinsurance arbitration; ultimately, I was hired by a creditor’s rights firm to work in their consumer financial arbitration practice. Since that time, my career has developed in concert with some of the changes to the practice area, to include an increased focus on compliance and consumer experience.
What is your career highlight so far?
It’s very difficult to choose just one, but what springs immediately to mind are those occasions where I’ve had the opportunity to build a program or team that demonstrated meaningful productivity and efficiency improvement. I’m particularly proud of the wonderful audit and compliance teams I have had the privilege to help lead and develop.
When or how are you most productive?
I’m at my most productive when focused on a project I believe will lead to positive and measurable results. While I really enjoy the individual nature of the legal drafting and writing process, I am at my most productive in a collaborative environment filled with smart, focused, productive people.
Which industry professional do you admire most?
There are so many; this is an industry full of great attorneys, and I was very fortunate to have several strong mentors early in my career. These days, I most admire those in the industry who continue to focus on doing the right thing, even when no one is paying attention.
What is one thing you do better than everyone else?
Knowing the actors in this industry, I’m really hesitant to say that I do anything better than everyone else, but I do think one of my core strengths lies in the creative process. I really enjoy taking abstract ideas and turning them into actionable programs or useable operational components.
What do you like most about this industry?
While it may seem anachronistic, I think this industry presents real opportunities to help people. At its core, this is an industry about solving problems, and given what we do, most of us have a chance to make a meaningful positive impact on the lives of consumers in various aspects of the field, from courtroom appearances to compliance executives and almost every role in between. Sometimes simply listening to a consumer can be helpful; improving business processes to address consumer issues and implementing compliance controls to improve the consumer experience is also very rewarding.
From a strictly legal perspective, I also appreciate the dynamic nature of the law in this space; the last 10 years in particular have been fascinating from the standpoint of regulatory and jurisprudential developments.
What is one thing you wish you could change about this industry?
It’s a shame that there are so many negative stereotypes about this industry. While there are bad actors in any field, there are a lot of good people in this industry trying to do the right thing. My experience has been that the good far outweighs the bad, but because the field is such an easy target, many of the positive aspects of the industry remain uncovered.
If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing?
I’ve always found psychology fascinating, so I suspect I would have chosen a legal career that utilizes that skillset if I didn’t find this industry so interesting.
That or interior design.
Describe a typical work day.
After several cups of strong coffee, one of the first things I do after getting to the office is to check my running task list and calendar for any deadlines or deliverables, and then I like to spend a few moments planning my goals for the day. Usually there are a few meetings on the schedule; after those are done, I like to knock off the items on my to-do list. I’m lucky in where I live; depending on the time I get to a good stopping place, I enjoy a sunset view over the mountains on the drive home.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Binge-watching Netflix, for sure. My most recent fix was the French series Versailles, which was a lot of fun.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
The right thing and the hard thing are usually the same thing.
What are you currently reading?
The Creation of Anne Boleyn by Susan Bordo. I love historical non-fiction, and particularly biographies.
What is one fact you’d like everyone in the industry to know about you?
I believe a focus on compliance and consumer experience improves performance.
Who else would you like to see answer these questions?