Manny Newburger started in the ARM industry the same day he started law school and he hasn’t changed course since. There are a lot of executives and companies in the collections and debt-buying industries who are very grateful for that fact. Despite his self-described “tough love” demeanor, Newburger has an artist’s soul, saying he would have been a glass artist if he weren’t a lawyer. Read on to learn more about Manny and maybe you can figure out when he sleeps.
Name: Manny Newburger
Company: Barron & Newburger, P.C.
Length of time at current company: 34 1/2 years
Length of time in industry: 37 1/2 years
How did you get your start in the industry?
I started a job as a law clerk for a collection firm the same day that I started law school.
What is your career highlight so far?
Truthfully, I don’t really think of just one. I am constantly grateful for the clients with whom I get to work and the fact that after more than 34 years of practice my job is still interesting and exciting.
When or how are you most productive?
Early in the morning and late at night. Clients sometimes ask if I sleep because they see an email from me at 1:00 am. and another before 7:00 a.m.
Which industry professional do you admire most?
Barb Sinsley, my “sister by another mister.” Her combination of brains and tenacity makes her a formidable attorney.
What is one thing you do better than everyone else?
I don’t know about “better,” but I excel at resolving litigation problems, often by finding the path not taken. I look at what has not worked and find that which may.
What do you like most about this industry?
The people. They make it a privilege to work in this sector.
What is one thing you wish you could change about this industry?
It’s image. If the public understood how many compliance-oriented businesses there are in this industry, run by people of good character who genuinely care about doing things right, they would be very surprised.
If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing?
If I were not a lawyer, I think I’d choose to be a glass artist. It is a hobby that could easily become a vocation.
Describe a typical work day.
It often starts with a trip to the airport. However, if I’m in Austin I’m usually in the office by 7:15 a.m., and I try to leave by 7:30 p.m. I start the day trying to take a look at the latest cases affecting the collection industry that have just hit Lexis. By 8:00 a.m., I try to start on my first planned task, but by then the client emergencies start to hit my inbox. More days than not the task I started at 8:00 a.m. is one that I have to return to at 5:00 p.m.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Travel. As much time as I spend in the air for business (some years flying 45 weeks), I would travel even more for pleasure. I have a long bucket list of places I’d like to see.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
My first boss at IBM told me that secretaries run the world. That advice expanded in my life to a recognition that the people who really get things done are often not those who get the recognition or the positions of authority.
What are you currently reading?
“Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World” by General Stanley McChrystal.
What is one fact you’d like everyone in the industry to know about you?
I am fiercely loyal, but that is often expressed as “tough love.” If you work with me you get candor, even if it’s not what you want to hear.
Who else would you like to see answer these questions?