Member Profile: Getting To Know Scott Brownlee

Welcome to a new regular feature on The collections and debt-buying industries are tight-knit communities, but there is a lot that we do not know about each other. To rectify that, we will be posting profiles of members on a regular basis. If you are interested in being profiled, please contact me via email.


Scot Brownlee

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Company & Job Title

Grimley Financial Corporation – Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer


Length of time at current company

7.5 years

Length of time in industry

26 years

How did you get your start in the industry?

Totally by chance. I saw an ad in the paper (no experience required), interviewed and was hired at the interview. I found collections came easy to me, but it was my second job in collections that I knew this was the career for me.


What is your career highlight so far?

That’s tough. Really there are two.

1. Doing the healthcare services start-up for Alliance One in Jamaica. I had my agents (who knew nothing about collections, healthcare or really even the USA) out-performing my U.S. test group at six months on a 1.2 to 1 FTE ratio.  (Credit card was on par at 4.5 to 1 FTE ratio down there).

2. What I have done here at GFC. I left here at the end of 2002 for the Jamaica contract job. I took over all healthcare care operations in 2009 (2008 was a $1.6M revenue year). Since then I have doubled revenues on a flat placement deck without increasing costs by more than 10% from ’09-’14 (2014 was a $3.15M revenue year). I have no managers or supervisors under me, just my collection reps in EBO and bad debt.


Which industry professional do you admire most?

Another tough one. There are many people I have learned from, respect and admire in our industry. If I must single out one, it would be Tim Brainerd, the owner of Revenue Enterprises LLC. in Colorado. Tim was the President of RSI Enterprises when I started my second job in the industry with RSI. He went out of his way to mentor me and he showed me how do to everything the right way, even when the right way was far more difficult than the easy way. Tim’s guidance and teaching helped me recognize that I wanted to make my career in the ARM industry, specifically in healthcare. There are many others who have helped me along the way, but Tim was the one that really got me started. There are not many with his character, integrity and skill set in this industry.

What is one thing you do better than everyone else?

I have no idea if I do anything “better than anyone else.” I am able to say that I have an innovative take on the way healthcare collections should be done and whenever/wherever I have implemented my model, I have dramatically improved performance, enhanced agent skill sets, drastically reduced turnover, out-performed every head-to-head competitor and upped the overall “game” of the enterprise. I never quit trying to do better.


What do you like most about this industry?

As I have expanded my “networking” over the years, I have met a ton of absolutely amazing people in the ARM industry.  For the most part, the camaraderie, willingness to share ideas (to a point of course 🙂 ) and the desire, drive and relentless hard work of so many people working to make this industry better truly inspires me. I feel fortunate to be involved in an industry with such a resilient, talented group of people.


What is one thing you wish you could change about this industry?

The nonsense. Slanted media perception, conflicting rules, too many governing bodies with their own conflicting agendas and of course the pack of vultures that take advantage of the confusion all the nonsense creates for their personal gain… at the unfair expense of the industry’s reputation. This country seems to have forgotten that when people owe money, they are supposed to repay their debts. The ARM industry should have one set of concise rules & regulations to follow that allow for common sense things like, it’s ok to call someone to ask them to repay their bill. The bad actors in our industry need to be removed, absolutely. But the vast majority of companies in the ARM industry are doing all they can to comply with conflicting rules, really stupid court decisions and trying to defend against the vultures at the same time…. And working to give back to their communities. To sum that all up, I would like to see the true, good side (majority) picture of our industry shown to this country where everyone has to see it.


If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing?

I have absolutely no idea. I cannot imagine doing anything else but what I do. I love what I do for a living, I really do.


Describe a typical work day

Every day is different which is one of the things I enjoy about what I do. But a typical day starts at 5:00 a.m. when I get up to get ready for the day. I have an hour drive to the office and try to get in by 7:30 a.m., 8:00 a.m. at the latest. I have no managers/supervisors, so I have to build out predictive and manual dial pool campaigns along with agent individual routes before the agents get in at 8:30 a.m. Once that is done my day really varies. Meetings with the owner, developing different strategies, and monitoring agent campaign activity are steadies. I typically get about 150 emails a day from clients, vendors, internal staff, industry colleagues, and daily bulletins from multiple sources. I try to get a few updates of relevance posted to LinkedIn each day and also go through the ACA Hub and either ask or try to answer questions. I will normally have several client conference calls or face-to-face meetings a week. I will try to attend several webinars a month. I also handle all manager/supervisor functions each day as well. At the end of the evening, I run our nightly processing for our collection software, ensure our notes exports to client systems complete and get out to the SFTPs and make sure the overall nightly back up is running. Typically, while our agent day ends at 5:30 p.m., I get in the car to head home somewhere between 8:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. for the hour-long drive home.


What is your guilty pleasure?

Going home for the day while it’s still daylight out and finding time to go to the range.


What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Always do the right thing … even when doing the right thing is the hardest thing to do.


What are you currently reading?

Beyond the industry trades and email bulletins, I get through the smart news summary but lately there has not been time to catch up on the non-essential reading I would like to do.


What is one fact you’d like everyone in the industry to know about you?

Industry related – While I will always go out of my way to try and help someone, by no means do I think I know everything. I learn something of value every day from someone in our industry.

Personal – My wife and I have 18 cats. They are death row shelter rescues, strays that we have fed outside and eventually taken in along with a couple of feral cats that we trapped with a Have-a-Heart when we moved as while we fed them, they were too far gone to want to come inside. We rehabbed them and they are now lap cats. We donate to various animal rights causes both in the U.S. and Mexico.

Who else would you like to see answer these questions?

Everyone who is a member.  I would love to gain the insights these questions provide about everyone here.

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