Greg Ruffino has advanced quickly in his four years at Williams & Fudge, to his current role of director of training. It’s a far cry from his days as a soccer coach and working in the restaurant business. Ruffino has a deep respect for the culture and the leadership team at the agency, and is appreciative of what the opportunity has allowed him to learn and develop. Read on to learn more about how he spends his days and his newfound love of Gaelic Football.
Name: Greg Ruffino
Company: Williams & Fudge, Inc.
Length of time at current company: Seven years
Length of time in industry: Seven years
How did you get your start in the industry?
I had been in the food and beverage industry since me early teenage years. Through my 20’s, I progressed into management positions for six consecutive years. For a long time I had been looking for a transition out of the restaurant industry in an effort to improve my overall quality of life. I had a friend who worked for Williams & Fudge, Inc., and on a leap of faith I left the restaurant business to became a collector.
What is your career highlight so far?
Being able to learn the industry and quickly prove myself to make the transitions from collector, to Team Leader to Director of Training in a four-year time span. Also, being selected to speak at the 2017 ACA International convention in Seattle.
Which industry professional do you admire most?
I am only now opening my exposure to the industry outside of Williams & Fudge, Inc. so I will keep my answer internal. I have a great respect for our CEO, Bob Perrin. There is not a day that goes by that I am not baffled at the growing stacks of paper that he is working through in his office. He is a tireless worker who is always looking out for the betterment of our office and the entire industry.
What is one thing you do better than everyone else?
I am not sure about being better than anyone! However, I am confident that I have found a few abilities that tend to go well together. I have found success in being able to package, disseminate, and deliver information that is easy to digest and learn in the formats of training documents and presentations. I have also recognized and put into good practice the use of several different and creative training methods to help increase overall comprehension and retention. To be able to do this it is important to be organized, efficient and in total control of the training environment.
When or how are you most productive?
The first 2-to-3 hours of the day are typically when I am in top production mode. As the day progresses, so do the number meetings, training classes, and potential issues throughout the office. I also tend to do well when there is a fast-approaching deadline to get the job done.
What do you like most about this industry?
There is a constant challenge to stay ahead of industry regulation and to be on the cutting edge of technology and capabilities which drives a consistent dialogue of shifting collection strategies. This makes a great environment for never ending training and development.
What is one thing you wish you could change about this industry?
You hear this answer a lot and I concur that I wish I could change the overall public perception of what collections is really like. I spent a lot of time in my first year on the job trying to properly explain to friends and family exactly how and why the industry works and that is an overall good and necessary thing.
If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing?
I would more than likely still be in the restaurant/food and beverage industry on the management side. I would also still be coaching youth soccer as a way to supplement my earnings. This means I would still be working a total of about 65-70 hours a week. No, thank you!
Describe a typical work day.
A typical day will consist of a combination of pockets of time doing these items:
- Creation of new or updating existing training and reference documents on our intraweb
- Making ground on upcoming presentations, classes, or training materials
- Several 1-on-1 collector sessions and general assistance to those that need it throughout the day
- 1-to-2 training classes with different personnel that range from 5-to-20 people
- One training presentation that could range anywhere from 30-to-150 people
- At least one meeting or planning/strategizing session
- Assisting in organizing or setting up office events
What is your guilty pleasure?
The occasional week-ending Friday happy hour with the management team. Work hard, play hard, right?!
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
“If you are not growing, your dying.” Clay Goodyear, the vice president of collections mentioned this to me in reference to our business growth philosophy. I have since applied this to myself to focus on professional development and constant health improvement.
What are you currently reading?
“Tribe” by Sebastian Junger
What is one fact you’d like everyone in the industry to know about you?
I am an avid lifetime soccer player. However, in the last 10 years I have grown an affinity for also playing Gaelic Football. You should look it up on YouTube. It is awesome!