A lot of people in the ARM industry started out elsewhere before finding their home in collections. Neal Jagoda might be the person who started the furthest away before he landed in the ARM industry. There does not appear to be a direct connection between running a company that provides celebrity voicemail greetings and collections, but Neal is someone who definitely charts his own course. Read on to learn more about Neal, what he thinks about Jack Brown — the new president of ACA International, and his many guilty pleasures.
Name: Neal Jagoda
Company: VoApps DirectDrop Voicemail
Length of time at current company: 7 years
Length of time in industry: 7 years
How did you get your start in the industry?
Before I got involved in the ARM industry my former company StarVoice, a celebrity voice-powered social media company, used VoApps DirectDrop Voicemail technology where we sold celebrity voicemail greetings and voice tweets. A student loan servicer asked us if they could use this service for debt collection and we happily obliged. After selling StarVoice, I joined VoApps to lead the sales effort and the rest is history. VoApps now has hundreds of collection agencies and financial services companies using our service and we’re having tremendous success.
What is your career highlight so far?
I have to say being elected to represent the Affiliates/Vendors as an ACA Board of Director Council of Delegates.
When or how are you most productive?
At trade shows interacting with people. Whether it’s customers, prospects or my fellow vendors, being in the mix is where I love to be.
Which industry professional do you admire most?
Jack Brown III. His faith and spirituality, as well as being a fellow graduate of Florida State University, having a law degree, being handsome, having a great family, his awesome boat, his love of fishing and surfing, his great career, and now he’s President of ACA International. How do you not love that guy!!!!
What is one thing you do better than everyone else?
Nothing. I do most things very well but nothing better then anyone else.
What do you like most about this industry?
I know it is cliché, but it really is the people. I’ve met some of my best friends in this industry.
What is one thing you wish you could change about this industry?
Wiping out the bad actors that give this great industry a bad stigma. I think continuing to educate the public on the great things the industry does is paramount.
If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing?
Describe a typical work day.
If I’m not on the road I’ll map out the day while enjoying a cup of coffee and review my sales goals. Then, it’s email follow ups, read the news trades, talk with my sales partner Kirby Miller and our Client Services Team, send more emails, make some calls, and follow it up with more emails. I sometimes will sneak a bite to eat in there somewhere.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Surfing, fishing and golf. I guess you could say Jamoca Almond Fudge from Baskin Robbins is another one.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Live by the “Golden Rule” and if you don’t A-S-K, you don’t G-E-T.
What are you currently reading?
“Shoe Dog, A Memoir” by the creator of Nike, Phil Knight
What is one fact you’d like everyone in the industry to know about you?
I really care about the industry and the great folks who work hard to make it a better place to work. That includes all the vendors too.
Who else would you like to see answer these questions?
Tim Haag, president, State Collection Service.