For the first time, the subject of the Getting to Know profile includes a puzzle. Can you figure out what reality TV show Hunter Quinn was on? While that appearance may be his claim to fame, his career in the ARM industry has been his calling. The consummate team player, Quinn is at his best when working with like-minded individuals toward a common goal, but he doesn’t mind being in the spotlight, either. Read on to learn more about Quinn and how he hasn’t lost his dream of being a rock star.
Name: Hunter Quinn
Company: Continental Credit Control
Length of time at current company: 15 years
Length of time in industry: 31 years
How did you get your start in the industry?
I was working as a telemarketer and a former employee was the manager at a small collection agency. He said he thought I would fit in so he offered me an entry-level spot. I started out doing filing, stuffing envelopes, answering phones, and general go-fer work while working small balance NSF checks. I was, shortly afterward, promoted to large-balance collections. Within a year I was promoted to collection supervisor and two years after that, I was managing the company.
What is your career highlight so far?
I’ve really enjoyed leading our team through some very positive changes and growth. While I can’t take credit for it all, I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of our growth and our change in philosophy. Our staff has become much better educated in laws and techniques. Our team members take pride in their knowledge and skills. They focus on solving problems rather than on slash and burn collections. To top it off, our assignments and recoveries have increased so much that we’ve had to expand our space to accommodate additional staff, while maintaining an extremely low turnover rate. There’s nothing like being part of a successful team.
When or how are you most productive?
I’m most productive when working as part of a team. I enjoy working with people. Looking at issues from multiple angles and coming up with ideas and solutions. I’m really more of an idea person than a detail person. I almost never take notes during meetings. So I work best on a diverse team that includes people who are detail-oriented. (I ask if I can copy their homework.) I also love to entertain. To clown around and make people laugh. For many years I was a professional singer and loved being on stage. So I suppose I bring a certain level of that to my work as well. I like to make it fun as much as I can.
Which industry professional do you admire most?
Beth Conklin with State Collection Service. She knows everything!
What is one thing you do better than everyone else?
I think I am good at talking to people. Communicating ideas. Team building. I don’t consider myself an administrator. I hate data analytics and reports. I tend to just go with my gut. I’m very intuitive. I sort of play by ear. I get a feeling from the folks I am working with and respond to that. But, like being a musician, it’s about being in tune with your instrument (or your team). I like to be down in the trenches with them and don’t really like being in an office.
What do you like most about this industry?
I like the opportunity to help people sort out a difficult problem. Helping them find a solution. I like the way the industry has changed in that way and that we have embraced the concept of helping the consumers resolve their debts. Heck, even the fact that we say “consumer” now instead of “debtor” is a sign of our changing philosophy.
What is one thing you wish you could change about this industry?
I’d like to change the negative perception about our industry. It would be nice if there wasn’t an uncomfortable silence at parties when I say what I do. When I was growing up I never saw a debt collector at career day. I’d like for us to be seen as helpers by consumers as well as by creditors.
If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing?
Well, this gig was supposed to be temporary. Just until the whole music thing took off. So I guess I’d be a rock star! Keeping my fingers crossed!
Describe a typical work day.
Well, first off, there is never enough time. It is different from day to day. I don’t get to interact with consumers as much anymore. But I get to walk the floor from time to time and talk with staff. I get to come up with ideas and try to figure out ways to streamline and improve our processes. I get to develop staff to perform at their best.
What is your guilty pleasure?
“Orange is the New Black”. There. I said it. Now the cat’s out of the bag.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Wow. There has been a lot over the years but if I had to pick, I guess it would be: “Keep the main thing the main thing.” In other words, don’t get sidetracked by minutia. Don’t lose sight of your primary purpose.
What are you currently reading?
Why, The Daily Digest of course! Actually, I don’t read a lot of books, lately. But I do try to read the Bible every day. If I had to recommend a book, it would definitely be “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. It changed my life.
What is one fact you’d like everyone in the industry to know about you?
I was once on a reality TV show. But I’m not going to tell you which one. I’ll see if anyone guesses.
Who else would you like to see answer these questions?
Dennis Barton III