Getting to Know Jonathon Harbin of Frost-Arnett

It is always interesting to see how different individuals view the ARM industry. To wit, an overwhelming number of individuals who have participated in this series have all answered the question, “What is one thing you wish you could change about this industry?” in a similar fashion — changing the public perception or the negative stigma that is associated with debt collections. Not Jonathon Harbin. A technologist to the core, Harbin, the Chief Information Officer at Frost-Arnett, would establish common data standards if he had a magic wand and could make one change to the industry. Read on to learn more about Harbin and how, even in his downtime, he never really stops learning or working.


Name: Jonathon Harbin

Company: Frost-Arnett Company

Length of time at current company: 8 years

Length of time in industry: 14 years


How did you get your start in the industry?

I started with Accounts Receivable Strategy as an IT service desk associate. I worked my way up to the service desk manager as the company changed hands many times, from Perot Systems, to Dell, to Conifer.


What is your career highlight so far?

Achieving PCI compliance at Frost-Arnett Company. We were given a short amount of time to make it happen and were able to pull it off. Not only did it help the company from a data security standpoint it also helped our marketing efforts.


When or how are you most productive?

I am most productive early in the morning with a steaming cup of coffee next to me.


Which industry professional do you admire most?

George Buck, he has been with Frost-Arnett for almost 40 years starting in sales and moving up to president. He always has nuggets of wisdom that have helped shape my career at Frost-Arnett.


What is one thing you do better than everyone else?

Ask the right questions.


What do you like most about this industry?

In many of my past positions I ended up automating most of my tasks and eventually becoming bored and needing a new challenge. I find that the debt collection industry, and in particular debt collection in the healthcare industry, offers an endless supply of challenges.


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

Common data standards. We spend millions each year on custom development. If a common data standard like HL7 were used in ARM functions we could reduce this by 80+%.


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

Cybersecurity consulting.


Describe a typical work day.

I get into the office around 6:30am, get my coffee ready, and then start meetings with my management staff to plan the priorities for the department. The rest of my day is usually spent helping out where needed and asking the right questions to get to the root of problems during meetings.


What is your guilty pleasure?

A nice scotch and cigar


What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Worrying doesn’t change the future but it ruins the present.


What are you currently reading?

ISACA CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor) Review Manual, 26th edition. I’m planning on taking the test sometime in November.


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

My friends say it isn’t normal, but I truly find studying for school and certifications relaxing. #learnerforlife


Who else would you like to see answer these questions?

George Buck, President-Emeritus at Frost-Arnett Company


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