Getting to Know Kelli Krueger of CBE Companies

There are people who love to learn. And there are people who are great teachers. But rarely are there people who are good at both. Kelli Krueger is one of those people. Kelli has a passion for helping anyone — whether it’s a co-worker at CBE Companies or someone else in the credit and collection industry. She truly understands the power of knowledge. Read on to learn more about Kelli and how she is striving to be the best version of herself.

Name: Kelli Krueger
Company: CBE Companies
Length of time at current company: 22 years
Length of time in industry: 22 years

How did you get your start in the industry?
A recruiter called me and asked me to interview for a position with CBE. I turned her down several times because I didn’t want to work for a collection agency. But after much convincing, I went and that’s all she wrote. I started in a marketing role writing RFP’s. Because of that I learned about every aspect of the organization and how each piece of the puzzle fits into the big picture. When a training role opened up in the organization, I thought “I’m scare to death of public speaking – why not apply for a job that requires me to do just that all day every day.” And in wonderful CBE fashion someone saw potential in me and gave me the job. Since them training has always been part of my job title.

What is your career highlight so far? 
The implementation of a sustainable and agile new hire training program that has stood the test of time.

When or how are you most productive? 
When I’m working on something that is going to have a long-term impact on the lives of our people. Whether it be a training, a crucial conversation, conducting an interview, or brainstorming on engagement/retention solutions, if it ties back to our people I’m all in.

Which industry professional do you admire most?
Tom Penaluna who is the owner of CBE Companies because of his passion for people and culture by standing strong on the belief that all starts with happy employees.

What is one thing you do better than everyone else? 
Wow, this is a tough question. I would say I’m really good at learning from others. I know that everything I know I learned from someone else – there’s no new knowledge out there just new and creative ways of applying what you learn. 

What do you like most about this industry? 
The impact the industry has on everyone. When I tell people where I work they always say “Don’t call me?” and then I kindly remind them what the collectors are doing for them every day to save them money. I help them understand that if we don’t call people and motivate them to pay their bills – then someone else has to pay them and it’s usually us with increased costs. There should be a Collector Appreciation Day 🙂

What is one thing you wish you could change about this industry? 
The perception … Collectors and debtors both want the same thing – our goals are the same. To get the consumer our of debt. I don’t know too many people that wake up in the morning and think “Gosh, I can’t wait to STAY in debt today” or who make it their New Year’s resolution to stay in default and have bad credit. Consumer’s want to pay their bills and collectors want to help them figure out how. Sadly, that’s not the story that’s portrayed which is making our ability to help people harder and harder because of perception.

If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing? 
Is this were I dream like I won the lottery? If I could do anything I would probably be very successful highly paid travel blogger.

Describe a typical work day. 
Is there such thing as typical? I would say the only thing that I know I can count on each day is there will be a problem that needs to be solved and I have the honor of working with some of the smartest people in the industry who are equally as passionate in finding solutions. Also on the daily docket is people development. Sometimes I’m the developer and other days I’m being developed. 

What is your guilty pleasure? 
Diet Mountain Dew!! It’s terrible – I know. Every year I try to quit it – but it’s way to yummy and it keeps me awake! 

What is the best advice you’ve ever received? 
The truth is always in the middle.

What are you currently reading? 
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

What is one fact you’d like everyone in the industry to know about you?  
I’m a junkie of knowledge, feedback and continuous improvement. I love the development of people and trying to figure out how we can help each other be the best versions of ourselves.  

Who else would you like to see answer these questions?
Chance Hoskinson

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