There are no shortage of great origin stories for individuals in the credit and collection industry, but David Linares may just win the award for the person who came to the ARM industry from the furthest out in left field. Connecting the dots between a career in aircraft maintenance to now being the chief compliance officer at a huge collection agency is likely not how most people draw up their career paths. But it’s worked out incredibly well for David. Read on to learn more about David and his great approach to being a good listener.
Name: David Nicolas Linares
Company: Diversified Consultants, Inc.
Length of time at current company: Four months this go round, about two years cumulatively.
Length of time in industry: Twelve years.
How did you get your start in the industry?
Not many people wake up thinking “I think I want to be a bill collector!”, and it was no different for me. I stumbled across the industry while I was searching for a change in my prior career path — aircraft maintenance. I started in a collector’s seat and absorbed as much information and knowledge as I could from industry professionals across several organizations, and the rest is history!
What is your career highlight so far?
To date, it would be the opportunity and privilege to serve as CCO with a great group of compliance and support professionals.
When or how are you most productive?
There may be two answers to this. I strive to always be productive, be that during regular working hours when my day is consumed by assisting staff and helping to push projects forward, or in the evenings with a large cup of black coffee, or an energy drink, plugging away at the next day’s to-do and planning out the week.
Which industry professional do you admire most?
Danen Shiek, Nick Jarman, and David Goodwin.
What is one thing you do better than everyone else?
I can’t say that I do any one thing better than anyone else; however I feel one of my greatest strengths is listening. I like to lead by listening and make certain that anyone who has a chat with me feel sincerely heard and appreciated. The challenge is disagreeing with colleagues in a manner that leaves them feeling heard, and not discounted, and this skill came with no small amount of practice and failure.
What do you like most about this industry?
The constant challenge and evolution of the industry. Nothing remains at the status quo for very long, and that constant challenge to adapt is what drives me.
What is one thing you wish you could change about this industry?
The frivolous litigation carried by antiquated regulation in desperate need of modernization.
If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing?
In the past, I part-owned a small shop that purchased, refurbished, and sold aircraft parts. I would likely be growing that venture.
Describe a typical work day.
From the moment my eyes open in the morning, I’m checking my email for any pressing matters. From there, I have a short exercise routine to get me in the right state of mind for the day and fully wake me up as I’m not quite a morning person. I take time during the day keeping myself abreast of industry updates, case developments, and regulator updates. From there, it’s into the ticketing system and peeling through projects that need my input, or a nudge in the right direction. Then, it’s off to review internal audit results followed by some email work, meetings, and brainstorming sessions. Depending on what time the day ends, I may sneak in another exercise session in the evening.
Now, I’d like to say that’s how every day plays out, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I feel we best serve our organizations by being adaptable, and so I turn from my routine to assist anywhere I’m needed, as often as I’m needed.
What is your guilty pleasure?
A good cigar after a long day.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t be afraid to fail, but never fail in the same way twice.
What are you currently reading?
The Stranger – Albert Camus. A repeat for me, but I find new nuggets every time I read through it again.
What is one fact you’d like everyone in the industry to know about you?
I’m an open book, and compliance is a group effort. I’m always open to new ideas and willing to chat with anyone, we can all get better together!
Who else would you like to see answer these questions?
David Goodwin, Jason Davis, and Gary Dorman.