George Buck comes from a different time, when people found a job they liked and stayed there their whole career, even if it took two job interviews for him to realize the company was a collection agency. George, who has spent 40 years working at Frost-Arnett Company, has worked just about every job the company has to offer, from collector to sales to compliance to advocacy to president of the company. Read on to learn more about George and how he keeps his whole block stocked in fresh-grown veggies.
Name: George Buck
Company: Frost-Arnett Company
Length of time at current company: 40 years
Length of time in industry: Frost-Arnett has been my one and only career.
How did you get your start in the industry?
It wasn’t until after my second interview with Frost-Arnett that I came to realize it was a collection agency. I was hired in March of 1979 and quickly showed that I was not a very good collector so the company quickly moved me into sales. The rest is history. I managed our Memphis office through 1987 and was Vice President of Sales from 1988 to 2002. I then served as President of the company up through the end of 2016. My last 2+ years have been spent in the regulatory and compliance world and involved with industry and healthcare advocacy work.
What is your career highlight so far?
It goes back to an early part of my career but it was that first “big” sale. It was a very large orthopedic group that became the cornerstone of the first office I managed. The gentleman that I worked with at that practice wound up being the CFO at two other entities over his career and brought us in to do his collection work at those places as well. The other would be having a seat at the table with the CFPB through our association with the Consumer Relations Consortium of InsideARM.
When or how are you most productive?
I’m an early riser. My alarm is set for 3:27 am during the week and 5:30 am on the weekends. Three mornings out of the week I participate in a 5a.m. boot camp. I call this my “me” time of the day. No interruptions or distractions.
Which industry professional do you admire most?
Stephanie Eidelman of InsideARM.
What is one thing you do better than everyone else?
I like to think I influence and help others around me to be better and to achieve their personal and professional goals.
What do you like most about this industry?
The relationships I have formed over the year with clients, prospects and other collection industry professionals.
What is one thing you wish you could change about this industry?
I long for the days when you could pick up the phone and have a conversation with a consumer attorney that resulted in amicable resolutions.
If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing?
Coaching an NCAA Final Four team. I wanted to coach basketball coming out of college. Though it never materialized, I still dream of what might have been.
Describe a typical work day.
No day is the same but I’m always up early for a workout or just some quiet time. I’m involved with three local non-profit boards that consume part of my time as well as several industry-related committees that are a part of different organizations. I spend time out in the marketplace working with clients and prospects; regularly speak to different healthcare organizations on industry issues and regulations that affect their revenue cycle; and assist Judd Peak, our CCO/General Counsel, on compliance and regulatory items.
What is your guilty pleasure?
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
To not worry about what you can’t control. It took me a long time to get to the point in life where I could give up worrying about the little things in life and business.
What are you currently reading?
I read a little bit of everything. Fiction, nonfiction, history, biographies, etc. One of the best business books I’ve ever read is “Be the Best at What Matters Most” by Joe Calloway.
What is one fact you’d like everyone in the industry to know about you?
I grow a fairly large vegetable garden every year. It keeps our family as well as our neighbors stocked with fresh vegetables up into the early Fall.
Who else would you like to see answer these questions?