Getting to Know Marian Sangalang of The Bureaus

The “Getting to Know” series is sponsored by Arbeit. Arbeit is a powerful, and easy to use communications platform that empowers businesses to reach more consumers. Innovative by nature, we are constantly listening to and understanding the businesses we partner with and developing long term industry relationships that allow us to be proactive in anticipating industry needs.

It takes a special kind of person to admit something they are not terribly proud of and own up to it in a very public way. But to those who already knew Marian Sangalang, nobody would be surprised to see her strength and self-assurance shine through in her answers. Read on to learn more about Marian and her powerful message for all of us struggling to get through this difficult time.

Name: Marian Sangalang
Company: The Bureaus, Inc.
Job Title: Vice President
Length of time at current position: 24 years
Length of time in industry: 36 years

How did you get your start in the industry?
I needed a job and applied at a collection agency as a debt collector.

What is your career highlight so far?
My current role within The Bureaus, Inc competes with my term as President of RMAI (Receivables Management Association International) that’s a tie. They are both quite different but both very rewarding.

When or how are you most productive?
Oddly enough its when the deadline is fast approaching and I am forced to think about nothing else other than meeting that specific deadline. I complete the most items between 4am and 7am on weekdays.

Which industry professional do you admire most?
That’s a hard one for me to answer. I cannot choose one person. I will say that I most admire those that have had nothing and had to struggle to get to where they are and achieved their goals and reached their potential by doing the right thing when the wrong thing would have been the easy way. This industry can be challenging for anyone and I believe that to be successful in anything in life you need to be a good person, respect others, accept challenges and know that you can’t change people. And don’t give up!

What is one thing you do better than everyone else?
I don’t think I do anything better than everyone else. In fact, I learn something new every day and that’s what makes a great day for me.

What do you like most about this industry?
Well, having no experience with any other industry since this is all I have ever done, I would have to say that I like to learn about all aspects of our industry. I most enjoy meeting the people that work in our industry and learning more about what they do, including the collectors, attorneys, defense attorneys, operations people, compliance people, IT and technical people, sales people, you name it. Everyone plays a significant part within their organization and our industry and seeing how they accomplish their goals is fascinating to me as we are all working toward a common goal but each organization is unique in its approach.

What is one thing you wish you could change about this industry?
I learned a long time ago that you can’t change people, but you can change their perception. I find that educating those I speak with, whether it’s those I may speak with in Washington, D.C. or a state regulator or just someone who asks me what I do for a living, is the best way to change their perception of our industry. There are so many things that our industry does well, so many good people, so many causes that we fight for. Once you educate someone about our industry, you can see their perception change in their facial expression. Most people would never know about the many contributions our industry makes to the local communities that assist in everything from school lunch programs to animal welfare to empowering women to be all that they can be. Oh, and contributing to the recovery of millions of dollars owed on legitimately owed debt and putting that money back into the U.S. and local economies. I am proud to be part of an industry that cares so much about their communities.

If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing?
Wow, I’ve been in this industry more than half of my life and haven’t considered getting out once. I would like to believe that had circumstances been different that I would have pursued my passion as a teenager and would be an accomplished journalist, working for ABC.

Describe a typical work day.
A typical day, pre-Sheltering in Place looks something like this: up at 4:15, in the office by 6:30, calls, calls, and more calls as well as emails, emails, and more emails, eating lunch in 20 minutes and then back to the same. I leave around 4 or 4:30 to get home to take care of the dog.

Post-Shelter in Place: I am so very thankful for technology as not much has changed, the dog goes out a lot more though and I actually start my day around 6am in my home office.

What is your guilty pleasure?
I have really learned a lot about red wine over the years and I like it! 🙂 I also really like chocolate.

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What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
I have several, I’ll call them life strategies, that I live by. The most important ones to me are:

  • Be the best person you can be
  • A leopard doesn’t change its spots
  • Don’t give up
  • Don’t trust someone that hates animals

What are you currently reading?
This one is a weakness of mine and something I need to work on. I have somehow convinced myself that I read emails all day and have no time to read books. It’s a shame, so I will be working on this to improve myself.

What is one fact you’d like everyone in the industry to know about you?
While this isn’t specific to me; I actually sent this as part of an email to the RMAI Board of Directors earlier this week and I want to express the same to everyone that reads this:

Our resilience is something that will be the backbone for those that follow us in our roles as advocates of our industry, parents, grandparents, wives and husbands and I want you all to know how proud I am be to part of such an amazing industry. While we are not able to be around other people at this time to “feel” the appreciation that goes into what we do every day, you should be so very proud of yourselves, knowing that YOU are making a difference each and every day. Continuing on with what we know is important is not the easiest thing right now with so much sadness across the world impacting us in so many different ways. Take a few minutes to think about yourselves today and know that you are strong, you are kind and you are important.

Who else would you like to see answer these questions?
Mike Gibb. I would like to hear from you.

The “Getting to Know” series is sponsored by Arbeit. Arbeit is a powerful, and easy to use communications platform that empowers businesses to reach more consumers. Innovative by nature, we are constantly listening to and understanding the businesses we partner with and developing long term industry relationships that allow us to be proactive in anticipating industry needs.

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2 comments

  1. Marian! It’s great to get to know a little more about you. I so enjoyed working with you when we presented together for Collector! Live! I hope we can work together on another project again sometime soon.
    Linda

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