Getting to Know Harry Strausser of Applied Innovation

The “Getting to Know” series is sponsored by Applied Innovation. Applied Innovation is helping to shape the future of accounts receivable management. Product development is driven by customer feedback, agency profitability and compliance and includes platforms addressing client portal access, document management, payment negotiation, Regulation E focused electronic payment authorizations and TCPA communication authorization platforms. Partner with a company who understands your business challenges and evolves to provide cutting edge technology to overcome those challenges and achieve success.

To spend nearly a half-century in an industry, a few things have to be true. You absolutely have to love going to work every day, you absolutely have to be good at it, and you absolutely have to be able to constantly re-invent yourself to change with the times. Harry Strausser, the new president at Applied Innovation and a model of the decency and professionalism that exists throughout the collection industry, has all of those things, and a lot more. Read on to learn more about Harry, his love of gummy bears, and which state is the only one he has yet to visit.

Name: Harry A. Strausser III
Job Title: President
Company: Applied Innovation Inc.
Length of Time at Current Company: One year
Length of Time in Industry: 47 years (Since the age of 12)

How did you get your start in the industry?
I am a second-generation collector. My parents started a collection firm in 1973 when I was 12. Stuffing envelopes, pasting stamps and filing manual ledger cards provided my start in the industry!

What is your career highlight so far?
As an industry speaker and consultant, I was fortunate to be active in a time where face-to-face presentations and training were very popular. I have visited every state except Alaska and over a dozen countries as I educated collectors and shared my industry views with colleagues on other continents.

When or how are you most productive?
I am a morning person. I like to get rolling with emails and writing early in the day when it is quiet!

Which industry professional do you admire most?
I have been blessed with hundreds of professional friendships over my many years in the industry so this is a tough question as I respect a good number of industry players. One person that comes to the front of my mind is my friend, attorney John Bedard. He is a consummate gentleman, a highly knowledgeable legal professional in the ARM space and one of the nicest, most sincere guys you could ever meet.

What is one thing you do better than everyone else?
Motivating and networking. I have always had a knack of showing people the positive side of our industry, instilling enthusiasm for the hard work we do, and ultimately connecting people with one another that can gain value from these relationships.

What do you like most about this industry?
The people! We are often misunderstood as an industry. The overwhelming majority of collection professionals are good people that strive to help consumers. We gain much job satisfaction out of not only winning the payment but the trust and respect of the consumer with whom we engage.

What is one thing you wish you could change about this industry?
Public Perception. It is rare that any average consumer would get a warm fuzzy feeling when thinking about debt collectors. As an industry we have come a long way with more positive messaging but we have to keep the pace with our public relations. We must focus on the positive role with play with both the creditors we serve and the consumers we assist.

Describe a typical work day.
My work day is much different today in the times of COVID. I am accustomed to traveling quite often to industry functions and educational gigs. I long for the day things get back to a normal routine. I am usually in my home office each day from about 7am to 5pm. Lot’s of writing, Zoom calls, and strategic planning/thinking/networking for Applied Innovation.

If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing?
I would probably be a carpenter. My grandfather was very handy and taught me a lot about building and fixing things. I own a number of properties and I am always working on some type of improvement or project in my free time!

What is your guilty pleasure?
Gummy Bears! I don’t tend to eat a lot of junk food but years ago I got hooked on gummy bears!

The Getting to Know Series is Sponsored By:

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
You have to love what you do. Life is too short to both professionally and personally waste your time on jobs and activities that don’t bring you a level of joy.

What are you currently reading?
I just finished “Fanatical Prospecting” by Jeb Blount. A good read on how to best leverage sales conversations.

What is one fact you’d like everyone in the industry to know about you
You can trust me. I have a reputation for “telling it like it is” and being honest about my opinion, even it that opinion isn’t always popular.

Who else would you like to see answer these questions?
Johan Praats, President of Learn.net

The “Getting to Know” series is sponsored by Applied Innovation. Applied Innovation is helping to shape the future of accounts receivable management. Product development is driven by customer feedback, agency profitability and compliance and includes platforms addressing client portal access, document management, payment negotiation, Regulation E focused electronic payment authorizations and TCPA communication authorization platforms. Partner with a company who understands your business challenges and evolves to provide cutting edge technology to overcome those challenges and achieve success.

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