Getting to Know David Speed of Nationwide Credit Corp.

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.

Honesty is a big part of what makes David Speed special. Reading his answers to the questions below, honesty is a theme that runs through many of the experiences that has shaped him, from getting his start in the ARM industry to his leadership style. Read on to learn more about David, how he amassed an impressive collection of autographed hockey cards, and some great nuggets of advice that his dad has passed on through the years.

Name: David C. Speed
Job Title: Chief Operating Officer
Company: Nationwide Credit Corp.
Length of Time at Current Company: 8 years
Length of Time in Industry: 17 Years Agency/18 Years Creditor

How did you get your start in the industry?
Although I have always worked within the credit/collection industry, my first step into the collection agency world was when FMA Alliance took a chance on me as VP and Director of Collections. Funny story that I haven’t really told many people. Years ago, when I was still working for a creditor, Tami Birner and Alan Spiegelhauer of FMA wore me down and I met with them. I had no intention of hiring FMA as one of our agencies, but it was a way to provide us the opportunity to meet so I could say I did. I am so thankful because they were the first group that told me the way things were and not what I wanted to hear. Because of that, they were the only agency that I considered if I was to jump to the other side. To this day, I owe so much to FMA for what I learned during my tenure there. Hopefully I left something behind that helped them as much.

What is your career highlight so far?
There was a young employee (maybe 23 years old) that was making close to six figures but had the worst attendance, wouldn’t document properly, and much more. We worked so much with him but just had to let him go. Six months later, he came back to me saying he was making $10 an hour at a fast-food restaurant but he finally understood what we were trying to educate him on. He told me that he was going to make something of himself there. If that wasn’t satisfying enough, he skipped me down and found me five years later and told me that he now owned five restaurants and let me know that in his mind, he owed it all to me for being honest with him and setting him straight. He also let me know that if I ever needed a job, I could give him a call. Never gave me a phone number though!

When or how are you most productive?
I find that I am the most productive the busier that I am. I organize myself better and I am forced in a way to think less which allows me to accomplish more and to stay with the KISS method. As I get older, I am finding that I am even more productive when I delegate more to those more qualified to handle it in the first place.

Which industry professional do you admire most?
There are too many to list them all. If I was to name one, I would have to list Phil Rosenthal, the President of our company. There isn’t a person within our industry or within our community that doesn’t know him. He has held just about every position both locally and nationally. He is up and running at 5am and doesn’t stop until 10pm every day. In all of that, he finds the time to also work with local charities so that he can provide back to the community that has paved the way to his own success.

What is one thing you do better than everyone else?
I don’t think I have anything that I do better than anyone else. I figured out long ago that when you surround yourself with special people special things happen. I am so grateful for those that I work with every day.

What do you like most about this industry?
The people. The people and organizations in our industry may be competing for clients and survival but at the end of the day, we are all one working together for the common good. In a weird way, I have found that it is almost us against the world and we only have each other. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

What is one thing you wish you could change about this industry?
I would like to change the perception of the collection industry and correct over-regulation.

Describe a typical work day.
I am not sure there is a typical workday. Once I make my bed and leave the house, the rest of the day might be scheduled but it tends to be up in the air.

If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing?
I would love to own my own grill and bar or be a professor at a business college.

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What is your guilty pleasure?
I really enjoy fantasy sports. Putting together my draft strategy and talking it up with my buddies is a great time. Then there is always chocolate chip ice cream. Heaven. Sitting on the deck with a beverage watching the hummingbirds and such is also very calming and enjoyable.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
There have been several. My dad telling me “Four Corners”, “Did you flowchart it”, “Positive thoughts produce Positive Results”. Jeff Spiegelhauer emphasizing “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it” and “Success is 10% Inspiration and 90% Perspiration”. In the end, the best advice I ever received was no matter how big or small, if you are going to do something, you give it your all and leave nothing left when you are finished.

What are you currently reading?
Reading. I did that once in college and decided I had enough of that.

What is one fact you’d like everyone in the industry to know about you?
I have over 1,000 signed hockey cards. I used to write letters to all the hockey players like I was 15 years old and provide them with a self-addressed envelope to send it back. Scott Stevens was the first one I received back in 1993. I was always worried that one day someone would come knocking on my door and ask to see my son, David, only to find out that David wasn’t 15 but the 50-plus person that they were staring at.

Who else would you like to see answer these questions?
I have been fortunate to steal all my good ideas for the last 17 years from my Vision Benchmark group fellow brethren. I would love to hear from Ted Hawley, Carrie Finney, Seth DeForest, Robert Perrin, Michael Janakes, Ken Rubin, Greg Hocutt, and more. These fine people have always been there and answered any questions I had.

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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