Getting to Know Chris Dunkum of First Collection Services

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.

Chris Dunkum may have been born and raised in the collection industry, but he still approaches each day like someone who is stepping into this world for the first time, bringing new ideas, a desire to innovate, and to upend the status quo. Chris might never be as happy as when he is standing in front of a whiteboard. Read on to learn more about Chris, his firm belief that this industry can be a solution for both clients and consumers at the same time, and what it means when you hear rap music coming out of his office.

Name: Chris Dunkum
Job Title: President
Company: First Collection Services
Length of Time at Current Company: 34 years
Length of Time in Industry: I am in a family business so the real beginning is hard to define.

How did you get your start in the industry?
I got my start in the industry folding and inserting letters when I was growing up.

What is your career highlight so far?
Being inducted into the Ontario Systems Hall of Fame.

When or how are you most productive?
I am most productive when I am in front of a whiteboard creating solutions. If I start get stuck or distracted I crank up the music. My music selection will vary based on the intensity of the project. You could hear some rap, country, or even classical music coming out of my office.

Which industry professional do you admire most?
Mark Neeb. My admiration for Mark started when he was an agency owner and we had a discussion over agency dashboards.

What is one thing you do better than everyone else?
What I do best is create solutions. I am never the smartest guy in the room, but I can help really smart people create solutions that they don’t think are possible.

What do you like most about this industry?
The thing that I love about this industry is that there is always something to learn and always someone willing to help you. All you have to do is phone a friend/competitor or ask one of the great business partners if you need help. I learned this lesson when my father sent me to my first ACA meeting 34 years ago. I still can’t believe my dad sent me to Vegas when I was 20. What was he thinking?

What is one thing you wish you could change about this industry?
The one thing I would change is the image of our industry. Our industry is full of great hard-working people that are focused on helping consumers and performing for our clients. You can do both of those things at the same time.

Describe a typical work day.
My typical work day begins in my home office with planning time by 7AM. I normally arrive at my office between 8:30 and 9 for the meetings to begin. Since COVID hit, I feel like I am in a constant meeting. I typically leave my office sometime between 4 and 6 each day to return to my home office to summarize my day. My drive time to the office and back home is spent on the phone catching up with family and friends.

If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing?
I would be somewhere drawing on an iPad or whiteboard designing data solutions.

The Getting to Know Series is Sponsored By:

What is your guilty pleasure?
Skittles and Diet Coke

What is the best advice you have ever received?
Be a Finisher!

What are you currently reading?
Something Reg F related.

What is one fact you’d like everyone in the industry to know about you?
I am constantly learning.

Who else would you like to see answer these questions?
Mark Milstein

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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One comment

  1. Very good!

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