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.
Jessica Klander already had a lot going for her as one of the most respected legal minds in the accounts receivable management industry. But layering on being a world-class fried cheese curd maker on top of that? Icing on the cake. Growing up with three older brothers taught her a lot about working and surviving in the ARM industry. Read on to learn more about Jessica, why she almost never gets the quiet she desires, and the best advice her dad ever imparted.
Name: Jessica Klander
Current Role/Job Title: Attorney/Shareholder
Company: Bassford Remele PA
Length of time at current company: 11 years
Length of time in industry: 10 years
How did you get your start in the industry?
As a new attorney, I started working with Michael Klutho on his cases. Shortly thereafter, Michael became my formal mentor. He took me under his wing and got me involved in the industry. He provided me with opportunities to develop my practice, get to know clients, and tag along at industry events.
What is your career highlight so far?
Becoming a shareholder at Bassford Remele. I have worked at the firm for my entire career. Litigation is hard but my firm and my partners make it fun and rewarding. We work really hard to produce excellent work but we also play hard and have fun doing it. The day I was voted in as a Shareholder was proof that I had made it and earned the respect from people I truly admired.
When or how are you most productive?
In a quiet room with no distractions. But that almost never happens. I have two small children at home and work in a bustling office, so I’ll settle for pockets of quiet! But even though I like quiet isolation at times, I really need a supportive and fun group around me to be at my best. Which, thankfully, I have in spades!
Which industry professional do you admire most?
Michael Klutho has been my mentor since I started in this industry. He demands excellence but has a huge heart. He cares deeply about doing excellent for our clients and he does it with a sense of humor. I try hard to emulate those values.
What is one thing you do better than everyone else?
I make the best fried cheese curds. My family and I have run a cheese curd stand at a local county fair for over 30 years. I’ve gotten pretty good at frying curds.
What do you like most about this industry?
The people. I meet so many hard working and fun people in this industry. I also like that we basically speak our own language. If you ever want to lose someone in a group, start talking about the FDCPA/TCPA/FCRA/CFPB. Unless you’re in the industry, you get lost in translation pretty quickly!
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What is one thing you wish you could change about this industry?
Public perception. The debt collection and the finance industries are the foundation of our economy. But the public perception of a “debt collector” is almost always negative. It’s almost as bad as the public perception of attorneys. Imagine being an attorney that represents the debt collection industry? I’m the butt of every joke.
If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing?
I’d own a flower shop somewhere on the beach. I wouldn’t have any expectation of selling anything but I’d be surrounded by flowers, so that alone would make me happy.
Describe a typical work day.
I spend a lot of time planning my day and then I usually spend my entire day putting out fires that were never on my list in the first place. I do a lot of reading and writing, advising clients, and researching case law. No two days look the same and that is perfect for me!
What is your guilty pleasure?
Chocolate and true crime podcasts.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
“What doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger.” My dad said that to me a lot growing up. I go back to that mantra when I’m feeling overwhelmed or challenged.
What are you currently reading?
I love fiction. All kinds of fiction. Right now I’m reading the Wheel of Time series. It’s a sci-fi/fantasy series and it’s really nerdy and fun.
What is one fact you’d like everyone in the industry to know about you?
I’m a hard worker. I grew up with three older brothers. So I’m pretty good at holding my own, laughing at myself, and finding a way to outwork everyone around me. Luckily, this seems to be right in line with others in this industry. Given the complexities in compliance and the uncertainty in state and federal case law and regulations, this industry knows a thing or two about holding their own, finding humor in difficult situations, and outworking everyone else around them!
Who else would you like to see answer these questions?
Jaime Barthel or Lindsey Carlston.
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