Getting to Know Amber Russo of Kino Financial

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.

From finding people to finding value and deals, Amber Russo’s career in the accounts receivable management industry has been all about the data. Now the principal of her own firm, Amber may never get to realize her dream of being a homicide detective, but she is someone who will always be counted on to get to the bottom of a situation. Read on to learn more about Amber, her wine-choosing superpower, and her new hobby — fighting back against a ballot initiative in her home state of Arizona.

Name: Amber Russo
Current Role/Job Title: President/Principal
Company: Kino Financial Co., LLC.
Length of time at current company: 5 years
Length of time in industry: 17 years

How did you get your start in the industry?
I began my career in the receivables management space as a skip tracer for a creditors’ rights law firm. I eventually became Director of Operations for that same law firm.

What is your career highlight so far?
I was recently elected to serve as a Director on the Board of Directors for Receivables Management Association International. I look forward to participating in the organization and the industry in that new role.

When or how are you most productive?
I am most productive early morning, with a giant cup of coffee and my 80’s music playlist.

Which industry professional do you admire most?
I’ve been lucky to have many mentors throughout my career. However, I truly look up to and admire my friend Adam Parks, of Branding Arc, for his ambition and ingenuity.

What is one thing you do better than everyone else?
Choose the wine at dinner!

What do you like most about this industry?
I appreciate the camaraderie and network of peers in our industry. I believe that people are your greatest resource and building relationships is the best thing you can do for your career. Someone in our group has usually “been there, done that” and we are all willing to share our experiences to help each other.

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What is one thing you wish you could change about this industry?
I wish the public perception of our industry was more positive. I think it is important that we continue to work to be seen as a necessary component of the financial ecosystem and not just “debt collectors”.

If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing?
I’ve always wanted to be a homicide detective.

Describe a typical work day.
Emails. Spreadsheets. Meetings. Repeat. My very favorite thing to do is to get lost in the analysis of a potential purchase or mining data to improve our collection strategy. Lately, however, I’ve been intimately involved in challenging a local legislative issue, a proposed predatory debt collection ballot initiative in Arizona. My days are spent fundraising, mobilizing other trade associations and businesses, and spreading awareness of our opposition plan.

What is your guilty pleasure?
True Crime documentaries

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Trust in God. All others bring DATA.

What are you currently reading?
The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron. It’s long… and I rarely have any free time to read. But, there it sits on my nightstand.

What is one fact you’d like everyone in the industry to know about you?
My passion drives the success and growth of Kino Financial Co., LLC. That enthusiasm is “sometimes” matched when cheering on the Arizona Wildcats basketball team or making homemade pasta.

Who else would you like to see answer these questions?
Kacey Rask – VP Portfolio Servicing, Unifund

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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