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.
Along with wanting to taste her apple cider donuts, Stephanie Platzman-Diamant has planted a seed that may mark the first change to the “Getting to Know” series since it was launched more than six years ago. One of the questions has always been “What is one thing you do better than everyone else?”, but Stephanie’s answer makes me wonder if the question should be re-framed as “What is one thing that the people who know you would say you do better than everyone else?” This is a great example of one of her best pieces of advice — listen to someone’s answer before figuring out what you want to say back to them. Read on to learn more about Stephanie, her love of music, and the three books she is reading at the same time.
Name: Stephanie Platzman-Diamant
Current Role/Job Title: Senior Operations Counsel
Company: Cavalry Portfolio Services, LLC
Length of time at current company: Nine years
Length of time in industry: Nine years
How did you get your start in the industry?
The short answer: I responded to a job posting. The longer answer: I was a senior litigation associate at a large regional law firm and had been looking to move to an in-house counsel position. A recruiter friend had posted on LinkedIn, seeking a mid-level corporate attorney for an in-house position in Westchester County, N.Y. Intrigued, I called her. She explained that the position was with a privately held company which collected non-performing consumer accounts on behalf of its debt buyer affiliates. I knew nothing about the receivables purchasing and management industry, but I interviewed with the company’s General Counsel and Chief Financial Officer, and here I am nearly a decade later!
What is your career highlight so far?
I can’t point to any one “highlight”, but I feel really privileged to have worked with and to have supported committed professionals in all aspects of the business.
When or how are you most productive?
Before 9:00 am or after 5:00 pm. I find that I’m most productive when not fielding incoming phone calls, emails and Microsoft Teams messages.
Which industry professional do you admire most?
The founders of Cavalry. Over two decades they built a successful consumer-centric company, while adapting to the changing legal and regulatory environment, and employing a talented, diverse workforce across four states.
What is one thing you do better than everyone else?
I am hesitant to say that I do anything better than anyone else. I honestly believe that even if there is something I do extremely well, there is someone out there who can do it even better, and that I may be able to learn from that person. That said, I’ve been doing a lot of baking over the past two years and my husband and kids will tell you that I make the best chocolate chip cookies, coconut macaroons, and apple cider donuts!
What do you like most about this industry?
The sophistication and multi-faceted nature of the industry never ceases to intrigue me. An industry veteran once told me that to succeed in debt buying you need to do three things well: price, finance, and collect. When you drill down into each of these three pillars, you find yourself exposed to diverse fields – including statistics, economics, technology, and consumer behavior. For me, it’s a privilege to work in an industry where I am constantly learning and making connections between seemingly disparate disciplines.
The Getting to Know Series is Sponsored By:
What is one thing you wish you could change about this industry?
I would like to change the public perception of the industry so that people understand that the purchase and collection of non-performing consumer debts is essential for the health of the consumer financial system.
If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing?
I would love to be a rock critic. I sing off-key and have no discernible musical talent, but would love nothing more than to listen to music all day and write about it.
Describe a typical work day.
Typically, I am at my desk by 7:00 am. I usually go for a morning run around 8:15 and return to my desk about an hour later, working until about 6:30 or 7:00 pm. Every day brings something different, but I typically spend the day on calls, answering emails, drafting and reviewing agreements and addressing questions and issues.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Singing along to 1980s pop music.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
There are two pieces of advice, which I received from the founding partner of a law firm where I worked as a very young lawyer and which I continue to put into practice nearly two decades later. First, the best research tool is the telephone. This rings true (no pun intended) because too often our instinct is to approach an issue as if no one has ever dealt with it before. But, if you take a moment to think about who in your network may have had experience with the issue, you can save a lot of time by calling that person and leveraging their experience. Second, listen with your ears, not with your mouth. I’m still working on this, but I find that when I really listen to the person speaking, without simultaneously formulating my response, I learn a lot more and can more productively address the problem or issue at hand.
What are you currently reading?
“Susan, Linda, Nina & Cokie: The Extraordinary Story of the Founding Mothers of NPR” by Lisa Napoli, “Crossroads” by Jonathan Franzen, and “Educated REIT Investing: The Ultimate Guide to Understanding and Investing in Real Estate Investment Trusts” by Stephanie Krewson-Kelly and Glenn R. Mueller.
What is one fact you’d like everyone in the industry to know about you?
I really enjoy helping people and being part of the solution.
Who else would you like to see answer these questions?
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