Getting to Know Kelli Edmonds of Kota Business Solutions

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.

After a 35-year career in the industry, Kelli Edmonds took the bold step earlier this year to hang out her own shingle and start her own business. When you have the depth and breadth of experience that Kelli has, though, sharing it with the rest of the financial services industry is just as much about giving back as it is about moving forward. Read on to learn more about Kelli, why she has to remind herself to eat lunch everyday, and why having a million items on her to-do list is a good thing.

Name: Kelli Edmonds
Current Role/Job Title: Founder / CEO
Company: Kota Business Solutions LLC
Length of time at current company: Four Months
Length of time in industry: 35 years

How did you get your start in the industry?
I started my career as an intern at Sallie Mae; back when you could call creditors on the credit bureau report for mutual customer address information and reports were printed on green bar paper. For the younger generation reading this, it was after stone tablets and before the iPhone.

What is your career highlight so far?
There are three that stand out. First, starting the Auto Finance Roundtable that is now held at the CRS and DCS conferences. The roundtable was originally just a handful of auto creditors that I contacted seeking a way to best practice with industry peers. Over the years the network grew to 100+ members. Second, being selected as one of the 2020 Women in Auto Finance Honorees. I am extremely humbled to be a recipient and hope that I can continue to support the auto industry equally, if not more, in the future. And last, but not least, starting my own consulting company. I’m looking forward to what the future holds as an entrepreneur.

When or how are you most productive?
I am most productive when I have a million things to accomplish.

Which industry professional do you admire most?
There are two people in the industry that left a lasting impression on me. Diane Cooper and I worked together during my third rotation as a member of the GE Capital Management Development Program. Through my interaction with Diane, I learned that no matter what level you are in an organization, or how full your plate is, always make the time to help others succeed. Equally impressive is Sandy Broderick. I had the pleasure to work with Sandy at Chase Auto and again at Santander Consumer. Sandy’s knowledge of the auto finance industry, and her ability to lead both organizations through some of the toughest regulatory changes, is truly remarkable.

What is one thing you do better than everyone else?
I used to think I was the best pet parent in the world, but Jenn Wilson (EverChain) and Christi Regan (Radius) have me thinking I need to up my game!

What do you like most about this industry?
There’s always an opportunity to expand your knowledge and unlimited resources to help you do it.

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What is one thing you wish you could change about this industry?
The negative perception. The number of companies compliantly helping consumers resolve their outstanding debt far outweighs the handful of bad actors left in the industry.

If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing?
I’d own a doggy daycare. It’s not an easy job, but neither is collections!

Describe a typical work day.
I’m an early riser which means I am normally catching up on industry news or answering emails around 6am. I reserve time in the morning to workout and take the pups to doggy daycare, so I try to schedule meetings after 8:00/8:30am. If I’m lucky, I remember to stop what I am working on and eat lunch before 2pm (old habit from my creditor days). I’m also trying to break the habit of working past 6pm, but that is a work in progress, too.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Taco John’s! There aren’t any in Dallas, so I only get to have this when I go back home.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
The best advice came from my parents: “Always treat people with respect and operate with integrity.”

What are you currently reading?
Going There” by Katie Couric

What is one fact you’d like everyone in the industry to know about you?
I’m addicted to Beachbody On-Demand workouts. There is no excuse for not working out when you have the equipment and a virtual trainer in your home gym.

Who else would you like to see answer these questions?
Mark Brody, CEO/President of Brohawk Solutions LLC

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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