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.
Grit and empathy — the two most important components of the genetic code that make up successful professionals in the accounts receivable management industry. Justin Miller — back for his second stint at Vital Solutions — definitely has both, which is what has allowed him to scale the industry’s corporate ladder from meter reader to company president. Read on to learn more about Justin, why a day on the golf course, regardless of weather conditions, is never a waste, and why you likely won’t see him as a speaker at an industry conference.
Name: Justin Miller
Current Role/Job Title: President
Company: Vital Solutions
Length of time at current company: I have been at Vital for a little over nine months, but this is my second time at Vital. I was the Director of Operations at Vital shortly after launch (in the early 2000s).
Length of time in industry: I have been a bill collector for 25 years (since 1997).
How did you get your start in the industry?
I started out in the industry while completing grad school. My first gig was as a “meter reader” for Ikon Office Solutions here in Atlanta. It was brutal and led to a short stint as a copy machine repossession guy. Shortly thereafter I moved to National Action Financial Services and never looked back.
What is your career highlight so far?
I have been fortunate to have some cool experiences because of this career, so it’s hard to pick just one. Generally, the career highlight is always taking a struggling team, and transforming them into true high performers. It never gets old to watch someone grow out of their shell and leverage their full talent toward a greater good.
When or how are you most productive?
When someone tells me it can’t be done, or the challenge seems insurmountable. Not just me, but the entire team – there is a lot of energy that comes from taking on goals, or fighting through circumstances, that are tough.
Which industry professional do you admire most?
There are so many that I admire, and have been fortunate to work for or with, but the two persons I go to most for advice are Miriam Hall and Tim Collins.
What is one thing you do better than everyone else?
Nothing (someone is always faster, smarter, better, etc). I’ve long realized I will never be the smartest guy in the room, but what I can be is the best listener. The more often I get that right, the better off the team is.
What do you like most about this industry?
The continuous change, and how it pushes us all to be better. This is a true pay-for-performance industry, and you must stay sharp, continually grow (and learn from your mistakes) to thrive in this industry. You go to any conference or industry event, and everyone there carries within them a healthy dose of grit and empathy. They wouldn’t be there if they didn’t.
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What is one thing you wish you could change about this industry?
How we allow the competitive nature of our industry to sometimes cause us to forget the above. We are competing against equally talented and driven teams, and sometimes we should tip the cap and acknowledge each other.
If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing?
I’d be a journalist … or a caddie on the PGA Tour.
Describe a typical work day
I am a hybrid work from home / work at office guy, but the day typically starts at 7am, and ends when I run out of steam (or, when working from home, my 6-year-old comes up with a better use of my time). Morning times are generally for internal meetings, and afternoons for getting stuff done or external meetings.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Being on the golf course. Any course. Any conditions.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
“When you walk away from a conversation or meeting, you will either leave the audience with an impression of how important you believe you are, or how important they are to you. Choose wisely.” (I wish I had received this advice much earlier in my career.)
What are you currently reading?
“The House of Kennedy” by James Patterson
What is one fact you’d like everyone in the industry to know about you?
I hate public speaking. It terrifies me. Even with a small audience.
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