Getting to Know Peter Campisi of Sunrise Credit Services

Building is in Peter Campisi’s blood. Whether helping his father who was a home improvement contractor or helping build Sunrise Credit Services during his 33 years at the company, Campisi likes to get his hands dirty and be involved. It also speaks to his mantra of building people and letting them build a business. Read on to learn more about Peter, why he loves living on an island, and what he likes to eat on his cheat days.

Name: Peter Campisi
Current Role/Job Title: SVP Operations
Company: Sunrise Credit Services, Inc., Melville, N.Y.
Length of time at current company: 33 Years
Length of time in industry: 33 Years

How did you get your start in the industry?
My aunt worked as a collector for Sunrise Credit while I was in high school and she suggested I apply for the job which I did. I was 16 and began working part time after school and on Saturdays. I worked in many departments during my early days, starting with the mail room, credit investigation, skip trace department, etc., etc., but of course landed in the collection department as a collector.

What is your career highlight so far?
This is a tough question because there have been so many great moments in the past 33 years. Certainly, being a part of this family company with the family culture and seeing it grow from 60 employees to almost 600 in the past 33 years is a highlight in itself. One specific highlight that comes to mind took place in 1997. We were competing with four other agencies for a large bank on their consumer loan products. We finished the year in first place and won “collection agency of the year.” The bank’s vice president and recovery manager traveled to our shop to present us with a trophy and attended our ceremony. This was a very cool moment.

When or how are you most productive?
I’m a morning person so I arrive to the office early and if I need to, I will stay late. I feel that early or late is when I am most productive or dialed in to a specific task. There are also less fires to put out during these times of the day.

Which industry professional do you admire most?
It would have to be our company founder Richard A. Doane. In 1974 he worked in the credit department for a large retailer that went bankrupt. He had a vision and very little capital but took a risk and started Sunrise Credit Services Inc. He has been a mentor to me throughout my professional career since my youth and I will always admire his work ethic and knowledge.

What is one thing you do better than everyone else?
One thing that’s in my DNA is the ability to meet deadlines and manage my time appropriately. It’s something I don’t need to work hard at because I was born this way. I usually show up to all appointments and meet deadlines early. I don’t like anything lingering too long.

What do you like most about this industry?
I enjoy working with people, especially our phone agents and front-line managers. The industry always seems to be evolving and I enjoy all of the challenges that come with these changes. I also have made so many great relationships with our clients and vendors over the years.

What is one thing you wish you could change about this industry?
I understand the need for regulation in our industry. That being said, it needs to make sense, be calculated, and be much clearer than it is now. This is something I would certainly change to help with these frustrations at both the federal and state level.

If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing?
I most likely would have ended up owning my own business as a contractor or owning a landscaping business. My father was a home improvement contractor for 30 years and I worked for him when I was younger. I enjoy working with my hands. I understand the business side of it and gained a lot of experience learning from my father.

Describe a typical work day
When I get to the office the first thing I look at are yesterday’s results, specifically how we did after I left in the evening. I then will look at the month-over-month comparisons as well. I will look at my calendar to review any scheduled meetings I have and make sure I have my notes/thoughts ready for all. I like to spend as much time in our call center out on the floor greeting all the agents and managers. I try to do this at least twice a day.

What is your guilty pleasure?
I try to eat healthy, but I do slip every now and again. My favorite desserts are cheesecake and ice cream.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
A long time ago someone told me that to be successful I need to “build the people and they will build the business”. This is so true especially in our industry. When hiring we don’t always look for experienced agents/managers. We prefer to build them from the ground up.

What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading an autobiography of Anthony Kiedis called “Scar Tissue.” I grew up during the grunge music era and he is the lead singer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

What is one fact you’d like everyone in the industry to know about you?
I am a beach person and so is my family. I love living on an island and spending a lot of time on the shoreline either relaxing or fishing which is my passion.

Who else would you like to see answer these questions?
Joe Vassar, EVP Sales, Sunrise Credit Services Inc.

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