Dick Williams has spent nearly six decades in the ARM industry and has likely forgotten more about collecting debts than most in the industry will ever learn. But does that stop him from trying to learn new things? Absolutely not. He called out discovering and implementing new technology as something he does better than everyone else and he’s reading up on artificial intelligence. As if his longevity in the industry wasn’t enough of a reason to respect him. Read on to learn more about Dick, how getting thrown out of college helped him get his start in the industry, and his great advice that should be a lesson for anyone supervising or managing people.
Name: Richard M. Williams (Dick)
Current Role/Job Title: Director of Compliance and Development
Company: Advanced Recovery Systems, Inc., Flowood, Miss.
Length of time at current company: Seven years
Length of time in industry: 59 years
How did you get your start in the industry?
I got thrown out of college for grades so I decided to go to work for Household Finance Corp.
What is your career highlight so far?
I’ve been blessed to have a long career that I enjoyed and have hired, trained, and established friendships with so many great people. Title-wise, my highlights are: District Manager for HFC, President of Healthcare Financial Services for 20 years, Past President of Missouri Collectors and the Mississippi Collectors Association, and the current President Gulf Coast Collectors Association.
When or how are you most productive?
Which industry professional do you admire most?
Too many to single out over at these years, but many past Presidents of ACA as a group
What is one thing you do better than everyone else?
Discover and implement new technology in agency operations
What do you like most about this industry?
Fantastic, smart people who can overcome any challenge
What is one thing you wish you could change about this industry?
I would love to see more ownership by all members in attending meetings, lobbying, training staff and in general more involved in our collective future
If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing?
Describe a typical work day
Well this is unfair as I work part time, about 25 hours a week, and no days are typical. Everyday is a challenge and if nothing else an opportunity to help a fellow employee learn. My motto is “Smarter, bigger, better, one day at a time”
What is your guilty pleasure?
Great Bourbon or Scotch
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
“People will do what supervisors check”
What are you currently reading?
Studying AI and reading NIST standards as that keeps me from having time for personal reading. In the past, “The Art of War” is a favorite
What is one fact you’d like everyone in the industry to know about you?
That I tried to help and hope I did over these years
Who else would you like to see answer these questions?
Sure, there are many, but a fellow like Jeff Chambers in Tupelo, who is smart, runs a great operation, and is the future of our industry