POTTSBORO, Texas — I got to do something yesterday that I rarely have had the chance to do — meet a collector. I’m here at the Southwest ACA Conference & Expo, which includes the ACA state units of Texas and Oklahoma, and aside from the great insights from industry experts like Heath Morgan and Don Maurice, and a dad joke or two from yours truly, the opportunity to meet and spend time with industry professionals, many of whom I haven’t had the opportunity to meet before, definitely made the trip worthwhile.
For me, this is the first unit event I have attended outside of the Northeast Debt Collection Expo (which is a short drive from my house) and it reinforces the importance of getting outside your traditional network of contacts and the benefits that come from hearing insights and experiences from new voices. It’s only at events like these where you see people step up to the microphone at an impromptu get-together in a whiskey bar overlooking Lake Texoma and belting out tunes that would make contestants on “The Voice” envious.
Events don’t need to be big to be worthwhile. In many ways, you can get more out of attending an event with fewer people because you aren’t running from one meeting to the next in a three-day sprint. You can actually get to know people and learn things about them, like someone who was a full-time firefighter and EMT in a previous life and started a collection operation as a side job, only to have it take off to the point where he quit being a firefighter and EMT, or someone who knows all there is to know about black walnuts, or someone who is excited to work with his son to figure out what college he should play baseball at next season.
Everybody has a story. And the stories of the people in the ARM industry are what make it special.