Anyone who has had the pleasure of talking to Joe Leventhal can’t help but get caught up in his passion for the collection industry. Self-defined as “gregarious,” Joe was brought into the industry after a small Fond du Lac, Wisconsin agency owner met him in his previous job as a restaurant manager. “I had the personality she was looking for, so she asked me to come on board as a manager.”
That conversation started his new career and eventually put him in the owner’s seat at that very same family-owned agency, Professional Collectors Corporation. He continues to run the agency using the philosophies of the original owners, who still stop by to see him from time-to-time. “We still have their awards and accolades hanging in our offices because they created the foundation for our success. It’s a great reminder of who we are and where we came from.”
His role at the GLCCA started in a similar manner. Joe was asked to sell 50/50 raffle tickets at a joint meeting of the Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota Collectors Associations. After putting the squeeze on a few of the Illinois attendees, a friendship began. That friendship turned into a conversation and eventually a plan to make the three State associations even stronger and more effective by merging to form a new, larger association.
The value of this collaboration is apparent as the merger of the three state associations allows the GLCCA to have greater representation at the ACA the Council of Delegates. “We have more individuals to choose from, more volunteers, more committee chairs, a larger group to voice what the good players in the industry do and more resources. This makes us a stronger and more impactful group.” Combining the three associations has also allowed the GLCCA to consolidate expenses, which gives them a greater opportunity to use these resources for education opportunities.
Letting members know that they can make a difference is one of the things that Joe fervently believes. “Their participation at the legislative level is so important. This helps us keep the laws ‘pro-collection agency.’ More involvement allows us to push success by creating a bigger voice.”
He also wants members to know about the resources the GLCCA offers. “Not only does our annual convention offer great educational and networking opportunities, but it allows our members to connect with vendor partners who can help drive their success. I don’t think members realize this, but we have more vendors at our annual event than some of the smaller ACA conventions and conferences.”
In his position at Professional Collectors Corporation, Joe now wears all the hats. From making the important executive decisions to making collection calls, he does it all at the medical and small business collection agency. But when he is not at the helm of the ship, he also volunteers as the Vice President of the local humane society board, the Fond du Lac Kiwanis and is active in helping to restore the Fond du Lac Greenway back to its original habitat. He also spends a great deal of his free time with his wife and three kids, ages 12, 9 and 7.
In the end, Joe’s hope is that members understand the great value they receive through their GLCCA involvement. “The GLCCA is really beneficial for small and mid-sized agencies. The industry is trending towards big agencies that have the compliance and technology resources to succeed. Membership in the GLCCA allows the small guys to have similar access to the tools that can help them thrive in an industry that grows more complicated every day.”