GLCCA Welcomes New President Michael Klutho
What started in 2018 with oversight of the GLCCA financials has turned into manning the helm of the organization for attorney Michael Klutho, the newly sworn-in association President. While his day job has him managing consumer law claims for the Minneapolis-based law firm, Bassford Remele, his new role as President of the Great Lakes Credit and Collection Association gives him the opportunity to guide the future course of the organization.
While leadership roles are part of his DNA, Klutho feels it is important for him to make a difference and create solutions within the collection industry. “Serving as GLCCA’s 4th President feels like a nice culmination of a 30+ year legal career within the collection industry. It is an important way for me to give back,” he reflects.
Klutho credits past GLCCA presidents for developing important policies and procedures for the association. “We are fortunate to have much of the heavy lifting already completed. Prior Presidents, Pauline Kussart in particular, have provided us with much needed by-law changes, Standard Operating Procedures, and most important, a comprehensive Strategic Plan. Now, it’s time to implement that plan. To do so, we need committees in place to carry out the goals of the plan. Right now I’m working on filling those committee assignments,” he notes.
To Klutho, his role as President is not all work. In fact, he considers it a lot of fun. “Frankly, I really like the people who make up GLCCA. It’s an enjoyable group who are engaged and truly appreciate what a robust association means for our industry. I’m a people person, and serving on the GLCCA Board affords me many opportunities to work with people who similarly want to engage in topics of interest.”
Not only do those topics and opportunities interest Klutho, they are also incredibly beneficial to the GLCCA membership at large. He firmly believes the convergence of information and education that GLCCA affords members makes everyone better. “Bringing together a variety of approaches and insights to common issues helps to mold compliant solutions to the obstacles (some legitimate and others created by consumer attorneys) members face. Whether coordinated legislative solutions or creative insights to fighting pending lawsuits, member interaction helps to further everyone’s interests,” he suggests.
Klutho is excited about one of GLCCA’s big plans for the coming year, based on the newly developed strategic plan. “We want to create ‘listening groups’ to hear the issues various segments of our membership are facing.” He believes this new feature will be highly beneficial for members and will help to more clearly understand the most pressing needs of various agency groups.
While there are a lot of important pieces already in place to continue advancing the GLCCA mission, the current climate has definitely shaped some of the recent past as well as future plans for the association. Klutho notes, “Without question, the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a monkey wrench into GLCCA’s plans, not the least of which was having to conduct our annual meeting remotely. Our plans for the current year include a larger emphasis on remote learning and dissemination of information. We are working with governmental regulators on ad hoc changes to rules and regulations impacting the industry. We also are working on long-term efforts to enact legislation that allows at-home collections, consistent with the current status allowing at-home collections during the pandemic.”
In the end, President Klutho wants members to keep in mind that they are an integral part of both current and future GLCCA plans. “GLCCA is your association. Take advantage of it. Raise your hand and volunteer, ask a question, be a leader within your agency, etc. We are here to provide value to you, so we want to hear what’s important to you. Feel free to give me a call and chat,” he concludes.