Greater Than the Sum of its Parts

How ACA International’s state and regional units came to be.

11/6/2019 8:00 AM

NewsCollector Magazine
Greater Than the Sum of its Parts

ACA International is made up of 36 state and regional units that are independently incorporated associations. The original members of what would become ACA knew a national association was the key to offering a network of resources, advocacy and education for professionals in the collection industry, but first they had to find a way to unite everyone. In the early 19th century, a growing number of men and women were opening collection businesses. By 1920, California, Oregon and Washington had formed state associations for debt collectors, leading to the establishment of the Pacific Coast Association (PCA) as their umbrella group in 1924.

While PCA members were diverse and strong-minded about the direction of the industry, they understood that growth into a national association was the next step. Expanding would create a united front as new legislation was already presenting challenges for collectors.

At the 1938 PCA Convention in Seattle, members agreed to bring together the state associations as one collaborative network, and ACA was born.

The next year, ACA’s first president, Stanley P. Freeman, made it his goal to get all members of the California, Oregon and Washington groups to join ACA. By the end of the 1940s, every state in the union was represented by either a unit or an individual member within ACA.

Today units focus on building relationships and helping people work together on common concerns that benefit their ability to conduct business in their state.

Over the years, some state units have come together to pool their resources as regional units, such as the Mid Atlantic Collectors Association, which is comprised of members in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. Conversely, in 1980, the Carolina Collectors Association split into two groups, one for North Carolina and one for South Carolina, to better handle state legislative activities.

A few units—the Great Lakes Credit and Collection Association (GLCCA) and the Georgia Collectors Association—are directly managed by ACA. ACA started to experiment with providing certain fee-based services, such as meeting planning, website development and communications, to units a few years ago. This experiment grew when the GLCCA developed out of the former Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois units. When those units combined, they realized that an organization of their size needed professional association management. ACA has provided such management to the International Association of Commercial Collectors for years, so it was only natural to offer that resource to state units.

These partnerships continue ACA’s goal to be the leading, united voice of the accounts receivable management industry.

Pictured above and featued in the November 2019 issue of Collector magazine: members of the Iowa Collectors Association.

Throughout ACA International’s 80th anniversary year, Collector magazine will be featuring photos marking important moments in the association’s and accounts receivable management industry’s history.

Subscriptions to the Collector magazine digital edition and email notifications for each new issue are available for ACA International members by logging in to ACA International’s website here. Members and nonmembers can also purchase a print subscription. Nonmembers can create a guest profile on ACA’s website to subscribe to available publications.


Follow ACA International on Twitter @ACAIntl and @acacollector, Facebook and request to join our LinkedIn group for news and event updates. ACA International members are welcome to submit news items for possible publication to comm@acainternational.org. Visit our publications page for news submission guidelines and subscriptions to ACA Daily, Collector magazine and Pulse.

Advertising is available for companies wishing to promote their products or services. Be sure to visit the ACA Events Calendar on the Education and Training page to view our listing of upcoming CORE Curriculum and Hot Topic seminars featuring critical educational opportunities for your company.


Subscribe to ACA Daily NEWSROOM

Greater Than the Sum of its Parts

ACA International is made up of 36 state and regional units that are independently incorporated associations. The original members of what would become ACA knew a national association was the key to offering a network of resources, advocacy and education for professionals in the collection industry, but first they had to find a way to unite everyone. In the early 19th century, a growing number of men and women were opening collection businesses. By 1920, California, Oregon and Washington had formed state associations for debt collectors, leading to the establishment of the Pacific Coast Association (PCA) as their umbrella group in 1924.

While PCA members were diverse and strong-minded about the direction of the industry, they understood that growth into a national association was the next step. Expanding would create a united front as new legislation was already presenting challenges for collectors.

At the 1938 PCA Convention in Seattle, members agreed to bring together the state associations as one collaborative network, and ACA was born.

The next year, ACA’s first president, Stanley P. Freeman, made it his goal to get all members of the California, Oregon and Washington groups to join ACA. By the end of the 1940s, every state in the union was represented by either a unit or an individual member within ACA.

Today units focus on building relationships and helping people work together on common concerns that benefit their ability to conduct business in their state.

Over the years, some state units have come together to pool their resources as regional units, such as the Mid Atlantic Collectors Association, which is comprised of members in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. Conversely, in 1980, the Carolina Collectors Association split into two groups, one for North Carolina and one for South Carolina, to better handle state legislative activities.

A few units—the Great Lakes Credit and Collection Association (GLCCA) and the Georgia Collectors Association—are directly managed by ACA. ACA started to experiment with providing certain fee-based services, such as meeting planning, website development and communications, to units a few years ago. This experiment grew when the GLCCA developed out of the former Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois units. When those units combined, they realized that an organization of their size needed professional association management. ACA has provided such management to the International Association of Commercial Collectors for years, so it was only natural to offer that resource to state units.

These partnerships continue ACA’s goal to be the leading, united voice of the accounts receivable management industry.

Pictured above and featued in the November 2019 issue of Collector magazine: members of the Iowa Collectors Association.

Throughout ACA International’s 80th anniversary year, Collector magazine will be featuring photos marking important moments in the association’s and accounts receivable management industry’s history.

Subscriptions to the Collector magazine digital edition and email notifications for each new issue are available for ACA International members by logging in to ACA International’s website here. Members and nonmembers can also purchase a print subscription. Nonmembers can create a guest profile on ACA’s website to subscribe to available publications.


Follow ACA International on Twitter @ACAIntl and @acacollector, Facebook and request to join our LinkedIn group for news and event updates. ACA International members are welcome to submit news items for possible publication to comm@acainternational.org. Visit our publications page for news submission guidelines and subscriptions to ACA Daily, Collector magazine and Pulse.

Advertising is available for companies wishing to promote their products or services. Be sure to visit the ACA Events Calendar on the Education and Training page to view our listing of upcoming CORE Curriculum and Hot Topic seminars featuring critical educational opportunities for your company.


Subscribe to ACA Daily NEWSROOM

Loading...

Loading...

Scroll to Top