Mentor and Connect through New Women’s Group for Members


The Women in Collections Resource Council is working toward education and mentoring opportunities in the year ahead. Join their new discussion group on The Hub. Editor’s note: This article is available for members only.

5/26/2020 14:00

It all started with a handshake.

When Fran Fisher was introduced to Roger Weiss’ daughter, Anna, a few years ago at the Washington Insights Conference, she noticed right away she could help her improve one of the first impressions from the meeting: her handshake.

Fran and Anna left the meeting with a bond and the younger Weiss, a better handshake.

Fisher has told the story before with the blessing of Weiss, ACA’s Board President, as just one example of how women can mentor each other in the professional world and the accounts receivable management (ARM) industry.

Her interaction with Anna, who introduced her father as president with a speech at the 2019 ACA Convention & Expo in San Diego, was also part of the impetus for starting a women’s mentorship and education group within ACA International’s membership.

Fisher said she knows it can be tough for women at any level in their career to find their footing and put themselves out there at professional events and conferences, or even in their day-to-day work at the office.

“I am shy underneath, but I taught myself how to overcome that shyness and meet people and have a presence,” Fisher said. “I think it’s important.”

Anita Manghisi, an ACA board member, Fisher and other women and leaders within ACA’s membership got to talking at events in recent years and developed a committee to oversee the new group, the Women in Collections Resource Council (WICRC.)

Members of the committee governing the WICRC through 2021 include Chair Fran Fisher, business development manager-ARM, with Payscout; Co-Chair Debra Ciskey, IFCCE, executive vice president, The Collections Coach LLC; Dusty Vigil, CEO/President of North American Credit Services Inc.; Patricia Genovay, president, Waterfall Revenue Group; Mary Sand, vice president of operations, RevSolve Inc.; Patricia Lopez, assistant vice president, USCB America, Henderson operations; Shiela Cain, president, Professional Choice Recovery Inc., and ACA Board Liaison Anitia Manghisi, IFCCE, president, Independent Recovery Resources Inc.

As part of the WICRC, the committee established a new discussion group on The Hub, ACA’s online member community.

The council’s goal is to provide resources to aid women in the ARM industry related to the development of leadership skills, mentor opportunities, and to support their advancement in their chosen profession.

“Our goal is to teach women how to use their power and how to be assertive to enhance their careers, benefit their companies and the industry, and better serve their communities,” Fisher added.

The committee in charge of the WICRC is in the early stages of planning events and online webinars, some that will be held in conjunction with ACA’s conferences and state unit meetings.

“We want it to be educational, so people learn from each other’s experience,” Fisher said.

For the time being, the WICRC’s Hub group is off to a great start and more members are invited to join and post discussions, ask questions, and share their ideas.

Committee members will also start discussions on a regular basis to further foster ideas and growth of the WICRC on The Hub and at future events.

For example, committee member Shiela Cain started the discussions on The Hub recently by posting a positive consumer compliment and letter on the company’s hardship programs. Cain’s post has prompted other similar stories in response, which is one of the goals of the discussions, no matter the topic.

All Fisher asks is that members’ discussion topics are relevant to the WICRC’s mission of helping women in the industry.

If you haven't done so already, please join The Hub community. Members may join by logging in to the ACA International website and clicking on the Hub icon. Once you are there, select the Communities tab, and the WICRC is listed in the drop-down menu. Click on the community to sign up, set your preferences and post or respond to discussion items. All members of the community are invited to post messages and have the option to receive email notifications when new items have been added to the discussion.  

Members of the WICRC on The Hub or interested members may reach out to ACA staff liaisons Leah Dempsey, vice president, senior counsel, federal advocacy, [email protected]; Kelli Krueger, director of education, [email protected]; and Fran Fisher, [email protected], for guidance on topics to discuss or other questions.

More details to come!

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