Zapien says this month is a time to celebrate the victories that people of Hispanic heritage have achieved and the challenges they have overcome.
National Hispanic Heritage Month is ongoing through Oct. 15 and marks a time to pay tribute to the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively impacted and enriched the U.S. and society.
ACA International represents a diverse industry. Hispanic workers have much higher rates of representation at collection agencies than they do in the general workforce, making up 16% of total bill collectors in 2019, respectively, according to research from Kaulkin Ginsberg and ACA.
In this member spotlight, Vivian Zapien, collector at Professional Credit Service, shares how she honors her heritage with her family and in the accounts receivable management (ARM) industry.
Q. Tell me about your heritage and where you and your family are from.
A. I was born in Cueramaro Guanajuato, Mexico. That was the closest city to the small town where I lived until the age of 12. My paternal grandfather Papa Nane worked as a builder, farmer and in many other professions. My mother Juana raised me and my four siblings with help from relatives. She moved us to the U.S. in 2000. I was a DREAMER and obtained my work permit through DACA. I was awarded my citizenship in 2019. I’m also a single mother to three boys.
Q. How long have you been with your company and in the ARM industry?
A. I have been with Professional Credit Service for eight years.
Q. What does National Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?
A. To me, National Hispanic Heritage Month is a reminder to not forget where I came from. It is a time to celebrate and be proud of the struggles and the victories that people with Hispanic heritage have faced and overcome.
Q. How is your company embracing diversity and inclusion among your team and in the industry, both this month and year-round?
A. Since I started working at Professional Credit Service, they have acknowledged Hispanic Heritage Month. They use blog posts to let us know about events happening in our community so we can attend and participate.
Q. How do you celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month on a personal level and/or at your company?
A. My brothers and I use Hispanic Heritage Month to teach our children about Mexico’s independence, culture and values. My mom cooks tamales, which she only does when we are celebrating something or if there’s a holiday. We sit at the dining room table and share stories of our childhood and how things were in the past. We also discuss how things have changed and the ways our community celebrates what we’ve achieved.
Q. Do you have any suggestions for other companies working on educational and inclusiveness programs in the industry?
A. Welcome everyone! I believe a diverse workforce gives us insight into other cultures and it gives us a sense of belonging.
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