New ACA President Rick Perr brings an attorney’s eye and experience to the association’s board of directors
It’s not an exaggeration to say that all eyes in the credit and collection industry right now are focused on Washington, D.C., and how our leaders make and interpret rules governing the industry.
Which is why ACA International’s new president, Rick Perr, Esq., is uniquely qualified to lead the association in the coming year, Collector magazine editor Anne Rosso May reports in the August issue. While he’s not the first attorney elected to the presidency, he is the first who is not directly employed by an individual collection agency.
“In a lot of ways, I think this gives me a really broad perspective on ACA and its members because I’ve represented a wide variety of firms—small, medium and large—in all markets, and I’ve had the good fortune of working with clients who trust me to deal with their most intimate issues and operations,” said Perr, who is a partner at Fineman, Krekstein and Harris, P.C. in Philadelphia. “I’ve learned how different agencies work, which will provide me with a holistic perspective when trying to figure out which direction ACA should take or getting a handle on an issue.”
Perr, in talking with Rosso May, shared his tools for success as an industry leader and the background that led him to his career today.
Many of the qualities that make Perr such a gifted attorney were evident in his family upbringing and early years. His father, Jerry, worked in sales—first in the medical supply industry and then in real estate—and his mother, Geri, was a computer programmer, one of the first women to be involved in the field.
He was interested in math, science and computers growing up.
But at the end of his freshman year at Rutgers University, a chance elective course, American government, prompted Perr to switch tracks and study English, political science and history.
After he graduated in 1991, Perr dove into law school, earning his Juris Doctor with international and foreign law honors.
His friend, client and fellow ACA member Larry Steller, CEO of Quality Asset Recovery, LLC, weighed in on Perr’s experience and contributions to the industry.
“Rick may not own a collection agency, but he is still a business owner and he understands our industry in such a unique and important way,” Steller said. “His experience and attention to detail have paid a lot of dividends. The things I’d normally worry about in leadership, I don’t have to worry about with him.”
Today, Perr is focused on developing his business and helping to build a productive but family-friendly workplace.
He brings nearly 20 years of membership to his role as president of ACA.
“I’m really excited about the opportunity to achieve our goals,” Perr said. “And I say ‘our’ because it’s not a one-person show by any stretch of the imagination. This is a group effort. It takes a board, staff members, the membership, the Council of Delegates and our state and regional units all working together to effectuate change.”
Read more on Perr’sin the August issue of Collector.