What started as an outside sales position in 1986 has grown into a lifetime mission for Jeff Gronholz, the owner of Professional Credit Analysts in New Ulm, Minnesota. “I started out as an outside sales rep for what was then Lindy’s Collection Service. By 1991, I was the owner,” he notes.
With the help of industry partners, technology providers, and a dedicated team of employees, he has gained the tools he needed to really move ahead as an agency. “In the past couple of years, I have purchased a few other small agencies and built our customer base. We also recently rebranded from Lindy’s to Professional Credit Analysts to create continuity in our service offerings.” His typical customer is within the utilities, medical, or government sectors.
Because he is so passionate about the credit and collection industry, his involvement on the GLCCA board was a natural progression. “I was highly involved in the Minnesota Association of Collectors (MAC) prior to the formation of the GLCCA. I served in a variety of board positions, all the way up to President.”
As a Director for the GLCCA, Jeff is involved in the social and education committee. “I work with a few other Directors to develop the educational opportunities at our annual conference. I also ensure that there are a variety of entertainment options during the event to make it memorable and encourage networking opportunities.”
Jeff believes those networking opportunities are some of the most valuable at the GLCCA annual conference. “Networking is important because it allows agencies to speak frankly about concerns and share tips, tricks, and ideas that have made them successful. It also allows conversations with agencies across state lines. I believe this offers candid dialogue because it eliminates inter-state competition and creates more openness in sharing.”
Jeff encourages all GLCCA members to get involved with the association because there is strength in numbers. “The GLCCA was formed because the State associations were shrinking. The current climate in the industry makes it difficult for small to medium sized agencies to operate effectively. But because the GLCCA is the largest regional association at the National conference, we have a greater voice.”
The people that he works with and the customers he works for are the two things that keep Jeff going. “It all comes down to the people. I have created partnerships and friendships and look forward to seeing these colleagues and friends. There is a family feeling within the industry and people are so open to helping each other grow and succeed.”
When Jeff is not at the helm of Professional Credit Analysts, or serving on the GLCCA board, he is an avid outdoorsman with a penchant for hunting and fishing. He also enjoys golfing and playing volleyball. In addition, he cares for the agency “therapy dog,” a sweet Cavapoo who enjoys greeting visitors at the door, donned in his very own tie. “He makes our agency a welcoming place.”
In the end, Jeff believes that the GLCCA is important because agencies have so much against them. “This is your livelihood; why wouldn’t you use such an important resource as the GLCCA?” He also encourages new GLCCA members not to be afraid to ask questions. “Just ask! Ask me, ask anyone on the board, ask other agencies and vendor partners. We are all here to help each other be successful.”