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Your 2024 Collection Academy Speakers!

Picture of Erik Therwanger

Erik Therwanger / Founder, Author, Speaker of Think GREAT

Presenting: Leading thru Chaos

Erik is the founder of Think GREAT and draws from his experiences as a U.S. Marine, executive business leader, sales professional, and entrepreneur to help organizations achieve new levels of success. He uniquely combines leadership development, team building, sales training, and goal-setting into strategies and techniques that empower team members and leaders to exceed expectations.

Erik has inspired audiences at companies such as US Bank, Sam’s Club, Shutterfly, RE/MAX, Hubbard Broadcasting, Thomson Reuters, U.S. Foods, armed services commands ranging from the Air National Guard to the U.S. Marine Corps, charities like The American Cancer Society, law enforcement and government agencies, and organizations in the health care and education industries.

Think GREAT is a Certified Veteran-Owned Business and Erik is also author of The Think GREAT Collection. Erik shares the successful, proven concepts in his seven books to give individuals and organizations the competitive edge needed for achieving new levels of success.

Picture of Don Arkell

Don Arkell / Owner, CU Lending Advice

Presenting Two Sessions: Living Broke - The New American Dream & Navigating Underwriting for Enhanced Loan Recovery

Don first worked with Brett Christensen at Clark County Credit Union as one of his original hires and a member of his first sales team. While at CCCU, Don quickly moved through the ranks at the credit union, working in all areas of Sales and Lending. He eventually founded a CUSO owned by CCCU– Members Auto Brokerage Service, Inc. as well serving time as COO at Red Rocks Credit Union in Highlands Ranch, CO.

Don helped RRCU to establish a vibrant sales culture while transforming the credit union from full retail delivery to offering 100% of consumer loans and member service through remote delivery channels. This effort drove down operational expenses, reduced the FTE count, increased loans, total assets and net income.

Since joining CU Lending Advice in 2015, Don has been working directly with credit unions ranging in asset size from $10M-$18B across the United States. Don spends between 100-150 days per year onsite with clients in the industry.

Don’s unique consulting style and passion for Sales and Leadership have made him a sought-after speaker, trainer and strategist in service to individual credit unions, professional associations and industry providers. He works with credit unions around the country helping them grow their loan programs, organizational design, lending technology and strategic planning.

As a proud graduate of UNLV, Don enjoys spending time with his wife and two adult children. He can often be found in the field with his hunting dog Sue chasing geese and ducks during waterfowl season.

Picture of Rich Neureuther

Rich Neureuther / Special Agent FBI - Retired

Presenting: Are They Lying to You?

FBI Special Agent (Ret.) Rich Neureuther, was a critical incident stress debriefer called to the Pentagon two days after the September 11th terrorist attacks. Rich will share a graphic visual story of the attack and its aftermath, including a survivor’s tale that is chilling, touching and heroic. Rich Neureuther draws upon his experiences from a 26-year career as a Special Agent with the FBI as the basis for his captivating and unforgettable presentations. During his career Rich worked numerous investigations regarding terrorism, narcotics, organized crime, white collar crime, surveillances and white house background investigations.

Rich has received the FBI’s prestigious Master Police Instructor Award and numerous Letters of Accommodations for his work in surveillance, undercover investigations and training law enforcement officers. During his career, Rich also established Wisconsin’s outstanding FBI Citizens Academy Program which began in 1996.

Since his retirement from the FBI, Rich has been a keynote speaker and has addressed representatives of Fortune 500 companies, professional groups, sales meetings and numerous conferences.

Rich holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a Masters Degree in Counseling from Oakland University. He has served as an Adjunct Professor for the Fox Valley Technical College, served on numerous Boards helping underprivileged children and is President of The Neureuther Group, security training and consulting firm based in New Berlin, Wisconsin.

Picture of Steve Kreitlow

Steve Kreitlow / Training Facilitator and Consultant, TriVerity and The Loan Service Center

Presenting: Future-Proofing for Repossessions, Remarketing and Bankruptcies

Steve has taught over 1,200 credit union staff since 2013 as the Continuing Education Facilitator for Building the Foundation Training programs. With a broad knowledge of repossessions and bankruptcy and having worked with over 50 different collection platforms in over 200 collection departments, Steve is uniquely qualified to facilitate TriVerity’s training programs. His personal goal is to teach collection skills that will immediately make a difference in collection department efficiencies.

Picture of Shannon Betz

Shannon Betz / Supervisor of Extended Services, The Loan Service Center

Presenting: Future-Proofing for Repossessions, Remarketing and Bankruptcies

Shannon Betz is the Supervisor of Extended Services for The Loan Service Center and has her degree in Paralegal studies with an emphasis on bankruptcies. She brings over 20 years of experience in the collection world and extensive knowledge of bankruptcies. Shannon’s primary responsibility is overseeing bankruptcies and repossessions TLSC coordinates and handles for our clients.

Picture of Mike Frost

Mike Frost / Partner at Frost Echols LLC

Presenting: Legal Updates - Delinquency Management in Today's Climate

Mike leads the firm’s regulatory compliance services. He provides counsel, consultation, complex transactional and litigation defense services to the credit and collections industry. Mike has vast industry experience, having held various leadership and executive management roles within large ARM businesses. His unique experience and understanding of operational and technical aspects of the ARM businesses allows him to provide consultative services that are not available at most law firms.

Mike has represented companies through examinations and audits conducted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors, and various other state regulatory agencies. He has also represented the industry and clients in lobbying efforts or on panels before the Federal Trade Commission, Federal Communications Commission, and on Capitol Hill.

Picture of Chris Stanley

Chris Stanley / Former Director of Business Development

Presenting: The Role of Litigation in Today’s Dynamic Landscape

Chris Stanley brings over 20 years of industry experience in estate, bankruptcy, and legal recoveries, where he has held roles in Operations, Project Management, Onboarding, and Account Management. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, golfing, and yelling at his 4th, 6th, and 8th-grade children while coaching their basketball teams.

Picture of Kyle Dickson

Kyle Dickson / Senior Consultant, Strategic Arts & Sciences

Presenting Two Sessions: Withstand the Storms – the Architecture of a Successful Collection Department & Minimize Loan Loss Using Nontraditional KPIs

Kyle began his collection management journey with Leaders Credit Union where he served as Risk Manager and continued forward with Listerhill Credit Union as its Chief Risk Officer. Under Kyle’s leadership, the collection areas evolved to become consistently among the most engaged and high-performing in the organization, boasting near-zero turnover, as well as improved management processes and philosophy that led to millions in cost and loan loss savings. Kyle believes that a simple, repeatable system based on solid information, as well as a keen focus on employee satisfaction is critical to making your collections area an industry leader.

Kyle often says, “Collection departments are consistently the most understaffed and underutilized areas within the credit union; yet when provided with appropriate support and resources, will become one of your largest profit centers. My goal is to show Executives what they are missing when they fail to place collections in its proper place as a critical profit center and culture-driver. When the collections area is one of your happiest and most engaged departments, you’re doing something right!”

As a Senior Consultant with Strategic Arts & Sciences, Kyle’s comprehensive, unique, and fun philosophy has made him an in-demand consultant and speaker. Kyle works with credit unions across the United States to build world-class processes and culture in their Risk Management and Collections areas and teaches leaders how to reduce employee turnover by keeping 3 simple promises.