October 2012

President’s Message:

During 2012, we continued to be challenged with the many opportunities that are presented to us by those who are interested in the direction that RMA Canada has set out.  

It has been a rewarding journey, as we now are on the brink of realizing the vision come to life. The passion of the Board members and the Executive is defining the next steps in our progress in a way that bodes well for all involved and for future members.

During the past 6 months, we have presented two webinars as noted below.

On June 7th, 2012 the topic was “Debt Remediation in Canada” with some very informed panelists as listed below:

On September 27th, 2012 our guest speaker talked about the Economy from the perspective of the World Markets.

In the Q1 of 2013 we will be presenting another webinar in our series.

This has been an interesting learning experience, given that we have no direct experience on the board in setting these programs up, and I would like to extend my appreciation to those who have taken the lead in making this happen – Randy Tamlin of DRN Commerce (FCT), Barry Kryba and our moderator Mr. Scott Coffin (could be a career in broadcasting out there in the future).

On September 10 2012, the RMA was successful in gaining an audience with the Ministry of Consumer Services of Ontario regarding the concerns about the debt settlement companies in Canada. This meeting followed similar meetings with the debt settlement companies and the Credit Counselling meetings. Richard Dunwoody was key in assisting to set up this meeting of creditors.

I invited several individuals to participate in the important opportunity.

In attendance were Mark Ball, Rina Mancini, Dave Difelice (CTB), Richard Dunwoody (arranged the meeting), Anuj Vohra (CIBC) , Amin.Liaghati (CIBC), Bobby Stergious (BMO), Randy Hopkins (CBA) and myself attended to a meeting, organized by RMA Canada. The CBA attended as a guest of RMA for this meeting.

The Chair and his team were very receptive to the input provided but as usual this is a government agency and they will move forwarded as they see the need, however their actions will be based on substantially more information than they had prior to the meeting.

The Chair then invited RMA to arrange a follow up meeting with the committee composed of Trustees for their perspective on the customer impacts. I arranged for 4 prominent members of the Trustee community to participate and advised the Chair accordingly.

This opportunity was a very good step in getting the RMA in front of the Ministry and I am comfortable this will become a regular opportunity when matters arise.

The Board is in the process of meeting with a company that will be talking to us about the opportunities in dealing with government relations and opportunities to develop methods and approaches to potentially influence change(s) in the industry through awareness and potential interaction/influence with government entities. This will help prepare the Board of the RMA to develop a plan and a strategy that best suits the goals of the association and maximize the opportunities, wherever possible, in the best interests of the membership

 Entering the year 2013:

We are busy putting the details of our conference in 2013 in place at this time. Watch for the announcement in early January 2013. The Board and the conference committee are excited about this initiative. If you would like to assist in the development and creation of this “banner” event, contact one of the Board members or the Chair of the event, Mr. Barry Kryba.

We are looking forward to an eventful year as we prepare to enter 2013 with new initiatives and energy around the programs and events we wish to put in place.

I encourage you to visit our membership information (link to member info) and consider joining this future thinking team of professionals (link to join).

The thought expressed below was made by Mark Ball of the Bank of Montreal and was stated in my previous message yet it is very appropriate and carries a message that I believe is worth sharing with all once again:

 “There is a tremendous opportunity for everyone involved in the life cycle of a receivable - consumer or commercial. The issues we all face in extending credit and collecting from customers both current and delinquent are very similar irrespective of industry or asset class. The ability to discuss the issues that impact our respective businesses, share best practices should not be subject to industry segmentation but from a collective perspective. The potential for synergy by involving creditors, purchasers and business integration partners can potentially create a powerful, more efficient and customer centric business model.

Lastly, there will be times when our respective interests will not be consistent with that of RMA Canada as a whole. While this might be present difficulties within RMA Canada, this is a good thing and one that will validate the varied makeup of our membership base”

Can we effect positive change in this challenging, diverse industry?

There is no doubt that we can if we wish to meet the challenges and share the tasks to achieve the desired results.

“Talk” with you soon


George A. Preece CCP (Emeritus)

President/Chairman of the Board

Receivables Management Association of Canada Inc.