Robin Cole has stepped quite naturally into her new role as Acting Executive Director for the National Creditors Bar Association (NCBA). With her eye on the future, she is continuing the organization’s momentum and leading the organization during a time of growth and advancement. With a passion for “bringing the next generation along,” Robin is a strong advocate for mentorship and working together to secure a strong future for our industry.
Tell us a little about your professional background and history with NCBA.
When I graduated from college, my first job was with a realtor association in Florida. Then, I moved into the title industry (because of a networking event) during the Florida real estate boom, and during my 18 years with the firm, learned much about the legal and finance industries. I ended up taking some time off while my mom was ill, but through volunteer work, I met the then Executive Director of NARCA. I came on board 7 years ago and hit the ground running, starting in membership and moving on to marketing, communications and other areas. Transitioning to Acting Executive Director in my 8th year with the organization has been very smooth as I have had the opportunity to work across a wide mix of departments and projects throughout my history with the organization.
What do you want to communicate about the transition?
With NCBA, it’s business as usual. We are moving forward with our three new initiatives, preparing for our big conference in May, keeping the momentum going, and looking toward the future.
- Our first initiative is Appearance Counsel Training. Since attorneys can’t be at every hearing, we want to help ensure that Appearance Counsel is well-versed in creditors rights law and the firms they are representing. Appearance Counsel is also a brand new membership category for our members. Appearance Counselors can take the training, become members, and be preferred counsel because of the training. This new offering will, of course, drive additional membership for our association.
- Our second initiative is our State Creditor Bar Association (SCBA) Pilot Program. NCBA includes state creditor bar associations across the country, in addition to our national association. While the state associations are not officially associated with us, they are active in their respective states and the SCBA’s have requested assistance with back office support. In response, our NCBA is offering support services such as assistance with billing, communications, dues management, and other back-office functions.
- NCBA’s third initiative is our new Sub-contractor Oversight Program. Because a lot of law firms hire third-party vendors, audits add up to additional time and expense. Our committee developed a new sub-contractor oversight program for vendors to participate in third party assessments. Once completed, the assessment will be available to the law firm members and creditors, and eliminate the need for multiple assessments. Moving forward, each individual law firm won’t each have to do separate audits; the third party company can share the assessment certificate with potential clients.
Are there any updates regarding the 2019 NCBA Spring Conference in Minneapolis this May?
We have so many exciting things planned for our Spring Conference. We currently have 22 educational offerings as well as a new session, “CRED Talks,” that is based on the TED Talks format. Our CRED Talks will feature 2 hours of guest speakers giving short talks on a wide range of receivables topics. We will also have our much-anticipated networking and social events.
NCBA is continuing to focus on first-time conference attendees and new members. We have planned a dinner on Wednesday night and a special outing on Thursday, both of which are geared just for this group. We will take them off-site to socialize, play games, and have fun. It will be a fantastic time for everyone to get to know each other personally. We started this at our last conference and it was a big success, so we are looking forward to relaxing and getting to know all of our new members and first-time attendees.
What currently excites you in the industry?
I love a challenge and our industry is always changing. You have to stay up to date on what is happening and changing in Washington DC, each state, and the industry as a whole. It’s exciting times. Since we are a credit-based society, NCBA attorneys make a difference in our economy by keeping the credit cycle intact, through legal recoveries. I love the challenge of trying to constantly stay ahead of the curve.
Outside of the organization’s priorities, do you have any personal objectives that you would like to accomplish?
It has always been important for me to bring the next generation along. Mentoring is very important to me. It may look different for each person, depending on your role in this industry, but mentoring doesn’t take much time and it benefits everyone. You can do and work and achieve, but if you’re not doing for others and mentoring the next generation, you are missing the big picture.
I am always telling people to get involved in NCBA. Join a committee, offer to do a webinar, host a podcast, or write an article. I can’t even begin to express the importance of member involvement. Just as in life, you get out what you put in. If you get involved, you will make lifelong friends, find a collegial group, and your business will flourish. Our members want to work with fellow members. Involvement makes NCBA thrive, and as a result, your business and practice will thrive also.
About Robin Cole
As Acting Executive Director of the National Creditors Bar Association, Robin Cole oversees membership and the day-to-day operations, for the organization. She is a member of the American Bar Association, the National Association of Bar Executives, and Women in Legal Leadership. As a results-oriented, high energy professional, Ms. Cole assists NCBA members find success in their practice and profession. Robin Cole is a graduate of Florida Southern College.