As the saying goes, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” When it comes to the career aspirations and success motivation, the father-daughter team of Brad and Alysia Lohner of Priority Credit Management Corp (PCM Corp) are the ultimate example. What is striking and complimentary when talking to them is how similar they are in realizing early on what career direction they aspired to and the passion they have for the integrity of the debt collections industry.
The baby boomer dad (Brad Lohner) and the millennial daughter (Alysia) have forged a working relationship, which incorporates each of their strengths, talents and insights with respect and dedication to the business, their clients, and their team. They have forged one of the most successful full-service credit and debt collections firms for Canada and also cross-border services for clients Canada and in the United States.
Brad Lohner started in the debt collection business over 30 years ago while still in high school when a serendipitous introduction to a businessman asking him to track down the address of a guy who was on this bill collector’s list. This was his first experience with collections and set the stage for his career path.
This first encounter leads Brad to take the next career step as a bill collector for a large agency. Four years later, Brad bought into the company, Metropolitan Credit Adjusters (MET) and was there for over19 years.
Time Capsule Prediction
During that timeframe, young Alysia and her siblings, Kirsten and Brian would spend time on the weekends at Dad’s (Brad’s) office where they played hide and seek plus ate sugar cubes by the coffee machine. It was Alysia though, who started asking her dad more and more questions about the debt collection business.
“At ten years old, I can remember filling out a questionnaire for my school’s time capsule and answering the question: What do you want to do when you grow up? My reply was to be just like my Dad,” said Alysia.
As time went on, Alysia’s questions, tenacity and curiosity resulted in her doing business projects (like skip tracing) for Brad during summers of her junior high school years.
While Alysia was in high school, Brad decided to quit MET for he felt that he wanted to make a change from the consumer debt collection side to commercial debt collections. In September of 2005, he launched Priority Credit (now PCM Corp.)
Alysia went on to attend MacEwan University and during her four years, she worked for her Dad in filling liens and answering sales calls during her breaks.
With her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Management, Alysia felt she was ready to start working at PCM Corp right after graduation.
Joining the Debt Collections Firm
“I was pretty adamant that I wanted her to get experience outside of my business,” said Brad. “Alysia made the case that she had been getting experience in (debt) collections since she was in junior high and all through college. It wasn’t like I’m the boss’s daughter coming in with no experience and being given the position.”
In June of 2013, Alysia officially joined Brad and started with administrative responsibilities, data entry, client inquiries, credit bureau reporting, and day-to-day facilitation for Brad and the other team members. With all her projects, the lien side of the business (now known as Lien Pro) was Alysia’s “baby.”
“In the beginning, I really didn’t like the idea of being a debt collections manager and started focusing on Lien Pro, building a team and expanding the services and client relationships associated with liens,” said Alysia.
According to Brad, the work Alysia did was strategic and brilliant. “She always approaches a problem looking at the root cause and how to solve it, streamline, make the process easier and bring about efficiency and growth.”
The New “PCM Corp”
As father and daughter started having discussions about more than just liens, it was clear that with Brad’s talents of looking for business building opportunities, Alysia brought structure and additional ideas for technology to enhance his concepts and develop the execution processes.
“This next phase of the new PCM Corp company is a game changer for the collections industry. What I have experienced with the former PCR and Lien Pro is realizing that we can be the integral part of the total credit process and position PCM as a valued partner to help manage our clients’ risks and provide support,” said Alysia.
“With Alysia taking on more and more, I see myself looking for opportunities for PCM Corp to stay competitive and innovative for our clients. Being able to work with my daughter and have someone who is talented and passionate about the business is amazing. We feel fortunate that our aspirations from our younger selves brought us on this same journey,” reflected Brad.
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