MCS Team Spotlight

Progrexion MCS Team

How does your team collaborate/work with the marketing department? 

MCS supports OTS/NCOTS, Efolks, and LETS/CRETS. These applications have very
direct ties within marketing; including lead and affiliate management, campaign tracking and reporting, call center scripting and reporting, and remarketing.

We enjoy great collaboration with the marketing directors and meet on a regular basis to discuss new system enhancements and opportunities to increase sales.

 How does the MCS team support the company? 

MCS is all about converting leads. Our call center application (OTS) assists our agents in turning interested leads into happy clients. Efolks manages and monetizes affiliate leads and our marketing campaigns. The performance of these affiliates and campaigns is managed in our tracking applications (LETS/CRETS).

MCS also provides a variety of web services that are consumed by our UI team to support Progrexion web sites and landing pages. We also provide a variety of personalities to enjoy: from stickler to barbarian.

In what ways does your job impact the credit space? 

MCS applications help make that critical connection between someone having a hard time with their credit, and products that can get them the help that they need.

 What was the most memorable project you contributed to for Progrexion in the past 6 months?

We were able to write IWC from the ground up using a service based architecture that makes the code much more maintainable and enjoyable to work on moving forward. The project proved to be a great collaborative experience between MCS and our call center colleagues, and provided a much better sales experience.

List 3-5 words that can explain your department?

Marketing application development gladiators.

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Credit Matters: The Enabling Power of Credit Education — An Executive Perspective

129374 Jon Pexton image

The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of a company has the daunting task of managing, in essence, all fiscal decisions that are needed to ensure their company runs smoothly and effectively. They must understand the market they are a part of and handle the risk analysis to determine monetary next steps the company should
be taking.

For nearly 4 years, Jon Pexton has been the man to take on the role of being Progrexion’s CFO. He described his position as “Trying to understand what makes the business operate, making sure we are investing the right amount of money in the right areas to deliver a great experience for our customers, a great experience for our employees, and a return for our shareholders.” As CFO, through the nature of his position, Jon has to make difficult decisions. He expressed that these decisions don’t just affect him, they affect the entire company. “We have close to two thousand employees at Progrexion and the decisions that not only myself, but the executive team make in general are and can be impactful to a lot of people. We spend a lot of time trying to make the right business decisions.”

With 20 years of experience, Jon has been able to identify his ideal place to work and what characteristics make it that ideal place. Progrexion fits his ideal. “I like fast-growing companies [where you have] enough complexity and challenge to the job, yet it is still manageable. Unlike in a multi-billion dollar organization where you just get lost, we [at Progrexion] get to see the whole picture. We really feel like we can have an impact on the business, but yet we’re big enough to where, you know, we have a lot of complexity and challenges and I think that is a fun size of company to be in.”

It is not just the challenge and complexity of the job that Jon likes, he said, “When we get to hear the customer testimonials, and see the impact of our services on customers, it really makes you proud to be a part of such a great company and organization.”

Breaking it Down with Jon Pexton

Credit: The Enabler

“When I hear the word credit, I think of an enabler. Credit can be an enabler – a tool – and I also think the word responsibility comes to mind.”

“I recently was attending graduation ceremonies up at the university, and seeing all of these students come across the stage and get their diploma, it’s exciting to see that they are just on the verge of taking on these new professional lives. They’ve become skilled and specialized in something, and you think, many of those people relied on student loans to get through that process, but they are off on the great new adventure in their life and credit was an enabler. Without credit a lot of those people may not have been able to afford college and they’ll be able to pay it back. I think that’s a great example of credit enabling people to improve their lives, to improve society.”

“Credit does affect your quality of life. At times in life you are going to need to borrow money to get the pump started if you will, or to prime the pump. That initial funding can enable you to get a college education, get a car, get transportation, get a house, and that’s going to impact your quality of life and then give you the opportunity and empower you to get hopefully great employment and continue to improve your life and your quality of life.”

Credit in One Word: Responsibility

“I also think that responsibility – as a finance person, trying to run a company profitably, but also invest for the future and take care of the different constituencies – there is a lot of responsibility when you are dealing with financial matters and likewise with personal financial matters and personal credit, you need to be prudent and thoughtful about how you use credit.”

“There are a lot of people who think about department stores, for example, that will give you a credit card hoping that you will buy more product from them – maybe nice clothes that you might not be able to afford or that you shouldn’t buy on credit. The availability of credit, just because it is available, doesn’t mean that you should go down that road and use it.”

Credit: Lack Of Education in Our Society

“Does the lack of credit education affect our company? Yeah, I think absolutely.”

“The customers we are helping have credit issues. They have low credit scores and the reason behind that is sometimes it’s just a complex unfair system that we are trying to help people understand and be the professional advisor to those people, and educate those people and give them awareness as to what the situation is.”

Diagram 1“It’s a very complex world out there, particularly in the personal credit space. When people hear about the word FICO score, I don’t know if this is something they appreciate, but there are potentially more than 20 different scores that will have an impact, dependent upon what type of credit you are looking for or a job. You have other scores that are put out by the credit bureaus and how are those scores even put together? It is kind of a secret sauce, a black box, that a lot of people don’t understand. I think a part of what our company does is provide education to people, to take their specific situation and advise them on what’s the best path to ensure that they have a fair and accurate credit report. Beyond that we’ll help them with education and credit monitoring to ensure that they can maintain a fair and accurate credit report.”

Credit: Let’s Get Personal About Credit Education

“I can’t think of credit education that was offered in either college or high school when I was growing up.”

“You have to take personal responsibility to understand ‘how am I going to use credit in my life to enable my life to do better things and how am I going to refrain from some of these maybe easy offers and not go down that path.’ That requires thoughtfulness and education, and people would probably benefit from some good awareness in the high school level and/or college.”

“It’s interesting, my daughter is in middle school right now, she is going into high school and she was able to sign up for a jewelry making class. She hasn’t signed up for a personal financial class, and it may exist, I just haven’t heard that she signed up for that, but you’d think that would almost be a required class for people now-a-days so that they don’t get into trouble and so they understand the benefits and the risks associated with credit.”

“As a kid, I had a credit card pretty young. I would say right around when I was 16. That was when I had a car, I had auto insurance, paying for gas, and that’s when I got my first job and paychecks started coming. That’s really when I asked questions and my parents offered a lot of advice. My parents let me use [my credit card] and that was when they really hit it as to when and how this type of thing should be used and should be used correctly. It facilitates an easy life and an easy transaction, but I was always told to pay my bill off each month and never get ahead of it. You’re now trying to become a responsible adult and these are some things that you should be aware of and I think that is where it started for me.”Diagram 2

“In the public school system, it should be a required component. Again, they offer classes in technical trades, woodshop, and cooking classes. I don’t know why we would think that understanding how a credit card works and credit in general would not be a really important life skill to have.”

“When you use credit, credit comes with an interest rate. You need to think about and appreciate what that interest rate means. When you go and say, ‘I’m going to buy this pair of pants and I’m going to buy them on credit with a credit card,’ those pants are not only going to cost you that, but its potentially a 20% or more interest rate on top of that. Not really understanding the true cost of what you’re buying, and if you can afford it now, can quickly get you into trouble.”

Closing Thoughts

“Credit matters because again I think it’s a tool, it’s an enabler, and it can really help people improve their lives if it is used the right way. Credit matters because in today’s society, when we look at hiring somebody, when you look at trying to get your insurance rates, when you look at renting an apartment, when you look at trying to get a cell phone at times, [and when you look at] interest rates that you are paying on loans, all of those things people are going to understand what kind of credit risk are you and do we want to do business with you. Having a good credit score, having a fair and accurate credit report, will help people make the right decision about doing business with you and that is why credit matters.”

*All survey and other statistical data courtesy of Survey Monkey’s “Credit Matters: Credit Education” survey results

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The REV System Spotlight

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The Revolution software system is a complete customer software solution that was first released in 2004 and continues to be under constant development. It supports the Lexington Law,, and Credit Attorney brands. Read More

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Progrexion’s Legal Spotlight

How does your team interact with the marketing department?

Our team works closely with the marketing department by reviewing and approving all marketing contracts and press releases, providing affiliate and partner compliance oversight, and ensuring that our telesales are compliant.

Who are the members of Progexion’s legal team?

Tim Emery, SVP and General Counsel – February 5, 2009

Mark Shaffer, Senior Attorney – May 31, 2011

Paula Teets, Project Manager – April 12, 2011

Erin Stauffer, Paralegal – September 18, 2014

Gavin Van Wagnor, Senior Director, Compliance – April 1, 2001

Roy Collins, Manager, Compliance Process – August 27, 2012 Read More

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What is MBWA?

You may have never heard this acronym before. MBWA – Management by walking around.  This refers to a style of business management which involves managers wandering around through the workplace, at random, to check with employees about the status of ongoing work.  The expected benefit is for the manager to keep a pulse on what is going on with morale, productivity, and the general standing of his or her’s team.

This was how founders Bill Hewlett and David Packard ran their eponymous computer company. After Tom Peters and Robert Waterman wrote about it in their 1982 blockbuster bestseller In Search of Excellence, MBWA became a buzzword for management.  I was just introduced to this practice a few weeks ago.  It struck me as an obvious concept, but as I reflected on my behavior every day, I realized that it does not come naturally to me. I am much more inclined to sit behind my desk all day, buried in work.

As I started to study MBWA, many case studies pointed out an increase in the following:  Read More

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With Great Projects Come Great Responsibility

Recently the Progrexion team has taken on an enormously complex project called: Automated Forecasting and Invoicing in the Business Management System.  This project is unique because it involves many departments across the company, and the nature of the logic that is being built is extremely intricate. Projects between our marketing team and IT team, our marketing team and creative team, etc. are fairly common. But this project has involved our marketing, IT, creative, and accounting teams! Wow. It’s not often so many departments collaborate together through the inception, build out and launch of a project.

As I’ve participated in this cross-functional project, I have learned a lot about working on a project of this magnitude. Here are some tips as you jump into projects that require teamwork between many departments: Read More

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Monetization: Make Your Team the Star

Team is the Star.  This was Real Salt Lake’s (RSL) motto this past year.  I used to think this was just a cop out for not having any big name players.  A sort of, “We don’t have any stand out stars, but we are going to get by,” type of motto.  Don’t get me wrong, I think we have some serious players, but compared to LA Galaxy or Seattle Sounder’s star studded rosters… our guys are newbies.  Which a majority of them are.  We had a large number of players in which this was their first or second year in the league.  That’s what made RSL so good last year.  They were a bunch of new guys that came together and evolved into one very efficient machine.  As the season went on, I realized the motto really wasn’t a cop out.  They were like a clock, with all gears oiled and working perfectly.  This was evident when you look at the scoring diversity.  The scoring came from every player.  If a team shut off one player, another stepped up to score.  They had a hard time containing them.  This was Real’s greatest threat; they could change and adapt to different scenarios, but keeping their same formation and style.

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Build Your Team – Then Trust Them

Over a year ago, I was managing one person. Today, I manage a team of five. Needless to say, this year has been one of change and growth. I’ve seen a drastic change in how I spend my workday. I no longer spend time running reports, troubleshooting technical bugs, coordinating tasks with software engineers, talking with partners, and negotiating contracts.

My days have evolved into consulting, discussing, and planning.  Some people call it “high-level” or “strategic” — I like to think of it as more talking and less doing. My natural tendency leans towards doing and accomplishing tasks, so needless to say, this has been a big transition for me. I’ve had to let go of duties that I love and built my career on. I have been surprised by the love I have found in my new role. It has given me the chance to learn and discover every day. Here is what I have learned this year about managing a successful team: Read More

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Touching Strangers | The Power of Connections in The Workplace

I recently watched an expose on TV regarding a photographer, named Richard Renaldi, who is working on a series of portraits.  For each shot he grabs strangers off the street and poses them as if they are loving family members. Renaldi calls the project “Touching Strangers”.  In the feature, he explained how the subjects of the photos reacted to his vision. It was clear in their body language how hesitant they were about the poses at first, and then, 10 minutes, later they are like family.  The subjects are deliberately posed by the photographer, yet when looking at the pictures, there is an emotion that shines through that, that is real.  You can see genuine emotion and connection in the pictures.

The subjects themselves felt a true connection to these strangers. One individual even said, “I felt like I cared for her, I felt like it brought down a lot of barriers.”  Another said, “… it was nice to feel that comfort.” These people felt comfort and care for one another – just because they shared some modeled physical touch. Read More

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Office Life: A Survivors Guide

I’m not sure there is anything more terrifying than the message below:

If you work on a computer, you know exactly what I mean. Password change day, is hell. Pure hell.

You know the scenario: You’ve waited until the absolute last minute, and you’re being forced to change your password. It’s probably Monday (why is it always Monday?). Your day starts with all hands on deck meeting. You make the password change first thing, a confident choice you’ll totally remember, then walk into the meeting room. You realize you need to print something off for the meeting. You head back to your computer, and muscle memory kicks in…. you fail. You stumble with the new password, and fail again. Your third chance is crucial: slow down and nail it, or risk locking your machine and having to make the embarrassing call to Help Desk. When you get it right, you celebrate the small victory (with a fist pump) of making it through your own obstacle course…. And then you realize you’re late for your meeting.

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