Archive for the ‘ARA Member Spotlight’ Category

ARA Member Highlight: Amy Bednar

Jan 3, 2018 • ARA Member Spotlight2 Comments

It is an honor to introduce our newest board member, Amy Bednar, president and co-owner of Relentless Recovery in Ohio. Jim Hall’s retirement created a vacancy on the board, and our president has chosen Amy as his replacement. She will complete his term that expires at the ARA Convention in 2019.

As an owner of one of the largest recovery operations in Ohio, she will be an asset to our association as we try to build relationships with lenders and continue the process of building the finest training and monitoring system in the country.

Amy and her partner, David Ziebro, gave Relentless its start by working for buy here pay here lots. Since its humble beginnings in 2001, Relentless has grown into a successful agency working with large lenders to recover over 2,000 cars per month throughout the state of Ohio. Amy has been an ARA member since 2010, and her company has been featured in Scene MagazinePopular Science, and various news articles related to its philanthropic endeavors and pioneering deployment of technology in the recovery industry.

When not at work, Amy enjoys spending time with her two sons, being a foster mom, and leading bible study with her husband.

ARA Member Highlight: Gary Purdom

Dec 6, 2017 • ARA Member SpotlightComments Off on ARA Member Highlight: Gary Purdom

This month, we’d like to recognize longtime member Gary Purdom, President of MO-KAN Central Recovery Company in Kansas City, Kansas. A loyal member since 1989, Gary and his company of professionals have represented themselves and ARA in a laudable manner, day in and day out, year after year.Clients love working with them for the services they provide and their willingness to go the extra mile. Just last month a client sent them a $100.00 bonus check for handling a particularly difficult transaction.

Knowing happy employees make happy clients, Gary recently purchased “sit and stand” desks for his office personnel. When he’s not slaving away at the office, Gary can be found on the soccer fields coaching young athletes, teaching the same work ethic he develops in his employees.

Thank you, Gary, for your membership and for being such a great ambassador for ARA.

ARA Member Highlight

Nov 1, 2017 • ARA Member SpotlightComments Off on ARA Member Highlight

This month, we want to highlight everyone who donated to our Hurricane Relief Fund. We were able to get the funds distributed to the families who so desperately needed help, many of whom had up to three feet of water in their homes and no flood insurance.

They were very appreciative of all of you who donated. Here are a few quotes of gratitude:

“We cannot thank you enough for the Hurricane Relief Funds. To receive this check from ARA means so much to us. We are grateful, thankful, and most of all know that American Recovery Association cares about its members and staff! God Is GOOD!!”

“It is with my deepest gratitude that I thank ARA and those that donated to Hurricane Harvey relief. The checks that I received today brought tears of gratitude to all. I’m proud to be an ARA member and to be surrounded by such considerate people. Just saying thanks does not fully express our gratitude.”

“Thank you so much for the outpouring of care and love. On behalf of our entire operation, we sincerely thank the entire ARA membership for this act of extreme kindness and generosity.”

It’s members like you that make ARA great. Thank you!

ARA Member Highlight: Jim and Carolyn Hall

Oct 5, 2017 • ARA Member Spotlight, NewsComments Off on ARA Member Highlight: Jim and Carolyn Hall

This month’s member highlight is a special one. We want to recognize Jim Hall and his wife Carolyn who have just sold their company, Hall Recovery, after 31 successful years. We could not be happier for them and we wish them well in their retirement.

Jim and Carolyn have always been an integral part of the repossession industry as members of the American Recovery Association, National Finance Adjusters, and Time Finance Adjusters.

Jim spent most of his time away from his business working non-stop for the American Recovery Association as a member, board member, president and past president several times, and immediate past president, and is still helping whenever called upon for any task.

Jim has received numerous awards from ARA, including the Dedicated Service Award in 2013, the Key Award in 2016 & 2009, and the Special Recognition Award in 2016, to name a few. All well deserved.

“In the past 35 plus years I have known Jim, he has been the epitome of what repossession companies should be like. He has remained steadfast in his moral concepts, with an incredible work ethic. Most importantly, he has a deep love for his family and friends; I am happy to be among that group. I wish him and Carolyn truly the best in their retirement.” – Immediate Past President Jerry Wilson.

“I can’t believe Jim Hall retired without me. The best of luck, I love you brother. I still remember your old Chevrolet Lumina in Dallas years ago. Those were the days!” – Kevin McGivern, Equitable Services Inc.

“Jim, it was my honor to work with you all these years. You are a person of integrity and loyalty to the American Recovery Association, and Carolyn putting up with you all these years!” – Mary Jane Hogan, National Locating and Recovery.

“I am happy and sad for Jim and Carolyn. Sad, that he will not be in the boardroom, saying ‘now wait a minute, let’s talk this out’. I am happy that Carolyn and Jim will have more time to spend with their only child, Austin, who is in the music industry and who will most certainly one day make it big. This is not a goodbye, but a new beginning for Jim and Carolyn.” – Joan Hudson, ARB of Lousiana.

Jim & Carolyn, we appreciate you and everything you’ve done for ARA and the repossession industry. Thank you for being outstanding ARA members and wonderful friends. On to the next adventure!

ARA Member Highlight: Russ and Lauren DeWitt

Sep 7, 2017 • ARA Member SpotlightComments Off on ARA Member Highlight: Russ and Lauren DeWitt

This month’s member highlight is on Russ and Lauren DeWitt of Capital Adjusters, Inc., in Austin, Texas. Capital Adjusters was founded in 1975 and Russ, who has been with the company since 1976, is the current owner and president. They were the first company in Austin to join ARA and have been outstanding members ever since.

Russ, Lauren and their son Steven were recently awarded as Humanitarians by their church for their selfless contributions toward the betterment of mankind.  Along with making sizable monetary donations to various church programs in their community and around the world, Lauren has been able to use her training as a pharmacist to act as medical director for Citizens Commission on Human Rights – a non-profit organization that exposes psychiatric abuses with the goal of cleaning up the field of mental health.  Through her efforts, psychiatric abuses in Texas have been exposed and the offenders stripped of their licenses, and in some cases imprisoned. She has also been featured in two documentaries exposing these abuses.

Along with working nights and weekends at his church, Russ traveled to Berlin to help end religious discrimination in Germany, participated in disaster relief in Texas, and testified before the Texas legislature to help ban electroshock and forced drugging of children in Texas. Lauren was also part of the volunteer minister relief efforts in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. Their son Steven does volunteer work at the Church.

“We believe we are put on this Earth to help others and a person’s value is not determined by his wallet, but by how much he is able to give to his fellow man.”

Thank you Russ and Lauren for being outstanding ARA members and for doing such amazing work in your community.

ARA Member Highlight: Cindy Smith of HOTAR

Aug 8, 2017 • ARA Member SpotlightComments Off on ARA Member Highlight: Cindy Smith of HOTAR

This month’s member highlight is on Cindy Smith of Heart of Texas Auto Recovery (HOTAR) in Waco, Texas.

In February 2013, Cindy bought HOTAR from her daughter, Karen Garner. She had worked for Karen for five years before buying the business, which has been in operation for thirty-three years.

In May of 2013, Cindy was diagnosed with breast cancer and had surgery shortly thereafter. With faith in God and the help of her employees, she kept the business going. Cindy has been cancer free for four and a half years now, and business has grown since she took it over.

Her agents and office personnel work hard to make sure every assignment they receive is handled professionally. Her husband Elmer is the yard man and sees to it that they are able to get in and out as quickly as possible.

Every year, HOTAR makes a donation to the George Meyer Scholarship Fund for local graduates at Riesel High School. The whole community comes together for a benefit run/walk with a party afterwards to generate money for the fund. They give five scholarships to the class each year at graduation.

Thank you, Cindy and everyone at HOTAR for being outstanding ARA members and wonderful people.

Member highlight: Vreeland Wood of VJ Wood Towing, Recovery & Repair

Jun 6, 2017 • ARA Member Spotlight, NewsComments Off on Member highlight: Vreeland Wood of VJ Wood Towing, Recovery & Repair

VJ Towing


This month’s member highlight is on Vreeland Wood of VJ Wood Towing, Recovery & Repair, a third generation, family owned and operated towing and recovery company located in Hamburg, PA.

Vreeland and his wife Linda are very involved in their local community and have just donated land for use as a community garden. They also serve on the Board of Directors of “The Our Town Foundation,” a non- profit community economic development organization.

This foundation not only helps the city maintain its properties, but also hosts several local festivals, including the famous “HAMBURGER FESTIVAL,” which garners around 40,000 people!

Mr. Wood is the operations chairman and serves on the council at his church. He is also on a committee helping to purchase and restore their local theater, “Hamburg Strand,” an icon in their city.

For the past 12 years, Vreeland and his wife have enjoyed traveling many states with 2 of their 6 kids with their “RepoZest Drag Racing Team,” and are the proud grandparents of 7 grandchildren under the age of 3 l/2 years.

Thank you Vreeland, for being an outstanding ARA member!

Member Highlight: David Landy

May 16, 2017 • ARA Member Spotlight, NewsComments Off on Member Highlight: David Landy

Screenshot at May 16 17-21-43

This month’s member highlight is on David Landy of Universal Auto Recovery in Detroit, Michigan. David has been an ARA member since 1985 and is heavily involved in the Detroit community. He and his wife Carolyn are actively involved in their church, serving as deacon and chaplain. For the last 10 years, David has facilitated a group called Celebrate Recovery, an outreach program for those living in the inner city who are struggling with various problems, ranging from hurts and hang ups to addictions.

Outside of this ministry, David and Carolyn enjoy fishing, hunting and competitive archery. They have six children and five grandchildren, with another grandbaby on the way. Thank you, David, for being an outstanding ARA member for the past 32 years!

Home Office Has Moved!

Mar 1, 2017 • ARA Member Spotlight, NewsComments Off on Home Office Has Moved!


That’s right, our office has officially moved. The new address is: 1400 Corporate Drive, Suite 175 | Irving, TX 75038. Please take note of this address change for any of your administrative purposes, especially for any mail you plan to send us. We would like to highlight Nichole Harvill, CSR, of A.R.B. of Louisiana Inc. for being the first visitor to ARA’s new home office! We’d also like to thank Tricia Corkern and Reina Pastrana for holding down the fort at home office and for their exceptional service to ARA.

Member Highlight: Toni McCollister

Dec 8, 2016 • ARA Member SpotlightComments Off on Member Highlight: Toni McCollister


living-proof-teamThis month’s member highlight is Toni McCollister, owner of Faith Financial Group out of Fort Worth, Texas. Each year, Toni rallies her staff to participate in Relay for Life, the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society and an organization that is very near to her heart. Toni’s sister was diagnosed with breast cancer 15 years ago and in 2016, Toni’s other sister was also diagnosed. When asked about the fundraiser, Toni said, “I think Relay for Life is just that, living proof that we can survive not only breast cancer, but all cancer that does not know age, race, ethnicity, religion or other differences.”

Thank you Toni, for inspiring all of us and for being such an exemplary ARA member. We’d also like to give a shout out to Paul Bruce, ARA Member from Northeast Adjustment Bureau in Boston, MA, who also raced in and donated to the North Texas cancer race in September.

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