As many of you already know, State Collection Service is family-owned. In 1949, my grandfather, Hilding Haag, a Swedish immigrant who came to America with nothing more than a dream for a better life, started State Collection Service. Over 50 years ago, my father, Tom, joined the business. He and his father worked closely together until Hilding turned the family business over; Tom remains the Chairman and CEO today.

Over the past 66 years, the company has grown from a small collection agency serving local creditors to the nationally-recognized accounts receivable management firm it is today. In fact, during the 65th year in business, State Collection Service was honored with the Wisconsin Family Business of the Year Award, a major accomplishment. Knowing that only 30% of family businesses make it to the second generation, and only 12% of those survive to the third generation makes this award even more meaningful. It truly is a testament to the hard work that my grandfather and father put in to making this such a successful business. It excites me to think of having the opportunity to lead State Collection Service as a third-generation organization in the years to come.

I’ve always been very proud to work for the family business and still remember calling my dad after my first day at State Collection Service and telling him, “I love it here”. He responded by saying, “It’s your first day and they probably fed you a free lunch. What’s not to like about it (laughing)?” I can say with all honesty that, nearly seven years later, my words from that day haven’t changed. I love this company and the people who have made it successful. Most importantly, though, I love that we continue following in the footsteps of my grandfather and father by maintaining the foundation the company was built on – customer service.

But at the end of it all, it’s not just about the Haags; it’s about all of the staff that truly makes this a family business. In a recent survey, over 85% of our employees strongly agreed that the company has a family feel – in fact, many went so far as to say that is the best part of working at State Collection Service. I believe that my grandfather would be proud that the culture and traditions he established almost seven decades ago are still an important part of today’s State Collection Service.

Thinking about the future of this industry sometimes keeps me up at night, with all of the changing laws and regulations – TCPA, 501r, and the CFPB, just to name a few – making it more difficult to do our jobs. But in spite of all of this, I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing or anywhere else I’d rather be doing it!

About State Collection Service, Inc.

Since 1949, State Collection Service has provided quality collection service to countless healthcare organizations.

Through experience and innovation, State Collection Service has grown to become a tremendously credible and nationally-recognized collection agency offering services from pre-registration to bad debt. It is upon the basis of ethical behavior and a dedication to integrity that each State Collection Service employee works to uphold the company’s vision – Partnerships for a Lifetime.

*This article first appeared in “A State Collection Service, Inc. Newsletter Volume 21, Issue 3, Third Quarter 2015”