V&K Achieves Federal HUBZone Recertification

LAWRENCE, Mass. — Valentine & Kebartas, LLC (V&K), based in Lawrence, MA, today announced it achieved Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) recertification through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The HUBZone program helps small businesses in urban and rural communities gain preferential access to Federal procurement opportunities. The program was enacted into law as part of the Small Business Reauthorization Act of 1997.

V&K has decades of service to student loan creditors, including current service to one of the largest and best-known guaranty agencies in the higher education sector.  Operational and regulatory requirements of collection agencies working for guarantors are highly comparable to those on Federal contracts like the U.S. Department of Education (ED) Private Collection Agency (PCA) contracts, the largest single Federal client for collection agencies.

V&K is one of thirty-one (31) HUBZone-certified small businesses listed at www.sam.gov under the NAICS code for debt collection (561440) with the capacity to collect Federal student loans and act as a contact center to communicate with borrowers.

V&K management offers decades of experience in the industry, with strong emphasis on operations and compliance. The close-knit management team believes personal connections are key to leveraging its talented and knowledgeable agents to ensure top performance and results.

Among other requirements, the Federal HUBZone program requires a firm’s principal office to be located within a Federal HUBZone, with no less than 35% of all employees residing in HUBZones.  V&K obtained the recertification to compete for opportunities to work as a subcontractor to PCAs.

Chief Operating Officer Scott Sweeney stated, “Our goal as a Certified HUBZone small business concern is to offer an experienced staff with a proven track record of delivering top performance and compliance to not only help clients meet their socio-economic quotas, but to enhance their results as a whole.”

V&K is a member of the Fed Cetera Network, an organization comprising dozens of pre-qualified companies PCAs can hire to meet subcontracting goals, including those in all specially-designated socioeconomic groups. “With most of the HUBZone-certified small business collection agencies among our members, it’s never been easier for PCAs to access so many highly-qualified HUBZone small businesses like V&K with a single phone call,” said Leah Wilson Conger of the Fed Cetera Network. “We will be responsive to PCA outreach in this important area.”

About V&K

V&K is a HUBZone-certified, privately-held national collection agency with its office located in Lawrence, Massachusetts. V&K handles outsourcing, primary, secondary and legal placements for a wide array of clients and for different receivables needs.  The firm employs roughly 150 representatives, with a majority of the business dedicated to higher education. The management team has an average of 22 years of industry experience. V&K is licensed and bonded to perform collection activities nationally. By building long-term relationships with their clients and providing excellent results, V&K provides security and peace of mind to their clients.

Roxanne Baker to HUBZone-Certified Secured Resolutions as President/CEO, Equity Member

BUFFALO, NY — Secured Resolutions, a certified-HUBZone, woman-owned small business (WOSB) in Western New York, has announced a transaction bringing Roxanne Baker to the firm as both an equity member and as its President and CEO, effective Tuesday, October 1, 2019. In this role, she will drive the ongoing operations of the company and its growth into new markets to include higher education and government.

Ms. Baker’s 21-year career has included stints at Pioneer Credit Recovery and West Asset Management (prior to its acquisition by Alorica) before her most recent, 11-year run with Coast Professional. Here, Roxanne started as a Vice President in 2007, with successive promotions corresponding with the company’s rise as a leading Federal contractor to the U.S. Department of Education (ED). Roxanne most recently held the position of President at the company for three years before her departure last year.

Ms. Baker commented, “I am proud to become part of this all-woman owned agency. With 20-plus years of leading companies to consistent first-place finishes on ED contracts along with managing other student loan and government contracts, it made perfect sense to combine that experience with a thriving medical collection agency owned by two leaders who share the same vision. Secured Resolutions’ success is built on a theory of ethical and compliant collections while maintaining the highest returns for their clients. Our goal is to grow the current business line while adding student loan and government collections. I am excited about this opportunity and look forward to what the future holds.”

Specializing in revenue recovery services, Secured Resolutions’ executive team has extensive experience with accounts receivable management and a proven track record with medical collections and servicing ED and other student loan clients. A member of ACA International with an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, the company is located in Buffalo, N.Y.

Co-founder Laura Hirsch said, “Lisa True and I are thrilled with the addition of Roxanne as our new business partner. Over the last 5 years, we worked to position the company for growth by becoming women-owned and HUBzone-certified. Our missing link was an experienced industry leader with a proven track record to take Secured Resolutions to the next level. We are looking forward to significant growth with Roxanne’s experience and leadership and are excited to expand our services to include student loans and government collections.”

Secured Resolutions is a member of the Fed Cetera Network, a business development organization under 48 CFR 52.219-9.


SDVOSB Agency Seeks Mentor, Executive Talent for Higher Education Growth

PHILADELPHIA, PA — Sabatina & Associates, a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), is seeking a partner and mentor with which to form joint ventures to pursue various government contracts through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s All Small Mentor Protégé Program.

The program allows the parties to form joint ventures able to assert the SDVOSB status of the protégé firm and receive preferential treatment in Federal contracting opportunities, for example. The mentor can perform up to 60% of a resulting joint venture’s work and own up to a 40% interest in the protégé also. Any qualified business can become a mentor under the program. The U.S. Department of Education (ED), for example, a significant client to the debt collection industry, has never met its prime spending goals for SDVOSBs in any spending year for which data is available going back to 2006, and has only sporadically met SDVOSB subcontracting goals.

Joint ventures can also be formed to compete for subcontracts. ED solicitation 91003119R0008 (NextGen Business Process Operations) calls for contractors to spend 3% of contract revenue with SDVOSBs. For every $1 billion spent with contractors by ED for what is expected to be a massive, long-term Federal contract, a 3% spending requirement equates to $30 million in required spending with SDVOSBs. Sabatina & Associates can also easily move into a Federal HUBZone and become certified in that program as well.

Potential mentors and individuals with long résumé in Federal contracting interested in discussing opportunities should call 215-742-8600 and ask to speak with Mr. John Sabatina.


Secured Resolutions Achieves Federal HUBZone Certification

Buffalo, NY— Secured Resolutions announced today it has achieved Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) certification through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The HUBZone program helps small businesses in urban and rural communities gain preferential access to Federal procurement opportunities. The program was enacted into law as part of the Small Business Reauthorization Act of 1997.

Secured Resolutions is now one of twenty-nine (29) HUBZone-certified small businesses listed at www.sam.gov under the NAICS code for debt collection (561440) with the capacity to collect Federal student loans and act as a contact center to communicate with borrowers.

The largest single Federal client for companies capable of servicing and collecting defaulted student loans remains The U.S. Department of Education (ED) and its prime contractors. Founded in 2012, Secured Resolutions has the ability to serve ED and its vendors, attributing its success in the industry to delivering excellent customer service and helping clients maintain positive and productive relationships with their clients.

Managing Director Laura Hirsch said both herself and Lisa True, company co-director, “were fortunate to begin our careers in small companies, which provided growth opportunities for us. We are where we are today as a result. We want to give back, and our HUBZone certification will help us do that by providing opportunities for Secured Resolutions, which creates jobs in Western New York.” Lisa True added, “We were very deliberate when we chose our office location. We are situated between Buffalo and Niagara Falls. We want to give the residents of both areas not just jobs, but an opportunity to grow their careers as we have.”

Secured Resolutions is a member of the Fed Cetera Network, a business development organization under 48 CFR 52.219-9.  In addition to its recent HUBZone certification, the company is a certified women-owned small business (WOSB), a program through the SBA which allows companies to compete for Federal contracts amongst other benefits.

Federal HUBZones are designated as such based on U.S. census data when an area has statistically proven economic needs, typically within depressed urban or rural communities. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) certifies firms as HUBZone small businesses if they meet all of the eligibility requirements. For starters, the firm must be owned at least 51% by American citizens, with few exceptions. The firm’s principal office must be located with a HUBzone, and more than 35% of the firm’s employees must live in a HUBZone. These requirements are just the beginning of establishing a business as a HUBZone-certified concern.

Steve Thompson to HUBZone/SDVOSB with Capacity

Norristown, PA — Lien Enforcement, a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) and current Federal subcontractor currently finalizing its HUBZone certification, has hired Steve Thompson to fill the role of Chief Operating Officer. Previously, Steve worked at Transworld Systems and its predecessor company NCO Financial Systems for fourteen years, progressing from a collector in 1998 to Director of Operations in 2009 and then finally Vice President of Operations for the last several years.

The company is growing at its site in Norristown, Pennsylvania, within the Greater Philadelphia area, which prompted the hire. “Steve has a great reputation in the industry and already has proven to be an asset for us,” stated CEO Keith Baker. “We look forward to putting his skills and expertise to work for other clients as we seek to fill our call center with large numbers of collectors in this labor market that have past experience on Federal contracts.”

“I am thrilled with the opportunity to partner with Keith, shaping the strategic direction of LEI, by applying my years of ED experience to drive a continuous cycle of performance excellence,” said Steve.

LEI is available to be named as an SDVOSB subcontractor by NextGen bidders for the solicitation scheduled to close in late July. LEI’s capabilities will be featured in a one-hour teleseminar to be held this Friday, July 21, 2019, by Fed Cetera.

Professional Placement Services, LLC Receives 2019 Best of Milwaukee Award

Milwaukee, WI — Professional Placement Services, LLC has been selected for the 2019 Best of Milwaukee Award in the Collection Agencies category by the Milwaukee Award Program.

Each year, the Milwaukee Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Milwaukee area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2019 Milwaukee Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Milwaukee Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Milwaukee Award Program

The Milwaukee Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Milwaukee area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Milwaukee Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.