2020 AFSA Annual Meeting & Independents Conference/Expo Recap
The 2020 Annual Meeting and Independents Conference & Expo opened on the sunny beaches of Aruba with a yoga session brought to us by Wells Fargo. Keynote speaker, Kristen Soltis Anderson, analyzed the 2020 political landscape and gave insights into both the millennial and senior minds for the upcoming election sponsored by FICO. Thanks to Flagstar Bank, attendees enjoyed a coffee break with a Starbucks gift card. AFSA Senior Vice Presidents Danielle Fagre Arlowe and Celia Winslow spoke about the association’s advocacy efforts in Washington D.C. and the states.
The afternoons for all three days of the conference were spent in our virtual Expo Hall. Through AFSA’s virtual platform, powered by DataScan, attendees were able to visit company expo booths, gather helpful data and information, and to speak via video chat with company representatives.
PayNearMe brought attendees a session we all can relate to: Remote Work – Best Practices for Best Results. The panel discussed the “Work from Home” culture and how it has shifted from a short-term necessity to a long-term strategy for both employers and employees. RSM presented attendees with their annual financial performance survey for AFSA Independents as well as other independently held finance companies throughout the country. The results included current trends on growth, funding, leverage, profitability, income, and expenses. SmithDebnam brought attendees a breakout session on how debt collection is evolving due to the pandemic and what changes the industry and borrowers could see in the near future. Attendees gathered back on the platform at Happy Hour for Pub Trivia, with teams sponsored by Cypton Mobile and Wells Fargo.
Day 2 opened with keynote speaker Richard Cordray, former Director of the CFPB, who gave insights on the future of the CFPB with the coming election and the changing environment due to the pandemic. The session was sponsored by ABS. Reps. Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Patrick McHenry (R-NC), and Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), delivered messages to attendees and discussed the importance of the consumer credit industry.
Attendees had another two great breakout sessions in the afternoon. Panelists on Accessing Alternative Sources of Capital informed attendees on how members could utilize capital alternatives, and which would best suit your own balance sheet. Fortegra presented the other session on Voluntary Protection Products: Opportunities for 2020 and Beyond where the panel discussed innovations related to VPPs, best practices for offering and servicing VPPs, and insights on how to navigate legislative and regulatory issues.
AFSA also offered a variety of Roundtables for attendees on a whole host of topics, from credit reporting to fair lending. We ended our second day with a wine tasting from Voluptuary Vineyards sponsored by ACI.
Day 3 opened with AFSA Education Foundation Chairman, Rex Ellison, delivering an update on the foundation’s efforts to promote financial education nationwide. We also were fortunate to have not one, but two keynote speakers on Thursday. We heard from Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Commissioner, Rohit Chopra, in a “fireside chat” with AFSA President and CEO, Bill Himpler. FTC Commissioner Chopra gave unique perspectives on the financial industry and where it could be heading. GoldPoint Systems presented our next keynote, Cal Ripken, Jr. The Hall of Famer, also known as the Iron Man of Baseball, gave his keys to success through his experience as a businessman and baseball All-Star.
Like the previous two days, attendees started their afternoon exploring the virtual Expo Hall, powered by DataScan. AFSA’s Senior Vice President, Celia Winslow, led a discussion with Bryan Schneider, the Associate Director of the Supervision, Enforcement, and Fair Lending Division of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
We then had our last two breakout sessions of the conference. Experian presented Credit Reporting 2021: How Suppression Affects Predictability, where the panelists discussed how credit scoring and reporting will look like in 2021 due to the pandemic. ACI presented Fast Forward to Digital: How Borrowers are Adopting New Billing, Payment, and Communication Behaviors in 2020. Panelists informed attendees how lenders of all sizes can meet their consumers’ needs.
The final day concluded with the incoming AFSA Chair Tom Hudgins, COO with Western Shamrock, as he delivered closing remarks and announced the AFSAPAC Raffle.
More than 500 attendees logged into AFSA’s first ever virtual conference – we look forward to producing bigger and better programs moving forward, whether virtual, in-person, or hybrid.
October 12th, 2020 by Dan Bucherer