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February is arguably best known for Valentine’s Day. Over the years, I admit to having become somewhat jaded as to the romantic notion of the day. I get having a nice meal with your sweetie and maybe exchanging gifts, but the commerce surrounding Valentine’s Day can be off-putting.

 

Over 2+ decades, I’ve purchased my weight in cards, boxes of chocolates and red roses by the dozen. The older I get, the more I realize that it’s not how you choose to celebrate or what you purchase for those you love, Valentine’s is just another day to remember and recognize those that are most important. To me, it’s family and friends, “work family”, and the clients that we love to serve and work for.

 

In 2024, I hope to spread the sentiment of Valentine’s throughout the year. Here are some ideas on how to celebrate this broader vision of love on Valentine’s Day and beyond:

  • Small acts of appreciation: Write little notes of gratitude or “just because” cards for your loved ones, friends, and colleagues.

  • Random acts of kindness: Surprise your “work family” with coffee or treats, or offer a helping hand to a client who needs it.

  • Spend quality time: Dedicate time and attention to meaningful conversations with the people you care about. Ask questions, listen sincerely, and let them know you are there.

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Shaun Ertischek, Cascade’s Chief Compliance Officer and General Counsel, has appeared in recent industry news!

ACA International published two “Member Alert” articles in which his work was discussed, and he was quoted.

The first piece examined his recent American Banker article on the CFPB’s proposed credit reporting rule.

The second piece quoted him several times with respect to Connecticut’s plan to relieve medical debt.

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Saket Sahoo appointed Chief Operating Officer of Cascade Receivables Management, LLC

The Cascade365 Family of Companies is excited to announce that Saket Sahoo was appointed Chief Operating Officer (“COO”) of Cascade Receivables Management, LLC (“CRM”). As COO, Mr. Sahoo will oversee CRM’s operations and information technology teams while leading mission critical initiatives for CRM and its affiliate companies, such as diversifying and growing revenue, implementing key technologies and efficiencies, and cultivating CRM’s workforce offshore.

“I’m excited about both the organic and inorganic growth opportunities ahead of us, with sustainability and innovation being key drivers, as we navigate through challenging economic and regulatory climates.” – Saket Sahoo. 
“I am excited to have Saket on team Cascade365.” “His unique experience set and history of success, as both entrepreneur and institutional operator in three different continents, will help fuel Cascade365’s growth without sacrificing operational integrity or customer experience.” 

– Lee Brockett, CEO of the Cascade365 Family of Companies.

Employee Spotlight: Chan Phengaroune 

Three significant events shaped me and made me who I am today.

It starts with my parents, who decided to leave Loas in 1980. I was four years old when they left their small village in Southern Laos and traveled north, mostly on foot, to reach the refugee camp next to the border of Thailand. They packed up what they could carry with seven children, ranging from 6 months old to the oldest of fourteen. With determination and help from family, friends, and strangers, they overcame many adversities and self-doubts. After weeks of traveling, they arrived at the refugee camp and stayed for months before getting sponsored by my grandfather to come to the United States of America. They arrived in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 1981.

The next event was when my mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1986. I was in the 3rd grade, and I remember she was in the hospital for an extended period. The news was devastating for my parents. My father took the news the hardest because we were still young, the cost of the operation, and the survival rate of the surgery. My parents had to borrow money, take out a loan, and receive donations from the Loas community to pay for the operation. After securing funds, the biggest hurdle was the operation itself. Luckily for my mother, the doctors detected the cancer early enough, and they were able to remove the tumor and save her life. Till today, my mother is a cancer survivor and has been since. She has an eight-inch scar on her stomach to show her determination and will to survive. Many people played a critical role in helping my family; without people willing to help, my mother would not have survived. 

 

The last event was the Tubbs firestorm on October 9th, 2017. On that day, my wife and I had to leave our house at 2 am because the fire was approaching closer. It was the most extended morning of our life. We left the house with two kids (3 years and two years old), two dogs, a cat, and the clothes on our backs. Later that day, my wife and I returned to rubble and ashes that we used to call home. With nowhere to go, we stayed at my sister-in-law’s house along with her parents. Days after the fire, I went into depression and second-guessed my decision. One night, my depression was so bad that I skipped dinner and left the house without telling anyone where I went. I went to my car to be alone and escape all the noise. 

 

Negative thoughts kept popping in my head as I sat in the car—thoughts of self-doubts and a sense of losing myself with everything happening. I was so consumed by depression that I ignored texts and phone calls from my wife and her sisters. After hours had passed, a friend who lost his house in the firestorm called to check up and see how things were going. As we talked, I was able to curb the depression, thinking about my family, friends, and my parents’ determination never to give up. This event tested my determination and relentlessness. 

 

When I looked back on the events, when my parents came to America, my mother was fighting cancer and losing my home in a firestorm. Each event played a role in who I am and led me to where I am today.

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Cascade365 at RMAi

Members of the Cascade365 team attended the Receivables Management Association International (RMAi) conference earlier this month.  

 

RMAi is a nonprofit trade association that represents more than 600 companies that support the purchase, sale, and collection of performing and nonperforming account receivables. 

 

As a certified member of RMAi, Cascade365 sends several of its team members to this event to stay current on key industry topics, attend re-certification classes, network, and meet with industry colleagues.  

 

One of the key events that occurs during this conference is Cascade365’s annual agency reception where many of the agency’s who service the AR that Cascade365 acquires are in attendance.  

 

Our Compliance and Operations teams present key results from the prior year and distributes agency awards related to top performance and compliance.  We are grateful for RMAi by being in the forefront and lobbying on behalf of our industry and thankful for each of our agency partners and all their efforts.