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Positive pays off: Connie Vaden uses a positive approach to build her North Little Rock collection agency.

Her husband, Gerald, came up with the idea.

But she made that idea a reality.

Connie Vaden, co-owner and general manager of Cheqnet Services Inc. of North Little Rock, has built the state's largest check collection agency.

Cheqnet, formed seven years ago, serves more than 500 clients and employs 24 people. The business began in a small office with one telephone. Soon, Cheqnet had overtaken an entire 4,000-SF building.

Vaden, who spent 14 years in restaurant management and sales, says food service taught her skills she was able to use in her new career.

"You have to know the jobs you supervise," she says. "Also, honesty with customers is important."

Cheqnet offers collection services free to clients. Profits come from retaining an average $15 service charge on each returned check.

Last year, Cheqnet, which has never advertised, signed up more than 100 clients.

Consideration

Vaden's philosophy for dealing with offenders is simple and effective.

"Instead of taking the old collection agency philosophy of beating people on the head, we turned it around |with~ a positive way of doing business," she says. "Most people are embarrassed and have just miscalculated. These people don't want to be treated like criminals."

Vaden, 42, says Cheqnet's method proves that one gets "further with consideration than with bullying people around."

Still, Cheqnet must deal with repeat offenders. Vaden says hers was the first collection agency in Arkansas to prosecute for returned checks.

As part of her duties as general manager, Vaden handles marketing, public relations and legal issues.

"I am a positive thinker and have been told quite often that I am a persuasive person," the mother of six says.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Journal Publishing, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:Arkansas Business of the Year: Executive of the Year; Cheqnet Services Inc.
Author:Harper, Kim
Publication:Arkansas Business
Article Type:Company Profile
Date:Jan 27, 1992
Words:276
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