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You Need to Know CEO Jerry Curtis

Jerry Curtis.

Title: President and CEO, Burt & Associates

Details: After growing up on a 500-acre farm just north of Dallas, Curtis began collecting debt part-time while studying business at the University of North Texas. Now, nearly 40 years later, he runs his 55-employee, Plano-based commercial debt company with the same philosophy he had back then—people appreciate honesty.

Why you need to know him: Because when someone owes your company money, Curtis is the man to get the cash flowing into accounts receivable.

In these financially complicated times, Curtis’ business strategy is simple: If you owe the dough, he’ll listen to you, work with you, and get it paid. Lately he’s found this motto to be more effective than ever; the company’s 2008 revenue reached just over $182 million.

His main goal is to maintain positive relations between his Fortune 500 clients and their customers. In the current economy, he says, keeping customers around—even if they owe money—is all-important. And, since employees have too much on their minds these days to even think about collecting debt, Curtis is happy to lend a helping hand.

When it comes down to it, Curtis says, people just want to tell their stories. They know they owe the money, but they’re often afraid to confront the fact. Once you get them talking, he says, the rest is easy.

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