At a time when people are more comfortable changing jobs, Ellen Miller has staying power. She made the decision to make North Mill Equipment Finance her permanent work home 23 years ago. As the company has grown and prospered, Miller has grown and prospered along with it. Her mission? To bring her personal best to the workplace each day and to do so with passion, collaboration, kindness and a strong work ethic. Miller’s experience of more than 30 years in the equipment finance industry allows her to encourage and foster a knowledge-sharing culture. Miller’s goal is to help her team develop the skills necessary to effectively negotiate and resolve legal issues through a common-sense approach to problem solving.
Making her way up the corporate ladder, Miller started as a paralegal at North Mill and was then promoted to vice president of legal in 2020. Miller has developed a network of attorneys by state that agree to work on a flat fee agreement, significantly reducing the company’s legal fees. She maintains a clear understanding of the values and priorities of the organization and regularly seeks out new approaches to maximize results. She even started a “holiday special,” offering discounts to customers if they resolve their balances by the end of the year.
As a result of her outstanding performance, David C. Lee, chairman and CEO of North Mill, tapped Miller to take on the collections team along with maintaining her responsibilities in the legal department. In her role as vice president of legal and collections for North Mill, Miller and her team have sought out new technology to bring various processes in-house in order to reduce costs. For example, she improved asset searches to optimize judgment collections, which has resulted in significant savings for the company.
Miller motivates her team and challenges them daily to reach new heights to reduce delinquencies. The team has had impressive results, reporting delinquency rates of 97% that have reached as high as 98.2%, a company record. Mark Bonanno, president of North Mill, was so proud of Miller and her team’s accomplishments that he had T-shirts made for all employees with “97% current” emblazoned in large font on the back.
‘Ellen Miller has an ability to be direct and stern in one minute and compassionate and thoughtful the next, deftly switching between being a listener and being a decisive decision maker to cut through noise and be the voice of reason. This skill set made her a natural for her role as the leader of collections and legal,” Bonanno said. “One of Ellen’s greatest contributions to NMEF and our customers was her tireless efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. NMEF had in excess of 20% of our customers call in for assistance at a time of great stress and uncertainty. Through Ellenls efforts, 86% of those customers were ‘saved’ and they were able to keep their equipment and their business made it through the pandemic. Her ability to quickly pivot the team from being collectors to listeners and problem solvers truly impacted the lives of our small business customers.”
“Ellen Miller has an ability to be direct and stern in one minute and compassionate and thoughtful the next, deftly switching between being a listener and being a decisive decision maker to cut through noise and be the voice of reason.”
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