Dion Gage said he learns something new about the repossession and recovery business every day.
His knowledge-gaining approach is part of the reason why Gage was named this year’s Repossession Executive of the Year, an accolade presented by Primeritus Financial Services. Gage will officially be given the accolade during Used Car Week, which begins on Nov. 14 in San Diego.
Gage is a seasoned financial services professional who brings more than 20 years of experience to his role as vice president of vendor management and impounds at Exeter Finance.
Since joining the company in 2017, Gage has been essential in ensuring that repossession vendors meet all monthly service legal agreements (SLAs), creating repossession strategy for the company, developing internal repossession teams at Exeter, and onboarding vendors to achieve company metrics.
Before joining Exeter Finance, Gage worked for Santander Consumer USA and WFS Financial in operations, vendor management, servicing, and collections.
SubPrime Auto Finance News connected with Gage to gather what shaped his career.
SubPrime Auto Finance News: What was your first day like in the repossession and recovery space, and how much have you learned since that point?
Dion Gage: Every day in this business is unique. But that first day was just trying to understand and get the feel of how things go. Honestly, I don’t think it’s too much different now. Every day is a new adventure. There’s always something new that you never had happen before has happened. It’s going through the new adventures that repos bring every day.
SAFN: Who were your mentors, supervisors, or teammates who impacted you most during your career and how did they do so?
DG: When it comes directly to the repo space, my biggest contributor would be Mark Mooney. Hands down, he’s my biggest mentor. I learned the most from him when it comes to repossessions. That man has probably forgotten things that I probably will never even know, but he is incredibly smart when it comes to the way things work. He’s been in this space for a very long time. He’s done a lot with this space. Mark Mooney has been my biggest mentor, inspiration.
My boss now, Brent Huisman, has been the key contributor to let me grow. I learned the most from Mark, and I’ve got to do the most under Brent. Brent backs me 100%. He gives me just enough rope to learn and grow and do the things that I need to do and supports me 100%.
SAFN: Conversely, what opportunities have you had to offer guidance to younger associates, and what have you shared?
DG: With the people I work with, it’s reminding them that every day in repo is a new day. Even after a decade of doing repo, I am still faced with new challenges, new issues, new problems that I’ve never encountered before. I tell them not to get frustrated when you feel like you’ve been doing this for a couple of years and something comes up that you still don’t know. That’s just repo. It changes so quickly that I don’t think we’ll ever truly know everything in this space.
The other thing I have to tell them is make sure that they look at everything with open eyes. Don’t be shut off to new ways of doing things. Because that’s one of the most important things in this industry is making sure that we don’t become complacent in what we do and do things just because that’s the way we’ve always done them. You have to kind of humble yourself a little bit to be open to accepting those new ideas and new ways of doing things.
SAFN: What do you enjoy most about auto financing? What stirs your passion for this particular business?DG: There’s just so much to learn. Again, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in the business. I’ve been in it since I was 19, going through collections, running dialers, and things like that. But there’s always something new to learn. Just when you think you’ve learned it all, something changes. The pandemic happens, and it throws a whole new wrench into everything, and you’ve got new things to learn now. That’s one thing I love about this business, is it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in it. There is always something new to learn.
SAFN: What’s your reaction to be named this year’s Repossession Executive of the Year?
DG: I got the phone call, and the first thing was I was just speechless. It completely blindsided me. I had no clue about it. I was honestly in shock. But that was followed by being quite humbled just to know that people see that the hard work I put into it and the passion I have for what I do and for my team. I’m very humbled and honored.
About Primeritus Financial Services:
Primeritus Financial Services is a national provider of repossession management, remarketing, title services and skip tracing services to the auto finance industry in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Primeritus Financial Services provides clients with value-added, outsourced repossession management and skip tracing services, leveraging a national network of certified agents and unique investigative techniques to quickly and reliably secure customers’ collateral. Through leadership, service and performance, Primeritus Financial Services offer the trifecta of repossession services: locate, recover and remarket. For more information on Primeritus Financial Services, please visit www.primeritus.com.
Joe Mappes, EVP Sales and Marketing
PRIMERITUS FINANCIAL SERVICES