NAPBS 2014 Annual Conference

NAPBS 2014 Annual Conference, Denver, Colorado October 2014


This conference was even better than the last with Dean Carras and Adam Townsend and their committee of volunteers along with our association management group (IMI) on top of everything.

While the attendance didn’t match the last couple of years, it was still good:

 People Stuff:

– Debbie Klarfeld (most recently with EBI) is now with Accurate Background in a Senior Product Management role.

– Larry White (most recently with eVerifile) is now with EBI as COO.

– Hilda Jensen, co-owner of Human Assets South and very active in NAPBS, suffered a serious brain aneurism in early October and is recovering in a long term unit at her local hospital.

– Victoria Burge (most recently with American Databank) is now with Berg Consulting Group working on Vault Verify.

– Keith Meguiar (formerly with InfoMart and Edge Information Management) is now with Berg Consulting Group working on Vault Verify.

– Amy Baumann (most recently with Vertical Search) has joined Berg Consulting Group and will be working with CRAs to help them improve their bottom line.

– Kim Castellanos (formerly with AccuSearch) is now with Innovative Enterprises.

– Asysha Hogan (formerly with Berg Consulting Group) is now with EBI.

– Michael Burke (formerly with EBI) is now with Redridge.

– FADV has moved forward with integrating the acquisition of Lexis-Nexis and has recently pared down its FADV salesforce and many of the operations have moved to the Lexis platform and to Atlanta.

– Remember to see who is hiring and to find candidates with background screening experience.

The committees and NAPBS have accomplished a ton of work this past year.  If you think people are not working hard (volunteering) to accomplish things for the industry, read their meeting minutes at

If you are not a member of NAPBS, call me and let me explain why there is no reason for not helping our association that does so much for the industry in which you are involved.  The annual NAPBS budget is about $1,500,000. Contribute, join, learn, be active, benefit.  Governments (federal, state and local), continue to make decisions that impact your business.  As a member, your dues contribute to our legal costs to defend you before all these uninformed, misinformed and biased legislators (I just logged on and paid my 2015 dues).

Conference Presentations included some great topics.  I won’t list them all here but suffice to say that so much is learned at the conference.  The conference is a non-stop learning experience.  You learn from talking with suppliers in the exhibit hall and with competitors during meals and bar time and just meeting new people and just schmoozing.  And, of course, you also learn much from the educational sessions and company presentations.  Remember, if you come away with only one good idea, it more than pays for the conference.  And, you will learn much more than only one good idea.

Here is a sampling of some presentations I attended:

Shannon Miller (the most decorated gymnast in American history) was the Keynote Speaker.  Most gave her a C+ grade.  Interesting to hear about how her dedication and “nevergiveupness” got her to the finish line, but not the most stimulating of speakers and the people I talked to had already learned and had already capitalized on the life lessons she was expounding.

Pamela Devata gave an excellent presentation on Mitigating the Risk of being named in an FCRA class action law suit.  There was a 500% increase in FCRA-related class action litigation between 2013 and 2014 – so all CRA’s are at potential risk.  Data providers and furnishers are frequently being named in suits along with CRAs and employers. CRAs should pay close attention to documentation: making sure that language used in agreements matches that on forms, having a client state a specific permissible purpose, and separating accounts for end users with multiple permissible purposes.  Ms. Devata also addressed reporting of dismissed charges and non-convictions.  It is always illegal to report dismissed records in California; elsewhere the 7 years should be calculated from the date of the charge/file date, not the historical industry practice of using the “date of last activity” on the case.

Fingerprint based Criminal History Checks.  Marikay Hegarty gave a great presentation on the history and trends in this aspect of our industry and described how the providers of such do not have nationwide networks.  Most are specialists in one or two states.

M&A Environment session talked about recent deals, the multiples being attained and how to position your company for acquisition.  The advice and information was identical to what we have learned and teach (of course, we have more deals accomplished in our industry than anyone).

Math Logic applied to criminal databases.  Understanding the challenges of sorting and making proper identification from Big Data.

Tenant Screening data sources and legal compliance.  A bit dry, but important information that must be known to stay away from trouble.

Industry Trends:

The mood of the attendees was definitely upbeat.  There is nothing like a good economy to boost sales, profits and moods.

While technology is still a key to success in this industry (better operating platforms, better and easier interface with providers, better and easier computer interfaces with clients, better interface with ATS and HRIS, and automated direct-to-the-court data retrievers), the key to success and growth remains centered on service to your customer and customer service.  We all get the same data, it just how well and how fast we do it and how we respond to our customers when they call with an issue.

International continues to grow their screening and NAPBS is in the process of forming a direction to create international standards for integrity and compliance.

Conference Stuff:

The reception on Sunday night was again excellent.  Fastest five hours ever.  From 5-6pm was a new member meet-and-greet and about 100 people attended. Then 6-7pm for the opening ceremony and 7-10pm on the exhibit floor with food, open bar, exhibitors, networking, information exchange, old and new friends, hugs and handshakes.  We really do have a good bunch of people in our industry.

Monday night was open and several companies entertained their clients.  Everyone had a nice place to go with good entertainment and good food and activity continued on in the hotel bar with dancing and talking and sharing until the wee hours.

Tuesday night was karaoke.  Another successful evening and it was quiet enough to enjoy talking to those sitting beside you or even across the table.

The only part of the conference that was lacking was the quality and freshness of the food served on the exhibit hall floor (breakfast, lunch and all).  Significantly below what we have learned to expect at these conferences.

Total Companies Exhibitor
Year Attendees Attending Attendees # of Exhibitors
2008 642 261 170 49
2009 525 224 146 65
2010 508 213 156 56
2011 572 219 143 48
2012 655 Data not available
2013 674 259 188 55
2014 640 223 180 45

Company News:

Accurate Background has acquired a sizeable east coast screening company.

Validex sold their background screening operation (Berg Consulting Group represented Validex).

HRNX is now again owned by Paul Mladineo.

MetroData is now owned by Jonathan Patrick.

NAPBS financials were presented to members only, and are available on the napbs website, but suffice to say, NAPBS has a $1.5M budget with a goal of creating the highest level of professionalism in our industry and to communicate that professionalism to our federal and state lawmakers, the FTC, the CFPB and the press.  A big job accomplished almost entirely by members unselfishly devoting their time and energy.

Christine Cunneen is the Chair for 2014-2015

Judy Gootkind is the immediate past Chair


Thank you much for your service.

If you are not a NAPBS Member, it is time you were, sign up today!


Committees-Join one now and get active!

– Best Practices

– Conference Committee

– Education

– Government Relations

– International

– Media Relations

– Membership Recruitment and Retention

– Provider

– Tenant Screening


The Mid-Year conference will be in Washington, DC, April 12-14, 2015.  Be there.

The next annual conference is in Austin, TX, Sep. 20-22, 2015.  Be there too.