Chamber award for Lifetime Achievement: Jodi Gaines

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 September 2013 at 12:00 am

CRFS leader has built growing company with 650 employees

Jodi Gaines

ALBION – A company that has grown into Orleans County’s largest private employer did not exist until 11 years ago when Jodi Gaines started the business from her kitchen table.

Gaines would start Claims Recovery Financial Services, a company that has become the leader in its industry, helping banks and investors recoup money when a home is foreclosed. Gaines and her 650 employees are committed to knowing the industry regulations in all 50 states and meeting all deadlines for clients.

Her employees work with attorneys, county clerks, utility companies and investors from all over the country. CRFS works to recover past-due interest, unpaid principal, unpaid taxes and unpaid insurance on houses.

The company’s commitment to clients has CRFS in expansion mode, growing from 150 workers in the fall of 2011 to 320 a year ago. In the past year, the company has opened a location in Medina, where it has 230 workers. There are 300 CRFS employees in Albion, and another 80 work in San Antonio.

Gaines and the company have had a critical impact on Orleans County’s economy, and for hundreds of families. Her drive to build a vibrant company, and her years of community service, have earned her a “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Orleans County Chamber of Commerce.

“I’m extremely grateful and humbled for my family and employees,” Gaines said during a phone interview while she attended a conference in Dallas earlier this week.

She is often traveling, meeting with clients and speaking at conferences, where she is recognized as an industry expert and leader.

Gaines credits the CRFS management team and her dedicated employees for the company’s success. During different growth opportunities, she has been wooed to move the company out of state. But she said the employees in Orleans County, with their high standards, are irreplaceable.

Gaines witnessed that commitment to the job while she worked at the former Anchor Savings Bank and Dime Bank in Albion. When she started the new company, some of her former co-workers were quick to join her and help the company take off.

“I knew this would work in Albion,” she said about the company’s early days. “It was all about the people. I saw their work ethic and the pride of the people in Orleans County. The people around me are absolutely wonderful. They work incredibly hard. We don’t go home until the job is done.”

Claims Recovery was the Chamber’s Business of the Year in 2012, when the company more than doubled its workforce. Gaines and CRFS pulled that off again this year, again doubling the employees.

Gaines still manages to be involved in community service. She is a member of the board of directors for the Orleans County United Way. She also was involved in the Albion youth soccer program for many years.

With the United Way, Gaines said the organization teams with agencies to provide a lift for residents who may be down on their luck.

Gaines said she is thrilled to be part of the United Way and CRFS, organizations that are providing opportunities for people “to grow and be successful.”

“I have a great management team and an incredibly supportive family,” she said. “Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to do what I do.”