By Keith Trivitt | @KeithTrivitt | Director, Marketing and Communications
Nick Karahalios is the type of person one could sit down with for a chat and not realize that 30 minutes have passed—that’s how engaging he is in conversation. In fact, that’s exactly what happened when MediaWhiz Hot News sat down with Nick last month to discuss his work at TLA, the accounts receivables business and how he manages to keep track of 50,000-plus accounts.
Answer: he has a crazy-good memory.
But it’s more than that. As manager of client services for TLA, Nick says he takes great pride in his ability to remember the intricacies of various TLA accounts, which clients prefer phone calls, which respond best to email and which he knows are going to be difficult to receive payment.
In short, Nick is a master multitasker. He ensures TLA’s accounts are paid out on time and that money is coming in from clients in an orderly and timely process. It’s not an easy job, but it is one he thrives in, as evidenced by his winning May’s Whiz Award.
“Luckily, my memory is really good,” says Nick. “Sometimes, I even impress myself with what I’m able to remember. I have an ability to focus in on every client while also knowing the broader accounts-receivable issues that need to be addressed.
“The success of TLA’s accounts receivable and client services efforts is a team effort.”
Clearly, Nick is more than the standard numbers person. He says he learned the tricks of the accounts receivables trade while working for 10 years at a carpet import business in downtown Brooklyn. There, he handled thousands of accounts, including those in international markets. He’s doing the same for TLA.
Despite the inherent language barrier, Nick says he has “better luck when working with international clients. They are more responsive to our billing communications regarding their accounts, which is helpful in terms of getting clients paid and ensuring we get paid for our work.”
It’s not just his uncanny memory and ability to speak multiple languages (he is fluent in Greek) that make Nick a strong addition to the TLA team. It’s also his ability to quickly learn and adapt to different—and sometimes difficult—situations that make him such a valuable member of the TLA team and of the MediaWhiz family.
“It’s all about knowing each individual client, how they operate and how and when they like to pay,” according to Nick. “I take pride in my ability to work individually with all of our clients to ensure they are paid on time and TLA is paid for its work.”
The next time you see Nick pacing back-and-forth in the New York office while on the phone with a client, take a moment to appreciate that you don’t have to remember which of 50,000-plus accounts has paid on time and which needs a gentle reminder that their payment is past due. That’s Nick Karahalios’s job, and it’s one he loves.
If forced to listen to one song the rest of your life, it would be: Biggie Smalls and Puff Daddy’s “Victory”—one of the last songs recorded by Biggie. It has great beat and gets me ready for any game.
Currently reading: ”Pinkalicious” and “Thomas and Friends” to my kids at bedtime.
If I could be anything other than a Billing Manager, I’d be: a firefighter. I always wanted to be a real hero.
Celebrity doppelgänger: I’m not sure he is a celebrity, but when I had hair, people thought I resembled Shaggy from “Scooby-Doo.”
Random claim to fame: Shaggy’s look-a-like.
The person you’d love to have lunch with, living or dead: Larry Bird. I emulated his shooting form and playing style when I was younger. After lunch, while in school, I would challenge him to a friendly game of H-O-R-S-E.
Biggest career influence: My dad. He came to the United States with an eighth-grade education and sacrificed a lot to give my family everything he never had—food, clothes, cars, etc. He stressed how important education is even though he never had one, and paid for mine. He always told me to work smart and not hard, like he has.
Favorite late-night snack: popcorn with extra butter. It’s perfect for watching ESPN News.
If you could have a superpower, if would be: Strength. Who wouldn’t want to pump fear in their enemies that you can crush them with one finger?
Favorite quote: ”Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”—Henry David Thoreau. Those are powerful words that I live by.