Part of the response to Jeanne Bennett’s death that stands out to me is the number of people she not only knew but talked to (and helped) on a regular basis.
Here is a letter submitted by Joe Taylor:
Jeanne Bennett – An Industry Icon
My dear friend, Jeanne Bennett, and a dear friend of many, passed away January 6th, 2018.
I first met Jeanne Bennett in 1986, when a small group of us met in Orlando to create the first Florida Association of Licensed Recovery Agents (FALR). Including Jeanne, there were ten of us there that day and all of us signed on as members and paid our membership fees.
By a unanimous vote, Jeanne was elected President and she immediately “took charge” in getting us started on association By-Laws, a Membership Directory and a FALR Newsletter. She became a friend of mine that day and that friendship has lasted all these years. We did not always agree but we never lost our friendship over differences of opinion. I still have a copy of our first Membership Directory that was issued for 1987-1988. In that directory there were 55 Class 1 license holders, 6 Class 2 license holders, 4 sponsors and 26 Affiliates (out of state members).
By her unceasing efforts and the efforts of her board members and other committed members, FALR grew to over 400 members, including Florida and nationwide, and some 30 plus vendors. Jeanne was never too busy to help a FALR member or a non-member, including her competitors.
Jeanne recognized the need for minimal, effective, statutory regulations for Recovery Agents who serviced repossession assignments in Florida. I remember, in 1987, 1988 and 1989, she and several more of us descended on the Capitol in Tallahassee during Legislative sessions and we walked the halls of the Capitol, urging legislators to pass minimal and sensible legislation for the licensure and training of Recovery Agents operating in Florida. She was tireless and relentless in her efforts to improve the industry.
Jeanne and her husband, Jim, came to Ocala to help me celebrate my 65th birthday and I considered it an honor for them to be with Elizabeth and I on that special day.
As many can attest to, Jeanne never comprised on her ethics or professionalism or her commitment to helping others who came to her for advice or assistance. And she showed us how to unlock an “unlockable Mercedes” with a wet popsicle stick (she really did).
I shall remember her with love, friendship and respect. Surely, she belongs to God now.