Suzanne Boas, president, Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Atlanta - December 2009 - Best of Atlanta - Atlanta Magazine
 

Suzanne Boas, president, Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Atlanta

12/1/2009

In 1991, Suzanne Boas became president of Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Atlanta, a nonprofit organization founded in 1964 to offer debt management advice to consumers just as the country’s crush on credit cards was blossoming into a full-grown love affair. Since then, her mission has been to teach consumers to “live beneath their means.” When she took the helm, CCCS was a place for Atlantans to find help when financial troubles crept into their lives; she oversaw thirty-five employees and five offices. Today, in a recession that defies hyperbole, Boas has watched her staff double since January 2008 to 600 employees. Today’s CCCS works to help desperate consumers nationwide hold on to their houses and savings without digging a grave of debt. From 2006 to 2008, CCCS saw a 70 percent increase in bankruptcy counseling, an eightfold increase in foreclosure counseling, and 64 percent more Americans needing help with basic budget planning. “We’ve had to grow quickly to meet the needs of those who need us,” she says. “That’s hard to do when the services you offer are free or very low cost.” Boas is hopeful that predictions are correct about economic recovery, but if they’re not, she’s ready. “I realized how well my values match those of the organization,” she says. “I’m the same person at work, at home, and in the community. That’s very rewarding.” —Bill Warhop