Our Executive Team

National Recoveries, Inc. (NRI) was incorporated in 1991 by James Kunza, Steven Cundiff, and Donald Weber. By combining their collection experience and motivation to grow the business into a successful recovery agency, they have achieved an unparalleled level of debt collection and have earned NRI’s reputation as one of the best debt collection agencies in the Midwest. NRI employs a formidable staff. Collectively, our Executive Management team has a combined total of over two hundred (200) years in the collection industry! Our staff are experienced and highly trained. Our emphasis is on quality assurance and delivering the highest level of customer service to our clients and consumers.

James (Jim) Kunza
James (Jim) KunzaFounding Owner / Board Vice President
National Recoveries, Inc. was established in July of 1991. We began as a small one-room office business. My focus was on sales and building up clientele. One of my greatest accomplishments has been building the company to what it is today. Outside of work, I enjoy golf, traveling, and spending time with my family. I have three children and eight great grandchildren that I am extremely proud of.
Steven Cundiff
Steven CundiffFounding Owner / CEO / Executive President
National Recoveries, Inc. was created in the summer of 1991 to aid and assist colleges and universities with ever-increasing tuition loan default issues. I have implemented strategic relationships and technologies making National Recoveries very successful in debt recoveries nationwide. With a firm grip on current trends, I continue to guide National Recoveries in its mission to aid and assist both government and private sector entities with account receivables. I have served on the boards of both ACA international and the Minnesota Association of Collectors. I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Finance and Accounting from Arizona State University (Tempe), and am also an F.A.A. certified private pilot.
Donald (Don) Weber
Donald (Don) WeberFounding Owner / Board Treasurer
National Recoveries, Inc. (NRI) was established in July of 1991. I have enjoyed watching the company grow and am extremely proud of where our organization is today.
Joel Kunza
Joel KunzaOwner / President / Federal Contract Administrator
I became an equity partner in National Recoveries, Inc. (NRI) in 2008. In my time with the company I’ve helped establish NRI’s footprint in government contracting, starting in 2006 with a subcontracting effort. NRI has since obtained subsequent prime federal contract awards in 2008 & 2014 with the U.S. Department of Education. My roles have included Financial & Strategic Management, Government Relations, Capitol Hill Liaison, and Leadership & Culture advocate. In addition to working at NRI, I am the Co-Founder of Athletes for MN Kids 501(c)3, which partners with local professional athletes for the benefit of kids in need in our community. I attended college at Minnesota State University (Mankato) where I played collegiate baseball and graduated Cum Laude with a Finance Degree. I am married with three children. Outside of work, I enjoy golfing and traveling with my family and friends.
Jenie Kunza
Jenie KunzaVice President of Compliance and Regulatory Management / Deputy Contract Administrator / Licensing and Insurance Officer
I have worked for National Recoveries, Inc. since 2002, holding positions within each department throughout my tenure. Collectively, I have worked in the collection industry for 20 years. My passion lies in Compliance which is where I have been for the past 10 years. Building the compliance system for National Recoveries and achieving the Professional Practices Management System certification through the ACA, and sustaining it, have been major highlights of my career. I hold a bachelor’s degree from Concordia University (St. Paul) in Human Resource Management and enjoy yoga, fishing, and being a Mom to my two kids.
Mark Wieczorek
Mark WieczorekVice President of Operations / Deputy Contract Administrator
I have been with National Recoveries since 2016 and have over 25 years of experience working on education-based projects. I have played key roles in the start-up of multiple companies and managed the onboarding of several subcontractors. My wife and I have three children. I enjoy baseball, hockey, and the McDonalds App.
John Sturtz
John SturtzDirector of Operations
I have been working with National Recoveries since January of 2013. Overall, I’ve been in the collections industry since April of 2005 and have spent all but a year and half working on the U.S. Department of Education contact. I enjoy spending time with family, fishing, and biking
Jeff Howard
Jeff HowardDirector of Operations
My career recently began with National Recoveries in July 2018; however, I brought with me 15 years of experience in numerous facets of the ever-changing collection industry. With a degree in Education, I have a desire to teach and develop, and this industry has provided me with that opportunity. It has been, and remains, very rewarding to be assisting in the career development of a great number of people, as well as to foster client relationships. When presented with time away from the office, I enjoy spending it in the outdoors (fishing, golfing, and boating) with my family.
Ken Piatt
Ken PiattDirector of Operations
As an account receivable management (ARM) industry veteran, I began my ARM career in 1991 and joined National Recoveries in May of 2014. I have extensive experience in operations, sales, and vendor management. Prior to joining NRI, I served as Director and Vice President of two large national collection agencies managing Education, Government, Financial Services, Healthcare, and Retail portfolios for both onshore and offshore call centers. I obtained my B.A. from the University of Minnesota.
Joe LaFond
Joe LaFondDirector of Research and Development
I began my career with National Recoveries in January 2005, and have worked on each U.S. Department of Education contract awarded to NRI. I oversee a group of talented developers and analysts, whose prime objectives include data integrity, data architecture, data analysis, and code development. I attended college at Minnesota State University (Mankato), and have called Minnesota home my entire life. Outside of the office, I enjoy live music, exploring new hiking trails, a good book or movie, and spending time with family. I am thankful for the opportunities NRI has given me, and the truly exceptional people I get to work with each and every day.
Joe Duncanson
Joe DuncansonDirector of Information Technology
I have over 27 years in the Information Technology field, and working with National Recoveries since 2012. I’m a sports enthusiast with a high passion for football and golf. I love Minnesota summers and all the wonderful lakes.
Sarah McCarty
Sarah McCartyDirector of Human Resources
I have been working for National Recoveries since March of 2014. Collectively, I have been in the Human Resources field for over 15 years. I hold a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a graduate certificate in Human Resources Management. Outside of work, I enjoy swimming, boating, and attending my kids’ extracurricular activities.
Cathy Schmitt
Cathy SchmittCorporate Controller
I have been in the collection industry for 23 years, and have been at National Recoveries, Inc. (NRI) since 2000. At NRI, I started as a part time data employee, and over the years have advanced up to Corporate Controller overseeing all financial responsibilities. I thoroughly enjoy my job. I have been married to my husband for 40 years, and in my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family, especially the grandkids. I also like to do arts and crafts.
Lesli Wieczorek
Lesli Wieczorek Director of Compliance and Regulatory Management
I have been in the NRI family since April 2017 and spent nearly two decades of my professional career building various departments for Private Collection Agencies contracted by the U.S. Department of Education. I have extensive experience in the implementation of new policies and procedures, management of daily operations, and the oversight of all facets of the contract. My primary focus has been leading administration departments including Training, Quality and Compliance, Correspondence, Rehabilitation, Administrative Resolutions, and Payment Processing. My range of experience has afforded me the opportunity to help establishments create and maintain innovative infrastructures. Outside of work, I enjoy watching my kids be playful (with some shenanigans mixed in).