Watershed Development Corporation hosted a rent-to-own business seminar for the WACC – CEO class of 2017 at its Aaron’s store in Sterling, Illinois on February 28, 2017. The seminar was conducted by Mike Ceruzzi, Watershed’s VP of Business Operations, and included detailed histories of the industry, Aaron’s and Watershed. Assistant Manager, Jerry Marquez, explained store operations and the inner workings of the RTO transaction. The 2017 class is an elite group of 20 seniors selected from eight Whiteside county high schools. Watershed invested $3,000 in the Sterling, Illinois chapter of Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities (CEO) in January. CEO partners with a community’s businesses and local school systems to mentor high school juniors and seniors to become the next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders. Each CEO course spans an entire school year and is designed to utilize partnerships that provide an overview of business development and processes. Students visit area businesses, learn from guest speakers, participate in a class business, write business plans, and start and operate their own businesses. Business concepts learned through the experiential CEO class are critical; the 21st century skills of problem-solving, teamwork, self-motivation, responsibility, higher-order thinking, communication, and inquiry are at the heart of a student’s development throughout the course. The RTO business seminar and workshop at Aaron’s provided the students with an inside look at the rent-to-own business. “The CEO students were attentive and sharp. They really grasped the essence of the business” stated Mike Ceruzzi. “And RTO isn’t the most intuitive business. It’s a unique hybrid – part retail, part leasing and 100% customer service. There is nothing else like it,” Ceruzzi added. About Watershed Development Corporation Watershed owns and operates Aaron’s (NYSE – AAN) stores throughout Northern Illinois and Iowa. Aaron’s is a leading rent-to-own company with more than 2,000 company and franchise stores throughout North America. Watershed, a franchise operator since 2004, has earned the distinction of being an Aaron’s Top 5 Performing Franchise Operator multiple times since its inception and has been recognized as Aaron’s 2016 Franchise of the Year.